We have just gone through our first S21 and successfully evicted the tenant but now the second layer of problems are starting. Courts took 5.5 months to go through the eviction process so we have that amount of unpaid rent plus about £4,000 of damages plus legal costs. The correct process to recover the debt is to go back to the County Court BUT I am advised that if the tenant chooses not to pay there is nothing we can do to enforce payment. Are the courts really failing landlords so badly that we are unable to confidently recover our legal debts or am I missing something. Any advice on recovering tenant debt greatly appreciated.

To have successfully got rid of a bad tenant should always be viewed as a positive - otherwise the losses would continue to accrue.!

If your tenant has assets then you should be able to go after them through the court process. I would from personal experience accept that it can be a lengthy process and former tenants will employ all the dodges to evade you. However, I took the attitude I would not let them get away with it even though I had to keep attending the Court and they failed to attend or wrote in at the last moment with excuses. I was lucky to get all the money, interest and costs, but I knew that they had assets. However, on many occasions, I have just had to accept the loss from tenants who did a runner, failed to pay rent or did major damage that was not covered by the deposit. If I knew at that stage that there was no money to pursue, it was a waste of my energy fretting about it. My focus was then on having a property that I could re-let.

If they have a job then "attachment of earnings is a possibility.

If they have little or nothing of value and no job, then the old saying of "blood out of a stone" is applicable. In those circumstances, just be grateful to have got your property back and move on. Focus on getting the property refurbished and re-let to curtail your losses as soon as possible.

I am not trying to be unkind here, but any long term landlord, will probably have a list of stories about bad tenants, but as they are still Landlords you can derive a couple of things. 1) They have learned to take the "rough with the smooth" and 2) They will continually tune their choices of tenant to try to minimise their exposure to risk .

Being a Landlord is not a guarantee to a good return on your money and like any business it can be challenging. It is a shame that the PRS is often presented as an investment rather than a true business, as investors are lured into what can be a potentially hazardous sector for the unwary.

I can understand your frustrations and upset at this awful experience and I wish you well in either successfully chasing the debt if that is a valid and pragmatic route to follow or just move on while trying to avoid a stress induced heart attack.

Good luck

My tenant declared that she will not move out until I have court Order and will not pay rent. I think this was nice of her. She used maximum period of stay. The council under freedom of information act should let then know that this activity in protected by law. The council should declare such tenets for 6 years or whole of life when reference are asked.
Land Lord