Court judgement and tenant changing address

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    Court judgement and tenant changing address

    I recently obtained a court judgement against a tenant for rent arrears; the hearing took place shortly after he left my property (where all the court documents were served).

    The court has just sent out the paperwork relating to the judgement - the tenant's copy has been delivered to the property - clearly his mail isn't being forwarded. I have "a" forwarding address for him (that of his parents, where he may or may not currently be living), and can forward this letter there.

    However, as of today there's a new tenant moved in, so frankly there's no guarantee that any further mail delivered there won't just end up in the bin.

    Can I notify the court of the new address, or will they not listen to me? Or doesn't it matter anyway now that the judgement has been sent out? (I'm fully expecting to have to move towards an attachment of earnings order in due course - is that a totally separate issue?).

    #2
    Service to last known residence is good service - you have your judgment and once you find out the tenant's proper new address you can direct bailiffs or further enforcment action to that new address.

    There is a danger in sending enforcment to the parents address without having some proof he is living there. The parents may just refuse mail adddressed to your former tenant or simply not let the bailiff in etc.

    Personally, if I were you, I would look at enforcing through either attachment of earnings or siezure of bank funds for which you need his employers name and address or bank details (just the bank will do, order served on HQ and they do a trace). For both these options the paperwork can go to his old address or c/o to his parents.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for that.

      Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
      Personally, if I were you, I would look at enforcing through either attachment of earnings or siezure of bank funds for which you need his employers name and address or bank details (just the bank will do, order served on HQ and they do a trace). For both these options the paperwork can go to his old address or c/o to his parents.
      At the moment the guy's been given until 7 May to pay me as a lump sum, and I know he'll just ignore it. I don't think he has any cash or assets, but he has a well paid job and I know where he works, so yes, I'm certainly looking at an attachment of earnings as the next step. Is it as big a pain in the neck to implement as the judge told me it would?!

      How is it decided how much the monthly order will be? (The debt is £1900, and the debtor is a single man with no dependents earning about £26,000 pa; and a year ago he had a completely clean credit history.)

      Comment


        #4
        The problem with attachment of earnings is that the debtor is given a protected earnings level to meet his needs and you only get your attached sum that week or month if he has spare cash over and above his statutory needs.

        Have a look at http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...t/ae/index.htm - there are 14 pages.

        Otherwise, if you know where he banks, you could indeed get all your money in one go if he happens to have funds enough to cover on the day the order lands with the bank. See http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...arty/index.htm

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
          The problem with attachment of earnings is that the debtor is given a protected earnings level to meet his needs and you only get your attached sum that week or month if he has spare cash over and above his statutory needs.

          Have a look at http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...t/ae/index.htm - there are 14 pages.
          Thanks for that. I note:
          "If you got your judgment in a different court, you must first ask for the claim to be transferred to the court for the defendant's home area (the 'local court'). You can do this by writing a letter to the court where the judgment was entered. Say that you want to apply for an attachment of earnings order and give the name of the defendant's local court. If you do not know which court it is, any county court office can tell you. If the defendant has changed address, you should give the new address in your letter."

          What should I do here - just keep quiet about the fact that I know the defendant's address has changed, and that consequently he won't receive any communication from the court? Or use the parental address, where the parents could I suppose deny all knowledge of him?

          Comment


            #6
            You use the last known address until you either are told by the debtor or employer that he is at a new address or you find out by other means.

            With third party debt orders, the debtor is not told until a few days AFTER the money has been siezed for obvious reasons.

            I did a tpdo on a chump that owed me money, it stopped all his cheques for that day (bank bounced them) and he was unable to draw any money out at all.

            Comment


              #7
              eric - what level of court fees have you incurred so far please ?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                You use the last known address until you either are told by the debtor or employer that he is at a new address or you find out by other means.
                I suppose the issue is whether his verbal "you can contact me via my parents" would constitute notification of a new address - I guess the debtor could construe it as being either way, couldn't he, depending on what he wanted to achieve!

                With third party debt orders, the debtor is not told until a few days AFTER the money has been siezed for obvious reasons.
                Well, certainly tempting! Can you select the date the order hits his bank? I know he gets paid around the middle of the month, and unless it happened shortly after that I doubt there'd be much there. He must get about 1600 take-home though, so if I could time it right that would be a result...

                Comment


                  #9
                  You have to time the order - the court must deal with the application onthe same day as received, so the order goes out that day and hits the bank post permitting the next day - they then freeze all accounts held solely by the debtor BUT not joint accounts held with another person and not company accounts unless named specifically.

                  If the debtor has said you can contact him via his parents, then it does no harm to specify that date for either attachment or TPDO because the papers will go to his employer and bank irrespective.

                  Have you considered an order for questioning - this is a rigorous "finger up the bum" searching type of oral examination whereas the debtor tells the court all his assets, income and expenses or faces prison - only trouble is the order has to be served personally but of course this could be done at work premises on application to the court. From the info gleaned, you can then best assess each method of enforcment. I find that debtors faced with this examination usually pay up in full to avoid it!!!!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                    Have you considered an order for questioning - this is a rigorous "finger up the bum" searching type of oral examination whereas the debtor tells the court all his assets, income and expenses or faces prison
                    Thanks - that's certainly a thought. I do like the idea of my ex-tenant with a finger (or preferably something substantially larger) up his bum. And with your above info I reckon I might go for the TPDO... will have to think about it!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by susanne View Post
                      eric - what level of court fees have you incurred so far please ?
                      So far? £150 for reposession via S21; £95 subsequently for the bailiff; £65 for the small claim for rent arrears etc (that was an open-ended claim since the arrears were still clocking up when I submitted it; therefore the fee might have been different had it been a fixed claim for £1900).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Very interesting

                        Hi, I'm taking tenants to court on the 8th to try and get posession. Could you tell me what the judge asked you and what documents you needed etc. any advice for the actual hearing would be greatly appreciated.

                        Thanks

                        Popstar

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Popstar23 View Post
                          Hi, I'm taking tenants to court on the 8th to try and get posession. Could you tell me what the judge asked you and what documents you needed etc. any advice for the actual hearing would be greatly appreciated.
                          What route are you using for repossession? In my case above it was Section 21, which didn't involve a court hearing at all - my hearing was purely in connection with a small claim for rent arrears, so not relevant to your situation.

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