Waiting for bailiffs to act on claim for rent arrears

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  • Waiting for bailiffs to act on claim for rent arrears

    I'm chasing our ex-tenants for rent arrears. We have the CCJ and have done the N323 for the bailiffs to go in. I've phoned the court for any progress and I've been told its still active and they haven't called round yet.

    Having never done this before, I'd be grateful for help in knowing what happens next?

    The tenants have moved to a smaller flat (presumably using our rent money to pay their deposit) and judging by they MDF furniture they left behind, their assets are not looking good! He's self employed and she does part time work. I know he had a transit van !

    If the bailiffs can't find enough to pay off their debt, how do I continue to pursue them?

    They are the "ostrich" sort: ignore letters and bury their heads so things happen by default. I suppose that makes life a little easier ! Although I don't yet know if they gave an honest forwarding address.....

    Any comments gratefully received. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Granola View Post
    Having never done this before, I'd be grateful for help in knowing what happens next?
    Sadly, not a lot.

    For debts against individuals, the county court bailiffs are worse than useless, and to make matters worse it is nigh impossible to use private bailiffs.

    County court bailiffs are civil servants that work standard hours, they also get paid a salary regardless of monies collected. Thus, if your tenants leave before 9 a.m. and don't return until after 5 p.m. the bailiffs will never make contact - they'll just leave a note asking them to call the office. In addition, should they actually make contact there is no incentive to "turn the screw", so invariably they will leave empty handed. Commercial debts are different - they generally have stock or computers etc.

    A better use of the £55 you spent on the bailiffs would have been to have gone for an Oral Examination. The debtor has to attend court, or face arrest, to answer why the debt has not been paid, and to reveal their assets. Because of the threat of arrest, the papers have to be served personally on the debtor - and an affidavit sworn to this effect. Many people don't like having to attend court to have them go over their finances, so often payments do materialise before the hearing.
    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. Depressing news about the bailiffs work hours and work ethic...

      We looked at the Oral Examination route (same as "order to obtain information" ?) and I can't remember why we went for sending round the bailiffs. I think it was because of his van!

      I would very much like to force them to take some responsibility for their debt (unrealistic, I know) and make them come to court. Can we still go this route? Do we need to wait until the bailiff has reported on making a visit?

      With regards to personally serving the notice, I've pulled out the court leaflets again and it says that as an "individual creditor", "a county court bailiff will serve the judgment debtor on your behalf".

      Should I being feeling elated that I can get the order served? (although I am still not sure about the address).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Granola View Post
        With regards to personally serving the notice, I've pulled out the court leaflets again and it says that as an "individual creditor", "a county court bailiff will serve the judgment debtor on your behalf".
        Sorry, what I meant was that the debtor has to be given the papers to them personally. Last known address or registered post is not enough.

        Again, don't use the court bailiff for service. You will probably need to visit outside office hours, early morning when s/he leaves for work or just before the school run if they have kids. Alternatively, you can get a private process server to do this (for a fee).
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          How do I find a private process server?

          Presumably they would also be able to provide the affidavit too?

          That already looks to cost a few pennies.

          Okay, I get these ex-tenants dragged in chains (I wish) to court to answer the questions. What can I do with the information? If, as I suspect, he is doing a lot of cash-in-hand work, then a third party debt order will not work.

          Can this be done at any stage, or would the court feel that I am already purusing a course of action?

          Sorry about he jumble of questions above!

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          • #6
            sorry abit off topic here. but i think these are the problem tenants ive got. he claims he is self employed and has a van. gilrfriend claims she works part time and they have a dog or may be two. they didnt move in with dogs at first and never informed me they will be having pets at the property. they also were in a bit of a hurry to move in.

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            • #7
              Hi,

              Sorry but just to clarify - I'm in the same position, waiting for the Bailiffs to serve a summons for Attachment of Earnings. I have explained to the appointed Bailiff that given the hours that he works he won't find the tenants in. He wasn't too concerned!

              It states on the court paperwork that should I wish to serve the summons myself I should get in touch with the court. However when I did I was told that I wasn't allowed to. When I quoted the letter I was told that I should get legal advice.

              Having read this thread it would appear that the courts advice was incorrect and that I am indeed able to serve the papers myself.

              Am I correct in this understanding?

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              • #8
                Sorry to but in, but I have an ex tenant who owes me 6 grand. I like the sound of this oral examination.

                Is this something I can process myself, or do I have to cough up yet more solicitors fees?

                Thanks in advance

                BW

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