Landlords who have tenants with rent arrears may wish to seek legal advice, and OpenRent has legal partners who can assist via a free helpline. Please let us know if you require these details.
Legal action should be a last resort
Proceeding through court is not anyone's idea of fun, it can be an expensive and time consuming process. So what's the alternative?
Can you resolve the situation amicably?
- Talk to your tenant to understand why they haven’t been able to pay yet and when they are likely to be able to.
- Make sure you agree a deadline/schedule in writing if you don’t intend to start eviction proceedings immediately.
- If they don’t meet the agreed time-frame, you can choose to agree a new one, but this risks increasing your exposure.
- If your tenant receives housing benefit, check if they could apply to the local authority for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
- Issue a Section 8 and/or 21 notice to evict your tenant. Our blog post explains how to do this in more detail here.
- Agree with the tenants when they will leave the property and repay the money.
- Apply for a possession order if they don’t leave.
Reclaiming money owed
- Issue the tenant a money reclaim form for any outstanding arrears (this can be done online if you’re claiming a fixed amount of rent).
- If the tenancy was subject to rental insurance, contact the insurer.
- Contact the agency that holds the deposit to make a claim for the money.
- If the tenancy had a guarantor, you can claim the money from them too.
- If the court orders the debtor to pay and they still do not, options to enforce the judgement include debt collection and having money deducted from their wages.
Information on this site is by way of general guidance only and may not apply in your particular circumstances. You should not act or refrain from acting upon information on this site without seeking independent legal advice.