How disturbing is it that tenants can run up debt, refuse to pay or surrender property and CCJ’s might not show on their credit check?
A new landlord member has recently shared their story with us regarding a rogue tenant they’ve uploaded onto the database, that we’d now like to share with you here:
Alert Reference: NATIONAL/NALB/08062016
Rent Default: £6300 – Property Damage: Unknown
‘After finding the tenant through Gumtree, we carried out a basic tenant check through the NLA and obtained employment and landlord references, passport no, NI no, date of birth etc. In due course it became clear that in fact the tenant was self employed, his previous landlord was a family member and he was claiming housing benefit – but not paying it on to us.
A personal trainer, he came across very charming and plausible to begin with.
Once the tenant stopped paying rent, we found it very frustrating that he wouldn’t communicate with us and we were repeatedly advised to be cautious contacting him as we could be accused of harassment. This meant we were completely in the dark about what was going on and to some extent still are.
At one stage early on, he provided a screen shot of his bank statement which he claimed showed a payment to us which we never received. Our bank has categorically confirmed no such payment was made but they could not confirm for sure that the screenshot was a forgery.
We don’t think he has been paying for council tax or utilities and we suspect he has made a fraudulent housing benefit claim.
We had the property completely renovated just before he moved in and we are worried about retaliatory damage by him.
He did not defend the court action so we were successful in obtaining possession forthwith and a money order for the rent arrears, costs and interest.
As he hasn’t left, we must now pay further fees for a bailiff to evict him.
Also to our dismay we are now being told that the court order won’t be registered as a CCJ against him even though the hearing was at the County Court, unless we pay further fees to try and enforce the money order. We are sure lots of landlords go through the same process but at this stage are reluctant to throw good money after bad – so it seems to us that a tenant can technically run up big debts, refuse to pay or to surrender the property and yet it might not show them as having a CCJ when a credit check is carried out. We find this very disturbing.
Also, now that we know just how hard it is to actually get a CCJ, we are very unlikely going forward to ever rent to anyone with a hint of such a thing, no matter how convincing their explanation is.
We are determined to make sure others are aware of this tenant’s behaviour, we suspect he has done this before and will become even more sure he can get away with it if we don’t take all available lawful action to stop him. I carried out extensive research online about what other action we could take and in the course of that I saw a recommendation for Tenant Referencing UK.
Unfortunately we haven’t used Rent Guarantee Insurance in the past but will definitely invest in it from now on.’
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