Rent not being paid-what next?

I definitely feel like I dropped the ball here. Tenant moved in in September, had him referenced, saw he had two ccjs, I’d like to think everyone deserves a chance as we all make mistakes. He sent copies of his payslips and plenty of references from previous landlords, employees and neighbors! So I went with my gut. Second month in, the rent hasn’t been paid, it’s now two weeks late, and not to be dramatic, but my bills need paying and I am dependent on this money coming in. He is now ignoring my messages, when he does respond it’s always ‘I will pay this week’ I’m really not sure where to go from here! Any help would be amazing!

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2ccj s . Not paid off I bet. Not a 3rd chance from me see a property lawyer now Join the landlords association . Tax deductible… advice is free. … If you dont follow a reference then no point in having one


Sorry to say Victoria I totally agree with Colin once again, if he has got two CCJs tells me that he never learned from the first one. Don’t beat yourself up to much we have all made mistakes, what you need to do is handle the situation with urgency, go round and talk rather then text. I always confront tenants face to face, I always feel its a better out come. I take it that you took a bond and a months rent up front, if so you have time to pursue it. I usually go to discuss the situations at 8.00 am just to catch them in. You must persist and try to resolve the problem before you get into legal costs where there’s only one winner.


Thank you both for responding, I am out of the country so going round there isn’t an option. I know all have the laws have changed since I left the U.K. too, in favour of the tenant, and everyone keeps telling me I’ll never get him out. But I thought there was a clause that if I’m abroad and I need to return to the U.K. to live I can reclaim it as my home?

that has to go thru a court anyway

I’m sorry you have come off worse, at the moment at least. I too took pity on a nice young man with 2 CCJs, who seemed genuine, and let him take my flat. While he was not the best of tenants, he did pay the rent but didn’t look after the flat very well. When he moved out he behaved with honour though and at the end of the day I was glad I had given him a chance. It’s a difficult call, but I understand where you are coming from. Good luck.


Hi Anne
You seemed to of come out of your situation reasonably unscathed. I am sorry to say that after 40 odd years of renting has left me, with out pity, hard and never trusting to say but a few. My motto is never let your heart rule your
head. My wife used to run our properties whilst I was working in the building side of the business, she rang me to say that Social services wanted a place for a 18 year old that had been in care. My wife met them and let the kid in, without my blessing , with in 48 hours the flat was wrecked.
Hard lesson but lucky enough S/S paid for the damage. Moral of this story is stick to my Motto.


totally agree ,head not heart or you get done. We all can have a sob story in our lives, If you only have one or two properties it can hit you hard especialy if on a mortgage.

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It’s always a difficult decision if someone appears right and they act In a polite manor but if they want the property that is the way they would act that however once they get into the property the ball games changed, very much in their favour and sadly due to government interference it’s going to get worse. Section 21 is currently still a valid notice and if I were you I would quickly issue it and hope that he may go in the 2 months statuary notice. Leopards don’t change their spots 2 ccj’s and he could be heading for his third by the sound of things


Sounds very similar to a situation that I went through too. The tenant came across very nice and even admitted he had some bad credit history. We were desperate to rent out so we thought we’d give him a chance. He paid first month’s rent only. As we had never been in this situation I did go with tenant eviction service as even though on paper I was confident I could fill out the forms I had heard that any mistake in the form could invalidate the application. Anyway it went smoothly though a drawn out process as he ignored the notices. We did have to attend court too so not sure how that would work in your case as you’re abroad. In the end it took nearly 6 months to get the property back. The lesson I have taken from this is that I will only accept tenants who pass their references and that I can get rent protection for. I’m sure there are cases where people are genuine and have just suffered some misfortune but if it takes 6 months to evict the law isn’t doing anything to encourage me to give these people a chance. The financial hole this ordeal left us took a long time to recover from. Having a property vacant for a few months while you find the right tenant is better than waiting 6 months and going through this stress. Hope you can get something from sharing this experience and best of luck resolving your issue. David


Hi I would like to say as a tenant with x3 ccjs I don’t agree with what is being said. I rented my last property for 16 yrs as a tenant but fell out of work for a long period of time so got into financial difficulties. I couldn’t pay all my rent and other bills mounted up. I received x3 ccjs in that time as well. Once I got into full time work again I paid off rent owing first to get that straight. I’m still paying off the ccjs over a period of time. I have now moved to a new rented property and my landlord gave us the chance as he has been in same situation. I pay my rent every month because one I have to but two because I respect him for trusting us. People do deserve a second chance and please take that into concideration .


Sean9 paying off your ccj is good You are the exception to the rule. I referenced a man who earned 40k and had a ccj of 8k. Not paid. Not getting my property then

Do the section 21 now

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Totally agree with Colin. Had a Tenant stop paying in December…she passed references…but took me until July to get her out with courts and bailiffs. They look are not going to pay and want 6 months free rent. That’s a lot of money…
Get moving: issue a section 21 whilst it’s still got teeth (2 month wait before you can do anything after this ), issue court proceedings asap, keep written letters to the tenant - routine inspections, rent arrears statements, annual safety checks, etc,. Get all your documents together and take advice from some one like the NLA if you don’t have a solicitor through Rent guarantee Insurance. Build your case now.

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And difference with you, Sean9, is that you had history with your landlord and one would always hope that this would have been taken into consideration when you fell into arrears (I have tenants who have been with me 15 years and I wouldn’t think twice about helping them out if they were having difficulties as it’s clearly unusual. Everyone can fall on hard times.).
But if you go into arrears after one month, there is no goodwill built up and unfortunately, it looks contrived.

Victoria9, you can start the legal processes whilst still remaining in open contact with your tenant, saying you have no choice but you will stop all legal notices if they can get themselves sorted. It’s very unlikely you are going to get any money from them so be prepared for this.

Victoria do not believe anything this tenant tells you or you will be back to square one

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Get professional help now - outsource getting him out, it will be cheaper in the long run and probably less stress if you aren’t in the country and not used to the new laws - use someone like Landlord Action


Tricky situation. The advice above about getting professional advice etc is all valid and probably something you should do. There might however be an alternative IF you can establish open communication and get some sort of trust… And it sounds like it may be a big IF. I’ve had a few situations however where I’ve managed to work it through without eviction processes. With one the tenant was claiming housing benefit and the local council had a safeguarding scheme where I could demonstrate the arrears and have the benefit paid directly to me, which was a stop loss while I worked with the tenant to pay back the arrears. You could see if you have a similar option. The second was when new tenants had to go to hospital for pacemaker surgery not long after moving in and their sickness was not paid by their employer. This resulted in a couple of months arrears very quickly. In both occasions I tried the following tactics, firstly to separate the arrears from the future regular payments so that the loss did not grow. If you can open a dialogue to understand why the payment is late and what can be done so that future payments are on time that is a major so to take… this person might be a bad egg, but they might also have problems with health, universal credit or bills that they are trying to hide from you. The second step is to try to nibble back the arrears, so if they can’t pay the whole about, how much can they pay now…£100 for example. There is no point asking for money someone has not got, but if you can agree small amounts that will eventually get you to your goal. You may be being palmed off because they can’t afford the whole amount now, but they might be able to afford some. In this way you might be able to re-establish a dialogue, stop the losses growing and gradually recover the arrears. This took me over a year in the second example above, but 8 years later they are still with me and have not missed a payment since. I always view the court process as the last resort so am willing to try to work with people. You should probably prep yourself for the worst, but give it a go through conversation. Hope this helps.



Hi Steve,
Thank you very much for your insight too, this would be the ideal situation for me. Unfortunately my tenant is ignoring my messages, not answering my phone calls or emails. My guess is he’s changed his number. So the line of communication is closed from his side, if I was there I would stop over just to see what’s happening and make a deal, as you suggest! I have started legal action, so whatever happens happens now. Just a real shame that there are people that do this.

Thank you for this side of things, I had given my tenant a chance thinking that everyone deserves a chance to make a change, unfortunately he is not like you and is just avoiding payment and communication now :confused: