How far to let get behind

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We rent a property out, and have had the same tenant in it for around 4 years.
They have always been a late payer - but normally catch up - but never end up being ahead with their rent. Even though our agreement says 1 month in advance.

The family have been on a 6 month tenancy agreement.

Two years ago, the tenant had a baby, was struggling with work and payments started to slip. With a rent of 500 pcm, he has peaked at owing 1000. Between August 08 and October 08 - their outstanding debt was 1120. Upon advise from RLA we served a Section 8 Notice Seeking Possession on them. The tenant gradually caught up with their rent until they were behind to 600 - but then has since dropped back to around the 1000 mark.

They always have an excuse, but have just been away on a holiday - so are obviously not that short of cash before hand, but they are now. With Christmas coming up - no doubt they will start to fall behind more. I send him a statement every month - telling him how much behind he is, and telling him I can't afford him to be so far behind. He just ignores them. We have to chase him for the rent every time - with always a different excuse.

I asked at RLA about what I should do with regards continuing his short term tenancy agreement - now that he's had a Section 8. The Advise was that the tenant is still on the Section 8.

My questions are:

1) I am worried that I have a tenant in my property without being covered by a contract.
Should I keep serving him a Section 8 each month - or put him on a 1 month contract.
2) As he is still paying some of his rent - we are worried about turning him out - and not getting another tennant in with times as they are. There are a lot of properties to rent in our area - and we may have to stand a month or so pending a new tenant going in. Do you think with his record, we are better with the bad devil we know - or pursing the Section 8 and getting him out?


05/11/2009 00:00

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