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View Full Version : Problem HB tenant gone but left £3k arrears...debt collection time



encrypted_landlord
04-04-2006, 16:29 PM
:mad:

The HB tenant I had in my property has left, but left a huge arrears amount of £3,000, not to mention plenty of damage by stuffing all my furnishings into a garage and keeping a massive dog that has mullered the place.:mad:

She left silently after overstaying her 2 month notice by a week.

I am going to get the debt collectors on her but I do not have her new address.

How on earth can I get this? Since she is a Housing Benefit recipient, the council must have it, but would they give it to me?

Any leads would be very valuable as I do not want to delay this.

davidjohnbutton
04-04-2006, 16:56 PM
Quote section 35 of the Data Protection Act to the council and request that they give you her address for the purpose of legal action to be commenced against her.

Report any damage to the police and anything missing as theft - push for them to treat it as criminal and not a civil matter.

Smiler
04-04-2006, 23:33 PM
The HB tenant I had in my property has left, but left a huge arrears amount of £3,000, not to mention plenty of damage by stuffing all my furnishings into a garage and keeping a massive dog that has mullered the place.:mad:

She left silently after overstaying her 2 month notice by a week.

I am going to get the debt collectors on her but I do not have her new address.

How on earth can I get this? Since she is a Housing Benefit recipient, the council must have it, but would they give it to me?

Any leads would be very valuable as I do not want to delay this.

I feel for you.

Several years ago I had a HB tenant leave with no notice, after 18 months in the house. Rent was up to date, but the damage was something else:mad:

They had a teenage daughter and whenever I inspected the property it was requested that I not go into her bedroom. Fair enough I thought, she was 15ish and I respected her privacy.

When they left the reason became apparent. They had not one dog, but two that they must of kept in the room.

All the wood in the room was chewed, the dogs used the bathroom, bedroom and landing as a tiolet. All the carpet in the house had to be replaced.

I knew where she moved to but to be honest it wasn't worth chasing as they didn't have the money (probable award £5 per month) and I didn't need the stress.

zoe
05-04-2006, 07:52 AM
[QUOTE=encrypted_landlord]

How on earth can I get this? Since she is a Housing Benefit recipient, the council must have it, but would they give it to me?
[QUOTE]

I really doubt you will get any money. If she has none then you wont get it. HB wont pay out to you, the claim is for her to make and she doesn't have to make it. She may have made a claim and spent the money or she might have made a claim on a new property. The council are under no obligation to pay you rent so I really think you need to just patch up and get on with things.

If you think she may have a hidden stash of cash them go for it, otherwise you will just be throwing away good money after bad.

Sorry.

Zoe

encrypted_landlord
05-04-2006, 08:02 AM
There are debt collection agencies that offer a no win, no fee policy - so worth a try?

Also, since this has caused me so much grief, shouldn't I reciprocate?

zoe
05-04-2006, 08:52 AM
before you can go to a debt collection agency you will need to go to court to prove the sum of money. That will cost you.

I personally wouldn't bother. I know this has cost you but do you want it to cost you more. If they are HB then they have no money so you wont be able to get 3k out of them !!

Zoe

davidjohnbutton
05-04-2006, 08:58 AM
You do not need a court order before referring the matter to a debt collector. You do need a court order before you can instruct bailiffs, sieze bank funds or earnings or install a charging order or have the person orally examined.

Your best bet is to leave the matter for a couple of years and then seek the debtor who by then might have improved circumstances. Otherwise, write it off against tax - assuming you are declaring the income from the property.

70% of take home on rent
19-04-2006, 22:56 PM
As a Housing Benenfits officer I would not risk my nuts by breaking the data protection act for a landlord. Sorry but its a big fine and you have more money than me. Plus I rent and hate landlords....greedy buggers all of you.:p

My advice would be to write a letter to The Housing Benefits Manager stating your situation. Housing Benefits managers will nearly always act in the interest of landlords. If nothing else you have jumped a couple of rungs up the appeal ladder.

davidjohnbutton
19-04-2006, 23:54 PM
As a Housing Benenfits officer ................ Plus I rent and hate landlords....greedy buggers all of you..

I do hope your hate of us landlords does not affect the impartiality that you are required to show in your job as a Housing Benefits Officer! And just for your information, not all of us are greedy buggers in the same way that you cannot apply a similar statement regarding ALL tenants - rotten applies exist in both camps!

When I ask for a Section 35 disclosure of a tenant's current address - I always do this in writing and quoting the relevant sections within the letter. That way, I get a written reply from a person with the necessary authority who is usually either the Data Protection Controller for the organisation, or in the case of HB, the HB manager. It is usually no good asking over the telephone to the general staff because for a start they do not have the authority (within the organisation I mean) and are scared stiff of falling foul of the DPA sometimes to the point they will not even give you their name, and secondly, most of them do not know of Section 35 and its permits.

70% of take home on rent
20-04-2006, 20:41 PM
I do hope your hate of us landlords does not affect the impartiality that you are required to show in your job as a Housing Benefits Officer! And just for your information, not all of us are greedy buggers in the same way that you cannot apply a similar statement regarding ALL tenants - rotten applies exist in both camps!


It was a joke! hence the :p . I know some not all landlords are swines. I've had 5 in my life and all have been either fine or brilliant. Sorry again if I offended anyone.

This is a fanatastic message board for both landlords and tenants. UI really did not mean any offence.

Energise
20-04-2006, 20:51 PM
When I ask for a Section 35 disclosure of a tenant's current address - I always do this in writing and quoting the relevant sections within the letter. That way, I get a written reply from a person with the necessary authority who is usually either the Data Protection Controller for the organisation, or in the case of HB, the HB manager. It is usually no good asking over the telephone to the general staff because for a start they do not have the authority (within the organisation I mean) and are scared stiff of falling foul of the DPA sometimes to the point they will not even give you their name, and secondly, most of them do not know of Section 35 and its permits.

David do they have to supply the details or does Section 35 disclosure just allow them to?

Blonde
21-04-2006, 21:50 PM
[QUOTE=encrypted_landlord]

How on earth can I get this? Since she is a Housing Benefit recipient, the council must have it, but would they give it to me?
[QUOTE]

I really doubt you will get any money. If she has none then you wont get it. HB wont pay out to you, the claim is for her to make and she doesn't have to make it. She may have made a claim and spent the money or she might have made a claim on a new property. The council are under no obligation to pay you rent so I really think you need to just patch up and get on with things.

If you think she may have a hidden stash of cash them go for it, otherwise you will just be throwing away good money after bad.

Sorry.

Zoe


____________


i agree. you should have written to the housing benefit and told them that she was in arrears and got the money paid direct to you. i take it you hadn't done this?

you can pursue a claim in the small claims court but if she is in receipt of benefits, she'll only have to pay 1 pound a month.

encrypted_landlord
26-04-2006, 08:02 AM
I used to get paid directly by the HB team. Since she left, I got one final payment from the HB guys but now they are demanding I pay them £300 back as I have been overpaid.

No way on earth am I going to give that back - the battle has commenced!

I am still in arrears - albeit a bit less now (£2k). I can't let this slip because she, moreover her dog, has also done some damage to the garden and I lost potential tenants as she didn't allow them to view near the end of her tenancy.

I am having some new HB people moving in but this time I am all the wiser and HB will cover all the rent and be paid to me directly (previously the tenant was paying 30% on top of HB to meet the rent and I wasn't paid by the council directly until the last month).

islandgirl
26-04-2006, 08:57 AM
re - getting tenants new address from council. I have just written to the HB manager at my council quoting section 35 of the DPA and requesting their new address (they are I believe claiming HB elsewhere in the area). I will let you know how I get on. Worth a try!

MrWoof
26-04-2006, 10:07 AM
I used to get paid directly by the HB team. Since she left, I got one final payment from the HB guys but now they are demanding I pay them £300 back as I have been overpaid.

No way on earth am I going to give that back - the battle has commenced! As you were paid directly, you are entitled to HB up to the day she left......maybe. In my area, they only pay up to the Sunday before the tenant left. Anything you have received for rent after that date they can and will claim back.

Tassotti
27-04-2006, 15:23 PM
Your best bet is to leave the matter for a couple of years and then seek the debtor who by then might have improved circumstances. Otherwise, write it off against tax - assuming you are declaring the income from the property.

What would be the procedure/likelihood of finding the debtor after 2 years?

encrypted_landlord
27-04-2006, 20:14 PM
As you were paid directly, you are entitled to HB up to the day she left......maybe. In my area, they only pay up to the Sunday before the tenant left. Anything you have received for rent after that date they can and will claim back.

I see what you mean and thats the message the council give. My arguement is she owes me 2k and I will keep her £300 that they are asking me to give back to them (and they will obviously give to her).

zoe
27-04-2006, 20:25 PM
"I see what you mean and thats the message the council give. My arguement is she owes me 2k and I will keep her £300 that they are asking me to give back to them (and they will obviously give to her)."

The £300 is considered to be a payment which she was not entitled to. So you should not have been given it and the council want it back. They certainly will not be giving it back to her !!!