Letter of Claim to Commercial Tenant for Rent Arrears (Protocol)
This Letter of Claim to Commercial Tenant for Rent Arrears (Protocol) can be used when a tenant has failed to pay their rent, despite having received a reminder in the form of the Rent Arrears Letter to Commercial Tenant (or a similar letter). If the landlord is considering taking court proceedings, a Letter of Claim must be sent before proceedings are commenced.
This letter complies with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, which applies where the debtor is an individual (including a sole trader). If the tenant is not an individual the landlord may prefer to use the “Non-Protocol” version of this letter.
The letter sets out details of the arrears and encloses an Information Sheet, a Reply Form and a template Financial Statement Form. These documents are all included in the Letter of Claim template. If the landlord has produced a Statement of Account for the rent arrears, this should also be enclosed.
The letter must be posted on the date it is dated or, if that is not reasonably possible, the following day.
The tenant has 30 days from the date of the letter to respond, using the Reply Form and (if relevant) the Financial Statement Form. If the tenant does not reply to the Letter of Claim within 30 days the landlord is free to start court proceedings.
If the tenant returns the Reply Form within 30 days, the landlord must not start court proceedings less than 30 days from receipt of the Reply Form or from the landlord providing any documents requested by the tenant, whichever is the later. This gives the tenant the opportunity to take debt advice and allows the parties to try and reach agreement.
If a dispute remains about the existence, enforceability, amount or any other aspect of the rent arrears, the Protocol requires the parties to take steps to resolve the dispute without starting court proceedings. In particular, they should consider Alternative Dispute Resolution.
If the landlord does decide to take court proceedings, they must give the tenant at least 14 days’ notice of their intention to do so. See the Notice of Court Claim – Commercial.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
This Letter of Claim to Commercial Tenant for Rent Arrears (Protocol) is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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