Taking Guarantor to Small Claims Court?

by Readers Question

9:18 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Taking Guarantor to Small Claims Court?

Make Text Bigger
Taking Guarantor to Small Claims Court?

My tenants have been evicted and are refusing to pay outstanding expenses, neither of them work, but they provided a guarantor who can pay the outstanding expenses. The guarantor owns his own business with 2 outlets and appears on the company website. Both the ex-tenants and the guarantor are not responding to any communication.

I have asked the guarantor to confirm his postal address. However, when I wrote to him at his home (address provided in 2017 when the tenancy was started) and business address, the letter to his home was returned as “No Longer at this address”.

I want to pursue him through the Smalls Claims Court, can I do this without knowing his home address.

Many thanks

Peter


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

Mike T

9:41 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Hi Peter.
I don't know the legal answer to your question, but I'm sure others will advise.
however, you can Google the guys name and see what comes up . Google his business's . He will no doubt be listed as a director and with luck his home/contact address details. I would then send duplicates of your letter with a proof of posting by the post office to each address and see what happens. Good luck.

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:22 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Tracers - to find his new address are pretty cheap - maybe £30-£40. Someone here may have a recommendation. I think they are 'no find, no fee,' so nothing to lose.

Mike T

10:38 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike T at 25/08/2020 - 09:41
Peter, can I ask how your letter was returned to you. Was it returned by the Post Office ? Was your return address stated on the envelope or did whoever it was sending it back have to open your letter to see who sent it ? I only ask because I am always suspicious , and it could be the person still lives there and is just trying to avoid being contacted by you.

Steve Masters

10:40 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

I agree with Rosalind, but before you instruct tracers or people finders, look up on the HM Land Registry website to see if the guarantor still owns the property after all.

Lindsay Keith

11:20 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Commercial decision.
How much is at stake?
How much must you pay to trace and establish service address?
Is guarantor worth powder and shot?
Is the money there?
Depending on the amount at stake and the likelihood of your getting your money in one go (£4 per month??????), write off to bitter experience?
I started articles in the debt collection department!

John Mac

11:34 AM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

As long as you have taken provable steps to find "new address" you can get a Judgement using "last known address". However its easy to find new address, use Vilcol <£30 no find no fee.

I would look up company details 1st though - as above Director may be taking the P !

moneymanager

12:16 PM, 25th August 2020
About 3 months ago

"without knowing his home address".

When making the application you can request the Court to serve at an alternative address, you have to provide reasons why you think that the alternative address will be effective in delivery. Quite apart from trying to verify the validity of that "gone away" I would go through the company route, The directors's home address may well not be listed but accounts will almost certainly have been lodged with Companies House by a firm of accountants, get Notice served at their office.

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

8:31 AM, 26th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Try https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk to search by company, director or post code

Landlord Phil

9:47 AM, 4th September 2020
About 3 months ago

There's a lot of very good suggestions here. I'm absolutely convinced that a court would accept the information listed on the electoral register as being a valid current address too. I believe you have rights of viewing, so this may be worth a look. I also agree with the alternate address for serving documents method. I always insist on pursuing a debt. I know it might seem a pain, & I wouldn't criticise any landlord for deciding to just move on, but I feel strongly that non payment is like theft. If somebody stole the equivalent of a few hundred pounds from me, & there was clear evidence of who the perpetrator is, I'd expect the Police to take action. In my view, refusal to pay & theft are in the same moral category. If people see the PRS taking the "not worth it" stance, then the temptation exists to do it again, & again. I just can't let this happen. Besides, seeing a defendant squirm in court when my smart solicitor rips their case apart & adds in costs to the claim, is such a satisfying feeling. If the business owner claims poverty, it's going to be a hard sell & I'm sure the court will insist on proof of poverty before agreeing to a low figure payment plan. I've only once fallen victim to that approach, which I put down to not being in court myself on that day to plead my case personally. My mistake & I won't repeat it.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Non-resident Landlord scheme and 6 months rule?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More