Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
2 1/2 years ago I left a commercial property that had rent arrears. There was a dispute over the amount owed due to water rates being charged to myself for the entire building when it was actually split between 4 units. The property was in a poor condition and my business was also suffering at the time. I sold a lot of the stock in the premises and relocated to another premises 30 miles away and started all over again. Myself and the letting agency were in dispute over the owed amount. I told them my position was that I wanted the amount owed to be accurate before any payment agreement was to be made. The agent brushed this under the carpet and did not solve the problem. So I decided to ignore them and I did not hear from them at all for over 2 years. Yesterday they tried to call me. I ignored the call. I have read about the new CRAR rules from 6th April which if I am correct mean that they can only try and remove stock / assets from the property at which is on the lease, ie. no other property. I think I also understand that for them to try and retrieve any debt via a new property this must be done through a court. If this went to court I would not let it get that far but I would like to know where I stand with the stock and assets i own at a new premises and what procedure the agent must follow to pursue that debt from me. ie. court letters, notice of hearing etc..
Hello, i am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with his.
You are right the old landlord cannot exercise his CRAR rights once the lease has ended.
If he wants to pursue the debt he needs to issue proceedings.
Ok. Would I be right in saying that if he were to issue proceedings he must send any notices to an address at which I am contactable ?
Also, if he were to issue proceedings asking to instruct a bailiff to to remove goods or assets that any court correspondance must be sent to the address that the goods / assets are at?
I will explain my worry. The residential address for me is my old address that I moved from 3 years ago that my ex wife still lives at. If any correspondance is sent there she may well just rip it up. If of course the landlord knows my new address (which he must do if he wants to remove goods from there) does he have to send correspondance to that address?
Does he know your address, are you trading under the same name? Basically yes he must do so bu there are the curt rulles on service which are quite compicated http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part06.
He can't instruct a bailiff without judgement which you will know about.
I am trading under the same name. The lease was in my personal name. As far as I know he does not know my new address but it would not be difficult to find out.
My main query is "The residential address for me is my old address that I moved from 3 years ago that my ex wife still lives at. If any correspondance is sent there she may well just rip it up. If of course the landlord knows my new address (which he must do if he wants to remove goods from there) does he have to send correspondance to that address?"
I understand that I must know about any proceedings , bailiff instruction etc.. but the main query is regarding the address (or addresses) that these must be sent to in order to remove goods from any premises.
I need to know where I stand if correspondance is sent to an address that I do not live at where I may not receive the mail.
Sorry to be a headache -- this is now the main query. I will then know where I stand, what to expect and my rights if anything went on behind my back without me knowing due to correspondance not being passed on.
If you do not give the claimant an address at which you can be served there is a table at rule 6.9 of a hierarchy of places where he can effect service
Ok, so if he is wishing to take goods from a premises under a court order then that would be classed as a known address and therefore he must send any court proceedings to that address ?
If he sues you as an individual and your last known address is your ex's place then he could serve yo there and if your ex threw away the papers he might get judgement in default of defence. So you should make sure you give him an address where you can be served.
Ok, so in theory, he could serve at my exes, get the judgement as I have not defended and then turn up at a new premises with that address on the judgement.
Yes. so avoid that happening.
Ok. That makes things clearer. Sounds like I can make a judgement as to whether or not anything will happen anyway 2. whether any papers would be passed on if they did (if so I would make an agreement) or 3. that is papers weren't passed on and it got to bailiff stage I could then make an agreement with a bailiff.
ie. take the risk that nothing will happen and it does there will be a bit extra to pay for an initial bailiff visit.
There is a good chance nothing will happen as I have not heard anything for 2 1/2 years and I didn't answer the call yesterday. The total debit would be about £12k , so it may not be worth there while. It it was I think they might have pursued it sooner.
You are taking a risk if your address is hard to ascertain for the claimant. Most small business men (hope I am not demoting you there) are usually desperate to avoid a county court judgement. You can't necessarily make an agreement with a bailif he may just take belongings to sell.
Thanks for the advice. I am not too worried about a CCJ. I don't require credit, never have. The main pulling point for me is that my only assets are stock ( I sell product online ) and it would be a incredible headache for a bailiff to itemise what is being taken. Even I don't know what stock I have. It would take me years to itemise it.
You have been VERY helpful. Thanks for the service. Have a good day.