Now to get the debt

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    Now to get the debt

    Hi all,

    After a lengthy but successful (thanks in part to these forums) battle using PCOL, I finally gained possession of my rented property. However, I'm now trying to decide whether to chase the outstanding debt or not? Any advice would be gratefully received.

    The county court judgement awarded me possession and money, however I only executed a warrant for possession as this was what was important to me at the time. The tenants ran away before the bailiff appointment and obviously didn't leave a forwarding address.

    Assuming that I can trace the tenants, can I use PCOL to now issue a warrant for the money at their new address or do I have to start over with MCOL?

    Furthermore, it was a joint tenancy so are both tenants equally liable for the full debt, or are each of them only liable for half of the debt? To complicate the issue I suspect that the couple may be going through a divorce and hence be at two separate addresses.

    Any pointers?

    Thank you in advance,

    Brad

    #2
    Hi Brad, I would be grateful if I could piggy back onto your thread rather than start a new one as our situations are very similar.

    I have just gone through a Section 8 that covered repossession and rent arrears.

    I had joint tenants (not related to each other) who vacated prior to the bailiff executing repossession, and they have not provided any forwarding addesses. I am now looking to recover monies owed and am thinking about starting with an "order to obtain information" which I hope to serve on the individuals as they leave their place of work (I do not know their addresses).

    Like you I would be grateful for any pointers that the members of the forum could provide.

    Regards
    Doug

    Comment


      #3
      The judgement you have obtained needs to be enforced to obtain your money, but think more carefully. To enforce such a judgement will involve time, additional fees and what will be the result? Can the tenant afford to pay - usually they can't! If they are working then you can obtain an attachment of earnings order. If they have any money in a bank account then you can gat a garnishee order to obtain what is owed from that and indeed you can obtain an order to get what you are owed from their benefits, but how long will this take? Assuming you can find them, you can expensively drag then before the courts and in all honesty they will offer to pay you back at - say - £1 per week as it is all that they will claim they can afford. Then each week they fail to pay this sum, you have to take them back to court to find out why - if they turn up! It all costs (you) and you are unlikely to have anything to show for it in the end.
      Unfortunately in these circumstances you have to decide whether such a debt is worth persuing. The only thing you can reasonably accomplish is to get the CCJ established against them which will affect their credit rating and warn other landlords who they may approach to rent accomodation in the future.

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

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Brad, sorry but I also meant to add that I have since discovered that unless the claimant follows up on obtaining the monies owed, the order does not get registred with the the Registry of Judgements, Orders or Fines. This seems ridiculous to me as it could mean that the tenants could apply to rent further properties and any searches made by the new landlords would not highlight the orders made?

        I have been advised by the Registry that they need instructions from the court to record the order, and I've been told by the court to write to the Judge to ask for the order to be registered (no guarantee that it will be)?

        It appears that it is the claimants responsibility to ensure that the judges order is registered (more money!!) rather than any automatic recording by the courts?

        This situation is just another example of how tenants are allowed to continue and try the patience of landlords even further. If for any reason a landlord decides that they will not have a chance of recovering the monies owed, and does not pursue recovery, the tenants are effectively given a "green light" to do the same thing to some other poor unsuspecting landlord.

        Comment


          #5
          The CCJ system is a Register of UNPAID County Court Judgment debts. The claimant/plaintiff has first to obtain judgment!
          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


            #6
            IMHO always pursue the debtor to the ultimate opportunity through all means... otherwise they will tell all their friends (guess what sort of friends..) that you are a soft touch.... It will cost time, money, aggrro, sorry!. We don't want crooked tenants any more than we want crooked landlords or crooked agents...
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              I agree with theartfuldodger, debts should always be pursued if only to give the debtor hassle and also to warn other landlords, credit companies etc to not trust these individuals.

              So any idea if I can still use my PCOL judgment even though I've already issued the warrant for possession?

              More importantly, how does it work when joint tenants then go separate ways. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that all tenants under a joint tenancy are equally liable for any debt. This effectively means that the claimant chases the one that is most likely to pay (or has the most to lose). Is that right?

              Thanks,

              Brad

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bradsalmon View Post
                More importantly, how does it work when joint tenants then go separate ways. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that all tenants under a joint tenancy are equally liable for any debt. This effectively means that the claimant chases the one that is most likely to pay (or has the most to lose). Is that right?
                No. There is one debt. It is owed to L by:
                a. T1 + T2 together (100%); and
                b. T1 alone (100%); and
                c. T2 alone (100%).
                L can sue any of those three combinations.
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bradsalmon View Post
                  So any idea if I can still use my PCOL judgment even though I've already issued the warrant for possession?
                  If you have obtained a CCJ for money then it can be enforced in a variety of ways; see
                  http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...ment/index.htm

                  More importantly, how does it work when joint tenants then go separate ways. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that all tenants under a joint tenancy are equally liable for any debt. This effectively means that the claimant chases the one that is most likely to pay (or has the most to lose). Is that right?
                  You can enforce the CCJ against both of them, or either of them, for the whole amount.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
                    indeed you can obtain an order to get what you are owed from their benefits, but how long will this take?
                    You can not do this for ex-tenants, only current ones.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks to everyone for their replies.

                      I'm off to try and trace the tenants down now then. Luckily I'm fairly new to being a L and hence my enthusiasm is still quite high.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would recommend pursuing money owed as much as possible. A few years ago I was owed over £1100 by a couple who had split up. I sued both for the full amount, knowing only he would have the money to pay. I won the money, plus costs and interest. The guy sounded like he was going to pay it, but she told him not to. I then paid another £50 to the court to send the baliffs. I sent them to her, which led to her calling him, and he paid the whole lot. You need to apply pressure how it works best-I knew this would work for me as it would cause panic. Plus, after 13 months, that phone call gave me satisfaction that money cannot buy!

                        If I had never gotten the money, it would of cost me a hundred or so pounds all up. Going through the process is great for learning, and will make you more aware/confident for the future.

                        Comment

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