Advice on a tenant not paying their rent

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hello, I need some advice please. This is my first experience of this.

I have a tenant who did not pay their sept 2009 rent, and then paid Oct, nov rent. In decemeber 2009 she sent me a letter stating that i can use her 6 weeks deposit as rent and she will be moving out on the 31 dec 2009. I sent letter stating she should provide her house keys to a specific agent in her area. The letter was returned as it was supposed to be signed for and no one answered the door or went to fetch the letter from the post office. It is now 14 Feb, and I have not received any further rent from the tenant. The estate agent has gone past the house, and has advised me that from the outside it is packed with furniture inside. I do not have keys. The agent has said that I need to serve a section 8 notice.
She is now 2 months late with her rental payment. Can you please advice the best way of serving the sect.8. Do I post it, or do I need to hand deliver it, with a witness. When do i inform the court of my intention to evict the tenant. If you could advice me of the process, that would be most helpful.

14/02/2010 00:00

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