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If the amount of arrears is less than £5000 you can issue proceedings against the tenant in the Small Claims Court. If the tenant admits the claim there will be no hearing. However, if they do not there will be a court hearing and the matter will be dealt with by way of arbitration.

If the amount of arrears is more than £5000 you must issue proceedings in the County Court. It is advisable to seek the appropriate legal advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau. The failure to pay rent does not give the landlord an automatic right to evict the tenant, please see related question for the proper procedure to follow for eviction.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.