ej_topmost
Property Hawk

GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK FROM A TENANT

How does a landlord get back money owed by a tenant after an eviction?

So finally, a landllord manages to get the tenant out of the rental property, but low and behold they owe the landlord lots of rent.  So how does the landlord go about getting their money back? 

The landlord should first try writing or talking to their tenant, but let's presume despite a landlord's best efforts this has come to no avail.

Note to landlords: Don’t waste time trying over and over again - take the hint. 

The next step for a landlord is to take the tenants to court to try and get back some of the money they are owed.  Now this sounds scary, but its actually a relatively straightforward process. It involves the landlord filling out a form obtainable online or from the County Court.  In this the landlord will need to specify:

  • The rent arrears due and for what period
  • The interest due on the outstanding rent (if any)
  • Additional costs if provided for in the agreement
  • Damages to the property

For a landlord to commence proceedings they have to pay a court fee, the amount of which relates to the amount claimed.  This fee is added to the claim from the landlord.  Once submitted the Court will send this form to the defendant / tenant who will either; pay up, defend, counter claim or do nothing.  In many cases the simple threat of court action by a landlord is enough to make the defendant pay up; if for no other reason than if the judgment goes against them it will go on their credit file.

Credit files are utilised by all sorts of institutions.  They are used when considering loan applications including mortgage applications and credit reference checks as we have already seen.  The existence of a County Court Judgment (CCJ) on a persons credit file makes it very difficult for an individual to obtain a whole range of credit and services. For this reason most people seek to avoid them.  If a landlord is taking a tenant to court, it might be worth the landlord mentioning this to them, but a landlord needs to be careful what they say as the tenant could turn the situation around and claim blackmail and harrassment by the landlord.

Required information to take a tenant to court for rental arrears

The other criteria a landlord must satisfy in order to claim through the County Court are:

That the landord has an address for the tenant in England or Wales where the documents can be served
The claim is against no more than 2 defendants
The landlord has an e-mail address

Landlords should not get drawn into postponing an action, any correspondence is likely just to be another delaying tactic whilst the debtor / tenant plans their ‘disappearance’.  It’s now possible to make a claim online through the www.moneyclaim.gov.uk website which is part of Her Majesty’s Court Service. 

The cost of an application is between £25 - £815 depending on the amount claimed and the maximum claim online is £99,999.99.  For details of the fees including a calculator.

Landlords using Money Claims Online (MCOL)

Once the landlord has paid the court fee they will be issued with a user id and password and this then allows the landlord to carry out their claim.  Following completion of the claim the tenant will be given notice of it through the post.

To make a claim the landlord will need the following information:

Full name (including title) & address (including postcode) of the person(s) a landlord wishes to make a claim against
The exact amount a landlord wishes to claim (including any interest, where applicable)
Details of the claim, ie what it is about
A credit/debit card details
A valid email address
A landlord should also provide the person(s) date of birth if known.

A landlord must pay a fee to issue a claim online. The fee charged depends on the amount a landlord is claiming.

The claim number allocated to the claim must be quoted in all correspondence with the court or help desk.

A landlord getting back their rent arrears

 If the decision goes against the ‘defendant’ they will normally be ordered to pay it to the landlord immediately or by instalments.  The amount is determined by the Courts.  If the tenant or the tenant guarantor cannot afford to make payment in one go but they are working then the Judge can make an Attachment of Earnings Order (AEO).  This means that the employer has to make the payment directly from the employees payroll guaranteeing that the landlord will get their regular payments until the debt is paid off.

The advantage for landlords of using the on-line service is that there is no need for the landlord / claimant to make an appearance in person and the court fees are slightly cheaper.
Follow this link  for more guidance on using Money Claim Online.

Comments (18)

rent arrears ccj
can a landlord get a ccj against a tenant if a tenant has left their property and the landlord has no address for them?
#1 - karl - 07/15/2012 - 19:16
Tenant left, Still owes money
rent arrears ccj
can a landlord get a ccj against a tenant if a tenant has left their property and the landlord has no address for them?
#2 - Augustine Romo Jr - 07/16/2012 - 06:46
rent arrears ccj
can a landlord get a ccj against a tenant if a tenant has left their property and the landlord has no address for them?
Tenancy has been terninated and keys accepted.
Last 6 months rent was never collected.
#3 - steve a - 09/07/2012 - 23:32
CCJ's/Rent Arrears
Need any help with getting your tenants to pay rent, help with possession proceedings and rent arrears claims. I am a eviction/rent specialist, I am not a solicitor although I am a fully qualified Law Graduate.

Free legal advice & competitive rates

Email me on: renee.drummond@hotmail.co.uk
renee@sororitypropertymanagement.com
#4 - Renee Drummond - 09/17/2012 - 16:11
CCJ/Rent Arrears
I have issued court proceedings for possession but can I issue a claim for CCJ in the meantime?
#5 - Karen Reynolds - 12/13/2012 - 18:21
Notice of possetion
I gave tenents notice periodically which gave them 2 months they normally pay a month in advance but they took less than 28 days to leave realistically they owe me a months rent could I raise a court order to get my money back as they left a month early
#6 - Lyndon Lewis - 06/25/2013 - 21:57
Getting money from absconded tenants
I took my tenants to court and they were evicted and ordered to pay me over £4000 in rent owed. They moved out and could not be traced by my insurance company. If I trace them now, 4 years later, will I have to take them to court again to get the money?
#7 - Kate Lewis - 08/09/2013 - 10:03
Tenant to the court
Rent area tenant didn't pay for six months. I wrote him a letter three times he didn't reply I have him a section twenty one notice. The time is nearly finishing I think he is not moving from my property either he not paying me the area bill. I want to take to court. Thank you
#8 - Mk Rahman - 11/16/2013 - 15:09
it never works
how can you possibly hope to win when the whole system is rigged against you,

when we talk about tenents owing landlords money its nearly always the same situation, tenent is on miminmu wage / benifits does a bunk owing a grand or more, i then have to spend loads of time and money arranging court etc, court grants you the CCJ, yeah thats the easy part.

now try getting your money, the county court baliff has no powers to enter or size anything other than a car, and even then you have to indemnify them against costs for towing etc

even if your lucky enough to get an attachment to earnings they never stay in a job long and then its time to start all over again as its your job to tell the court hes moved jobs etc

its all just a pointless exercise in wasting your own time and money the courts are powerless and what they give with one hand they take away with the other
#9 - mark dickinson - 12/07/2013 - 15:05
who to take to court
who do I take to court the ex tenent who destroyed the property and the council rehoused her! or the person who stood guarantor on her lease?
#10 - sue - 05/29/2014 - 14:24
Rent arrears
I used Amber letting agent to find tenets for my property, who occupied the property on the 1st June 2013 with the tendency agreement for 12months ending on the 1st June 2014. During her time of her occupancy the rent was always late, or she made excuses and would pay small amounts to keep the rent under two months arrears so I could not take any action against her from September 2013 she stopped paying the rent, I sent demand letters than served section 8 with court order she then vacated the property on the 2nd of March 2014 without giving her notice. The tenent send me an email on the 3rd March to say that she has vacated my property and that I should not make any contacts with her or she will have me for harassment. The tenent gave no forwarding address and is in rent arrears of £3500, I would be very grateful if I could have help to claim this rent back from her.
Kind Regards
Charno
#11 - Charno Kaur - 06/26/2014 - 23:23
Rent arrears
I used Amber letting agent to find tenets for my property, who occupied the property on the 1st June 2013 with the tendency agreement for 12months ending on the 1st June 2014. During her time of her occupancy the rent was always late, or she made excuses and would pay small amounts to keep the rent under two months arrears so I could not take any action against her from September 2013 she stopped paying the rent, I sent demand letters than served section 8 with court order she then vacated the property on the 2nd of March 2014 without giving her notice. The tenent send me an email on the 3rd March to say that she has vacated my property and that I should not make any contacts with her or she will have me for harassment. The tenent gave no forwarding address and is in rent arrears of £3500, I would be very grateful if I could have help to claim this rent back from her.
Kind Regards
Charno
#12 - Charno Kaur - 06/26/2014 - 23:24
Rent arrears
I used Amber letting agent to find tenets for my property, who occupied the property on the 1st June 2013 with the tendency agreement for 12months ending on the 1st June 2014. During her time of her occupancy the rent was always late, or she made excuses and would pay small amounts to keep the rent under two months arrears so I could not take any action against her from September 2013 she stopped paying the rent, I sent demand letters than served section 8 with court order she then vacated the property on the 2nd of March 2014 without giving her notice. The tenent send me an email on the 3rd March to say that she has vacated my property and that I should not make any contacts with her or she will have me for harassment. The tenent gave no forwarding address and is in rent arrears of £3500, I would be very grateful if I could have help to claim this rent back from her.
Kind Regards
Charno
#13 - Charno Kaur - 06/26/2014 - 23:27
Find tennant
Tannent haven't paid me for 6 months managed to get court order and got him out. Now how do I find his address so I can take him to court for non payment
#14 - Ajmal - 09/01/2014 - 15:03
C C J whilst pending section 21
Hi I have a tenant where I severd a section 21 in the correct way, now they are not paying and are 2 months in arreas so can I submit a County Court Judgement at the same time.

Thanks Kevin
#15 - Kevin Gilligan - 09/25/2014 - 08:08
Do i take guarantor or tenant to county court
Father acted as rent guarantor (his idea) -daughter was nightmare tenant (sect 21 issued) and is supposed to leave immenently owing !000 in rent arrears.not much chance of getting it off her and i doubt i will get correct new address off her.should i put both names on form
and use his address? I have heard she may be offering a amount each month (be about £2!!!() will this affect county court application?
#16 - paula - 12/12/2014 - 11:05
Rent Arrears
Hi, I rent out my flat to a lady on a friendship level, she paid a month rent and a month deposit, due to the nature of our relationship i did not proctect her deposit. i took her to court for eviction and 6 months rent arrears, but the claim was struck out by the judge due to deposit not protected. After i left the court i went and proctect the deposit. The tenant has moved out without notice, changed all the lock. The tenent gave no forwarding address and is in rent arrears of £3600, I would be very grateful if I could have help to claim this rent back from her.
Kind Regards.
Ola
#17 - Ola Fagbore - 12/21/2014 - 04:04
Non payment after court judgement
I successfully claimed thorough courts for non payment of rent - the ex tenant now doesn't pay and court sheriffs says not much I can do as they feel tenant doesn't have anything of value to possess.
#18 - Doreen sim - 03/06/2016 - 15:11
Name
E-mail (Will not appear online)
Subject
Comment
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
»
This comment form is powered by GentleSource Comment Script. It can be included in PHP or HTML files and allows visitors to leave comments on the website.
Most popular landlord information and FAQs

 

What rental yield should a landlord try to achieve?
Accelerated possession - Section 21 Notice
Non payment of rent
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
How to prepare a property inventory
Grounds for possession of a rental property
Fair wear and tear on a rental property?
Filling out a N5B form for possession
Landlord insurance advice
Letting to students
How do I choose the best tenant?
Should I use a letting agent?
Commercial Mortgages

Whole market search.
Instant personalised quote.
Rates updated in real time.

Find the most suitable mortgage for your individual requirements using our advanced buy-to-let mortgage finder.

Search

FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY

FREE TENANCY AGREEMENT (AST)
FREE SECTION 213 NOTICE
FREE PROPERTY INVENTORY
FREE SECTION 21 NOTICE
FREE SECTION 8 NOTICE
FREE TENANCY GUARANTOR FORMS
SERVING NOTICE

FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY

INCOME TAX
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
LANDLORD INSURANCE
PROPERTY INVESTMENTS
OTHER BTL FINANCE
BTL FINANCE - THINGS TO KNOW
BUY TO LET MORTGAGES
BTL MORTGAGE BROKERS
SELLING A BTL PROPERTY

RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS

GENERAL SAFETY
GAS SAFETY
ELECTRICAL SAFETY
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
FIRE SAFETY
TV LICENCES
HMO (HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION)
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
COMMUNAL HEATING REGULATIONS

INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY

A GUIDE FOR NEW LANDLORDS
WHICH PERIOD OF PROPERTY
CALCULATING RETURNS
RENTAL YIELDS
FINDING PROPERTY
SELECTION STRATEGY
INVESTMENT CHECKLIST
PROPERTY AUCTIONS
BMV PROPERTY
BUYING OFF PLAN
BUYING APARTMENTS
BUYING HOUSES
BUYING HMO'S
ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
RENTAL TYPES

MANAGING RENTAL PROPERTY

GIVING NOTICE TO LEAVE
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
TENANT ABANDONMENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
SQUATTERS
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
MOULD AND CONDENSATION
MAINTENANCE OF A RENTAL PROPERTY
APPLIANCES
LANDLORD ASSOCIATIONS

 

LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY

TEN STEPS TO LETTING
PROPERTY MARKETING
WRITING A LETTING ADVERT
FURNISHING A PROPERTY
LETTING AGENT OR DIY
SELECTING A LETTING AGENT
VETTING TENANTS
TENANTS ON BENEFITS
LETTING TO STUDENTS
PREPARING AN INVENTORY
PROPERTY HANDOVER
RENTAL DEPOSIT
TERMS OF A TENANCY
LENGTH OF A TENANCY
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
TENANCIES IN SCOTLAND
ALTERNATIVE TENANCIES
LETTING TO TENANTS WITH PETS

 

LEGISLATION OF LETTING PROPERTY

INTRODUCTION
TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
ARBITRATION
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
TRIBUNALS
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
N5B POSSESSION
POSSESSION ORDERS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
PREPARING FOR A POSSESSION HEARING
LEASEHOLD DISPUTES
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS