Small Claims Cat and Mouse games?

by Readers Question

14:46 PM, 6th February 2020
About 10 months ago

Small Claims Cat and Mouse games?

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Small Claims Cat and Mouse games?

To cut a story short… Bad tenant trashes flat and leaves with rent arrears. Legal process begins. Court dates where I attend and she doesn’t – still no resolution.

Situation is now that it has been moved to small claims track court with a hearing date of early March. I KNOW she wont turn up as she has not on previous three occasions.

On the basis I win the case and the judge agrees with the costs judgement what is the best way to now get my money back? All paperwork to her has been sent to two addresses (I believe current address and her mother’s address) and she has been working as far as I am aware so have two work addresses. From a quick search on social media yesterday it may be she has now stopped working though.

1. Are there any free ways of tracking her down? Clearly I don’t to throw any more money at this if I can’t get it back
2. If I cant get an address of where she is currently living or working, how can I get a judgement against her and get any money back?
3. Can the court make a judgement that the mother must tell them where she is?

Any advice welcome!

Reluctant Landlord


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Comments

Richard Adams

11:00 AM, 7th February 2020
About 10 months ago

Since hearing date is set when as you likely say defendant won't pitch up you will get judgement OK with court giving her 14 days to pay. Likely, again as you say, she won't. After the 14 days contact Debt Collection Bailiffs explaining your situation re debtor's unknown address situation. If they think she cannot be tracked down then forget the whole thing. The exercise will have cost you nothing. I reckon based on info you have given they WILL be able to track her down. You then pay them £60 odd to recover the debt. They are very good at doing so. You may have seen them on TV - "Can't Pay? We'll Take it Away!" They have never failed to successfully collect for me sometimes in instalments. I'm not aware of Courts being able, allowed or willing to make "mothers" etc reveal whereabouts of debtor daughters.

Ian Simpson

13:22 PM, 8th February 2020
About 10 months ago

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but :

You will not get a penny back...!!
These scum never ever pay, and they don't give a fig for CCJs etc. You will probably find she has a string of unpaid debts already...!!
At least you have the property back! Massive plus!! My scumbags are still in residence, ekeing out the section 21 then the hearing then the bailliffs.

Thanks your lucky stars she has actually left, now just re-paint, recarpet, and re-let...!!

If you get anything back from her at all (apart from abuse) I will be amazed.

Richard Adams

13:42 PM, 8th February 2020
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Simpson at 08/02/2020 - 13:22
Ian, your response is just what the scumbag non payers want to hear. "Give up, you won't get a penny". It is well worth following process I have suggested. Won't involve much time and a £60 odd outlay at worst. The originator of this post KNOWS the tenant is pulling £5000 a month so she can and should pay, unless of course she is allowed to get away with it which you seem to advocate. Don't give up!!

Michael Barnes

18:37 PM, 9th February 2020
About 10 months ago

I have read something recently, probably on a LandlordZone thread, about a process whereby the debtor can be compelled to attend a hearing to determine their ability to pay. Failure to attend is contempt of court and an arrest warrant can be issued.

I don't know any more, but maybe others on here do.


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