Ex Landlord ran off with my deposit - bailiffs cant find him! Help!

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    Ex Landlord ran off with my deposit - bailiffs cant find him! Help!

    Hi there - this is basically part 2 of an old thread. In the first one I let you know that my deposit had been kept by the landlord and after going to small claims I actually won. However now I have more problems...

    After issuing a warrant of execution - I have now heard back from the bailiffs. The address that was in my contract and the one that I had all my correspondance with appears to be a workplace. The bailiffs wrote in a letter to me that when they turned up at the address they were told he had gone and left no saleable items. They made other local enquires but couldn't establish his whereabouts...

    However I *know* he is a director of the company and don't believe he has left for one second, and all it has taken is one of his two employees to say he isn't there anymore and he's got out of it...

    So what can I do now? I do have his bank account details from paying my rent every month - I'm thinking of getting an order on his bank account?

    Help! Thanks!

    #2
    If it's a Limited Company and you know the name of it, you can do a search at Companies House for a nominal fee - if he is a Director (past or present) they should have his home address.

    If the bailiffs turn up there he might change his mind about returning the deposit !

    Not sure if you can garnish his bank account or not ...I would imagine that is something the Court will be able to advise upon.

    Was the bank account you paid rent to his personal account or his business account? If it was the latter AND it's a Limited Company AND you sued him as an individual, you wouldn't be able to in any event as both he and the Limited Company are separate legal entities.

    Originally posted by Minky
    Hi there - this is basically part 2 of an old thread. In the first one I let you know that my deposit had been kept by the landlord and after going to small claims I actually won. However now I have more problems...

    After issuing a warrant of execution - I have now heard back from the bailiffs. The address that was in my contract and the one that I had all my correspondance with appears to be a workplace. The bailiffs wrote in a letter to me that when they turned up at the address they were told he had gone and left no saleable items. They made other local enquires but couldn't establish his whereabouts...

    However I *know* he is a director of the company and don't believe he has left for one second, and all it has taken is one of his two employees to say he isn't there anymore and he's got out of it...

    So what can I do now? I do have his bank account details from paying my rent every month - I'm thinking of getting an order on his bank account?

    Help! Thanks!
    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

    Comment


      #3
      Bingo - his address does seem to me listed at companies house. Let's hope he hasn't moved! Cheers previous poster!

      Comment


        #4
        its probably worthwhile paying a few quid to somewhere like 192.com to find out if the address(es) they have stack up with the ones at companies house.

        If you do want to go for the jugular (and the judgement was against the company) you could try a petition to wind up the company. Alternatively, if its a company address, complain to Companies House and try to get him bannedfrom being a director. These might not work, but its a good way of getting some revenge out of your system, as well as upsetting him!

        Comment


          #5
          Great - let us know how it pans out !

          Originally posted by Minky
          Bingo - his address does seem to me listed at companies house. Let's hope he hasn't moved! Cheers previous poster!
          Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

          Comment


            #6
            Well unfortunately the home address that was on companies record was 5 years out of date according to the bailiffs that turned up there. If its anything like the last warrant the bailiffs just turned up and asked if he was there. He probably said 'no not for 5 years' and they turned round and went. Now I'm at a loss. What are my options? I do have the bank details that I paid my monthly rent in to - could I apply for a 3rd party debt order do you think? Or is there any other way I can track him down?

            Thanks again.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Minky View Post
              Well unfortunately the home address that was on companies record was 5 years out of date according to the bailiffs that turned up there. If its anything like the last warrant the bailiffs just turned up and asked if he was there. He probably said 'no not for 5 years' and they turned round and went. Now I'm at a loss. What are my options? I do have the bank details that I paid my monthly rent in to - could I apply for a 3rd party debt order do you think? Or is there any other way I can track him down?

              Thanks again.
              This may sound daft but there is a way around it.Arm yourself with a digital camera and take some snaps when he comes out of the property.Pass them to the bailiffs and the courts.Make sure that the pictures are datestamped(most modern dc's allow you to do this) there will then be no avoidence of doubt.It's possible that you could get an attachment of earnings order but this may be difficult to impose as we are in the area of civil law.
              Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

              Comment


                #8
                I think you need to establish who it is your chasing .. the LL as an individual or the LL as a company .. i.e. what does the AST say? as it does have an impact on the outcome and how you go about it. If its a company, then you have to pursue the company, not him as an individual.

                As someone previously suggested try 192.com and see if his name (in full as shown on Companies House records) turns up anywhere on their electoral register and telephone databases. Alternatively, try the local library and serach their most recent records for the address given on the Directors Register, although I think 192.com allows more flexibility on searches ..

                You can also ask (and pay nominal fee) for latest accounting records from Companies House.. if they are still trading, and have submitted accounts to date, this may also help as Directors have to show their most recent home address ... although some shady one's don't ...

                Was the bank account you paid rent to a personal account or a business account?


                If you know what he looks like then it may well be worth while putting on your Sherlock hat and doing a bit of surveillance on the property to establish for your self if he still lives there and taking photos as pms has suggested .. alternatively, send a recorded delivery letter to either the Company or himself as an individual (with nothing in it to tip him off!! ) and see if it gets signed for and who by - proof of which is available online with Royal Mail.


                Originally posted by Minky View Post
                Well unfortunately the home address that was on companies record was 5 years out of date according to the bailiffs that turned up there. If its anything like the last warrant the bailiffs just turned up and asked if he was there. He probably said 'no not for 5 years' and they turned round and went. Now I'm at a loss. What are my options? I do have the bank details that I paid my monthly rent in to - could I apply for a 3rd party debt order do you think? Or is there any other way I can track him down?

                Thanks again.
                Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well the AST was with a personal landlord but at his business address - one where he was MD but his business wasn't renting out properties. His bank account was a personal one from what I can see. In terms of the surveillance stuff unfortunately I live many miles away from his area now and it's not really feasible however much I would like to what with work and what not!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Its a better situation for you if he let as an individual .. try 192.com I've found it very useful as you can search in quite wide areas if you know the full name ! I doubt he's moved far .... Surprising what a few hours on a PC and a few fone calls can come up with

                    Not sure about whether you can "garnish" his bank account .. that's for someone with far more legal knowledge than myself to answer.

                    Originally posted by Minky View Post
                    Well the AST was with a personal landlord but at his business address - one where he was MD but his business wasn't renting out properties. His bank account was a personal one from what I can see. In terms of the surveillance stuff unfortunately I live many miles away from his area now and it's not really feasible however much I would like to what with work and what not!
                    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes you can get an attachment on a bank account...presuming of course that he hasn't changed his account since. Do a search through some of davidjohnbutton's posts. He posted a short while ago with a very informative list of enforcement options.
                      Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Another update and some more help needed! I've now tried to execute a warrant at two of his potential home addresses (and I'm convinced that at the last one he did live there) - but the bailiffs have reported both times that the person that answered the door told them that my ex landlord did not live there any more. I then tried a third party debt order against one of his bank accounts that I paid rent in to and this has come back as empty. I am wondering if I can do the following:

                        I originally signed the contract with 'Mr Landlord' who gave his company address as his address. I.e it was signed by Mr Landlord, XXX Company, Company Address. He was a director of this company. It was the only address and number he ever gave out to contact him. Can I thus potentially start a winding up order against the company?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If the "Landlord" was the Company and he was acting as an Officer of the Company then yes, you can as your contract is with the Company and not with him as an individual.

                          I can't say for definite whether this is the case, from what you've posted. Perhaps someone else will be able to provide a better answer.

                          But if he was acting as an individual separate from the Company, no.

                          However, if it IS a Company also try and check it's financial status first as, if it's no longer trading, you'll be wasting more money with little hope of recovery of the debt.

                          If there are other creditors, you may be in a long line of them all wanting their money, and of course, the Taxman and VAT man are preferential creditors and will get first bite at the cherry.
                          Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If L owns property, his ownership is probably registered. Try HM Land Registry which should elicit his address for service.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well the thing is - the contract I signed was with a company as the company address was used as the contact address, and any problems were addressed through the office, although lettings isn't their primary business, other types of contract lease stuff is. The company is in a very healthy financial state. What I cannot deduce is whether the money I paid as deposit went 'through' the company or individual also named on the contract.

                              I have checked the land registry, but he does not own the property I rented, I believe it is his business partner, so no address to chase there. I believe I do know where he lives, and the land registry confirms he owns the house, and he is registered there for council tax, however when the bailiffs went there (and I armed them with all the info as mentioned) - all the landlord had to do was say he didn't live there and the bailiffs went. Very very frustrating.

                              I just seem to be running out of options and don't know where to go next.

                              Comment

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