It’s always me me me!

by Readers Question

10:41 AM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

It’s always me me me!

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It’s always me me me!

Further to an earlier post of mine (Click here: I know where the tenant has gone, can I use the info?) asking about tracking down tenants and followed by the disappointment that ‘winning’ brings. I am now trying to get the money that is owed.

Is it always the landlord who has to spend money to begin yet another fruitless initiative to try and get money that is owed?

When the tenant absconded at the beginning of 2018 they were in full time employment so I spent money and applied for an attachment of earnings.

The formal response was as late as it could possibly be (a tactic well practiced by this person). Suddenly, the ex-tenant is unemployed and has no money with debts everywhere, other attachments of earnings, rent arrears and no possessions. None of these financial woes appeared against the person’s name when I checked just after their departure.

The County Court Money Claims Centre [CCMCC] feedback tells me that there is no chance.

So I do a bit of digging. The ex-tenant is on LinkedIn; apparently employed. Facebook echoed this information.

Now I realise that profiles online may not be up to date, but I took screen shots and sent them to the CCMCC anyway and asked the questions:

  • Do you simply take their word for it?
  • What checks do you actually do to confirm what you aren’t being sold a pup?

My letter was followed by several cryptic one line letters from CCMCC suggesting an exchange between them and the court where the case was heard followed by silence. My questions unanswered.

Now, I know this person bounces between full time employment, self employment and contract. I have done that and so I completely understand. Let’s face it, as precarious as contracting and self-employment may seem, full time employment does not offer the stability it once did.

  • So how do I know that the ex-tenant isn’t earning as a contractor or self-employment?
  • Do I have to spend more to find out the latest circumstances only to find they conveniently change?
  • Is the ex-tenant compelled in any way shape or form to keep me or CCMCC updated?

Subsequently, the Linkedin profile was blocked to me so presumably CCMC did write. Hey ho, a Google search brings up the front page in the results; besides which, organisations looking for candidates carry out ‘stealthy searches’ and cannot be blocked. I know that Linkedin is a key source of jobs for this person.

The ‘past employment’ part of the profile has been updated to include the employer at the time of departure and no current employer. Of course, if I am going to chase for money owed based on LinkedIn profile there is little incentive to update with the latest employment details, but I will keep checking.

Facebook has also been appropriately edited.

Getting anything done is glacial at best.

What did I get for my £110 to CCMCC?

Do I have to keep shelling out money and adding it to a bill that will never be paid?

How do I force this person to meet their responsibilities?

Yours frustratedly

Hamish



Comments

DALE ROBERTS

11:27 AM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

I sympathise on every level Hamish because I have been left in exactly the same position by a seasoned and adroit rogue benefits cheat tenant who has learnt to manipulate the very sympathetic system for many years without accountability.
I have a CCJ but every debt collector I've approached has advised that I would be wasting effort and funds in pursuing her. I've ignored the CCJ for a year but I have no intention of permitting, what I consider a social parasite, to enjoy her lavish lifestyle at my expense or any other landlords if I am able to.
I am determined to initiate a bankruptcy claim against her.
But I'm prepared to wait a few more years when she has assumed I've disappeared before I start those proceedings.
I remain appalled that present UK legislation protects, if not endorses and legalises, such blatant theft and damage by tenants without repercussion.
You do not bristle alone.

Rod

12:11 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

I wrote to the housing minister some time ago suggesting that it should be made 'law' that tenants be made to give a 'genuine' forwarding address. If we all write in, it may sink in!!

DALE ROBERTS

12:26 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

What should be made law is that if the tenant is found to be deliberately in breach of the tenancy contract, especially with regards to rental arrears or wilful damage to property, that the tenant become unhouseable. If the law continuously permits tenants to accrue rental arrears and damage property without making it a criminal offence we are never going to eradicate rogue tenants. And whilst Shelter, Councils and CAB (illegally) connive to retain the status quo of "gatekeeping" in the face of the above, rogue tenants will flourish at the landlord's expense.
The whole system is wrong. It is an open invitation to abuse and nightmare tenants know this.

Hamish McBloggs

12:37 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

CCJ's are not automatically published by the court either.

The treatment of a CCJ's publication is inconsistent and seems to depend on where the case is heard.

A search of my ex-tenant using 'trustonline' reveals nothing but a nice big green tick.

I have written to the court where the case was heard and have requested the CCJ be made public.

I continue to dig and also now know this ex-tenant has left 2 previous landlords with arrears. I know that one of these has not pursued any action. I'm not sure about the other.

So I urge anyone who thinks the judgement is public to check.

Hamish

Hamish McBloggs

12:41 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

If you fail to pay your council tax then this becomes a criminal offence ... arrest, prosecution and potentially prison.

Mine's a mere civil matter.

Hamish The Despondent

Robert Mellors

12:56 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

After several years of trying without much success to recover debts from my former tenants (tenants who were on welfare benefits), I have recently tried a debt collection company I'd never tried before, and I am finally getting some significant successes. Previously I had tried 4 or 5 different debt collection companies, including high court sheriffs, but spent far more on fees than any of them had ever recovered from the debtors.

I currently pay £45+VAT for tracing debtors (on a no trace, no fee, basis). - I don't know how this compares generally, but it seems reasonable.

I also get debt collection done on a "no collection, no fee", basis for the debtors where I have no CCJ. This has so far resulted in some small payment by installment agreements being set up.

For those former tenants that I do have a CCJ against, since Oct 2018 the debt collection company I now use has recovered almost £8000 in former tenant debts, and the debtor has to pay the court and bailiff fees, (so the amount the tenant ends up paying is much more than this).

Therefore, in my (now changed) opinion, it is worthwhile pursuing all former tenants for recovery of rent arrears/damages even if the debtor was on benefits, as situations can and do change after a few years. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a couple of years for the former tenant to re-settle before the debt collection process becomes effective.

Richard Peeters

13:27 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 25/02/2019 - 12:56
Hi Robert, are you able to reveal the name of the successful debt chasers? By PM if need be? Many thanks! Richard

DALE ROBERTS

13:29 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/02/2019 - 12:37
Excellent comment Hamish.
ALWAYS.. AWAYS.. ALWAYS.. follow up a CCJ against a tenant by enquiring at info@registry-trust.org.uk
Courts don't ensure that CCJ's are registered even though you have gone to the expense of enforcing an eviction by Bailiffs.
I had to instruct my Solicitor (at further cost) to write to the Judge and request that the CCJ be registered and finally, more than two months after the eviction, I received confirmation from the Registry that the debt was now registered as "unsatisfied".
By then no doubt the tenant had found another landlord to thieve from.
Landlord Referencing and a CCJ don't appear to have had any effect on the tenant's ability to continue her pillaging.
She must have a "vulture" fund somewhere into which all her successful arrears looting is stashed.
And if her thieving from me was in excess of GBP20 000 all I can say is that rogue tenanting appears more worthwhile than legitimate landlording!
And the above amount does not include the damages to my unit nor the 10 months it has remained empty whilst I've sought a sale.
I am determined to exit the rental market.

Robert Mellors

13:42 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Peeters at 25/02/2019 - 13:27
Hi Richard
If anyone would like the contact details for the debt collection company that I now use, please DIRECT MESSAGE ME and and I will give you not just the company details but also the name and direct email address of my contact there.
- I ask that you contact me rather than me posting the details online, as I run a "not-for-profit" organisation that houses and supports homeless rough sleepers, and we may receive a small commission for any direct introductions (100% of the commission is used to pay for the provision of the support). You can find me on Facebook and Linked In.

Julie Dawson

13:50 PM, 25th February 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 25/02/2019 - 12:56
Hi, who is the company you use now ? Ive just been charged £90 for a trace with DCBL (cant pay we'll take it away), plus I Havant had a lot of luck with their high court writs, I may change and try your company.

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