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Landlord Legal Issues

Solicitor Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law answers your questions

Q. My tenants have left owing £3,000 in rent arrears as well as unpaid utility bills which thankfully are not our responsibility. Since they have left we have had several debt collectors calling. What can we do to ensure payment of our outstanding rent?

A. My experience is that it is extremely difficult to obtain payment of outstanding rent from former tenants. Even if you are able to trace them (you cannot obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ) unless you have an address for service of the court paperwork) - what do you do if they fail to pay? Getting a CCJ is not the same as getting payment - a substantial proportion of CCJs are never paid.

The problem is that defaulting tenants are either broke, and you can't get blood out of a stone, or are often very adept at 'working the system'. As debt collectors have been calling at the property asking for your former tenants, this does not bode well for your chances of recovering your outstanding rent.

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