HELP! - Ex-housemate owes me money and won't pay

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    HELP! - Ex-housemate owes me money and won't pay

    Here's my situation...

    Last September, me and two of my work colleagues agreed to rent a flat near our work place, on a six month contract joint tenancy agreement.

    Myself and housemate KATIE moved in, but housemate MARY was going to move in after Christmas, beginning in January. We all verbally agreed that myself and KATIE would pay the rent and bills ourselves for that period, and then housemate MARY would begin paying everything also when she moved in after Christmas.

    However - we all lost our jobs in December which made our financial situation change. We managed to get out of our contract 3 months early and vacate the property before January 1st.

    I used every legal trick in the book to get us out of that contract early (rent was £495 a month between three of us) with our lettings agent, and for them only to charge us £100 of our deposit. I worked tirelessly on these issues and it was a miracle I got us out mostly scott free.

    This left a few things outstanding on Housemate MARY's part however...

    1) She owed me and Housemate A a total of £16 for her part of the deposit money for the flat.

    2) £88 for her part of the Council Tax (of which her name is on the bill also)

    3) £33 to end the BT phone line.

    Total - £137 that she owed me.

    A miracle total considering that's all she ended up having to pay for signing a six month tenancy agreement at £495 each per month rent. Incredible.

    Weeks and weeks turned into months and months of her assuring me via email, text messages and meet ups that she would pay this money when I questioned her about it, but once it got to the beginning of May (i.e. five months later) - it was becoming obvious that she was just fobbing me off over the money.

    Most recently, she said she would pay me when she got paid herself at the end of May but that money has still not arrived. She has now decided to ignore my phone calls, text messages, e-mails - her last message to me being that she was going to 'teach me a lesson' over a personal dispute I am having with her over a friend.

    She is basically using her hatred towards me as leverage for not giving me the money back.

    I just want to know what my options are. £137 may seem like a small amount but I'm not working at the moment and it's money I never expected I wouldn't get back.

    I have looked into Money Claims Government site and it costs me £25 to make a claim. Would I get this back if I won the case? Is it a cut and dry case, or will I face problems?

    Basically I'm asking for advice on what you guys would do over the issue.

    She seems to want to teach me a lesson... should I make a claim for the rent and bill money from Sep-Dec (remember her name is on the bills and tenancy agreements) or would I not win this case?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    #2
    Your best bet is the Small Claims Court.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by harrylime View Post
      I have looked into Money Claims Government site and it costs me £25 to make a claim. Would I get this back if I won the case? Is it a cut and dry case, or will I face problems?
      If you are on benefits, you can probably have the court fees waived (google ex160).

      If you use the online system, you pay and then apply for a refund on ex160.

      If you make a paper claim using form N1 you send the form with form ex160 in lieu of payment to the court.

      Even if you don't qualify for exemption, yes the judge would order 'MARY' to refund the court fees to you if you won.

      Comment


        #4
        Is it worth me trying to claim for rent between September and December, considering her name is on the tenancy agreement and the bills etc?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by harrylime View Post
          Is it worth me trying to claim for rent between September and December, considering her name is on the tenancy agreement and the bills etc?
          Only if you paid it.

          Comment


            #6
            Yeah they were all paid by me.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by harrylime View Post
              We all verbally agreed that myself and KATIE would pay the rent and bills ourselves for that period, and then housemate MARY would begin paying everything also when she moved in after Christmas.
              Originally posted by harrylime View Post
              Yeah they were all paid by me.
              MARY was jointly and severally liable to the landlord for the rent during that period, but you and KATIE had made an agreement with MARY thay she would not be liable to you for the rent - so, having re-read the first post I don't think YOU could sue for that period as you have an agreement that she doesn't owe anything.

              Comment


                #8
                Yeah i thought that would be the case. I guess me claiming she hasn't kept her side of agreement, and for me to try and go against my side of the agreement would be the good old - two wrongs don't make a right.

                Thanks for your help guys. I'm sure my case for the £137 is a no-brainer win in my favour.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by harrylime View Post
                  Yeah i thought that would be the case. I guess me claiming she hasn't kept her side of agreement, and for me to try and go against my side of the agreement would be the good old - two wrongs don't make a right.

                  Thanks for your help guys. I'm sure my case for the £137 is a no-brainer win in my favour.

                  However, even if you won, if Mary did not pay up, it would probably not be worth the mental energy to pursue her relentlessly for it.

                  Think karma! Her dishonesty will come back to get her at some point.
                  '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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Man, could that happen?

                    Even if the Money Claim went in my favour, it's up to be to retrieve it?

                    I didn't know it worked like that.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by harrylime View Post
                      Man, could that happen?

                      Even if the Money Claim went in my favour, it's up to be to retrieve it?

                      I didn't know it worked like that.
                      Oh yes - and if she has no money or assets, you can't get blood out of a stone.

                      http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...ment/index.htm

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by harrylime View Post
                        Man, could that happen?

                        Even if the Money Claim went in my favour, it's up to be to retrieve it?

                        I didn't know it worked like that.
                        Yes. It's always up to the successful claimant (plaintiff) to enforce.
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          Yes. It's always up to the successful claimant (plaintiff) to enforce.
                          I thought Latin was no longer used in the Small Claims track? (serious comment)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                            I thought Latin was no longer used in the Small Claims track? (serious comment)
                            What Latin?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              Yes. It's always up to the successful claimant (plaintiff) to enforce.
                              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                              I thought Latin was no longer used in the Small Claims track? (serious comment)
                              Explanation: everyone knows what a plaintiff is. NewLabour changed the word to 'claimant', confusing the Courts' usage with the HB/LHA/etc. usage.
                              Hence my use of both (non-Latin) for clarity!
                              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

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