Rent arrears recovery from mentally disabled ex-tenant

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    #31
    I think o/p is on a hiding to nothing, and should forget about the debt, or accept the £3.65 per week.

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      #32
      Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
      the OP may well be chasing rainbows on this one,
      Maybe, but the odds (cost v potential reward) are very good, I wouldn't give up at this early stage.

      Comment


        #33
        Thanks for all the responses.

        Does anyone have any idea what legal fees would be incurred if I were to proceed with debt recovery?

        First I would have to get a court hearing and then a CCJ. If the Tenant puts in a Defence, then surely that's more legal fees and he could win.

        I don't have any legal training or knowledge and would have to employ a solicitor for this.

        £14k is a lot plus the £2k damage. But I guess it would have to be heard by a Judge and it's only my word against the Tenant's. The Tenant is denying all liability for both rent arrears and damage. I guess the party who commences the legal proceedings is the one who has the risk of costs.

        So, realistically, how much would it cost in legal fees to pursue this?
        And would I really really only get £3.65 per week, could I not convince a Judge to award more?

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by OstridB View Post
          Does anyone have any idea what legal fees would be incurred if I were to proceed with debt recovery?
          If you want to sue for £16k, you would need a solicitor and you should ask them.
          The costs are very different in different parts of the country.
          Most solicitors will discuss the case for a few minutes foc and advise on the cost of using them and the liklihood of success.

          First I would have to get a court hearing and then a CCJ. If the Tenant puts in a Defence, then surely that's more legal fees and he could win.
          Yes and yes.
          It's hard to get a court to agree that rent owed isn't due.
          Damage is more difficult and its easy to make a claim that's too high simply by not adjusting claims for age and normal wear and tear.

          £14k is a lot plus the £2k damage. But I guess it would have to be heard by a Judge and it's only my word against the Tenant's. The Tenant is denying all liability for both rent arrears and damage. I guess the party who commences the legal proceedings is the one who has the risk of costs.
          Presumably there's some kind of tenancy agreement and a record of some rent paid?
          The tenant would have to offer evidence of the disrepair and harassment they are claiming.

          The judge would be experienced at getting to the truth.

          And would I really really only get £3.65 per week, could I not convince a Judge to award more?
          You could - the court can be asked to make enquiries about the defendant's finances.
          If you win, you could elect to bankrupt them.

          The key point is, does the tenant have the money you are looking to collect.
          If not, you might as well sue for a smaller amount in the small claims court for much less money and achieve the same outcome.
          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


            #35
            Actually I went to court as a witness for a neighbour who was letting his flat, suing for rent arrears. Tenant was in mental ward and his parents attended court. The judge accepted tenant's parents' statement that they thought their son 'would have paid his rent'!

            Case was dismissed.

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              #36
              I think from the way the house was left that the former tenant is mentally unwell. There were old letters from a doctor left in the house which confirmed he was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he took the tenancy on. I highly suspect that this ex-tenant is as slippery as an eel and will use his mental health problems to ensure I never see my rent arrears.

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                If you want to sue for £16k, you would need a solicitor and you should ask them.
                The costs are very different in different parts of the country.
                Most solicitors will discuss the case for a few minutes foc and advise on the cost of using them and the liklihood of success.


                Yes and yes.
                It's hard to get a court to agree that rent owed isn't due.
                Damage is more difficult and its easy to make a claim that's too high simply by not adjusting claims for age and normal wear and tear.

                Presumably there's some kind of tenancy agreement and a record of some rent paid?
                The tenant would have to offer evidence of the disrepair and harassment they are claiming.

                The judge would be experienced at getting to the truth.


                You could - the court can be asked to make enquiries about the defendant's finances.
                If you win, you could elect to bankrupt them.

                The key point is, does the tenant have the money you are looking to collect.
                If not, you might as well sue for a smaller amount in the small claims court for much less money and achieve the same outcome.
                The ex-tenant doesn't have any money other than benefits. I have seen an award letter from DWP with his name on it, his new address blocked out, but it just says EESA and Severe Disablement Premium which has been paid to him since 2013.

                Yes, there is a record of the rent or not being paid but ex-tenant's rep has sent numerous letters and emails saying the rent arrears will be "wiped out" by his potential claim for housing disrepair, unlawful eviction and landlord harassment. Also cocky enough to say that he will get legal aid and so would not be subject to costs order if he lost.

                I've checked the tenancy file and surprised to see there are some minor issues like a leaking roof which the tenant reported and which were not remedied, plus other issues.

                Comment


                  #38
                  Originally posted by OstridB View Post
                  The ex-tenant doesn't have any money other than benefits. I have seen an award letter from DWP with his name on it, his new address blocked out, but it just says EESA and Severe Disablement Premium which has been paid to him since 2013.
                  You're wasting your time suing then.
                  You'll get no money and a ccj isn't going to have much impact on someone with a serious mental health issue.

                  Yes, there is a record of the rent or not being paid but ex-tenant's rep has sent numerous letters and emails saying the rent arrears will be "wiped out" by his potential claim for housing disrepair, unlawful eviction and landlord harassment. Also cocky enough to say that he will get legal aid and so would not be subject to costs order if he lost.
                  I don't see why that's cocky, the tenant would probably get legal aid, that's what it's for.
                  But I don't understand who the "representative is - people representing those with mental illness aren't meant to be cocky or wrong about someone claiming legal aid not being liable for the winner's costs.

                  I don't see how unlawful eviction arises if the tenant had abandoned the property and given your almost complete lack of involvement with any part of the tenancy, harassment seems unlikely!

                  I've checked the tenancy file and surprised to see there are some minor issues like a leaking roof which the tenant reported and which were not remedied, plus other issues.
                  You're the landlord, you're not meant to be surprised by things like that.
                  You're meant to have known about them and fixed them.

                  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


                    #39
                    Originally posted by OstridB View Post

                    The ex-tenant doesn't have any money other than benefits................ he will get legal aid and so would not be subject to costs order if he lost.
                    These two statements you have made would give me serious thought on if to continue with your action in court....... speak with a professional who can give you a real world opinion on what it could cost you in terms of time/stress/money and what, at the end of it, you could likely see even if you won.

                    This guy appears to be destitute, what is the plan for him paying you the £16k out of an empty wallet.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Op has now drip fed us more information. I do wish people asking on here for legal advice
                      didn't do that, it's a waste of everyone's time. Op, you should settle for the minimum offered. I can guarantee you won't get any more in court. Witholding your knowledge that he has schizophrenia and that you have proof he is on benefits with severe disability premium from those advising you, plus issues of disrepair . . . take a hard look at your lack of professionalism in running your business and learn by your mistakes. Good luck.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Indeed,

                        If he has Severe Disability Premium (not 'disablement' BTW) with ESA then it means that he also has Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or it's replacement Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

                        Either one showing that he is genuinely disabled.
                        They don't just hand them out, it's a very rigorous assessment for PIP especially

                        I'm begining to wonder if the representatives harsh tone is in response to your earlier threats by yourself?

                        Maybe you have been mislead by the governments propaganda that all benefits claimants are highly intelegent scroungers?

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Originally posted by boletus View Post

                          Maybe, but the odds (cost v potential reward) are very good, I wouldn't give up at this early stage.
                          Assuming this is really a landlord.

                          Following the 'additional information', the odds have just become a lot worse.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            nukecad,

                            Even the current regime has not done this.Most claimants are oaps and have contributed so really getting own money back.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Originally posted by gnvqsos View Post
                              Even the current regime has not done this.
                              LOL, do you not read the news (or do you skip over anything disability/benefit related)?.

                              "Everyones a scrounger" is endemic in the benefits system, from government ministers to jobcentre staff.

                              Here's a particular telling case from last year. - If the DWP employee though that it was acceptable to write this in a submission to the court then it just shows what he/she had been learning day to day in their office.
                              https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/the-dwp-...g-bitch-280026

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Hi, yes he does receive EESA with Severe Disability Premium, as I found a letter dated May 2020, he also gets DLA middle rate for care and lower rate for mobility. The council have also told me that he didn't ever pay any council tax as he was deemed an SMI - Severely Mentally Impaired for the purposes of council tax administration therefore there was no council tax to pay.

                                I am sorry if it appeared I 'drip-fed' information about this, that was not my intention.

                                I just don't understand how a Tenant can refuse to pay rent because of a roof leak. I did forget to fix it, but I found the tenant obstructive and abusive thereafter and just wanted to evict him. I would happily report this matter to the police to see him arrested and thrown in prison for the £14k rent arrears he owes me. I shall be raising a fraud investigation with the council who paid him housing benefit which he did not pass on after the roof leak happened, claiming the rent should be set-off for disrepair.

                                I will never take a DSS tenant again. They're good for nothing but financial problems and can literally get away with it,

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