Eviction or end of tenancy pathway

Dear All

I’m currently having a super troublesome tenant who failed to pay on time on every single occasion (student). After much to and fro during summer she did eventually resurect and settled All oustanding payments when her student payments started to come through. However, following next month she stopped paying yet again as well as now stopped replying to any messages. I also happened to be at the property recently when I found it being unkempt and already with some damages and staining.

As our initial term of AST luckily has passed I have served her notice to terminate contract but that is obviously 2 months (offered her an option to exit earlier given rent arrears). However in less than 2 weeks she will fall into 2 months worth arrears so I could also start eviction (given my previous discussions with her when we were at that point she said she won’t be difficult and would move out, but obviously not sure whether that will still be the case).

I’m wondering shall I commence eviction itrespectively of my notice? My take is that in case she won’t move out in 2 months at the latest at least I will already give her notice earlier to move out due to rent arrears (and there is a chance She will). I can then go to small claims court for rent arrears or any payments for damages etc (I have a feeling deposit won’t be enough).

Also, I’m pretty sure she won’t give me her forwarding address for the purpose of legal communication. I know that there are trace services available and I know exactly where she studies as well as details of her guarantor work (but not home address-I know I know I should have pushed for full referencing of the guarantor). Does any of you have any experiences using those trace services? Are they worth the money?

Many thanks for any advice


Does she have a car or motorcycle, if so note the license numbers. Where is she studying and what? Do you have her bank & mobile account details - likewise with email if this isn’t changed. Do you have her parents address and details, I take it you used them or someone else as guarantor, being she is a student??- all useful when tracking a person who has departs without notice if needed. Tracking with this information makes it so much easier to find people.

You need to be very careful about what you do and say from now on, document everything and run a ledger of events showing date, type of communications, summary title of reason and then a x-reference to any particular document. This will make it easy should you need to go to court and will most certainly help when claiming against their deposit. If you attend the property notify the tenant whilst you are physically there you are videoing any conversations and inspections. Keep polite, empathetic and professional, restrain against any self aggressive or threatening tone. Video all postings of mail through her letter box if you live close enough. Do not enter the property unless allowed by the tenant or for emergency utility and safety reasons. Remember, structure through videos, photos & documents is the route to a successful win.

If you do go in , best take some one with you, not family or partner , to witness anything, If you write a report following this and they agree with your report , ask them if they can witness it via date & signature. All an extra load of admin but good practice when it comes to needing this.

It’s a shame defaulting tenants do no realise that if you go to court their credit referencing will be affected and hence bank, store and credit card use plus charged interest rates will be affected, as will notice to future landlords that they are not a safe bet to rent to. Additionally it will also affect loans, mortgages - the list goes on. So it is really in their interest to ensure they pay on time and in full. I say this for all the tenants reading this blog too.

Bearing in mind most tenants look at Shelter for help this is their advice to tenants.

section 21 notices during the pandemic.

Date you were given notice Minimum notice period
On or after 1 October 2021 2 months
Between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021 4 months
Between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 6 months

The landlord has 4 months from the end date on the notice to start court action.

Section 8 notices

A section 8 notice can be used to evict an assured shorthold tenant or an [assured tenant]

Your landlord needs a legal reason or ‘ground’ to use this type of notice and they have to prove the ground at a court hearing.

The most common reason for a private landlord to use a section 8 notice is rent arrears.

Notice periods for rent arrears were extended temporarily during the pandemic but have now returned to a much shorter notice period.

From 1 October 2021 you can be given just 2 weeks’ notice if you have rent arrears or are late with your rent.

So basically when you gave notice is very important.

I think if you start formalising your approach it may rightly put the wind up your student to get her act together, if it doesn’t the normal legal process will follow and future consequences to her life.!!!

Good luck

1 Like

Thank you so much for this advice. Although she communicated she is willing to move out by the time her notice expires (I have given her notice as soon as the fixed term finished), but given she now fallen into two months arrears I probably will also invest in Legal support and serve her section 8/21 notice, just in case down the line she will start to become difficult.

I’m getting to the point when I’m more annoyed with myself getting so frustrated, upset and anxious at times with this issue, than with her. Need to get rid of her asap.

Best wishes,