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  • Problem Tenants

    Did you recover the debt ?

    Is so can you tell us, so we can all share best practice ?

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    I did many years ago, was’nt a lot in todays terms but then it represented a chunk of my monthly income. I had the tenants parents address, he made the mistake of telling me that’s where he was going and there was nothing i could do. Well i could knock on the door every time i was in the area, got it all back eventually.

    Not sure i’d bother these days and probably wouldn’t get away with it, the parents complained to the police at the time claiming harassement, i spoke with a very nice officer, who’s view was that as i was pursuing a debt, and so long as i did so peacefully and during reasonable hours, keep at it. It helped that the tenant was “known” to them.

    Fortunately i’ve lost very little to tenants over the years, to date certainly less than i could reasonably expect. I reference carefully and ask for guarantors if there is any doubt. Downside is that voids between tenants is probably longer than most would deem acceptable, but flipside is that my tenants generally stay 3 years plus, so i’m happy.

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    I managed to recover most of the arrears from the guarantor via the online money claim route. They made lots of counter claims but in the end our paperwork was in order so they paid.

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    Many years ago I pursued a tenant who would not give the keys back after they had vacated.  Problem was there were also a number of her tenants to whom she had sublet my property, taken a deposit from all of them and they would not now leave.  Once I was able to speak to them, they all made plans to vacate, but it does make me so angry that it is so easy for tenants to sublet - possibly in some areas even worse now that Airbnb has evolved!  Anyway, I contacted a tracing agent to find out her new address and used money claims online for the rent she owed.  Once the judgement had been given in my favour we visited the property again to find all had now left with keys returned.  In total the tenant now owed me 6 months rent plus legal costs and tracing agent costs as she moved 4 times, both job and home!  I think I made her realise that I was one problem that would not go away - I felt I had a duty to all my fellow landlords to ensure she never did it again.  I obtained an Attachment of Earnings on her pay (3 times whilst she job hopped!) and eventually got every penny back - only took about 6 years!

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    Well done, i used the small claims court to recover a loss from someone that sold me sporting equipment, he thought he was in the clear, as he lived in northern ireland and was going through a divorce. I had the judgement transferred to the irish system and finally got my money when he received a payment from his ex wife which the court froze until my debt was cleared.

    I spent hours tracking him down on online forums, putting posts up about his behaviour, turned out he was a real wrong un, had plenty of private messages from people letting me know where he was and what he was doing. In all took about 3 years, not sure i’d have made minimum wage in terms of the hours put in, but luckily i could do a lot of it while on downtime at work.

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    They have moved into a housing Association house and left owing Brighthouse, loans for you, two banks, and insurance company and IVA administrators, as well as me. The car is worth about 50p. She works part time and he doesn’t work. She told me they are going bankrupt and did I want to go on the list of creditors, or sort it out privately.

    what would you do?

    ps The H A never asked me for a reference.

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    Put your energies into something else, you’re not going to get anything at all by sound of it. You could go through MoneyClaim and get a ccj against them , it’ll be inconvenient for them ( if they don’t already have one) but will cost you time and money.

    My blocks have bins in the common area for junk mail etc, probably half of it consists of debt collectors letters chasing debts of various tenants. In the very early days i’d mark it “no longer at this address” and return it, there’s now so much of it ( no doubt the collectors don’t take notice of returned letters) i’d get rsi doing it.

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    Such an Interesting thread Online Landlord! Do you have any stories like this as well?

    It was wonderful reading Philip’s story and great to see that people can still recover their debt.

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