If your tenant is in rent arrears, it would be advisable for both parties to review the tenancy agreement as soon as possible. A more reasonable payment procedure could be arranged to ensure that payments are made instead of taking the matter to court. Immediate action will prevent the situation escalating further.
An initial letter should be sent to the tenant which states he is currently in rent arrears and that you request this to be paid. All communication, in particular the notice, should be recorded in writing. Other details such as the date of deemed delivery, who the letter was given to and how it was sent (e.g. first class post) are also crucial and must be recorded.
A record of the rent should be produced specifying the amount claimed to be in arrears and how they arose.
The time, location, and what was said/agreed should also be noted after conversations with the tenant in relation to the payments. This information could increase the likelihood of a successful case if it goes to court.
If the tenant persists at failing to pay the rent arrears after at least one notice requesting payment, then a notice can be made requiring possession of the property under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. The notice must state the grounds being relied on from Schedule 2 of the Act this would usually be ground 8. The section 8 notice must be sent to the tenant before the court can decide on your case.