Landlord has the last laugh in rent arrears debacle

Landlord has the last laugh in rent arrears debacle

10:21 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago 30

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Paul Shamplin of Landlord ActionWe regularly come across cases where tenants have fallen on hard times and rather than communicate with their landlord for fear of losing their home, they instead choose to avoid paying the rent until the landlord reaches breaking point and the end result is eviction.

This is why we always try to encourage landlords that come to us asking for help with problem tenants, particularly cases with rental arrears, to try and engage in dialogue with their tenants and understand the reasons behind the lack of payment.  Sometimes this can be enough to save the professional relationship and work out a payment plan that suits everyone. After all, if a landlord has a tenant who has been in their property for some time and has taken good care of it, it can be more beneficial to be understanding and support the tenant to get back on course than to get rid of them.

However, there are also cases where the tenant just wants something for nothing, even if they can afford the rent, in other words ‘crooks’. We had a classic case of this recently, where I’m pleased to say the landlord has had the last laugh.   The case was brought to us of a tenant who had not pad rent for over a year.

We obtained judgment in the County Court, but the high value of arrears in this case enabled us to apply to have the case transferred up to the High Court for Enforcement.   We obtained a combined writ of possession and writ of control, as well as managing to recover the £16,000 debt prior to carrying out the eviction.  High Court Enforcement Agents (HCEA) have more power than County Court Bailiffs but in a recent survey we carried out, only 16.5% of cases get transferred up.

Our research had found that the debtor (tenant) was in possession of two vehicles.  The DVLA confirmed the tenant as the registered owner. When he failed to settle the writ within the compliance period, the case was assigned for attendance by our HCEA’s.

Upon arrival at the property, the agents clamped both motor vehicles prior to knocking on the door.

One of the tenants came to the door and was surprised to see us. He became hostile towards the agents demanding that they leave.  They explained why they were there and requested full settlement.

The tenant refused to settle the amount and claimed that he did not have funds to do so.  The agents advised him that they were taking an inventory of goods as they were taking control of them.

The tenant still refused to deal with the situation, so the agents called tow trucks to collect the vehicles and a removal vehicle for the household belongings.  At this time the tenant agreed to settle the outstanding amount in full.

The tenant then arranged a bank transfer of the full amount, and showed the bank transaction to the agents.  What was most interesting was that there was a credit balance of £100,000.00 in the account that the funds were coming from, so there was no reason for the tenant not to have paid the arrears of rent previously, or even just the rent on a monthly basis!

Three days later the agents again attended the enforcement address to carry out the eviction under the writ of possession issued in the High Court.  Vacant possession was obtained within an hour of arrival and the occupant removed most of his assets and arranged with the landlord to return for the remaining items.

It’s a shame that cases like this can be enough to put landlords off renting their properties in the future, and yet we have a desperate shortage of rental properties.  Fortunately in this case, we were successful and the landlord had the last laugh. Hopefully this will be a deterrent to other people who think they can get away with renting someone else’s property for free.

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.

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Neil Patterson

10:24 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

I am just staggered by this article.

I can't believe the tenant had 100K in cash and didn't pay until you turned up with the tow trucks !

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:16 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Excellent result Paul 😀

Anthony Endsor

11:40 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Tow trucks for the tow rags. Nice 🙂

David Asker

11:42 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

It was us (The Sheriffs Office) that enforced this matter for Landlord Action and it certainly isn't an isolated case!

Mark Lynham

11:52 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

jeez, £100,000 in their account! glad someone took action against them!

David Asker

11:57 AM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

I think the clamping of his Aston Martin focused his mind somewhat.

Neil Patterson

12:10 PM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Carter" at "15/06/2015 - 11:57":

Funny you say that I think Paul had another eviction where the tenant's Aston Martin was clamped a few years ago.

Moral of the story ... when you are doing your references check for an Aston Martin??? lol 🙂

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

12:16 PM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "15/06/2015 - 12:10":

Seriously though, might be a good idea to ask tenants what car they dreive and reg number

David Asker

12:21 PM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Mark, this is something we have been recommending for years.

It is imperative that all Landlord's know as much about their tenants as possible, even if they're currently paying on time every time.

Knowing vehicle and employment details can be the key to getting paid if and when it all goes wrong, which for many will happen at one time or another.

wanda wang

22:33 PM, 15th June 2015, About 9 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Carter" at "15/06/2015 - 11:42":

I have transferred my case for you to enforce, there have been many opportunities to seize and clamp car but the opportunity has not been taken. I drive past the debtors house everyday, The car was parked there and I am still waiting and waiting for the I can see no reason to keep making these excuses which are getting me no where. If you had done what you said in your article and clamped the car before knocking on the door I would not still be waiting for the money owed to me.

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