Conned by 'pro' tenant

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    Conned by 'pro' tenant

    If anyone can advise or help me I would be most grateful.

    I have a nice 2 bed flat in North London and I was trying to rent it via the local estate agents. I was not getting a great response, so someone advised me to put in a private ad myself.

    I did this, and I had a call from a chap who said that he urgently needed a place for 6 months as he had just been gazumped and had to leave his old house. He said he would pay the 6 months rent up front, as he could not be bothered to pay monthly.

    This sounded good, so I went ahead and gave him the keys and took a cheque for the 6 months rent.

    It bounced!

    He apologised, gave me another one from a different bank account.

    That also bounced.

    By now I realised I had a problem, so I instructed my solicitor to take it up with him.

    He responded by saying he would post a cheque to them. It never arrived, he blamed the postal strike.

    He then paid a cheque into their bank account.

    It bounced.

    He apologised, nlaming his lousy bank and said he would personally arrange for an electronic transfer to them.

    Last Wednesday, he emailed me a copy of a bank transfer made out to my solicitor, but I suspect it had been doctored by him. So far, no money has arrived, although it may arrive on Monday, although I doubt it.

    I wanted to go round and padlock the doors, but my solicitor said that would be a criminal offence.

    There is a signed AST agreement between us, terminating on 24th November.

    My solicitor has said I can either issue a section 8 through the courts or issue a section 21 two months before the end of the tennancy, but has advised if I go through this route I will have to sue seperataly for the rent. If I go the section 8 route this may taake 6 to 9 months to be heard.

    I had thought that I could go to the small claims court now and claim the two months rent he now owes me, and go again at the end of the tennancy.

    Just to make matters more difficult, I live overseas, so I,m not around to confront him personally.

    I think I,m up against a pro here. Can anyone give me any advice as to the best course of action. I would be most grateful,

    many thanks

    Brian

    #2

    Comment


      #3
      It must be a criminal offence as you have'nt received any rent money and you should report it to the police.

      Comment


        #4
        The name is M R, I was lucky in so much that this appars to be his genuine name, I didn,t check his ID at the time, but I have checked himout at Companies House, as one of his dud cheques was a company one.

        I,ll look into the criminal angle when I,m back in the UK.

        thanks

        BW
        Last edited by holdenhurst; 29-07-2007, 18:02 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          You should study his company accounts - is he a director of the company ?

          You can buy the info from Companies House via online service.

          Is your AST agreement in his name or company name ?

          You should make credit check enquiry via credit agency!

          Comment


            #6
            I did check his company, it,s newly formed, so no accounts, but he is a director.

            The AST is in his name, not the company.

            I also did a CCJ search on him, as his company is registered at his last address, fortunately I got a nil report.

            I don,t know if this chap is a crook, a bit mad or both, as he keeps promising to sort it out.
            If he was a crook, I would have thought he would simply stop talking to me.

            Comment


              #7
              I believe giving a cheque in the knowledge it will bounce is a criminal offence, so the police could put some pressure on him, but it wont sort out your problem.

              I you have not received ANY money from him it could be argued there is not an actual contract between you; and no tenancy exists..but you will need solicitors advice on that. Not all solicitors are the same; each can give you a different answer. Go to a specialist; names mentioned on this forum are Pain Smith who advertise on this site, and Tessa Sheperson at the landlordlaw.co.uk website; they specialise in residential tenancies. I have not dealt with them personally.

              Dont fall for any more nonsense; get him out asap, and if you do get money its a bonus, but dont hold your breath.
              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

              * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

              You can search the forums here:

              Comment


                #8
                Issue section 8 now that he is 8 weeks in arrears and pursue eviction through the courts, it WILL NOT take 6 to 9 months to be heard, but it could be 6 months before you regain possession.

                It sounds like you have a professional tenant so be careful how you tread. Follow the book at every turn.

                Yes it may be a criminal offense to issue a cheque knowing it will bounce, however, Police will not investigate, they are busy enough as it is! They will just tell you its a civil matter.

                Also You do have a contract as the tenant has taken up occupancy.
                GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Actually, the first cheque did not bounce, it was stopped, a deliberate action,presumably on his instruction. I have the cheque with me.

                  I have not recieved any money at all from him.

                  I wonder if he has committed a criminal offence

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by holdenhurst View Post
                    Actually, the first cheque did not bounce, it was stopped, a deliberate action,presumably on his instruction. I have the cheque with me.

                    I have not recieved any money at all from him.

                    I wonder if he has committed a criminal offence
                    Yes. Under s.15/16 of the Theft Act 1968, as amended by subsequent legislation, obtaining property (or pecuniary advantage) by deception is criminal. New legislation [the Fraud Act 2006- not sure if yet in force] replaces 1968 Act's provisions re this but largely to same effect.
                    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


                      #11
                      Thats interesting, it may help me to dislodge him, but do you think the police would be interested in this, or would they not bother?

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                        #12
                        I would definitely go the prosecution route. Anyone who damages general LL/T relations should by hauled over the coals.

                        Each person who tries stuff like this give one more reason why Ts and LLs should not trust each other; not good.
                        Now signature free.

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                          #13
                          Thats interesting. If I tell him he has actually broken the law, it may help to either get him to pay up or leave.

                          Do you think the police would be interested in this, or would they take no notice?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by holdenhurst View Post
                            Thats interesting. If I tell him he has actually broken the law, it may help to either get him to pay up or leave.

                            Do you think the police would be interested in this, or would they take no notice?
                            As we aren't the Police, only they can answer! Perhaps they'll be prepared to "assist you with your enquiries".
                            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
                              I have no doubts at all that this chap knows what he is doing, Issue the S.8 & S.21 notices and follow the letter of the law to get him out.
                              DO NOT be tempted to take any short cuts.

                              Easy to say now, but always, always have cleared funds and FULL checks completed on anyone BEFORE you hand over the keys.

                              You will be out of pocket on this one, big time.

                              Comment

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