The property law experts at Brady Solicitors explain your options when dealing with a tenant who isn’t paying their rent.

Where a tenant is in breach of their tenancy or not paying rent, the landlord will understandably wish to resolve the issue or obtain possession of the property as quickly as possible. Brady Solicitors understands the commercial pressures on a letting agent and the difficulties faced by landlords and we have developed processes to ease your challenges.

Serving a Section 8 Notice

If the tenant has at least two months of rent arrears Brady Solicitors can serve a Section 8 Notice seeking possession under the Housing Act 1988. You would need to send us a copy of your Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement, a schedule of the arrears and confirmation of whether or not the tenancy deposit has been protected, and we will then be able to send the notice to the tenant.

If the rent arrears are not paid within two weeks of the notice we can then proceed with possession proceedings in the County Court. We are able to offer a nationwide service, regardless of where the property is based.

Serving a Section 21 Notice

Alternatively if you wish to obtain possession of the property, Brady Solicitors would be able to serve a Section 21 Notice and, if the rent arrears have not been settled within two months, we can commence possession proceedings in the appropriate County Court. Under this procedure, the tenant’s deposit must be protected in the correct manner in order for the Section 21 Notice to be valid.

If the deposit is found to be defective in its protection the landlord can be liable for a fine of up to three times the amount of the deposit.

How to ensure tenants’ deposits are correctly protected

It a legal requirement to protect all tenant deposits that are currently held – including those that were taken prior to 6 April 2007. As the landlord or agent, you must ensure that:

  • Any deposit taken is protected within 30 days of receiving it. If this period has expired, you cannot serve a valid Section 21 Notice until the deposit has been refunded to the tenant.
  • You have provided the prescribed information deposit protection information to the tenant in accordance with Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004. It would be prudent to obtain proof of service. The tenant must have been provided with this information before a Section 21 Notice can be validly served. Late compliance can lead to a fine.
  • Any deposit received is protected with a relevant deposit protection body.

Expert help for letting agents

Brady Solicitors can help letting agents and landlords with the full range of legal matters and complications relating to rent arrears, tenants and assured shorthold tenancies. For expert help and advice or to find out more about our fixed-fee options please click here to email us or call 0115 985 3450 to speak to a member of our legal team.