Any tips on searching for tenant who owes us money?

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    Any tips on searching for tenant who owes us money?

    Hi

    Having read lots of the topics on here over the past few months, I think we have escaped pretty lightly with our tenants from hell! However, they still owe us money.

    Brief outline: We served them S21 to leave on 12th May. Due to imminent birth of 4th child they decided they wanted council housing and so decided to deliberately put them into this situation to be housed, we have reliable info that this is the case anyway. CAB advised them not to leave on 12th May until they had secured council housing, so they told us they wouldn't be leaving next week. They wouldn't let us in to do inspections, even though we followed the rules etc, police got involved and in the end they said they would have us for harrassment, so we backed off and left them well alone. Housing Benefit have continued to pay benefit directly to them even though they haven't paid us, and even put in writing that they had no intention of paying any rent. HB ignored all of this in favour of the tenant and couldn't even give an explanation as to why. Anyway, HB have now agreed to pay rent to us but only 4 weeks worth (better than nothing I suppose!). During one of my regular calls to HB dept, the woman accidentally informed us that tenants moved out on Monday, much to my shock and amazement as I don't think she was meant to tell me!! I did try and get a forwarding address but they were tight lipped on that one. They will owe approx £500 rent arrears plus whatever costs for damage done etc.

    So, my question is, how do I go about finding them??? I thought it would be quite easy as I know which school the kids go to and thought I would just follow them home, but it looks like they have taken the kids out of school. Is there any way or means of finding someone quickly? They don't work so finding them through their work place isn't an option.

    We do know where both sets of parents live and have sent a letter to each of them as a c/o address.

    Any tips or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Amanda

    #2
    You could use a search agent/investigator, if it's worth it financially.
    I am using a firm called "Hunter Services" in Bournemouth at a fixed £75 fee for initial hunt. Send me a private message if you want details.
    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


      #3
      Originally posted by abcdefg View Post
      Brief outline: We served them S21 to leave on 12th May. Due to imminent birth of 4th child they decided they wanted council housing and so decided to deliberately put them into this situation to be housed, we have reliable info that this is the case anyway. CAB advised them not to leave on 12th May until they had secured council housing, so they told us they wouldn't be leaving next week. They wouldn't let us in to do inspections, even though we followed the rules etc, police got involved and in the end they said they would have us for harrassment, so we backed off and left them well alone. Housing Benefit have continued to pay benefit directly to them even though they haven't paid us, and even put in writing that they had no intention of paying any rent. HB ignored all of this in favour of the tenant and couldn't even give an explanation as to why.
      Sounds odd - from what you say, this is classed as 'making yourself intentionally homeless' and is not allowed as a method of procuring council housing. Very surprised they got away with it.

      Though having said that - what do councils do with a family with young kids who do openly make themselves intentionally homeless? Presumably they can't allow them to go live on the streets?

      Comment


        #4
        Chances are they are still housed within your LA area. I'd stake out the womans parents house at the weekend.

        Comment


          #5
          Assuming Amanda locates this family either by her own efforts or those of a paid service,

          What prospect does she have of getting her £500 back any time soon?

          They live in council housing, no job and 4 kids.

          As you say at the outset you feel you 'escaped pretty lightly', perhaps it's better to hold that thought, learn from the experience and move on

          Comment


            #6
            Just a quick update and a bit thanks for all of your replies.

            We found the tenants, they moved to just under 3 miles away in a street full of boarded up council houses! They are fuming that we have found them and have rang us a few times ranting and raving and threating to call the police if we so much as send them a letter!!

            At least we got our house back without having to go through the court route. We have had to decorate throughout, replace all the carpets and even put a new kitchen in as it was all damaged beyond repair unfortunately. We will be going through the small claims process.

            We were a bit naughty really as their tenancy was supposed to end on 12th May, they posted the keys back to us with no intention of going in and cleaning up the mess, so we went in and blitzed the place even though we shouldn't have been there really as HB are paying up to the 12th! However, it has meant we have had a super quick turnaround time and were inunadated with application forms from prospective tenants by just sticking a To Let sign on the window, so no advertising costs.

            Our new tenants moved in this morning!

            Amanda

            p.s. Thanks Jeffrey for the PI details, worth using for £75 in future if this situation arises again.

            Comment

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