Tenant non payment require eviction

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Mr Millet
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I have a tenant who is under an AST. The term expires on 8th January 2012 (commenced 8th July 2011). I issued a Section 21b on signing of the AST which was counter signed by the tenant and requires that I re-possess the property on 8th January 2012. He is reqired to pay 90 rent per week but has failed to pay since 4th November 2011. I took 270 as deposit (paid to DPS within 1 week) and required a further 270 to be paid as advance rent. It was stipulated in the contract that this was not to be used as rent during the term except during the final 3 weeks of the term should notice to quit have been given by the tenant (ie no rent would be paid in the final 3 weeks of his stay in order that the advance be returned as rent - free occupation during the last 3 weeks). As he is in arrears, should I issue another form of Notice, if so which one, and do I need to wait until this Notice has expired before starting proceedings for eviction. Would I also be advised to issue small claim proceedings for recovery of the rent arrears.
I'm unsure of the legal position of this, however, as a deterrent to tenants' late payment, I added a "late payment clause" that stipulated that advance rent paid could not be counted against rent that was in arrears during the term (other than during the final 3 weeks) and that a penalty payment of 10 per day would be incurred for late payment during the term. Is this legally enforceable and should I start proceedings immediately to recover rent in arrears and late payment penalties. Your advice will be gratefully appreciated.
26/11/2011 00:00

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