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Most tenants, when reminded about a missed payment, will respond quickly and remedy the situation. However, if the arrears persist, you probably have a more serious problem.
It can take a long time to regain possession through the courts, often as long as six months, and sometimes difficult tenants can delay matters even further. It’s imperative, if you decide to go for possession of the property to minimise your losses as much as possible, that you act quickly.
Some tenants may just refuse to go or to co-operate with you in any way. In these cases the sooner you take action the better. However, if the tenants expect to be re-housed by the local authority, there could be no alternative but to ‘go legal’ immediately. Local authorities will not normally re-house tenants who have ‘voluntarily’ made themselves homeless.
Whatever you do though, never ever be tempted to harass or in any other way interfere with the tenant’s peaceful occupation of the property. The penalties for harassment are severe and have resulted in heavy fines (over £10,000) and, in theory, even imprisonment for landlords.