Court papers returned with, 'Addressee gone away'.

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    Court papers returned with, 'Addressee gone away'.

    Dear All,

    My previous tenants left the property in a bit of a mess with dilapidations well in excess of the deposit.
    After continual texts from them requesting their deposit I emailed them with details of the amount I required to rectify matters. They didn't reply. (The texts also stopped.)
    I subsequently emailed them requesting their new address. They didn't reply.
    I sent a, 'Letter Before Action', by Royal Mail (proof of posting) to them at the rental address they left. This was not received at the address. (The current tenant has only recieved one piece of junk mail at that address for them in the 8 months since they left.)
    I submitted a MoneyClaim online claim against them at the rental address in question. There was no response from the defendants and I claimed and received a default judgement. (I have not taken any further steps with regard to enforcement until I find their new address.)

    Today, approximately a month after my initial claim, I receive in the post from MoneyClaim online the original claim (as posted to the tenants) returned with a Royal Mail sticker on the front saying, 'Addressee gone away'.
    There's a covering letter that I'm not completely clear about and am requesting advice from the forum.

    The accompanying letter from HM Courts states that the pack is being returned as 'un-served'. It goes on to say the document is deemed as served unless the address given on it is not the relevant address for the purposes of rule 6.18 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
    The address I gave the court was the last know address I had for the tenants. (The property they had rented from me.)

    Looking at rule 6.18 (2) The claim form will be deemed to be served unless the address for the defendant on the claim form is not the relevant address for the purpose of rules 6.7 to 6.10
    Rule 6.9 (2) states that the Place of service is their, 'usual or last known residence'. Rule 6.9 (3) requires me to take reasonable steps to ascertain the defendants current residence.
    I have not been able to find their current residence.

    The Court's letter goes on to say, 'If you are confident that the claim form has been served correctly, no further action is required in order to serve the claim form (please ensure that you have checked your claim conforms to the CPR Part 7E(4)). You may proceed with the case in the usual way.'

    A few questions arise that I would be grateful for the forum's advice.

    How does Royal Mail know the, 'Addressee has gone away'? Is this something the tenants would have notified Royal Mail about instead of a postal redirection? My, 'Letter Before Action', must have gone somewhere other than the address sent. I did not provide a return address on the outside of the envelope although the court papers did on the claim.

    Have I taken reasonable steps to acquire their new address? (Emailed them requesting it and no knowledge of where they've gone.)

    Subject to me subsequently finding their new address can I continue with enforcement or are there other steps I need to take with the court?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    Originally posted by Lulu999 View Post
    How does Royal Mail know the, 'Addressee has gone away'? Is this something the tenants would have notified Royal Mail about instead of a postal redirection? My, 'Letter Before Action', must have gone somewhere other than the address sent. I did not provide a return address on the outside of the envelope although the court papers did on the claim.
    I don't know for certain, but I do know that mail that has "addressee unknown, return to sender" written on it and dropped in a mail box is sent to a sorting unit to deal with (which I think is in Belfast).
    They will do quite a lot to identify the sender (including opening it) and will then return it.
    I imagine that's what's happened.

    If the tenant hasn't received any mail, I'd guess there's a redirect and when they got the court papers they thought they'd be clever.
    But they should have sent them back to the court as unknown at the address, because the process takes a long time otherwise.

    Have I taken reasonable steps to acquire their new address? (Emailed them requesting it and no knowledge of where they've gone.
    Given that you've already received the default judgement, it probably doesn't make any practical difference.
    The tenant can ask the court to set aside the judgement on the basis that they didn't know about the case whether or not the documents had come back or not.
    You can contend that you've done everything that you could to find the address and the court will decide if they think that was sufficient.

    Enforcement is different though, because you need to know where the tenant is to achieve anything useful.
    A person find service can probably do that now some time has elapsed.
    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


      #3
      When you made the MCOL did you provide the T's email address? If so they would have got a message from the MCOL as well as the documents in the post. Just get a CCJ against them.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ash72 View Post
        When you made the MCOL did you provide the T's email address? If so they would have got a message from the MCOL as well as the documents in the post. Just get a CCJ against them.
        The OP already has a CCJ, that's exactly what a judgement is , and they can continue enforcement in the normal way.
        I often put mail back in a post box marked gone away and that's probably the most common way for Post Office to find out, it wouldn't be anything to do with a redirect because that would have the opposite affect .

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the replies.

          I think this is more a problem for the ex tenants if they try and avoid matters by hiding. Action can continue in the background until one day they'll get a bit of a shock when it catches up with them.

          I think I've done all that's required of me at this stage and don't need to do anything further regarding the Court's letter. I'll continue with enforcement when I found out where they live.

          Comment

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