my tenant has not paid rent in full for 4 months plus, has told me so many stories about changing her employment etc I have now had to serve a section 8, she is now telling me that the house bathroom was damp and she was made redundant, the bathroom has never been discussed before? This is what she is going to fight against at court that she didnt pay because of damp and redundancy, she was training all year to be a teacher- Do i have to wait 4 weeks now to apply to court as this rent arrears is going be be masssive and what chance is there of me getting anything back ?
In addition to what Lavinia Isaila has said above, i think you should serve a section 21 notice and obtain possession through that route.
Serving a section 8 notice means the tenant can technically make a counterclaim for disrepairs (damp).
Once the tenant has vacated or evicted then you can issue a small claim for rent arrears, legal fees etc all at the same time.
Best of luck