Small Claim win but how do I get the money owed?

by Readers Question

10:31 AM, 1st June 2020
About 2 months ago

Small Claim win but how do I get the money owed?

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Small Claim win but how do I get the money owed?

I won the claim against a tenant who did a bunk leaving arrears and damage. Although she didn’t turn up to the last hearing, the court awarded me the figure I was chasing for.

Do I need to await for something official from the court to say I can now progress getting back the money? Am I allowed to charge interest on top of the full claim since the courts agreed, up until the time I get paid? What is the best way to chase for this money?

I don’t think the ex-tenant is now working, and she may have had a baby. I have what I believe is her last known address and I have her mothers address.

I need the most cost effective (free??) way of trying to get hold of her so I can get this money paid back.

All ideas welcome.

Reluctant Landlord



Comments

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:51 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 03/06/2020 - 16:51
Don't pay £80 quid for a Trace, use the No-Find, No-fee Tracing Agents we use £35 - VILCOL
Mention we referred you.

Richard Adams

21:02 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 05/06/2020 - 10:59
A CCJ unpaid remains on the register for 6 years under her name and anybody including her can see it. Up until then you can have another pop at recovering if maybe she has got her act together and got a job etc. Have you received your copy of the CCJ yet?
Nearly £5000 is a lot to kiss goodbye to now. Is paying £66 now plus maybe another £80 worth spending to try and recover right now not later? If I were you I'd say yes. Presumably she referenced OK at start of tenancy? Is she the one of many tenants who realised not paying rent often leads to getting away with it or did she genuinely fall on hard times so was unable to pay? You seem to be saying if the bailiffs closed with her now they would find she has zippo bar benefits. In other words is she pulling the wool over your eyes? Maybe earning some cash on the side? Bailiff questioning will squeeze this sort of info out of her plus a search will reveal if she has been buying goods with the money that should have been coming to you as rent. So they find a few hundred pounds worth of "assets". They take away and sell so you get something at least. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick surely and you did say you wanted to nail her.

Richard Adams

21:02 PM, 5th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Possession Friend at 05/06/2020 - 20:51
Good idea Possession Friend.

WP

16:48 PM, 6th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Possession Friend at 05/06/2020 - 20:51
I might see if I can establish if she is still at the last address I have for her first. Luckily I never met her in person (as she never turned up to court) so I could just knock and see if she does still live there (I have her photo from social media).
If she has left this address how will VILCOl find her? She is on benefits and will probably be privately renting elsewhere with benefits paying the rent. Again doubtful any assets and she wont have applied for credit etc so not sure how they can track her to another address? I've already checked the voting register and she is not listed.
Another question if I do get and address and send debt recovery in and she says she doesn't own anything herself then what? What can bailiffs actually take ? At best she will have a tv, cooker, mobile and aren't these forbidden to be taken as they are classed as 'essential' (especially if she is pregnant) You can't get blood from a stone.

Richard Adams

21:42 PM, 6th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 06/06/2020 - 16:48
You keep assuming she has got nothing. You may be wrong so why not go the extra mile and find out? It's a fact there are plenty of tenants working the system to not pay rent. They know how easy it is nowadays. Of course they will always say they have no assets. Bailiffs get a pretty good idea from walking through the door what the situation is.

Bailiffs can take luxury items, for example a TV or games console.
They cannot take:
things you need, such as your clothes, cooker or fridge,
work tools and equipment which together are worth less than £1,350,
someone else’s belongings, such as your partner’s computer.

Chris @ Possession Friend

23:56 PM, 6th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 06/06/2020 - 21:42
If you suspect the Tenant is claiming benefit, and working 'Cash-in-Hand' Make a telephone call to the Benefit Fraud hotline.
" Wot goes round, comes around " as they say on a lovely Council estate I know of.

DALE ROBERTS

18:42 PM, 7th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 05/06/2020 - 10:59The CCJ is NOT automatically registered. This is one of those travesties of justice landlords are subject to. However, you are entitled to check this with the Registry Trust who will advise you if your CCJ is registered. An email is sufficient. I discovered that my CCJ for almost GBP14 000 was not. As an eviction had been enforced I considered this as sufficient to approach the Court and "request" that the CCJ be registered. This was done and confirmed by the Registry Trust. I also uploaded the tenant to those excellent sites - Landlord and Tenant Referencing - to warn other landlords. The debt remains outstanding (my trashed unit was a further unrecoverable cost) as the tenant is a consummate rogue tenant who has made a fortune from "free" accommodation. I'm hoping that sometime in the next few years my CCJ may impact on her financial status but as I'm just another unpaid landlord in her parasitic lifestyle I doubt I'll be successful. I am exiting the BTL industry as and when I can. I have learnt to hate a system that is so blatantly biased in favor of entitled opportunists.

WP

19:32 PM, 8th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DALE ROBERTS at 07/06/2020 - 18:42
Thanks for the very useful info Dale. I thought the Courts HAD to send the info on to have the CCJ properly registered as standard. I have emailed the Registry Trust for an answer to see if she is registered, if not, is it simply a case of asking the Court to do so?

DALE ROBERTS

20:46 PM, 8th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 08/06/2020 - 19:32
I wrote to the Court, who awarded the CCJ, and submitted proof of the Bailiff forms confirming an eviction had been made to oust the tenant as supporting documentation to show "enforcement." My legal representative also forwarded a request to have the CCJ registered. The Registry Trust confirmed the registration within a month. In addition I made contact with the relevant Council to report that the tenant had deliberately made herself homeless and that she was illegally housing the father of her child in my property and her adult siblings. This was before the dreaded UC became the bane of landlords lives. I managed to have GBP3 000 paid over to me before her benefits were terminated which almost covered her unpaid heating bill. The tenant had been claiming sundry benefits fraudulently - and by including the benefits from her "squatter" family was able to afford the rental on a GBP5000 000 unit overlooking the Thames and fully furnished to a high standard. I subsequently discovered she had been evicted from the unit next to mine by the same Solicitor I used and the sordid story was a replica of mine. Unfortunately that landlord did not register his CCJ.
I am a non UK BTL landlord who has no further interest in remaining invested in the UK in the face of the blatantly biased legislation against property owners and have sold my units as they become vacant. Personally I prefer them empty as opposed to being forced to house social leeches that the UK government prefers to label "victims".

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