Chasing ex tenant for rent arrears

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    Chasing ex tenant for rent arrears

    I have a previous tenant who still owes me £360. He is not replying to my emails or telephone calls so I want to progress this now through the courts. I know his parents address and his employment details. A couple of questions.

    1. Is it worth it for this amount? i.e will I incur court costs which makes pursuing this not worth it?
    2. Can anyone point me to the correct process for chasing this through the courts?


    Costs: IIRC court costs about £45 for that sort of amount - ask sheriff clerk and also next point.... Even if he defends & wins you cannot (I think..) be charged extra...

    Process: Well documented on Sheriff Court site - see
    - and elsewhere, specifically...
    Service where address of defender is unknown
    6.6. (A1) Subject to Rule 7.A7 this rule applies to service where the address of a person is not known.
    (1) If the defender's address is unknown to the pursuer and cannot reasonably be ascertained by him, the sheriff may grant warrant to serve the summons-
    (a) by the publication of an advertisement in Form 8 in a newspaper circulating in the area of the defender's last known address; or
    (b) by displaying on the walls of court a copy of a notice in Form 9.
    (2) Where a summons is served in accordance with paragraph (1), the period of notice, which must be fixed by the sheriff, shall run from the date of publication of the advertisement or display on the walls of court, as the case may be.
    (3) If service is to be effected under paragraph (1), the pursuer must lodge a defender's copy summons with the sheriff clerk.
    (4) The defender may uplift from the sheriff clerk the copy summons lodged in accordance with paragraph (3).
    (5) If the pursuer requires the sheriff clerk to effect service on his behalf under paragraph (1) by virtue of section 36A of the 1971 Act (pursuer not a partnership, body corporate or acting in a representative capacity)-
    (a) the cost of any advertisement required under sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph must be borne by the pursuer;
    (b) no advertisement required under sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph shall be instructed by the sheriff clerk until such cost has been paid to him by the pursuer; and
    (c) the pursuer may require the sheriff clerk to supply him with a copy of the summons.
    (6) A copy of the newspaper containing the advertisement referred to in paragraph (1)(a) must be lodged with the sheriff clerk unless the sheriff clerk instructed such advertisement.
    (7) If display on the walls of court is required under paragraph (1)(b), the pursuer must supply to the sheriff clerk for that purpose a completed copy of Form 9.
    (8) If service has been made under this rule and thereafter the defender's address becomes known, the sheriff may allow the summons to be amended and, if appropriate, grant warrant for re-service subject to such conditions as he thinks fit.
    Memo to self: Must do likewise... Think you need to prove you've tried to find him (letters to last known address, email/TXT attempts...)

    In my opinion, but not that of others, one should always take action against scrotes/neds be they tenants, landlord, MSP, whatever if only so they don't tell all their mates what a soft touch you are & guess who then wants to be your tenant?? All their dodgy mates....

    When you get the decree you have 20 (yes, TWENTY!!) years to recover the £££ from him whilst debt goes up @ 8% pa...

    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


      I agree with artfullodger. I think it is always worth pursuing defaulters. The costs have gone up a little I think (to something like £60), but the procedure is very simple and whilst it's a bit nerve wracking the first time, once you've been through your first experience of representing yourself in court I don't think you'll hesitate to do it again. The added benefit to yourself and others is that if you win you get a decree for your money, the costs of lodging the case (so you get your £60 back) and interest. Also, because you've taken the time to pursue the defaulter the court case will be on their credit history and might prevent some other innocent landlord being put in the same position - providing they bother to do their reference checks.

      Artfullodger, I didn't realise I have 20 years to pursue once I've had the decree awarded - thanks for that. I've got one I'm going to go back to now.


        Thanks for the pointers. He's not so much a scrote as up to his eyes in debt. It's the first tenant I have had go into arrears so a learning curve for me. Lesson learned is to act swiftly and do not let the arrears exceed the deposit.


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