Seeking help – Debt owed for repairs?

Seeking help – Debt owed for repairs?

11:01 AM, 18th May 2022, About 2 years ago 17

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A former tenant owes me £2,222 for repairs to the house. It’s a bit of a story – they moved out in December 2021. I would definitely like to get a CCJ and if necessary, take steps to go for an Attachment of Earnings.

I emailed two firms of solicitors, one local and one that advertises online asking if they would take the case on, but neither responded. I presume it is too small an amount for them to be interested.

I felt I had to get the procedure started, so I posted a ‘Letter Before Action’ through her door in April with no response at all. I would still prefer to de-personalise the process, so I then emailed a well-known firm but they are not taking on extra work at present.

I fully appreciate that the whole case will not be cheap and may cost almost as much as the amount outstanding, but I do think she should jolly well pay what she owes. I’m sure she is relying on me not pursuing her for the money.

Can anyone suggest a firm that would take this on?

Could be based anywhere as the whole lot would be done online.

Or is it just too small an amount owing?


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Richard Adams

20:31 PM, 18th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 18/05/2022 - 15:43
Maybe you have indeed enjoyed only limited success with different HCEO's. All the more reason for using DCBL who do, repeat do, succeed if it is possible to do so. Only cost under £100 when I used them last to instruct. If they don't succeed you lose it of course.
Disappointing views from many on this thread - they probably have got no money so why bother. Can't pay is one thing but won't is quite another. Go after them and find out!!! The won'ts outnumber the can'ts in the letting world.

Richard Adams

20:32 PM, 18th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Another factor is don't bother with "collecting" solicitors.Waste of time and money.

Chris @ Possession Friend

21:21 PM, 18th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 18/05/2022 - 20:31
DCBL, - ' is ' one of the HCEO's that I've had mixed results from. I've come to realise from trying different HCEO's that it is very much a mixed bag.

Agree with your comment about using solicitors to chase debt ( good money after bad, usually ) but welcome to hear of any different experiences.

Richard Adams

21:33 PM, 18th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 18/05/2022 - 21:21
If DCBL fail at least you know nobody else would have succeeded and the dodgy tenant in question has no money or assets like a car to take away, so he/she is one of the few can't rather than won't pay type. At least they will have a CCJ on their record so other landlords can avoid them.

Paul Shears

8:58 AM, 19th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 18/05/2022 - 12:50
Excellent advice Robert! On behalf of all readers, thanks very much indeed.

Paul Shears

9:04 AM, 19th May 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 18/05/2022 - 20:31
Well said! I have never had a poor paying tenant but I am very conscious of the fact that many they were up to their eyeballs in ridiculous consumer debt!

Kate Mellor

10:50 AM, 21st May 2022, About 2 years ago

As others have advised, you can do it yourself. It’s very easy and all the information is available online. All communication with the tenant is via the court and not you, so it’s depersonalised. You are clearly motivated to pursue it and the cost isn’t too high. Even the attachment to earnings is pretty easy to do yourself. I managed it, with no help other than online information. I’d caution you that if the debtor doesn’t pay you after the ccj then the process can be lengthy. Don’t bother waiting for the county court bailiffs to do anything they’re worse than useless unless the debtor is home all day, in which case they probably don’t have a job anyway! Pay the small fee for a private local process server to do it. They’re MOTIVATED and creative. I just used google for the area my tenants had moved to and had a positive result. My tenants were experts at debt evasion and the husband mysteriously went self employed the week he had to provide his financial information to the court, so I ended up with an agreement for the wife to pay £75 per month. She requested to do it personally to avoid the professional humiliation. The reason I pursued this case was that both parties were professional, highly educated people who lived high on the hog and took the proverbial. It was more about the principal than the money. They destroyed our brand new property and have now gone on to do the same to the property they’ve just left. I’ve just had a call from their most recent landlord as he found post from us chasing a late payment at his property. They paid him 12 month’s rent in advance while they were busy building up debt with us. They’ve now moved on to a property costing £1000per month in rent and left a £15k repair bill in each of their last two properties. They’ve both got ccjs but don’t seem to have a problem getting another rental…
Robert Mellors’ method is really the best way if you don’t want to do it yourself. I’ve considered this as I’ve had calls from several companies selling their services. I’ve always held back because of a lack of trust, but I suspect I’m being illogical and I will probably reconsider this decision in the future.

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