Tenants late pay rent

Hello All
I know its quite popular topic about late pay rent or stuggling pay rent by tenants.
I am a first time landlord, I have a lovely couple tenants and with two children, one of who lost their jobs and last two months they are paying rent from benefit and one person income.
Now they are struggling with cost and other family expenses.
Their contract 12 months AST is going to end this month 31st Aug 20 and I haven’t renew it. They are looking for council help but i am very doubt they will get help.
This morning got a call from tenants and said that they are unable to pay rent!!
So what should i do. I serve notice for one month or two months? or end of tenancy period automatic end. Do open rent have standard template where i can use and serve notice? What should right in the letter.

If you want to end the tenancy you would need to give 3 months notice, due to covid. You would need to issue a section 21 notice.

Yes, I agree with Richard19 but if they are more than two months in arrears, you can serve a section 8 notice and start possession proceedings after two weeks following the notice but due to Covid three months is required before proceedings can start.

After 23rd August 2020 possession hearings will once again commence and you may have to wait the old time periods before starting possession

That is so sad, are you a rent to buy landlord or someone who is unable give them a helping hand? If you can afford to, it might pay you in the long run to give them some slack, you do say they are a lovely couple.
We are in a similar position with a tenant of 3 years. He lost his job in April, though paid the rent in full until July. He has done this before and racked up rent arrears of £1700, but he did eventually manage to pay it all off. He has now contacted me to say he can pay a weekly amount so we have decided to let him off July’s rent.
I do understand that not all L/L will be able to do this, but as we can afford to we did.
I hope you and they can resolve this without having to evict this family from their home.


I agree with Jennifer. Do the decent thing. You should be able to get relief from your mortgage company.

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I bet there all got new phone and can afford to drink and smoke if they do .

I am accidental landlord. I used to have a tenant who used to work in Construction industry with various skills and DIY. They were good, but some times do fall behind on rent.
For first year, before they moved in property needed bit TLC, I reduced rent in exchange for painting property, some electrical work etc. and had this written contract. I had satisfaction of helping some one, and they were happy to have bigger house than they could otherwise afford.
Plan was should they were fall behind in rent, I could have exchanged some upgrade work for few months. They are minority Tenants, but possible if there is good relation.


Thanks all for answers…
Honestly, personally I dont want to do this too
I will give them a bit flexibility as I understand current situation…

You say they are receiving benefits. If this includes an amount towards housing costs which it probably does you can apply to have it paid to yourself if you look up direct payment to landlord on gov.uk website. If it is paid towards housing they should be passing it on.
Even a partial amount would help and may help them too if it meant you could afford to let them stay.

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I think your tenants are very crafty and they are playing you in the full knowledge that they won’t get council help unless they are homeless. If they declare themselves homeless by following your period of notice as per S 8 or 21 the council again will not offer them any assistance but will advise them to go hone and wait for the Bailiff To evict them bearing in mind you will not only require a possession order but a warrant of execution Before your able to arrange Bailiff attendance. Then your tenant will have achieved their goal in being able to tell the Council that YOU have made them homeless . Don’t be taken in by sob stories,!these people know how to play the system.

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