Seeking solicitor/professional co. to help me sue T

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  • Seeking solicitor/professional co. to help me sue T

    I have located my ex tenant who left without paying rent. I don't want direct contact with him. Can anyone recommend a solicitor or professional company who can help me to serve notice and take ex-tenant to court?

  • #2
    Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
    recommend a solicitor
    The area where you live, and area of ex tenant could be usefull to members here who could advise, if they know of anyone. There are no details on your profile as to where you are.

    Aways good to have solicitors near you, but not always essential.

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    • #3
      Paddington.

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      • #4
        www.moneyclaim.gov.uk does not require any face-to-face contact. If tenant defends your claim there will be a court hearing but you can ask for security to be in the courtroom if you feel there is a risk.

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        • #5
          Thank you for letting me know about moneyclaim.co.uk which seems like a good way of chasing someone.

          Before I get to that stage, I would like a third party to serve notice on my ex tenant. Any agencies or solicitors?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
            Thank you for letting me know about moneyclaim.co.uk which seems like a good way of chasing someone.

            Before I get to that stage, I would like a third party to serve notice on my ex tenant. Any agencies or solicitors?
            You do not need physically to press the document into his hands. Send two copies from separate post offices and keep the (free) certificate of postage as proof you have sent them. The problem with trying to serve notices in person (whether yourself or an agent) is that T may refuse to accept them. Doing it the way I have described means that a judge will accept they were served.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
              Thank you for letting me know about moneyclaim.co.uk which seems like a good way of chasing someone.

              Before I get to that stage, I would like a third party to serve notice on my ex tenant. Any agencies or solicitors?
              No need for 'notice'. A "Letter Before Action" telling him what he owes you and that he has to pay within 14 days will cost you 41p with a free certificate of posting. Alternatively, any local solicitor will write one - but why waste the money?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                No need for 'notice'. A "Letter Before Action" telling him what he owes you and that he has to pay within 14 days will cost you 41p with a free certificate of posting. Alternatively, any local solicitor will write one - but why waste the money?
                Srry, I thought by 'serving notice', OP meant notice requiring possession?

                If not, then Snorkerz is right - a LBA may do the trick without need for court action, especiaally if you attach a print out of your moneyclaimonline and advise him that if he fails to pay you by x date, you will press 'send' on your claim.
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
                  I have located my ex tenant who left without paying rent. I don't want direct contact with him. Can anyone recommend a solicitor or professional company who can help me to serve notice and take ex-tenant to court?
                  If you are just chasing a debt of less than £5,000, and you have the ex-T's current residential address, then bring a claim as a litigant-in-person using Money Claim Online. I'd also recommend buying a book on the small claims procedure, there are a few on Amazon, I have the one by Patricia Pearl.

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                  • #10
                    I'll see if I can find a suitable publication to help me understand the claims process.

                    In the meantime, should a letter before action (LBA) be formatted in a particular way? I've been told by someone that if I make the smallest mistake in the claim's procedure including the LBA, the judge can throw out the claim.

                    I want to make absolutely sure that I get the process completely right.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
                      In the meantime, should a letter before action (LBA) be formatted in a particular way? I've been told by someone that if I make the smallest mistake in the claim's procedure including the LBA, the judge can throw out the claim.
                      Not so. The courts are aware that it is mostly amateur litigants-in-person conducting claims in the small claims track, and will not strike out the claim for a minor mistake. If you do make a mistake along the way, or miss a deadline, you are almost always permitted to correct the error and continue on.

                      There are circumstances in which a claim might be struck out, however. Here's what my book has to say on the subject:

                      Claims and defences alike are liable to be struck out if they are plainly hopeless or mischievous...claims that might fall into this category [include]:
                      • a case setting out no facts e.g. 'money owed £5,000'
                      • a claim or defence which is incoherent and makes no sense
                      • a claim or defence which sets out facts, which even if true, do not amount to a legally recognizable case against the defendant
                      • a defence which is a 'bare denial'


                      There is no prescribed format for a letter before action; it should just include reasonable detail in terms of the money you claim is owed (leaving T in no doubt as to what you are asking for and why), give a deadline to pay, and say that if payment is not received by that date, you will issue a county court claim.

                      In your case, you say rent is owed, so something like this:

                      Dear Ex-Tenant,

                      As you know, you entered into a rental agreement dated [insert date] for [rental property address] for a fixed term of [length of contract] at a rent of £xx per calendar month.

                      Rent remains owing for the following periods: (i.e. you should break it down month by month)
                      [date to date] £xx
                      [date to date] £xx
                      [date to date] £xx
                      Total sum owing £xx

                      I am writing to advise you that, if I do not receive payment in full for the outstanding rent by [deadline two weeks' hence], I will have no choice but to issue county court proceedings to recover this money.

                      Yours etc.


                      Note that, if you end up issuing a claim, and the tenant disputes it, you will need to show evidence of the tenancy (ideally, a copy of the contract signed by T), and it is then up to the tenant to prove he did pay you the rent as agreed (with evidence such as bank statements etc), not for you to prove that he didn't.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you for the layout suggestion which is very useful and thanks to everyone else for your help.

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                        • #13
                          Two other questions in relation to this problem.

                          I'm going to send the Letter Before Action (LBA) by recorded delivery, but should I copy the LBA to my former tenant's next of kin (his parents) as shown on the contract as an extra layer of security that the letter was sent?

                          Also, I've now completed the money claim form online (but won't submit this until LBA notice period has expired). Should I attach this to show I'm very serious about taking action through the court?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
                            Two other questions in relation to this problem.

                            I'm going to send the Letter Before Action (LBA) by recorded delivery, but should I copy the LBA to my former tenant's next of kin (his parents) as shown on the contract as an extra layer of security that the letter was sent?
                            Unless T's parent is also his guarantor, what is the point? They could deny they had received it - they are hardly independent! Do not even use recorded delivery as T could refuse to accept the letter. Just keep the certificate of postage as advised in #6-8 above.

                            Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
                            Also, I've now completed the money claim form online (but won't submit this until LBA notice period has expired). Should I attach this to show I'm very serious about taking action through the court?
                            Yes, as advised above, make it clear you will be pressing 'send' on your online claim if you do not hear from them by the date given.
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gobsmacked View Post
                              Two other questions in relation to this problem.
                              I'm going to send the Letter Before Action (LBA) by recorded delivery, but should I copy the LBA to my former tenant's next of kin (his parents) as shown on the contract as an extra layer of security that the letter was sent?
                              As has been repeatedly advised, get a free certificate of posting as evidence of delivery. Signed for services mean that the T can refuse to accept delivery, or if T is out, he may not go to the sorting office to collect the letter and it'll be returned to you.

                              Sending a copy letter to the parents is not evidence that the defendant received the letter.

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