As a landlord bad tenants are your worst nightmare, even after putting precautions in place, such as tenancy screening services, including debt checking and references from previous landlords, some of our landlord clients have found themselves at significant financial loss. They may not have had such a rigorous screening process due to being a smaller company or may have simply believed what they assumed was honest and reliable feedback from their references.
The owner of a relatively modern 3 bedroom semi had been chasing his tenant for overdue rent over a number of months, they had previously been lenient as the tenant always had the perfect excuse, promising issues at work were soon to be resolved and he’d be able to pay in the near future. It wasn’t until the tenant’s phone stopped accepting calls that the landlord drove to the property in attempt to speak to them, when he arrived he found the house in an abysmal condition, the front door wasn’t locked and there was no sight of the tenant. With mould and mildew growing, no furniture and an abundance of rubbish left scattered on the floor.
Obviously frustrated at the scenes he found, he took a look round the property and when a surveyor estimated the damage to be in the region of £4,000 plus the outstanding rent he was owed, the landlord knew it was time to seek legal advice. The tenants had only recently moved out so locating them by traditional methods wasn’t an option as some of the information can take weeks to become available. Fortunately our team have a variety of techniques to help them find someone when they are being evasive. After taking details from the client, such as name, date of birth, previous telephone number and most recent address, it took just under a week to find a result.
Due to the evasive nature of the tenants we agreed to conduct a small amount of surveillance allowing us to confirm the trace results and identify the elusive tenant who was staying once again in a modern, stylish house. We were also able to document where the tenant was working, proving they had the means to begin paying back the ageing debt. From here our client and his solicitors were able to get the ball rolling and begin to reclaim some of the money that he had been owed for so long. Our clients solicitors were able to request an attachment of earnings, a very helpful tool when drudging through the legal proceedings regarding to debt.
Following a court hearing, the built-up evidence of new address, work details and the attachment of earnings, the debtor was ordered to start making payments again. Hiring a private investigator obviously has a monetary cost, but the services paid for paled in comparison to the total amount owed to our client. Our client had bent over backwards to be an accommodating landlord and took pleasure knowing that not only was he able to regain the funds he was owed but also confront the tenant about his shameful actions.