to sue or not to sue?

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I have a tenant who is around 2500 in arrears. she is due to vacate next week, I know that i will need to get a possesion order as she has been told (she is on benefits) that she will not be re-housed otherwise.
At the beginning of the tenancy the council were sending the rent direct to her. A total of about 750 was sent to her, she claims that she sent all but 40 back to the council, they say that it was all cashed. i have asked them to investigate this.
My first question is this:

1. Should the council be liable to pay this money to me?

I think I read somewhere on this site that with a new tenancy a council should pay the rent directly to the landlord (tenancy started on 5/04/07)

The tenant was found by a letting agent. They stated on the tenancy agreement that rent would be paid directly to me by the council. I gave them my bank details so that they could set this up, they did,nt. By the time I found out the arrears were already building up. It also transpired that the particular agent who dealt with the letting was, a friend of the tenants partner (the tenant has signed a short statement to this effect) i cannot see that the agency took up correct references from the tenant, as she was never in a position to meet the rent of 290 per week (the council have only ever paid me 250 per week)

2. do I have a case to sue the letting agents for the 1600 fee I paid them, and or, anything above this?

3. In the first instance (before trying to get anything out of the council, and or, the letting agents) should I try and sue the tenant for the arrears (bearing in mind that I doubt she has any money)or should I make her bankrupt?

I have one last question.
The tenant rang me and said that she needed to call out a locksmith as the front door would not open and she could not get in. she told me the bill had come to exactly 100. I told het that if she sent me the invoice I would re-imburse her immediatley.
What she sent me was something that had been printed out on a computer, there were no details of the company at all on it, no name, no address, no contact details. The handwriting on the "invoice" looks very similar to the tenants own handwriting. i told her it was not a proper invoice and to ask the "locksmith" to provide a proper one. this was about three months ago and it has'nt happened. i strongly suspect that this was an attempt to get money out of me by deception.
4. What course of action should I take?

29/03/2008 00:00

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