a debt worth pursuing?
I have issued county court proceedings against a tenant who has put up quite a canny defence and I am weighing up whether to bother taking it to a hearing with more fees and much time cost.
I would be interested to hear from landlords who like me are used to putting these cases before a county court judge.
The tenant was in this property for 3 years. I have already successfully sued her guarantor for £1500 of arrears from the last tenancy, because she walked in the middle of a fixed term. This claim goes back to the first 12 month fixed term. She missed one payment which was month 7 during the first year. I can evidence this from bank statement, rent statement, couple of emails...but her defence is that I called to collect that rent payment in cash because she was suffering a bad pregancy. This is rubbish but her defence includes a bank statement showing that round about that time that months rent was due she drew out £800 cash from her account, in similar way to her usual monthly habit. The truth is after 6 months good payment I allowed her to start paying at the end of each rental payment because she was on housing benefit. But she never made good the missing payment. I never put in writing my agreement to let her pay in arrears. It was a verbal agreement as I did not want to compromise the ast.
My doubts about my case are these ;
- Can I get away with later claim against tenant when I have already sued guarantor?
- What is the bar for proving a cash payment of rent? She has no receipt and there is no record of discussion of her paying cash but there is record of me pointing out the missed payment sooon after.
- What is the bar for counter claiming for disrepair? At the end of the tenancy when we were disputing her leaving mid term she got environmental health to report that the outhouse/entrance porch was covered in ventilation related mould. She claims the house was covered in damp. But she has no record of confronting me about this until after she made the decision to leave to try and justify her decision.
She is an intelligent young woman with a landlord mother helping her.
What do you think ; press on and pay the fee for a hearing or let go and move on?
Want to read more?
This is a members only forum, if you want to read more you need to login to your membership, if you are not a member, click here to join.