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View Full Version : T is a repeat offender non-payer: what can we do?



Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:29 AM
It is disgusting that the law stinks and that certain tenants can get away with so much.

I have a tenant at the moment, Sara XXXXX XXXXX.

I am in the process of taking her to court for damaging my property and for unpaid rent.

I have learned through my own investigations that she owes money to her 2 previous landlords, she owes Gas, Electric and Water at all her previous properties - it appears she either never pays them or very little.

She owes council tax to Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland Council Tax.

Her scam is she rents your property, pays the rent/bills at first then each month her rent gets later and later, eventually she moves on to the next property and commits the same crime again.

If you are considering renting to this person, do not, she will not pay you.

Even the CCJ that has been issued for previous unpaid rent for one of her previous landlords could not be enforced or have an attachment of earnings order as her employers head office is in Scotland and the law is different there.

:mad:

Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:32 AM
She should not be allowed to get away with this, the police say it's a civil matter, but I think it's a matter for the CID.

Poppy
26-01-2009, 11:33 AM
Thank you for that.

Before granting this tenancy, did you perform credit checks and referencing? Did you employ the services of ARLA-registered or NAEA-registered agents?

Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:35 AM
Yes, she lied, I used 'rentchecks.com' and she came up smelling of roses. It went through a letting agent. She knows the system too well, and plays landlords.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:50 AM
I know, it did not help too much.

But this Web site www.tracesmart.co.uk helped me trace her, I would recommend this site to do your duediligence as well as the letting agent.

p_cas
26-01-2009, 11:51 AM
So this credit check and referencing process didnt notice the CCJ or take references from previous LLs? Maybe you ought to be speaking to the credit reference agency that you used.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:52 AM
If anyone wants to email for copies of the courts documents, I am happy to pass copies on.

Sunderland County Council sent me this email:

thank you for your information deeply appreciate it,

the email has been forwarded to management and we will now take the correct steps to recover the debt unfortunately for the lady in question council tax is a priority debt where by refusal of payment could lead to a prison sentence following bankruptcy.

Hopefully they will get her!

Syd73
26-01-2009, 11:55 AM
I spoke with Rent Checks, they said "We only hold the records for 3 months"

Terrible.

jta
26-01-2009, 12:05 PM
I think that your post may cause defamation problems.

If the comments are nothing but the truth Jeffrey, does that put a different light on it?

Or are you thinking about it causing problems for the forum?

Editor
26-01-2009, 12:12 PM
It is quite dangerous to name individuals or companies on a public Forum such as this (certainly without the finality of a court decision) as you could find yourself the subject of a legal claim or criminal prosecution.
I have therefore removed all references to the individual in this case.

jeffrey
26-01-2009, 12:19 PM
If the comments are nothing but the truth Jeffrey, does that put a different light on it?

Or are you thinking about it causing problems for the forum?
Further to Editor's post, remember that there are twin defences: fair comment and justification.
The former has a lower level of proof, but the defence can be overridden by proof of malice.
The latter involves shifting the onus of proof to the plaintiff (claimant) to prove truth; it's not for the defendant to prove untruth.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 12:21 PM
Fair comment...

I really think there should be a central database that landlords can register tenants details with should the tenant end up with a CCJ, the information, could be the tenants name, NI number, DOB and brief details of the CCJ.

Does anyone know of such a system? If one does not exist can we create one? If the law does not allow us to create one, can we not campaign to change the law?

Poppy
26-01-2009, 12:26 PM
CCJs are already publicly recorded.

Why did rentchecks.com fail? That's the question.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 12:40 PM
She gave a false address as her last address, I am assuming a friend lived there or something, unfortunately I do not have her application as the letting agent retained that and they have since gone into liquidation! I spoke with the receivers and they looked through their files but could not find her application.

Where can you view a list of CCJ's??? When I spoke to Northampton County Court about the CCJ that was listed against her, as I wanted to let them know where she was, they said they could not discuss the details due to data protection, when I offered to tell them where she was they said we can't take that from you!

jeffrey
26-01-2009, 12:44 PM
She gave a false address as her last address, I am assuming a friend lived there or something, unfortunately I do not have her application as the letting agent retained that and they have since gone into liquidation! I spoke with the receivers and they looked through their files but could not find her application.

Where can you view a list of CCJ's??? When I spoke to Northampton County Court about the CCJ that was listed against her, as I wanted to let them know where she was, they said they could not discuss the details due to data protection, when I offered to tell them where she was they said we can't take that from you!
Although one cannot view a full CCJ list, one can of course make a CCJ Search via Registry Trust Ltd.

Syd73
26-01-2009, 12:50 PM
I used www.tracesmart.com and found her last address in Sunderland, I then used the site you mentioned to do a CCJ search on the Sunderland address, that's how I discovered she had a CCJ at that address (although it was for Northampton County Court), with a mix of land registry search and Tracesmart I located details of her old landlord, I wrote to him and he called me at the weekend, he has emailed correspondence from another landlord with the same problems.

To be honest, in future I will be doing my own checks as well as the letting agent checks and I will only take someone on if they can prove they lived at the address, i.e. were on the council tax register and can provide proof they are paid up to date with their council tax, plus reference from old landlord etc etc!

I own 2 other properties and have had 4 tenants to date with no problems.

There's always a bad apple.

MrJohnnyB
26-01-2009, 12:59 PM
To be honest, in future I will be doing my own checks as well as the letting agent checks and I will only take someone on if they can prove they lived at the address, i.e. were on the council tax register and can provide proof they are paid up to date with their council tax, plus reference from old landlord etc etc!

I own 2 other properties and have had 4 tenants to date with no problems.

There's always a bad apple.

Make sure you keep on top of the management and try and make regular viewings as well! It is going to happen every once in a while regardless of the checks you make, just try and minimise your losses (I know, easier said than done!)

sully1
30-01-2009, 21:59 PM
Hi Syd, sorry to hear of your troubles, not sure if it will make u feel better but u are not alone!!!
Our tennant was suppossedly credit checked too but we are aware, through documents she left behind, that she
1. owes utility companies lots of money from previous addresses, she even called pretending to be us saying that she had vacated the property 5 months before she was evicted!
2. owes thousands on credit cards and misses payments, but had the moeny to have plastic surgery!!!
3. started claiming incapacity benefit and housing benefit 1 month into the agreement but kept the HB and did not pay us, hence us evicting her!
4. stole all kitchen equip when she left..painted walls..had sky tv put in..place is in a right mess, kept a cat without a litter tray!!!!

We have chased the credit ref company to explain how they gave her a glowing ref and as they checked she was employed, to them, all is ok. Wse believe she is on long term sick...but the company won't tell us that, to them she is a satisfactory employee.
To top everything off she has been rehoused by the council in a property over the road. We have taken things further with the council but she has a threatening boyfriend who has already threatened us.
So our situation is that we can't do anything more unless we want to live in complete fear!!



3.

Cathroc
30-01-2009, 22:16 PM
I spoke with Rent Checks, they said "We only hold the records for 3 months"

Terrible.

What good is this ??????

midsey
31-01-2009, 13:47 PM
Hi there, having similar probs myself, renting my home out through letting agency, basically they have been useless from day one, Tenants have gone now but the agency got them for me and said they were ex tenants of theirs, good with rent etc. However they have left the property damaged and even pinched things from the house! I have since learnt that the tenant had a long criminal record and well known to police, i hae been advised to sue the agency not tenant as he is dangerous!!!! The agency convinced me they had good references for this bloke, I haave since learnt that there has been numerous tenants in the property too and if the agency had done checks as promised they would have learnt this,
The tenants left on 22nd jan, i discoverd all damages etc on friday 23rd jan( with agency boss present) he was supposed to ring me friday, he didnt do instead took off on holiday till yesterday. I still dont have any keys for my property, still owed a months rent, and want paying for damages. If anybody has any advice for me please do say, although i have been to police and solicitor and not sure i have a case against the agent ot tenant( although dont want to tackle the tenant!! would be unsafe for me!!!!)

sheri1000
02-01-2010, 19:30 PM
i am surprised to hear credit reference companies are not doing proper checks - but sometime ago an estate agent said the same thing. Do you always make sure you do a full check - I think some companies offer a basic check? Have you tried using companies that offer rental guarantees (such as on the NLA Website)? I assume it would be in their interest to properly reference a tenant since they would have to pay up if the tenant decided not to pay their rent or damaged your property

rusty16
11-03-2010, 18:13 PM
Hello There,First post from myself.I had exactly the same issue with my agents.I exhausted their complaints procedure with no resolve and then I was advised to sue them via The Property ombudsman.
I put a case together and they ,free of charge asessed in my favour and compensated me all fees/commissions.TPOS.org i think is the webadress.
Speak to them,they are excellent...
Regards Rusty

rusty16
31-03-2010, 18:33 PM
Looking for some advice please.I have just traced a tenant who owes me money by way of a CCJ award.
Can I legally approach his new rental office and inform them of his history and see if they would be willing to offer further information.
I would like to inform the rental office also of my intention to send in, first of all county court biliff,which has been pretty useless thus far,and then a more determined private bailiff/debt collector?
I need to know if I am legally able to discuss this info or am I in breach of data protection.
Many Thanks

mind the gap
31-03-2010, 18:37 PM
I do not think you can be in breach of the DPA since there are exemptions for activities/enquiries connected with law-enforcement, which your actions would seem to constitute.

That does not mean however that the T's current letting agency/rent collector/ll (which do you propose to approach?) will feel themselves under any obligation to divulge the information you want. What's in it for them apart from a load of potential hassle and bad publicity?