17:26 PM, 18th December 2013, About 10 years ago 7
Over the last few years I have taken both tenants and their guarantors to court for both possession of my property and for outstanding rent arrears and additional charges.
Over time my tenancy agreements have been modified to take account of the wheezes and get out attempts of the wayward tenants legal boffin’s.
Time moves on and I am slowly coming to the realisation that the courts are totally inconsistent in their approach to my claims and so that probably means yours as well.
In an attempt to prevent things getting out of hand with a tenants arrears, I issue on a set cycle with trigger points starting with a free rent reminder, then a chargeable reminder, then a referral to a UK Licensed Debt Collector, then a Section 8 notice, then a Court Hearing, then a Bailiff if required.
My beef is with some judges who will allow me to pass over the additional costs to my claim for outstanding rent as they are written into my tenancy agreement and some who wont. Some don’t like PCOL (Possession Claim on Line) being used for anything other than rent arrears and have suggested that the manual forms are filled in at an additional cost over and above what the PCOL system charges. Some judges have given me leave to alter a ‘particular of claim’ at the actual hearing and others giving me 14 days. Some judges allow me a judgement against a guarantor at the same hearing and some who argue that it should be a separate case, (until I flash a couple of previous judgements under their noses showing the guarantors got a judgement from their other colleagues), at the same court.
I would like to offset any charges I have incurred against the tenants rent that has already been paid, so that I can bring a case that then only refers to rent arrears.
For example: is it possible to offset any charges allowed in my tenancy agreement, (and deemed not to be unfair), against rent that has already been paid?
Supposing a tenant has previously paid £4,000 in rent, but now owes £1,000 in overdue rent and I get an invoice from my Debt Collector of £150, can I deduct this cost from my tenants PAID rental account total which would now mean my tenant owes £1,150 in overdue rent?
My debt collector says yes, some say no, some judges say yes and some say no….but I’ll give you 14 days in which to change your particulars of claim….”Aaargh” its so frustrating! That then would mean that as a section 8 notice can only be used for rent arrears and claim costs that a separate legal case would be required, which is slow, takes twice as long and is twice as expensive to navigate. Alternatively, is it the case that the date of a transaction has to remain its true account history?
Anyway despite how bad it looks from what I have written, these experiences are over many years, but my question is this…..
Is anyone out there in property118.com land, who has a case law example where this matter can be put to rest without some judges having to give me a hard time and others letting the claim go through without any questions?
I would appreciate your thoughs