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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3497
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Hi, My tenant of almost four years claimed to be having

Customer Question

Hi,

My tenant of almost four years claimed to be having financial difficulty and had not paid bills or council tax for over a year, we had discussed payment plans, I had asked her to ensure that she was up to date on all bills owed by the end of this year, but she did not respond to this in writing, and nothing has been paid as yet.

Then I returned home from work last Friday, and she had moved out without notice, leaving no note, no payment of bills or council tax.

What actions are open to me to chase payment?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

Were the bills part of the rent or is council tax and utilities in the tenants name?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


There were no bills in the tenants name, and bills and council tax were not included in the rent. ie were to be paid separately.


 


I do have emails from her showing that she paid bills and council tax separately, also historical emails from her showing how much council tax she has paid and how much she still owes, and asking me to email her a breakdown of bills she owes.


 


Amyra

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

When you let the property did you inform the council that you were no longer living there? If so why was the council tax bill not addressed to her name?

Do you have a known address or contact for the tenant? Does the tenant actually have any money?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


 


No I did not inform the council that I was no longer living here as this is my flat, I live here and have done all along, she rented an additional room, so all the bills have always been in my name.


 


I know both her and her boyfriend's work addresses and with a little looking can find her parents address also,


 


Amyra

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

You can commence proceedings for the sums you are owed under any tenancy agreement but you will need the following:
1. An exact calculation of your losses and emails/correspondence showing your attempts to demand the money;
2. A copy of any tenancy agreement or correspondence where you showed it was agreed she would pay the rent plus the bills.

If you have this information you can commence a county court claim against her in order to recover the money. https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/‎ You can start such a claim here but you will need at least a forwarding address for her. Once you have a forwarding address you can sue her and if you obtain judgment you can claim against her assets and possibly her salary.

I would note the following:
1. If she has little or no money or is on the verge of bankruptcy there is little point in pursuing this as if she goes bankrupt you will not be able to bring proceedings;
2. You must not under any circumstance chase her for money at her place of work. You can contact her to ask for another address but if you contact her at her place of work you could be guilty of harassment which is a criminal offence.
3. I would suggest that you send a letter to her known address (possibly her parents) and invite her to suggest a payment plan as last chance resort, if she ignores you then consider starting proceedings.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you AJ,


 


Great advice not to chase her at place of work - not that I would, I have neither free time nor inclination to turn thug!


 


Does email count as valid contact?


 


She does have an income, and certainly spends a part of that on 'luxury' items, ie beyond basic food and shelter. She manages a tattoo studio and consistently spends a large amount of money on tattoos both for herself and her partner. I am not a tattood person, but I understand that the costs are are high.


 


However, we do not have a rental agreement, or of we did when she first moved in I have forgotten - I realise this is an error on my part, but can I still follow up considering written admission (and offers) to pay bills and council tax plus historic record of all payments of bills and council tax previously?


 


Thank you,


 


Amyra


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Yes email is valid correspondence as evidence in court but you will need a physical address (or last known address) to serve her with proceedings.

If she does not pay and you get a Judgment against her you could use this Judgment for what is known as an attachment of earnings order whereby she will be forced to settle her debts from her salary directly.

A rental agreement is not essential but you need something that is consistent to show she consented firstly to be a tenant and secondly to pay the bills for example emails or just your bank statement to show she was previously making payments.

She wont want a county court judgment against her I would explore the option of letting her offer a payment plan first. A Court Judgment will affect a person credit rating and she will want to avoid this.

Kind regards

AJ

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