Dealing with tenants in arrears can be difficult, but most landlords will probably have to deal with this problem at some time or another. Here are the steps you can take.
Step 1 - A gentle reminder. Perhaps your tenant has forgotten to transfer the funds, or had a problem with a standing order. A phone call or polite letter could be all that's needed at this stage, if it was a genuine mistake.
Step 2 - Consider a repayment plan or proposal. If your tenant is having difficulties with debt, there are professional companies that could help them. A company like Freeman Jones, who provided this article, can provide IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements) for people with bigger debt problems.
Step 3 - Stick to your side of the contract. Even if they have broken their contract by not paying, you could face court proceedings yourself if you don't behave within to law and abide by your contract.
Step 4 - You could serve a possession notice - basically a notice of eviction. There are rules about how long you have to wait before you can serve one and rules about how long your tenant has to repay the arrears, or move out. Possession notices should be sent recorded delivery, as proof of delivery.
Step 5 - Issue proceedings. There are two ways to issue proceedings: the Accelerated Possession Procedure and possession under the 'fixed date' procedure, which would involve a court hearing. Speak to your local court to find out more about these options.