Before you start using this kit, it is worth considering whether the tenant is withholding rent because of any potential claim against you.
Disrepair defences: For example is there any outstanding repair work? In some circumstances tenants are entitled to withhold rent to offset against the cost of repair work, which they can then do themselves if you refuse to carry it out, plus they may be eligible for compensation (for example see my blog post here).
Note that you are not entitled to delay or refuse to carry out repair work on the basis that the tenant is withholding rent. Therefore if there is anything which needs doing, you should arrange to get it done promptly. The tenant will then have no excuse to withhold his rent.
Other potential defences: If the problem is not a disrepair situation but the tenant has some other grievance, you should try to sort it out before taking steps to enforce against the rent arrears. Otherwise, for example if you bring a claim for possession, the tenants could file a defence based on this.
Even if they do not succeed in the defence, it could turn what should be a straightforward possession claim into a complex defended case. These can prove expensive, plus it will take longer to evict your non paying tenant.
In order to resolve the problem it may even (depending on what it is) be worth giving the tenant a rent refund (or agree to waive some or all of the arrears) just to get it sorted. Then if the arrears continue to go up, the tenant will have no excuse, and you will be able to proceed with an eviction claim unimpeded.
If you are considering evicting the tenant in any event and the tenancy has less than three months to run, you should consider serving a notice for possession under section 21 now (assuming that the tenancy is an assured shorthold one). You will find guidance on this in part 2.
Try to serve the notice at least two clear months before the end of the fixed term, then if the tenant fails to vacate, you can issue proceedings for possession immediately.
If your property is an HMO, you should check to make sure that your property does not need to be licensed under the HMO regulations or under any additional or selective licensing schemes that might have been introduced in your area. The best person to speak to about this is someone in the Environmental Health and Private Rented Sector housing sector.
If you are not licensed when you should have been, note that any section 21 notice served will be invalid. You are also vulnerable to prosecution and being fined, plus your tenants may be able (after you have been prosecuted) to apply for a rent repayment order.