Pursuing tenant for rent arrears

#1
We have successfully gained a Possession Order following serving a Section 21 notice, and are now in the process of transferring to the High Court to evict the tenant (due to delays enforcing through the County Court). We also now wish to claim for lost rent, and have been advised to complete Form N1. I am just looking for a little help in completing the form, as I'm not sure what information / evidence they need. First of all, what do I complete in the box at the top 'Fee Account Number'? Then in 'Brief details of claim' do I just put something like: 'The claimant wishes to claim for lost rent, for the rental property outlined above, which is payable by the defendant on the 2nd day of each month at a rate of £900 per month. The defendant has not paid rent since June 2014, so is currently 4 months in arrears, owing a total of £3,600'. Court fees have changed in recent months, and I am finding mixed information on what would be the court fee to enclose with this application. Do I need to complete anything in the section entitled 'Particulars of Claim'? Do I need to reference the fact that a Possession Order has been issued and that he has already been ordered to give up the premises and pay costs, or is this not relevant? Does any evidence need to be included, such as a letter from our Letting Agent confirming that he is in rent arrears? Thank you for your help.
 
#2
Hi Serena

Ignore "Fee account number". In details of claim just put - a claim for rent arrears in the sum of £** arising out of a tenancy agreement entered into on **

In particulars of Claim you need to put details of the claim - put in when the tenancy agreement was entered into, when the tenant left (or is due to leave), what the monthly rent is and the amount of the arrears. you can also add in that you wish to "claim interest at a rate considered just by the Court pursuant to section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984." You do not need to refer to the possession order

The Court will need a copy of the Tenancy Agreement and the Rent statement

In respect of Court fees if you use the money claims online the fee is £185, if you choose to use the normal method the court fee is £205

I hope this assists
 
#3
Thanks Rebecca. We wish to claim interest... Our tenancy agreement states:
2.3 'The landlord reserves the right to charge interest (calculated from day to day) at 3% over the Bank of England base rate on late payments and the landlord may recover the interest as though it were rent.' Should I work to this figure instead (3.5%) and state what I have calculated it to be?
It's hard to state when the tenant will leave as this will be dictated by the eviction date we are issued (it has now gone to the bailiff) - should I say 'Date tenant will leave property unknown - awaiting eviction date from High Court Sheriff'?
Finally, we wondered whether to include the various letters from the lettings agent chasing rent, so they can see we have tried to retrieve it before getting to this point?
 
#4
yes - calculate the interest and include this.

In terms of not having a date for moving out, remove the bit about the date the tenant is leaving.

In terms of letters from the letting agents - if the claim is admitted you just get judgment, if the claim is denied you can then put evidence to the court and you can include those letters, it is not necessary to attach them to the claim form
 
#5
Thank you, that's really helpful. Finally, in terms of specifying our preferred County Court Hearing Centre for hearings, do we just choose the one most convenient for us. This doesn't have to be near the tenant / property does it?
 
#6
you can choose your local county court - however the tenant can request that it is transferred to their local court - it is always the defendant's right to have the matter heard at their local court
 
#7
We are in a similar situation with tenants in arrears of 8 months. We have a date for the bailiffs and if the tenants don't move out they will owe 9 months rent at the eviction date. If we start the claim now are we restricted to asking for the 8 months arrears or can the court take into account the next month's rent when it becomes due? Or should we wait until the next month's rent is due before starting the money claim? Any advice greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
 
#8
I would advise that you issue court proceedings now, as the tenant may move and you won't know where they are to issue proceedings against them. You can put the 8 months rent in but in your particulars state that you also wish to claim any ongoing rent up to and including the date that the tenant vacates the property.

When you have a court hearing you can then produce to the Judge a copy of the eviction order showing the date you got possession and your up to date rent statement showing the full amount.
 

Jeffrey Shaw

Member
Staff member
#9
We are in a similar situation with tenants in arrears of 8 months. We have a date for the bailiffs and if the tenants don't move out they will owe 9 months rent at the eviction date. If we start the claim now are we restricted to asking for the 8 months arrears or can the court take into account the next month's rent when it becomes due? Or should we wait until the next month's rent is due before starting the money claim? Any advice greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
As Rebecca posted; but do not use the word arrears. If rent falls due monthly, what counts is how many months' rent is unpaid- and that's not the same thing. For you to use ground 8 successfully, there must be at least months' rent unpaid:
a. when you serve the s.8 Notice; and
b. at the date of the hearing.

Er, why did you allow T to run-up such a large debt? I'd have advised much earlier enforcement action.
 
#10
Thank you Rebecca. Please can we ask for some more help as I am completing the MCOL form and although I have read the guidance I am a bit confused.
Should I tick the box that will send particulars of claim to the defendant?
There are 3 mandatory boxes to complete which I don't quite understand.
The first is date money became owed to you. Do I write the date of the first missed rent payment ?
The second is date you are issuing the claim. Is that today?
Finally it says daily rate of interest up to date of judgment but the note states please enter the interest as an amount. I won't know how much interest is due until the date of judgment. Each missed rent payment attracts a different amount of interest anyway. Do I calculate it to today or can I just write 4% above Bank of England base rate which is what the Tenancy Agreement states and then explain this is the short statement box?
Sorry for asking but I don't want to make any fatal mistakes and really appreciate your advice.
 
#11
Thank you for the advice Jeffrey. We used the sec 21 procedure as we were advised that this would be quicker, cheaper and would guarantee possession. This is important as the rent was our only regular income. The tenant has two children and we were advised that judge may be reluctant to grant possession and may grant adjournments to enable him to seek advice from housing etc which would increase the costs and delay recovery. We were also under the impression that the tenant had lost his job and was not working but this is not the case and we think he can pay. As grandparents ourselves we were reluctant to make children homeless irrespective of the behaviour of their father.