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Applying to the Court for Rent Arrears Only

5.10 Applying to the Court for Rent Arrears Only

If it is not necessary to obtain possession a landlord may wish to make a
claim under the terms of the tenancy agreement for debt using the small
claims procedure of the county court. The amount awarded by the court will
be determined at the date of trial. If a claim is being made for interest to
be paid on the arrears this must stated on the claim form because interest
will not be added to the debt automatically. If the sum is cleared and then
further arrears arise it will be necessary to submit a further claim. The court
service has a simple form (N1) that can be completed at the local court or
using moneyclaim on-line. The claim fees are based upon the amount of
debt due at the date of the claim. Following an application to the court a
claimant and defendant may be invited to reach an agreement to settle by
negotiation or using a free telephone mediation service.

It is always worth making an effort to establish any reason for non-payment
of rent before taking action. Sometimes this can be because of delays by
the local authority in processing a housing allowance claim and liaison
with the tenant and local authority may well be sufficient to resolve any
problem.

If the amount of the arrears (and any other charges) is less than the
tenancy deposit, it may be worth applying for the case to be adjudicated
in accordance with the tenancy deposit protection scheme. Make sure
that good paperwork is submitted to support the claim to the adjudicator.
Simply declaring on the application form that the tenant did not make a
payment will not usually be sufficient.