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  • FIRST POST
    • BinkadyBoo
    • By BinkadyBoo 11th Mar 17, 3:48 PM
    • 1Posts
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    BinkadyBoo
    Taking ex-housemate to Small Claims Court
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 3:48 PM
    Taking ex-housemate to Small Claims Court 11th Mar 17 at 3:48 PM
    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone here could give some advise on dealing with an ex-housemate who owes me quite a bit of money from when we lived together. I'll try and keep things as concise as possible.

    My ex housemate and I parted ways to live somewhere else near the end of January. However because of the rent setup we had, whereby all rent and bills came out of my account, he still owes me £829.

    He has moved all the way up to Newcastle (I am down south) and has refused to reply to any of my emails and Facebook messages asking for the arrears he owes me since.

    I was pretty stupid in allowing such a rent setup like this whereby I pay all rent and bills and he pays it to me, but it was the only real way to make it work as he had bankruptcies on his credit report and didn't earn enough to pass the affordability check.We basically did all that stuff on me, although his name was also on the lease. I am quite confident that he is hoping to just cut off all communication with me and not pay this.

    Anyway, after lots of drama and nonsense which I wont waste your time with it has left me in this situation. I feel that the only way to get what is owed to me is via the small claims process, however there are some concerns/questions that I have which I will list.

    I know he is now living with his mother at her hotel. If the orders get sent to him there, and he just ignore them, will I just win by default?

    Will what I have be enough evidence? I can show both our names on the lease, and my bank account showing every single bill and rental payment coming out, as well as a spreadsheet we kept showing what he owed/paid each month. I also have chat logs, etc of me asking for payment, and him agreeing to pay, etc. My only concern is that he would usually always pay me in cash, which many times I would just keep in my pocket for the month. Could the ex housemate just claim he did pay it in cash? As a result I'm concerned the judge might just see it as a 'your word against his' kind of thing and dismiss it, even though Ive got all the paperwork and he has none.

    The other concern is that even if I win, is there much chance of me seeing any of that money? This guy is a complete loser. He is in his 40s and living with his mum (working at her hotel I think), with no credit. As a result I don't think he would even care about paying even if there was a CCJ against him and on his credit report, as his credit is already completely shot.

    I've had conflicting advice usually bouncing between those who think I should pursue it, and those more in the 'its not worth it, just write it off' camp.

    So if anyone has been in a similar situation or has any advise, I would really appreciate it, and will answer any questions anyone has, as I'm still in 2 minds about what to do.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
    ....

    I know he is now living with his mother at her hotel. If the orders get sent to him there, and he just ignore them, will I just win by default?
    Yes. Unless he later gets it set aside by claiming he did not live there and did not receive the notice. In which case you start again..

    Will what I have be enough evidence? I can show both our names on the lease, and my bank account showing every single bill and rental payment coming out, as well as a spreadsheet we kept showing what he owed/paid each month. I also have chat logs, etc of me asking for payment, and him agreeing to pay, etc.
    That is prety good evidence, but....
    My only concern is that he would usually always pay me in cash, which many times I would just keep in my pocket for the month. Could the ex housemate just claim he did pay it in cash?
    Yes - he could.
    As a result I'm concerned the judge might just see it as a 'your word against his' kind of thing and dismiss it, even though Ive got all the paperwork and he has none.
    The judge will decide 'on the balance of probability' who he believes, so it depends how convincing the defendant is.....

    (it is easier than in a criminal court, where the prosecution must prove the case 'beyond all reasonable doubt')

    The other concern is that even if I win, is there much chance of me seeing any of that money? This guy is a complete loser. He is in his 40s and living with his mum (working at her hotel I think), with no credit. As a result I don't think he would even care about paying even if there was a CCJ against him and on his credit report, as his credit is already completely shot.
    If he has no assets, and no income, the court will order him to pay £5 pw or something, which he may or may not pay.
    Bailiffs won't help if he has nothing to seize. Without a job, you caanot get it deducted from his pay.

    I've had conflicting advice usually bouncing between those who think I should pursue it, and those more in the 'its not worth it, just write it off' camp.
    Originally posted by BinkadyBoo
    * My guess is you have an 80% chance of winning in court
    * you have a 10% chance of him then paying
    * you will incur court fees etc. If you win these will be added to what he must pay, but if he does not pay that is just an extra expense for you.

    * Judging this purely financially, you will probably be worse off if you pursue this - though you might be lucky.
    * pursuing it will also take up your time, be stressful, and increase your resentment if you lose, or win but don't receive the money
    * if you win, AND receive the money, you will be financially better off, AND feel great satisfaction.
    * you may get some satisfaction by seeing him get a CCJ, even if you never see the money

    Only you can decide.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 11th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • 638 Posts
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    sparky130a
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    I'll try and keep things as concise as possible.
    Originally posted by BinkadyBoo
    You failed.
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 11th Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    • 3,742 Posts
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    kinger101
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    At the very least, I'd send a "letter before action". I've had someone who owed me several hundred pounds cough up pretty quickly once that landed on their doormat. Though I had concrete evidence and they had assets.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
    Wishing you good luck with this.

    In your position - I'd continue with pursuing it through the small claims court. I would ensure I told the judge why I'd been the one sorting out re the paying (ie I'd say he had bankruptcies).

    I've just clicked it's bankruptcies (ie plural) and you entered into that arrangement with him..........!

    For your own self-respect though - you have to chase him and here's hoping his mother (if not him) isnt prepared to see a private individual let down by her son and she might "cover him" by paying up on his behalf - and then try to get the money he'd owe her back out of him later.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 11th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    • 4,980 Posts
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    ViolaLass
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:18 PM
    You failed.
    Originally posted by sparky130a
    Another helpful post from you.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 11th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
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    sparky130a
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    Another helpful post from you.
    Originally posted by ViolaLass
    Was i accurate?

    Yes, i was. Which makes your post even less pointless and unhelpful. To anyone. Ever.

    I've no desire to argue with you but come on.....
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
    • 5,452 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 17, 5:44 PM
    The other concern is that even if I win, is there much chance of me seeing any of that money? This guy is a complete loser. He is in his 40s and living with his mum (working at her hotel I think), with no credit. As a result I don't think he would even care about paying even if there was a CCJ against him and on his credit report, as his credit is already completely shot.
    Originally posted by BinkadyBoo
    There's no point pursuing this if he doesn't have money. You're just throwing good money after bad (firstly to get as far as a CCJ, and then more to enforce it if he doesn't cough up voluntarily).
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Mar 17, 7:29 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:29 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:29 PM
    There's no point pursuing this if he doesn't have money. You're just throwing good money after bad (firstly to get as far as a CCJ, and then more to enforce it if he doesn't cough up voluntarily).
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Personally - I wouldnt be too concerned who paid the money owed - as long as I got my money back (hence mentioning the mother).

    I've chased someone for money they owed me before now - and someone else paid on their behalf. I wasn't going to concern myself with whether the debtor paid back that person close to them or no....
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 11th Mar 17, 7:38 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
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    deannatrois
    I agree with the 80/10% posting.., but when you watch the 'Bailiffs are Coming' and 'Can't Pay Won't Pay' programmes, they will go into a relatives house, if the defendant is staying there and say they will take everything in there unless the relative has proof (receipts) showing they own every stick in there. This tends to make the relative either pay up or force the defendant to pay up. Then its a matter between them (defendant paying mother back and maybe finally learning a lesson although he got this way probably through family 'rescuing him'.).

    So it might be more worthwhile than thought to pursue this but depends on how good the Bailiffs are.

    I'd suggest you watch a few of these programmes. There are a few occasions when they come away with nothing but only if the defendant has nothing AND there's no way to apply pressure.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 11-03-2017 at 7:40 PM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Mar 17, 7:52 PM
    • 5,452 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Personally - I wouldnt be too concerned who paid the money owed - as long as I got my money back (hence mentioning the mother).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Why would mother pay his debts? She obviously hasn't in the past.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Mar 17, 8:37 PM
    • 12,892 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Why would mother pay his debts? She obviously hasn't in the past.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Maybe she draws a distinction between firms (which many people kid themselves dont matter) and a private individual?

    Perhaps this time she'll get the message "Time to help son grow up" and cover him on that - but expect it back from him (in cash or kind).

    Though I think the most likely scenario is the court will order this character to repay the money at a low weekly rate - but at least OP would get it back at some point and it might just help with teaching this character a lesson to behave more responsibly. Not to mention OP's self-respect for not letting him get away with this...
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Mar 17, 10:38 AM
    • 22,649 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Not to mention OP's self-respect for not letting him get away with this...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    You mention the OP's self respect more than once, as if they'd have less of it or none at all should they decide to let this go.

    For what it's worth, I'd say that on the balance of probabilities, I'd expect to lose time and money pursuing this individual, so I'd choose to put the whole thing down to experience.

    As I prefer to make calculated and reasoned decisions, it wouldn't injure my self respect one jot.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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