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  • Problem Tenants

    When tenant leaves with rent owing

    Only second time this has happened in a decade - The first time they were LHA tenants and a legal clause I used meant

    the council went after the tenants (initially they tried to redeem overpaid rent from me)

    This time it's a professional tenant. - No forwarding address although he's been in contact via email and offered to set up payment a schedule.

    He's a bit of a slippery one though so i'm not convinced he'll follow through.

    Have I now simply lost the rent or do I still have any power to redeem it i.e is legal action still possible without an address? - do I have any options at all or must I take a loss?

    In your experience, and how likely is it we'll ever see what we're owed in this scenario?

    Thanks

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    I have had several professional tenants do this to me in my HMOs, maybe i am wrong, but i just let it go....I consider the time and cost in taking it to court without any forwarding address to be more expensive then the months debt. I am starting to learn my time and peace of  mind is worth more than adding to my already overloaded responsibilties

    Yes it makes me furious that these people get away with theft but hey ho! Would be very interested to read other peoples position and convince me im wrong and show a bit more get up and go and take these people to court. I have been thinking about setting up a local bad tenants website but imagine its dangerous legally for libel ??

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    Thanks John,

    I'm in agreement with what you say.

    They wouldn't do this at a hotel but they do it when renting from private landlords who usually suffer financially.   The law allows them to do this.

    There is a website called https://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk with a database of tenants who left in arrears - you can't leave details about bad tenants but you can state what they left owing.

    I informed tenant about this website & how it works to build up a good tenant history, that I'd prefer not to have to leave arrears by his name on the database.

    This might work - it has with others by simply telling them the truth about the power of a good tenant history and avoiding ending up with a ccj.  It would be wrong not to inform them

    as many are simply unaware of long term consequences.

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    John no need to reinvent the wheel just add this bad tenant to the LRS database

    Any LL  using LRS for this bad tenant will see the red light and contact you.

    Then you can chat to the prospective LL  and tell them all about your wonderful ex tenant. ...........Not!!

    Also agree with you about civil recovery.

    I've spent hundreds and failed completely even with the tenant 30 m from me! !

    The lesson it taught me was obtain RGI or don't take on the tenant

    Can't always achieve that maxim but I try to

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    I do agree with John on this, sometimes you have to just let it go for your own health and sanity not to mention pocket.

    That being said don't forget it just because you cannot trace them, as this should never be an impediment.

    One of our customers specialises in tracing people they use various tools such as ours but are staffed by ex police and they are very good at their job. They tend to charge less than £100, last time I recommended someone they paid £50, so it does depend on the circumstance, but generally not very much at all.

    All I would say is it starts with the quality of information you have going in, so this is what every landlord should get from prospective tenants as a bear minimum:

    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Current address
    • Previous addresses
    • Passport
    • Driving licence
    • National Insurance number
    • Bank details
    • Employment details

    All these things are the key identifiers and effective tools that can be used to trace a delinquent tenant who has done a runner.

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    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing, ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    1st off I get rather annoyed when LL's say its not worth pursuing bad Tenants. What about Protecting your Fellow LL's ?? You should always make sure that you chase Bad Tenants & if Necessary give them a CCJ to warn future LL's against taking on these Tenants. Also use the site above to Register them.

    You do not need their New address to obtain a judgement, you can use last known address i.e your property. ( Make sure you 1st follow the new pre-action protocols ) Once you have a judgement you can trace them & decide what enforcement action to use then.

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    Hi Shicomi,

    Unfortunately trying to pursue Benefit tenants is very difficult and you could be throwing good money after bad.  Its so imperative to have a Guarantor who is a home owner when renting to Benefit Tenants. Do they have any assets?,  unlikely.

    Trying to trace tenants can not always be easy, the only saving grace is if you obtained a county court judgment, they would receive a judgment and it would show up on their credit rating, but if they are continuing to apply for benefit, that may be irrelevant.,  CCJs last for 6 years though.

    Good luck.

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    Founder of Landlord Action and Brand Ambassador for Hamilton Fraser