Tenant disappears after a CCJ was lodged against her?

by Readers Question

8:39 AM, 27th April 2016
About 2 years ago

Tenant disappears after a CCJ was lodged against her?

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Tenant disappears after a CCJ was lodged against her?

A woman rented one of our properties and then left leaving it in a terrible condition. We lodged a small claims court against her and the bailiffs were sent to her fathers house where she lives. He lives in a very expensive house in Cheshire and so could have paid off her debt, but now she has a CCJ against her.invisible woman

He said she no longer lives there and has no assets at his house and so the bailiffs came away with nothing.

I am reluctant to just write of £900 and I don’t think people should just be allowed to get away with thing like this.

Any suggestions on how to proceed to find her?

Charles



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:58 AM, 27th April 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Charles,
Do you know where she works?
Looked on Face Book?
Do you know where her Dad works?

Under our legal tab please see our Free Guide to enforcing judgements >> http://www.property118.com/free-guide-enforcing-judgements/70013/

andy adewale

9:54 AM, 27th April 2016
About 2 years ago

Charles

Don't give up on this. All is not lost yet, in my experience.

What you can do next is to track her down using the service of reputable tracer companies such as uktracer.com

In a matter of days, and depending on the level of service you choose to buy, they can provide you with amazing amount of information on your former tenant for a very small fee. Once you have the right information, then you can proceed from there with renewed confidence.

I would then suggest that you engage the services of high court enforcement agents rather than county court bailiffs. The latter has real power to collect money or seize goods on the day.

Let's know how you get on. Good luck with it.

Steve From Leicester

11:06 AM, 27th April 2016
About 2 years ago

Finding her is likely to be the easy bit. But if she has no money and no assets you'll still be left with nothing, except you'll have incurred more costs and hassle. And unless he was guarantor Dad is under no obligation to pay her debts (it's quite possible he's already bailed her out many times before and has decided she needs to learn the hard way this time).

It really does go against the grain to allow people to get away with things like this, but £900 is actually not much compared to what you could have lost - as an agent I've seen much, much worse.

Unless I had reasonable grounds to think she really did have the money and / or assets to pay up I'd make a business decision to write it off and be grateful that I had got my house back.

matchmade

14:19 PM, 27th April 2016
About 2 years ago

I've had to walk away from a debt of £5,300 owed by my former tenant. Evicting him, then finding him and getting a CCJ was the easy part. Enforcement was impossible. He appears to own nothing substantial in his own name: there's no car, he always rents a house for his family (the two children are at private schools in Esher), or they live for periods in his mother-in-law's large house in Twickenham. For all I know he owns several buy-to-let houses, but they will be in the name of his partner or parents-in-law, and it appears to be impossible to force the Land Registry to divulge any details, or any finance company to give information about his bank accounts.

So, no identifiable assets for an enforcement agent. In addition he's self-employed and is paid via invoices rather than a salary, so it's impossible to do an attachment of earnings order. His income, verified by an accountant, in the year he declared himself bankrupt for the second time, was £4,000. After 12 months the bankruptcy laws allow all his debts to be written off. The following year, his self-employed income suddenly leapt to £86,000, but he claims this money has all been spent and he continues to have no assets suitable for paying debts and CCJs.

Basically he's playing the system. The British mechanism for debt enforcement is absolutely hopeless. If your tenant doesn't want to pay this £900, she will avoid it. She doesn't even need to disappear: she can just use simple tricks like having her assets in the name of someone else and being self-employed.

The system for recouping debts should be changed so the debt is added to a person's income tax coding. I would be happy to pay HMRC a proportion of the debt recovered, in exchange for using the taxation system as a mechanism for creditors to obtain their money.

David Asker

9:33 AM, 28th April 2016
About 2 years ago

This is not uncommon but it will often take a good few months for people to 'pop up' again.

We spend a small fortune on tracing software and our in-house trace department would usually expect to wait 3 months before somebody appeared on the systems again.

As Neil says, you can do a fair amount of research yourself especially on social media. Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and other sites will often provide decent info, which whilst may not give you an address it can be cross referenced against any tracing info and may confirm one.

We're happy to undertake a free trace for any Property 118 member.

12:43 PM, 2nd May 2016
About 2 years ago

I had similar experience with tenant moving out owing over £2000. Parents denied living with them but facebook showed otherwise. Took to small claims court but she didn't pay up after receiving CCJ. After few months applied for her to go to court to declare her finances and had ltr hand delivered by the court (extra cost added to her bill). Day after court transferred up to Sheriffs and 11 months on has just paid in full. Think perseverance is name of the game and don't just give up


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