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  • FIRST POST
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 12th Jun 19, 2:37 PM
    • 193Posts
    • 188Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    Need help again please, just want to give up.
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 19, 2:37 PM
    Need help again please, just want to give up. 12th Jun 19 at 2:37 PM
    Hello (again), I need to ask for more advice if I may.....

    My OH is currently 9 months into his DRO and things have been ok, however a bombshell landed the other day and I'm not sure I can deal with this all over again so I need a bit of advice please.

    Basically a letter dropped through the door stating that he owes a balance of unpaid rent on a property he vacated in 2016. Now he did live in this property with an ex but they split up and he moved out back in 2012 (possibly 2011). We have been together since 2013 and he has lived with me since 2015 so I know that he definitely did not live there from 2013 onwards. So the ex has obviously stayed on at the property until 2016 and left owing money.....that my OH is now being chased for.

    When he moved out, he went to the housing association office to advise them that he was moving out and he said that they got him to sign something, but he can't remember what it said and he was never given a copy - after all this time he wouldn't have kept it even if he had.

    So my questions are basically:
    Does he have a leg to stand on to try and argue this?

    Is it best to just try and get it paid somehow (it's around £300)? Maybe I could pay it for him?
    Or is it best contact Stepchange for advice? (they arranged his DRO)
    Will we need to inform the DRO people?

    This is not a forgotten debt or anything like that, he literally knew nothing of this until the letter landed the other day. It's not threatening or anything like that at the moment, it just says to contact them ASAP.

    I am terrificed that this will now cause issues with his DRO and we are so close to the end, I am beyond gutted. My anxiety is as high as ever, I can't sleep and am on the verge of tears all the time (crying as I sit here typing).

    If anyone could advise it would be really helpful.

    Thankyou x
Page 1
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 12th Jun 19, 2:43 PM
    • 4,759 Posts
    • 4,305 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 2:43 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 2:43 PM
    Hi. Don't cry. Every obstacle can be overcome. I'm afraid I can't answer your main question as I don't have knowledge of how a DRO works. Just didn't want to read about your pain and not reply!

    I recommend you ring up StepChange for advice and guidance on what you and your partner should do. I'm sure there are workable and affordable options, and a simple solution too!
    Last edited by Willing2Learn; 12-06-2019 at 2:55 PM.
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 12th Jun 19, 3:09 PM
    • 18,759 Posts
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    sourcrates
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:09 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:09 PM
    Don’t panic, it won’t affect the DRO at all, and you do not need to inform the IS or stepchange.

    If he disputes the debt, write and say so, he should be able to tread water with this for the next 3 months, ask them for proof he owes the debt.
    Debt collection can take years.

    Worst case scenario. He’ll have to pay it, if he owes it, if not, as I said, dispute it in writing.
    This has nothing to do with your current arrangement, that will complete in 3 months, this is entirely separate, and should be dealt with separately.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 12-06-2019 at 3:17 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to:
    forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 12th Jun 19, 3:26 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:26 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:26 PM
    Hi. Don't cry. Every obstacle can be overcome. I'm afraid I can't answer your main question as I don't have knowledge of how a DRO works. Just didn't want to read about your pain and not reply!

    I recommend you ring up StepChange for advice and guidance on what you and your partner should do. I'm sure there are workable and affordable options, and a simple solution too!
    Originally posted by Willing2Learn
    That's very kind, thank you

    Donít panic, it wonít affect the DRO at all, and you do not need to inform the IS or stepchange.

    If he disputes the debt, write and say so, he should be able to tread water with this for the next 3 months, ask them for proof he owes the debt.
    Debt collection can take years.

    Worst case scenario. Heíll have to pay it, if he owes it, if not, as I said, dispute it in writing.
    Originally posted by sourcrates

    Thankyou for this, I'm just worried because I've been trying to find information on this situation and all advice says that if any other debt comes to light during the DRO, you MUST inform the DRO people and if you don't and they find out, they WILL revoke the DRO (this is from the CAB website)....This is what has got me the most worried.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Jun 19, 3:44 PM
    • 9,788 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:44 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:44 PM
    Definitely don't panic. Firstly no other debt HAS come to light - he informed them that he moved out, they got him to sign to say so - so until they can prove that did not happen, there's no debt as you will dispute it.

    I'd suggest that as Sourcrates says you write to them disputing it, and also demanding that they produce a copy of the document that they got him to sign also when he confirmed that he had vacated. See what they say about that, then post back here and let's see what can be done. Put everything in writing though - for a start snail mail takes longer than emails. Second class postage all the way too!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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  • archived user
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:55 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 19, 3:55 PM
    The onus in on the landlord to prove he was still living there, if he can prove otherwise then they cannot recover the unpaid rent from him
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 12th Jun 19, 4:14 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 4:14 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 4:14 PM
    Thank you so much again for the advice guys, my anxiety takes over in stressful situations so although I know what we need to do, I need the reassurance of others to clarify before I can accept that we are doing the right thing.

    We will write back to dispute the claim as you have all advised and see what happens and will definitely post back here with any updates.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 12th Jun 19, 4:41 PM
    • 18,759 Posts
    • 17,671 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 19, 4:41 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 19, 4:41 PM
    The debt has not yet been proved, anyone can write and say you owe me money, it’s another thing entirely to prove it.

    These things take time to evidence, you only have 3 months left, if they manage to provide proof in the next 3 months, then you should tell the IS.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to:
    forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 12th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    • 14,408 Posts
    • 11,455 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    Yep, what you need here is a prove-it

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2607247

    If it's valid it could not be included in the DRO, but neither would it affect the DRO provided it wouldn't have taken the debt total over 20k

    It sounds suspicious - is it the housing association writing. or someone dodgy like UKSearch?
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 13th Jun 19, 10:29 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    Yep, what you need here is a prove-it

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2607247

    If it's valid it could not be included in the DRO, but neither would it affect the DRO provided it wouldn't have taken the debt total over 20k

    It sounds suspicious - is it the housing association writing. or someone dodgy like UKSearch?
    Originally posted by fatbelly

    It wouldn't take it over the £20k no, so does that mean that no matter what happens the DRO should be unaffected?

    The letter has come directly from the housing association and it is slightly more complicated because he did in fact live there in the past, it is the moving out date that he would need to prove and I am not sure how he would do that.

    So does our response take the usual "prove it" stance as per the link above, or do we acknowledge that he did in fact live there but vacated in 2012 and not 2016 as they are claiming?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Jun 19, 12:07 PM
    • 18,759 Posts
    • 17,671 Thanks
    sourcrates
    If you deny owing the debt, you send the provit letter which you can adapt to the circumstances, or just send it as is and let them do the donky work.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to:
    forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
    • RecentPost
    • By RecentPost 13th Jun 19, 12:19 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    RecentPost
    Cant add anything that hasn't already been said, but never give up its always worth doing something to resolve the problem

    Its up to them PROVE IT OR LOSE IT!
    • tallyhoh
    • By tallyhoh 13th Jun 19, 1:55 PM
    • 2,212 Posts
    • 2,349 Thanks
    tallyhoh
    Strongly suspect that this was a joint tenancy & when he moved out nothing was done to break it. I worked in housing many moons ago & as I recall breaking a joint tenancy was fairly complex.

    In a nutshell it was possibly still a joint tenancy when the ex left so both parties are being chased for the arrears.

    You should definitely query the arrears & tenancy.
    Tallyhoh!

    Stopped Smoking October 2000. Saved £21,840 so far!
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 13th Jun 19, 3:12 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    Strongly suspect that this was a joint tenancy & when he moved out nothing was done to break it. I worked in housing many moons ago & as I recall breaking a joint tenancy was fairly complex.

    In a nutshell it was possibly still a joint tenancy when the ex left so both parties are being chased for the arrears.

    You should definitely query the arrears & tenancy.
    Originally posted by tallyhoh
    Thanks, as I said in post number one - he did live there with his ex but when they split up he moved out and went to the housing association office to sort out ending the tenancy. They got him to sign a document but he was never given a copy of it, so I have no idea how he will prove that after all this time and I'm pretty sure they will not be forthcoming with this evidence in his favour even if they do still have it on record.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Jun 19, 3:37 PM
    • 9,788 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    If I were you, when you write, obviously explain about him moving out, and that he notified the HA IN PERSON, and then make a point of referring to "the document he signed confirming this" - and demand a copy. That way they are looking for a specific document - which he says he signed, and it becomes trickier because there is a degree of their word against his. It also introduces a little doubt on their side - he says that document existed, it becomes something substantive, rather than just "a piece of paper", non specific.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 13th Jun 19, 6:52 PM
    • 14,408 Posts
    • 11,455 Thanks
    fatbelly
    It wouldn't take it over the £20k no, so does that mean that no matter what happens the DRO should be unaffected?
    Originally posted by CurlySue2017
    That is my understanding from what you wrote.

    I agree with the others on this
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 13th Jun 19, 7:03 PM
    • 916 Posts
    • 593 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    They got him to sign a document but he was never given a copy of it,
    He can send a Subject Access Request (free) for any communication or paperwork for the last 6 years - though it will depend on the archive policy of the HA.

    Clearly if the letter is there, he will get a copy of it. If the letter isn't there, then it will come down to who a judge believes should it go to court.

    See what a SAR produces and go from there. They have 30 days to produce the paperwork for him.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 14th Jun 19, 8:08 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    Thanks again for all of your advice, we will do as advised and see what happens and I will keep the thread updated as we get any news.
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 22nd Aug 19, 9:08 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    CurlySue2017
    Update
    Hello again, I now have an update on this thread.

    We wrote to the HA as advised and heard nothing for weeks. Then yesterday a letter landed which basically says the same as the last one "contcat us within 7 days to make a payment arrangement or further charges will be added" and also enclosed are pages and pages of statements relating to the rent.

    Now in my mind, proof of a tenancy would be a signed TA at least, before producing statements.....of course please correct me if I am wrong on this!

    What has now added to the confustion however is that the statements show that the balance was in credit for a long time and then costs have been added that bring it back into arrears again, which seems wrong to me.....how can they add charges to a credit balance?

    So what should our next step be?

    Do we simply write back and ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement? To me these stetements are not proof of any debt - they are not even addressed to that property - they are addressed to our current property but in OH's and his ex/gf's name and she has certainly never lived here!

    Or do we call them and ask them to explain where the figures on the statement have come from?
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 22nd Aug 19, 10:00 AM
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    WhenIam64
    Have a look at the comments by tallyhoh. If it was a joint tenancy from 2011 then the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy with joint liability for all the parties who have signed the tenancy

    Q1. Did he send a Subject Access Request to the HA for a copy of the tenancy and all the related paperwork. If he contacted them to say he was moving out, it will be there.

    There is a second check on tenancies and that is Council Tax. Was there a Council Tax Reduction applied for as he no longer lived there. The partner may have requested one or even adjusted a benefit claim to reflect this.

    Q2. Has he send a Subject Access Request to the Council to see if he was liable - as if his name was on the tenancy there may be another debt there too.

    This can be sorted with a few letters but if you don't send them, then the HA are at liberty to chase him as they have a reasonable belief he owes them money (and perhaps the Council too)
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.
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