Rent arrears - Unresponsive tenants - what next?

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I'd really appreciate some advice here.

Back in April our tenants ended up missing a month's rent due to (apparently) money issues caused by ID theft. We proposed several times that they pay a little extra each month. Each time, nothing extra received and the rent got paid later and later again.

In August we met with them again, talked through our positions, said we did not want to evict them, but should rent issues continue we would have no choice. I issued a Section 21 (4)(a) expiring on 31 October to give us that option. Finally in August they started paying back 55 extra per month (to repay 795) - not much, but something at least.

This month things have got worse again. They are now 13 days late with the October rent, their mobile phone is disconnected and my partner knocked on the door 3 times today, only to be ignored - there were people at home.

She left a note stating we'd be round at 9am on Friday. Our intention then is to hopefully get some rent, failing that we will be serving a letter stating that court action will be taken to evict them and that we will be referring the rent arrears to a debt collection agency.

We've been reasonable and have gone out of our way to try and help them pay the missing rent.

Are the actions described above correct, reasonable and lawful and is there anything else we can do or need to bear in mind?

Any advice greatly appreciated.


28/10/2009 00:00

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