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I am sorry to hear about this. Unfortunately, you are right. The fact they have you not registered the deposit means you are unbale to serve s.21 notice.
Additionally, you can be taken to court and the tenant is likely to get up to 3x times the deposit amount from you.
In terms of your question: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/letter/letter-to-demand-outstanding-rent-from-a-tenant-azgxv3B7WAop
There are a lot of free templates and they are not too bad.
In summary: send a rent demand letter, consider registering the deposit now.
As long as you refer to the tenancy, comply with its terms and request the tenant to leave - and the tenant is happy to do it, then you should be fine.
Hence my choice of words. Just consider it, as you are right, this might alert him to this issue. Unless he is aware aware of this ..But when you register it then you can serve the required notice.
Are you registered with the National Landlords Association? If you are then they have access to a number of good templates!
Best of luck!
All the best!