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propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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I had a former tenant who did not pay the rent few months.

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Hello,I had a former tenant who did not pay the rent for a few months. After a lot of letters etc.., she ignored all these. I plan to file a Small Claim against her, but she is now living in Ireland. Where can I file a claim? or what can I do to file a claim to get the money from her.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Thank you for your help.
Best regards,


My name is ***** ***** hope I can help you.

How much does the tenant owe?

You will need to consider whether it is worth pursuing the debt.

You have potential issues. Whilst you can sue, the tenant is outside of the jurisdiction. How will you serve the papers on the tenant? You will have to get leave of the court to serve outside of the jurisdiction. If granted you will need to get a third party to issue.

The second issue, enforcement of the judgment. If the tenant does not pay there may well be no assets in the jurisdiction to enforce against.

It is possible to enforce an English judgement ‘out of the jurisdiction’ ie abroad, but it is not easy. There are specialist companies that can do this for you but the potential cost will need to considered in light of the actual debt.

I hope my reply is helpful. Do let me know if you have any queries in respect of my answer.

Please accept /rate my reply.

Kind regards


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear *****,Thank you very much for your advice and analysis of my case.
The tenant owed £2.7k in rent. I have some questions for you:
1) she is currently working as a teacher at a primary school in Ireland. Can I use her work address to serve the paper?
2) which court can I seek leave from to serve outside of the jurisdiction?
3) Please could you let me have the name of the company which provides
4) I understand that if she were still living in the UK, the claim should be submitted to small claim court and I can only make sue her to get the rent paid within 6 years. She left the house in April 2014 (I am tracking her since). So I can only claim by April 2020. Can I ask the court extend this deadline since she is not living here?
I asked so as she has brothers living in London and there is a high chance that she will return to London to liveLooking forward to receiving your further thoughts based on the above info.Thank you for your help.
Best regards,

Hi Quynh

Thanks for your message. Dealing with your points:

1. It needs to be the usual or last know place of residence. You a tracing agent. If you know the place of employment the agent may be able to find an address.

2. I have looked further into this issue. There are very recent changes in respect of Eu law. The basic rule under the European regime is that if the defendant is domiciled in a European regime state, the courts of that state have jurisdiction to hear the claim. In this case Ireland. However, there are various ways under the European regime that the English courts might havejurisdiction even though the defendant is not domiciled in England. In the cases of a breach of contract, as in yours (breach of contract for non payment of Rent), you have the choice of suing a defendant here rather than Ireland as England is the place of performance of the contractual obligation in question. Therefore once you have the defendant's adress you can claim via the online service, money claim online.

3. You will have to search the Internet for a company.

4. The limitation of contractual claims is 6 years from the date of breach, I.e the date(s) on which rent was not paid, not the end of tenancy. This cannot be extended.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Paul,
Thank you very much for your response. I apologise for my late response.
1. Her last residence was in the UK and it was 1 year ago. Her current one is in Ireland. Can I still use the UK address? if not, can I use her current address in Ireland?
2. To clarify my understanding: once it's clear which address I can use to send her letters, I can issue a claim under online Small Claim in the UK. Is that correct?
3. Do you have a key word or activity description of this type of company so I can find the key word to perform the search. I will search only for one to use.Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you very much for your help.
Best regards,

1. Go for current address in Ireland

2. Yes

3. I would assume it is a debt recovery agent in Ireland or a debt recovery agent in England that can undertake recovery outside UK.

propertylawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear *****,
Thank you very much for your answers. I very much appreciate your great help and fast responses.
Best regards,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Paul,Just another question to the same topic:
- since I will file a claim online (Small Claim) in the UK, I actually dont need a debt recover agent and only need an agent who can find the address of this girl in Ireland for me. Is that correct?Thank you again for your help.
Best regards,

Apologies I thought you meant a company who could enforce the debt on you had judgment.

You need a tracing agent / process server.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your confirmation, Paul.
Best regards,

Good luck