Pre-action protocol for debt claims

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    Pre-action protocol for debt claims

    I wrote to my T (who left the property in a filthy state) on 23/12/19 with a bill and 21 days to pay at a reduced rate after which the full amount will become due.

    As of today I have heard nothing and received no money.

    I am preparing a second letter - letter before action - giving them a further 14 days to pay.

    To what extent do I need to comply with the Pre-action protocol for debt claims?

    On Shelter's website it says :

    "It is uncertain to what extent landlords claiming a money judgment for rent arrears which are the subject of possession proceedings will need to comply with this Protocol."

    but further down it says:

    " Initial contact

    Under the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims, the landlord/creditor must send a letter of claim to the tenant/debtor before applying to court for a money judgment. Information that must be contained in the letter of claim includes:
    • details of the debt and whether any interest is accruing (and if so, how much)
    • if regular instalments are being offered or paid, an explanation of why they are not acceptable
    • how the debt can be paid or how to proceed if the tenant wants to discuss payment options.

    The landlord must enclose:
    • an up-to-date statement of account for the debt including interest or other charges that have been added. If no statement is provided, or is not fully up to date, the letter of claim must state the amount of interest and other charges imposed since the debt was incurred or since the statement was provided
    • the required regulatory information sheet containing advice on responding to the letter of claim, and a list of organisations offering free debt advice
    • the Reply Form at Annex 1 to the Protocol
    • a financial statement form (an example is provided at Annex 2 to the Protocol).

    The letter of claim should be clearly dated towards the top of the first page and posted on that date. If it is not possible to send on that date, it should be sent the following day. The letter should be sent by post, but may in addition be emailed. Emailing alone is acceptable if the debtor has explicitly requested not to receive correspondence by post."

    Can anyone enlighten me please?

    #2
    Do you have an address for this tenant or were you emailing him/her? Seems a lot of work chasing T..... are they in work?



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, I have address for both the T's. I have already written to them giving them a reduced £ if they pay within 21 days. They haven't. So I'm giving them another 7 days before legal action.

      They aren't in work so there's a slight chance of me getting paid something within the next 50 years. They have a deposit but haven't released that to me. I always take legal action and get a ccj where payment is not made.

      But that protocol thing is nuts. It'll take forever just to get the paperwork done let alone get paid.

      Comment


        #4
        Is that protocol for all landlords or just social landlords? Do you have a link please?

        I've never adhered to it.....
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          That's shelter being disingenuous again.
          The Pre-Action protocols are required for specific circumstances and claims by private landlords against tenants isn't one of them.
          There are protocols for social landlords (and for repossession for mortgage arrears), but not that.

          There's a general requirement that
          Before commencing proceedings, the court will expect the parties to have exchanged sufficient information to—
          (a) understand each other’s position;
          (b) make decisions about how to proceed;
          (c) try to settle the issues without proceedings;
          (d) consider a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to assist with settlement;
          (e) support the efficient management of those proceedings; and
          (f) reduce the costs of resolving the dispute.
          But there's no need for the rest of the things that Shelter say are required and then say "It is uncertain to what extent landlords claiming a money judgment for rent arrears which are the subject of possession proceedings will need to comply with this Protocol."

          It isn't uncertain at all.
          There's a list of protocols, and it's an exclusive list, so if somethings not on the list, there's no protocol to follow.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            The Pre-Action protocols are required for specific circumstances and claims by private landlords against tenants isn't one of them.
            I don't think thats right. I beleive that even private landlords are required to follow the pre-action protocol, (see here: https://www.landlordsguild.com/how-t...r-debt-claims/), although I think the court is unlikely to be too bothered about minor infringements.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
              I don't think thats right. I believe that even private landlords are required to follow the pre-action protocol, (see here: https://www.landlordsguild.com/how-t...r-debt-claims/), although I think the court is unlikely to be too bothered about minor infringements.
              That's interesting, and I could obviously be wrong.

              I was basing my response on the Practice Direction rules - https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...n_conduct#13.1
              That has a list of protocols and doesn't include the one linked to above.

              It's possible that as the 2017 protocol only applies to traders, it's not relevant to the Practice Direction rules, but it seems odd.

              I think it's safest to assume my post #5 is probably wrong - although I don't then see why Shelter are unsure about it applying to rent arrears.

              Colour me confused!
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Maybe the page is out of date? Although it says it was updated, the newest protocol listed is 2016

                https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil says that the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt claims came into force on 30 April 2018.

                "This Protocol applies to any business (including sole traders and public bodies) claiming payment of a debt from an individual"

                There may be some argument about whether a landlord is necessarily a business. It does say they are unlikely to be concerned with minor infringements.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Is that protocol for all landlords or just social landlords? Do you have a link please?

                  I've never adhered to it.....
                  You'll find it on Shelters website.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is all very confusing. And there doesn't seem to be a definitive course of action. I've given the T 21 days (and gone over that) then written today to give a further 7 days LBA.

                    This is the 'minging bungalow' , should anyone be following my posts about that.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                      Maybe the page is out of date? Although it says it was updated, the newest protocol listed is 2016

                      https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil says that the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt claims came into force on 30 April 2018.

                      "This Protocol applies to any business (including sole traders and public bodies) claiming payment of a debt from an individual"

                      There may be some argument about whether a landlord is necessarily a business. It does say they are unlikely to be concerned with minor infringements.
                      I'm a business.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think you'd better follow the protocol.

                        I think my reference is out of date.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This isn't for rent arrears. It's for the 'minging bungalow' . For anyone who's not followed the story - the T's left the property in a filthy state. eeekkk... I'm soaking the curtains in my very own bath and the water is.... eurgh...minging. Photo will follow

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The curtain drop is 112" so the next T's might want the curtains .

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think Shelter may be saying
                              • "if the claim is part of possession proceedings, then pre-action protocol (probably) does not apply;
                              • if the claim is separate proceedings to the possession claim, then pre-action protocol does apply"
                              Or I could be wrong.

                              Comment

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