Rent unpaid for 14 months - £11,000 arrears, T on benefits

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    Rent unpaid for 14 months - £11,000 arrears, T on benefits

    We had a T who took on an AST and didn't pay any rent whatsoever. We served Notice in Mar 10, Court hearing in Sep 10 and finally eviction took place early Nov 10.

    T didn't pay 14 months rent, totally £11,000 plus Court costs. T stole various goods from the house. T didn't pay any bills at all. T didn't turn up at Court and vacated the property around Jul 10 with no notice or communication. T still has keys. Recent communications with the T's friend reveal that T has schizophrenia and has been receiving all sorts of disability benefits, housing benefit, etc.

    We do not know of T's whereabouts. We have tried to trace using services like 192.com and only come up with addresses which T has now left.

    What action would be advised under the above circumstances?

    This T held onto the property until the last minute, sending emails to the Court and to our solicitors saying he held possession and would not vacate. But he did not pay a single penny of rent for 14 months.

    We obtained a Money Judgment against him at Court, ordering him to pay us £11,000.

    What can be done?

    #2
    Originally posted by watson View Post

    What action would be advised under the above circumstances?
    Change the locks and get a new tenant.
    Plus, take proper steps when leeting out next time.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      thanks, but my question was what do we do about the massive rent arrears, the stolen furniture, the unpaid bills and the fact that this T has crippled us financially....? We obtained a Money Judgment against him, ordering him to pay us £11,000.

      Comment


        #4
        You could try tracing him; but that might involve throwing-away even more money. Was T a "can't pay" or a "won't pay", in your view?
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          You could try tracing him; but that might involve throwing-away even more money. Was T a "can't pay" or a "won't pay", in your view?
          Hi Jeffrey, thanks for posting. The T had Housing Benefit coming in from LA for the flat, but didn't pay any of it to us. I don't think he has any other money now as we understand he is on disability benefits, etc, now and does not have a job nor is capable of holding one down due to his mental health.

          Even if I did trace him, would it be worth it? Our solicitor said to us that all methods of enforcing the judgment we have against him are not likely to work as he does not have any money and Social Security Benefits are exempt from seizure.... what do we do to get our rent arrears?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by watson View Post
            thanks, but my question was what do we do about the massive rent arrears, the stolen furniture, the unpaid bills and the fact that this T has crippled us financially....? We obtained a Money Judgment against him, ordering him to pay us £11,000.
            Kiss it goodbye, and then follow my advice in my first reply.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              When I tried to get rent arrears from a local authority under slightly similar circumstances I was told that unless the tenant agreed to them discussing his tenancy with me they could not get involved. Of course tenant did not want tenancy discussed.



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
                When I tried to get rent arrears from a local authority under slightly similar circumstances I was told that unless the tenant agreed to them discussing his tenancy with me they could not get involved. Of course tenant did not want tenancy discussed.
                If it's in regards to arrears, you don't need to discuss anything with them.
                You simply ask them to suspend the payment as the tenant isn't paying his rent.

                They will then require you to send in a statement showing how much is owed. Then they will tell the tenant that the landlord is requesting a payment direct, and whether it is true about the arrears.

                If the tenant disputes it, they then need to prove that the rent has been paid.

                If the tenant tells them that they do owe rent(amount depends on the council, but 8 weeks is mandatory) or they fail to respond, the landlord will be paid direct.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  This may be a minority view but IMHO ALWAYS take action against ANY tenant owing funds for any reason. Why??

                  Well, if you don't they'll tell all their mates that you're a soft touch and won't take action & chase them up. And guess who then turns up as prospective tenants???
                  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


                    #10
                    Saint - thanks for that - this all happend in 2008 but will write to London Borough concerened and see what happens. Suggest Watson does the same.



                    Freedom at the point of zero............

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Did you ever ask for the rent to be paid directly to you and were refused? If you did then I think you possibly might have a claim against the council for maladministration. You need advice from our LHA experts if that's so.
                      Where are you Michael and HB Trish or Emma.
                      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I had no idea T was on HB (not my scene at all) until he was 3 months in arrears and refusing to leave until S31. Apparantly he spent HB on sending his Mrs home to the Philipines for Christmas that year! Now he is bankrupt and been housed by the council.



                        Freedom at the point of zero............

                        Comment


                          #13
                          But did you contact the council about it?
                          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had no idea the T was on Housing Benefit; apparently he was on HB for the entire duration of the Tenancy. He told me he was working when he took on the flat (now it turns out to be a complete lie).

                            He lived in our flat, claimed housing benefit for 14 months, and did not pay a single penny of rent, nor utility bills. The whole HB was probably spent on drugs and alcohol! It has cost us almost £600 to evict him and get a Money Judgment for the £11,000 (it's a London rent so that's why it's high), and what can we do:

                            Our solicitor has said the following about enforcement of the Money Judgment in the case of benefit claimants:

                            1. Order to Attend Oral Examination - not enforcement but can be done if you can trace T
                            2. Writ of Execution to Seize T's goods - can be done but have to trace T and has he anything worth taking if he's on benefits?
                            3. Attachment of Earnings - cannot be done as T not working
                            4. Third Party Debt Order - cannot be done if T is on benefits as all Social Security benefits are exempt from seizure
                            5. Charging Order - not relevant
                            6. Bankruptcy - but if T is on benefits it's pointless and expensive.

                            So you see, we are left with nothing and no way to enforce Judgment.

                            We cannot even get an Attachment of Benefits Order as this is reserved for Council Tax affairs only.

                            Can anyone shed any light on what we can do please? This T has gone out with the intention to financially cripple us, including sending us abusive emails and holding onto the flat as long as possible whilst not paying a single penny of rent, stealing our furnishings, writing foul messages on the wall and making up lies about our actions.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
                              I had no idea T was on HB (not my scene at all) until he was 3 months in arrears .
                              You said that in #12. 3 months arrears was about ten months ago, did you approach the council or not in the time since then?

                              Third time of asking.
                              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                              Comment

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