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Tenant refuses to pay


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Hi all, 

I'm just wondering what can actually be done if my tenant won't pay their rent and plans to leave in 1 month without telling me where they are going? 

Essentially they have been in from mid February and only paid 2 months rent. At no point have they claimed covid has effected them and have also consistently told me they are going to pay and have the funds in their account (they are claiming their bank had blocked them constantly for 7 months) 

It's clearly evident they have no intention of paying and I believe they are playing the system as no evictions can take place etc.

Any advise would be very appreciated.

Eamon

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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You should have a copy of their passports and other ID. So you won't have any trouble in tracking them down

Another option could be to make a court claim against your tenant

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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@paulrybak & @EvolutionBlogger both thanks for the quick response. 
 

I’ll certainly look into DBLC, thanks. I don’t think it’s a problem getting them out as they apparently want to live somewhere cheaper (ironic) but finding their address would be tricky,  Can the debt collectors come for rent arrears and unpaid bills too ( energy and council tax?)

ive a copy of their passport so that shouldn’t be a problem either. Unfortunately courts seem to be a no go option due to COVID. If anyone has experience during COVID of using the courts I would love to hear about it. 
 

 

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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1 minute ago, eamonheggarty said:

@paulrybak & @EvolutionBlogger both thanks for the quick response. 
 

I’ll certainly look into DBLC, thanks. I don’t think it’s a problem getting them out as they apparently want to live somewhere cheaper (ironic) but finding their address would be tricky,  Can the debt collectors come for rent arrears and unpaid bills too ( energy and council tax?)

ive a copy of their passport so that shouldn’t be a problem either. Unfortunately courts seem to be a no go option due to COVID. If anyone has experience during COVID of using the courts I would love to hear about it. 
 

 

Courts are open right now. But they are doing hearings via Skype

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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You can put individuals in court,  providing you've served the correct notice. If arrears exceed 12 months you get a priority hearing, but based on the above I dont think that's the case here. You can still do evictions too, where arrears exceed 9 month gross you can evict outside the usual banning rules. 

The drawback is if you've not served the legal docs to put someone in court you are waiting a long time to go through the process. Arrears over 6 months gross allows you to serve a 4 week notice.

I know I speak about notices instead of sections but thats because I work in the social sector, the equivalent is true of the private sector though.

 

If I was you I'd be pragmatic. Offer an ultimatum to either pay or you'll take legal action , which will incur them costs and impact their credit rating. To go through the legal route would take a long time, you may be better incentiving them, quicker they're out, the quicker you can get paying tenants in. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update! 

I've served the Section 8 notice and this seems to have scared/kicked her into action. 

She's now stating that she will be moving out by 19th January 2020 which will equate to 11months of the 12 month STA. 

On a move out date of 19th January, she will be in arrears of 8 1/2 months rent. 

All going well and her leaving the property on this date, what would my next steps be in recouping the rent arrears? 

Thanks again for all the previous comments, they have helped massively. 

Eamon

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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Firstly dont count your chickens just yet.

Advise that you'll be up early on 19th so you can get her to sign that she is leaving, wont return, is giving up the tenancy and anything left in the property can be disposed of (called a disclaimer)

Arrange for a lock change to be done on the doors. Ensure you only enter the property once shes signed so you arent trespassing. Ensure all windows are locked on the inside.

Be pragmatic. Ask for a forwarding address and discuss a former tenant arrears plan. If you can keep it out of court this will save you money, time and stress.

Be realistic about how the debt can be repaid. Match up amounts to their income sources and the dates they're paid to increase your chance of getting the money. Set up a standing order.

Even though you'll be miffed, be amicable, its your best chance of getting it resolved.

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To be honest, I think it's unlikely you'll recoup any tenant arrears. If the tenant couldn't pay you when they lived at your property, then they're unlikely to be able to pay you in the future - they will need to pay rent at their new property. 

Feel free to take the tenant to court, but there's a good chance they'll refuse to pay any settlement. 

Most importantly, get your property ready for a new tenant. If you get anything from your old tenant, then view that as a bonus
 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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@nicholas b i do live 400miles away but plan to get down on the day of her leaving. I'm certainty not counting any chickens just yet, I wouldn't be surprised at all if she pulled another delay tactic. Great advise on the checklists and lock changes. 

I've asked for an address but currently she refuses to give me it. 

@EvolutionBlogger she has never claimed not to have the money but rather bank account issues and people owing her money etc.  When i last met her in person and in the property she has Apple computers and expensive consumables with a good paying job so i don't see the "ive no money card" going down too well. 

Is there any way to check if your tenant has been paying their council tax and energy bills? 

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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I'd still pursue the money. Never say never. You just need to find the right leverage. She was protected from the eviction due to covid, so the use of eviction as leverage wont have held much weight.

However she will have to live somewhere, you could advise that you'll let the local agents and council know of their track record and provide a bad reference in advance unless she settles the debt, start high then work down when it comes to negotiating. 

Dont assume she cant clear it or wont pay because she didn't before. You can do a money claim online but how fruitful this would be I dont know without a forwarding address. You'll have their details so you could always use a third party debt collection to locate them and try and get the money. Just make sure they're certified and everything is above board.

400 miles is a hell of a long trip, considering she has a computer I'd try and get the form signed in advance and sent back. Just make sure they've gone and you have your paperwork so you arent trespassing or doing an illegal eviction. I know I'd be fuming to say the least, but make sure you colour within the lines, dont make the situation worse.

 

Edit

You cant ask about utilities or council tax that would be a data protection breach.

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1 hour ago, eamonheggarty said:

 

@EvolutionBlogger she has never claimed not to have the money but rather bank account issues and people owing her money etc.  When i last met her in person and in the property she has Apple computers and expensive consumables with a good paying job so i don't see the "ive no money card" going down too well. 

Is there any way to check if your tenant has been paying their council tax and energy bills? 

You should definitely try to get what's due to you. I would just view it as a bonus, and not expect anything

At the very least, she'll have a CCJ against her, and think twice before pulling the same trick again

Make sure to keep us up to date

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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On 12/20/2020 at 8:30 PM, paulrybak said:

I'd let them go and then contact a debt collection agency to find them and get your money back. My friend used dbcl who located the tenants and he received all his money back. The key is getting them out. 

Also worth looking at a company called Business Loss Prevention Ltd. Based in the midlands and will recover your lost rent. They also offer a tracing service for when your tenants do not leave a forwarding address! www.business-loss-prevention.co.uk 

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  • 2 months later...

*UPDATE*

So after a nightmare 13 months my tenant has finally left. It really is a great feeling getting your own property back off scammer. 

I stepped foot inside my flat for the first time in 6 months yesterday and it was smelly (cat pee/poo), dirty, damaged and broken but EMPTY :D A long 24hrs later i got it fully repainted and cleaned and hopefully back on the market soon. 

Thank you for all your comments above. I am currently looking into different ways to recoup the money she owes me (£9,200) + possibly outstanding bills etc. I've came up with a list below, if anyone has any more to add or simply any comments on their experience with getting back rent arrears please let me know.

- Money claim Online 

- Debt Collection agency 

- Attachment of earning order 

(NOTE i don't know where she currently lives) 

Thanks 

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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Debt Collection and Money Claim are your best bets. As you don't have her address, I would go for the debt collection. They would use public information to track her down
 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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@EvolutionBlogger thanks for the advice. I've contact DBCL as @paulrybak has put me onto above. They have asked to wait 4-6 weeks until the ex-tenant will have some form of online data with an address.  

DCBL did mentioned 80% of their rent arrears are paid on the first letter which sounded very high but fingers crossed that occurs. 20% get the guys calling to their new address. 

Ill keep the PH community updated and hopefully anyone else reading this can take some advice and value from it. 

Eamon

Home Equity Gains Group 

Property Investor & Developer

http://www.hegg.info ;)

https://www.instagram.com/hegg_ltd/?hl=en B)

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