Rent Arrears

Managing rent arrears

If your tenant misses a rent payment then you should contact them and find out why.  It may be that they have lost their job or have been signed off work sick and they may be entitled to claim Local Housing Allowance (LHA).  They may even be waiting for their Local Housing Allowance claim to be processed.  You can find out more about the Local Housing Allowance.

It is important to act as soon as possible so that the arrears do not build up.  When you write to your tenant about rent arrears you should advise them where they can go to get advice on debt and budgeting.   For example, they can get advice from our Money Advice Service or the Citizens Advice Bureau http://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux/moray-citizens-advice-bureau.

Using ground 8 in an eviction action

If you believe that your tenant can afford the rent and is simply choosing not to pay it, then you may want to consider eviction action.  Once the arrears are over 3 months rent you are entitled to seek possession using Ground 8 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/43/contents.

If you are using Ground 8, the arrears must be at least the equivalent of 3 months’ rent both at the time of serving the notice and at the time of the court hearing.

Ground 8 is a mandatory ground, so provided the arrears are over 3 months and you can show that all the rent is lawfully due you should be granted the court order.

Other grounds for eviction

You may also use Ground 11 - persistent delay in paying rent, and Ground 12 - some rent lawfully due, if you wish.  Please note that these are both discretionary grounds and therefore you are not guaranteed to be granted the court order.

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Housing and Property

housing@moray.gov.uk

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