Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder emily1983 Novitiate

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    Default Landlord Opening my mail

    This is my first time posting, grateful for any advice anyone can give




    My ex landlord is opening my mail before sending it onto me; I know this because it is pretty obvious when my mail arrives.

    There is a sticky labels over the old address with my current address, and the envelope has been opened and then taped up with sticky tape. I never gave him a forwarding address either, he has assumed that the address I put on my court form is my residence and is using this. He also emailed me over a load of my opened mail.






    I’m assuming that he is doing this to try and build up a counter claim against as I have filled a small claimsicon court for the return of my deposit.







    I was struggling financially which was why I moved out of the property and back in with my parents so I have left a few utility bills unpaid although I am in the process of paying these back every month.







    What I want to know is:







    1.Can he open my mail?






    2. What is reasonable excuse?






    3.Can he use the information in these letters in court against me?







    All the bills were in my name, I know it can be a bit of a grey area when it comes to utility bills at rented properties but if he is opening mail addressed to me to use against me in court as detriment to my character is this not illegal?


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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder jimjim5 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    It's illegal to open someone else's mail or to interfere with someone else's mail in the UK.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Quote Originally Posted by jimjim5 View Post
    It's illegal to open someone else's mail or to interfere with someone else's mail in the UK.
    Is it illegal to open somebody else's mail if it comes through your letterbox????? Not 100% sure on that one.

    To the OP. Have you considered getting your mail redirect to your new address. The post office do this for a small fee.

    If you are paying off your debts then give the companies you new address, then your ex landlord wont be getting you mail to his property.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER, IF YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO YOUR SITUATION, YOU ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE OF GETTING YOURSELF OUT OF IT
    WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE DCA's!!!!!!!!!!!

    IF YOU NEED HELP WITH UPLOADING YOUR IMAGES THROUGH PHOTOBUCKET CLICK HERE

    IF I HAVE HELPED YOU OR MADE YOU SMILE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CLICK MY STAR
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Quote Originally Posted by jimjim5 View Post
    It's illegal to open someone else's mail or to interfere with someone else's mail in the UK.
    Is it illegal to open somebody else's mail if it comes through your letterbox????? Not 100% sure on that one.

    To the OP. Have you considered getting your mail redirect to your new address. The post office do this for a small fee.

    If you are paying off your debts then give the companies you new address, then your ex landlord wont be getting you mail to his property.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER, IF YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO YOUR SITUATION, YOU ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE OF GETTING YOURSELF OUT OF IT
    WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE DCA's!!!!!!!!!!!

    IF YOU NEED HELP WITH UPLOADING YOUR IMAGES THROUGH PHOTOBUCKET CLICK HERE

    IF I HAVE HELPED YOU OR MADE YOU SMILE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CLICK MY STAR
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Quote Originally Posted by jimjim5 View Post
    It's illegal to open someone else's mail or to interfere with someone else's mail in the UK.
    Correct,it is a Criminal offence to open mail,interfere with post not addressed to you in the UK...The Postal Services Act 2000.

    The OP would be in there rights to make a statement to the Police.

    Best for the OP to use Royal Mail redirection service..

    https://www.royalmail.com/delivery/i...l/redirections

    Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/section/84

    84(3)A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.
    As someone who regularly opens my ex-tenants mail, my excuse would be that I have a right to ensure that there is no risk to my current tenants of being bothered by people (bailiffs and debt collectorsicon) and have a right to know who is writing to my ex-tenants so that I can request that companies cease writing to them at my address.

    After my previous tenants moved out I was dealing with about 6 or 7 debt agencies plus the water and power utility companies and a couple of banks. In the last couple of months for example I had a letter about an IVA delivered to a tenant who moved out 6 yearsicon ago and another from a company inquiring about the bankcruptcy of a tenant of a previous LL (more than 10 years ago). So I'd say many landlords have a very good excuse.

    Given that the Police would probably say they have better things to do it is probably best to ask for your mail to be diverted to you, and be proactive about informing people of your new address. The next think that happens is the LL puts it in the bin where it is found by someone who uses it as ID to buy a few mobile phones, get a store card or two, etc. and then you really *are* in trouble.


  7. #7
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    Thumbs down Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve__M View Post
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/section/84



    As someone who regularly opens my ex-tenants mail, my excuse would be that I have a right to ensure that there is no risk to my current tenants of being bothered by people (bailiffs and debt collectorsicon) and have a right to know who is writing to my ex-tenants so that I can request that companies cease writing to them at my address.

    After my previous tenants moved out I was dealing with about 6 or 7 debt agencies plus the water and power utility companies and a couple of banks. In the last couple of months for example I had a letter about an IVA delivered to a tenant who moved out 6 yearsicon ago and another from a company inquiring about the bankcruptcy of a tenant of a previous LL (more than 10 years ago). So I'd say many landlords have a very good excuse.

    Given that the Police would probably say they have better things to do it is probably best to ask for your mail to be diverted to you, and be proactive about informing people of your new address. The next think that happens is the LL puts it in the bin where it is found by someone who uses it as ID to buy a few mobile phones, get a store card or two, etc. and then you really *are* in trouble.


    There is also the "Theft Act" to consider,you are opening something that clearly does not belong to you,Not addressed to you,plus you are misguided in your interpretation of the law.

    You are breaking the law and admitting it on a public forum...

    The correct thing to do is to mark the items "left this address,return to sender" and pop the letters into a post box next time you pass one and you don't even need to stick a stamp on..

    Royal mail are are obliged by law to return unopened items to the sender..

    Lets just hope one of you Ex tenants or someone does not come back at you and take legal actions against you..

    Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Hi

    I would report your ex landlord to the police and also Royal Mail - Interfering with someone elses mail is a criminal offence and possibility of id thefticon.

    Also if they send more mail like that when it arrives photograph everything and keep a log.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    45002 - you are not a judge. Whether I am breaking the law depends on whether my excuse is judged as unreasonable and whether I am *intending* to act to the detriment of my ex tenants. I have told you that I am not intending to do so, and I don't believe that informing the senders that the person has gone away is to their detriment. My interesticon is in protecting my current tenants.

    For the theft act to apply I would have to be shown to be dishonest, which I am not. And I'm not talking about packages from Amazonicon and ebayicon here!

    For my previous tenants I had about 50 items in 6 months. Most of them from debt collectorsicon. It's unreasonable as well as being a waste of my time to return them all. There is an easy way for tenants to avoid this, and that is to set up a redirect and to conscientiously change all their addresses as soon as possible. I've moved houses lots of times and rarely had items delivered to my old addresses.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    PS. I do start off by returning mail and only start to open it if it looks like it is never going to stop. The main point though is that I think it is a waste of time to think that there is a worthwhile criminal offence angle to take here.


  11. #11
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    Thumbs down !

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve__M View Post
    45002 - you are not a judge. Whether I am breaking the law depends on whether my excuse is judged as unreasonable and whether I am *intending* to act to the detriment of my ex tenants. I have told you that I am not intending to do so, and I don't believe that informing the senders that the person has gone away is to their detriment. My interesticon is in protecting my current tenants.

    For the theft act to apply I would have to be shown to be dishonest, which I am not. And I'm not talking about packages from Amazonicon and ebayicon here!

    For my previous tenants I had about 50 items in 6 months. Most of them from debt collectorsicon. It's unreasonable as well as being a waste of my time to return them all. There is an easy way for tenants to avoid this, and that is to set up a redirect and to conscientiously change all their addresses as soon as possible. I've moved houses lots of times and rarely had items delivered to my old addresses.

    Your opening something that does not belong to you,Not Addressed to you and regardless of it's a Personal letters,utility bills,letter with credit card in it,Packet,large parcel from Ebay,Amazon,Curry's,pc world and so on..

    Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Maybe Steve_M is a Now/Sun journalist, someone committing ID or credit card fraud or a concerned LL trying to protect his propert & future Ts from unwarranted intrusion.
    Royal Mail makes no money from such posted re-directed mail and may consequentionally 'lose it' despite their Charter.
    Many Council's now employ 'fly tip' investigators who will fine individs based on addressees of letters recovered. (I do not suggest they open sealed envelopes)
    My observation is that many Laws conflict with other leg.

    The OP had a simple legal remedy to pay PO for re-direction of his mail.

    Would he have claim against LL for incurred personal bank/CC fees if LL had simply consigned unopened letter to recycling bin? Did T provide LL with forwarding address? Prob not.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Hi

    fully agree with mariner 51

    but remember not all Landlords are like Steve_M say hypotheticaly you have a crooked landlord with criminal contacts, they are opening tenants mail photocopying it and selling the details for id thefticon/Fraud.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    By opening the mail you could be contravening the Data Protection Act. However even if you open their mail to re-direct it or contact a DC or bailiff directly could have serious consequences under the DPA and also under the DPA, DCAicon or bailiff cannot discuss issue with any one except the defendant so exercise may be pointless.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Surfer, don't think dpa applies as I simply open mail to find the sender's address or contact details, contact the sender and then shred the mail. I don't record the information except anonymously (eg. names of DCAs).

    Even so, my general point stands. Rather than continually take innocent little me to task for my potential crimes it would be more helpful to remind people of the post redirection services on offer.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/section/84
    Hopefully this will settle the argument and put the OP's mind at rest.

    Now lets all calm down


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Section 84 allows a landlord to open an ex-tenant's mail if he has a "reasonable excuse" or is not intending to act to a person's detriment.

    (3)A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.
    I'm quite calm. Just seems to me that this is one example where quoting the law doesn't help a poster, because the LL won't care about the law, is possibly not breaking the law anyway, and is unlikely to be prosecuted even if he *is* breaking the law.


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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Well I actually think it does. What reasonable excuse has this LL got for opening the OP's mail?

    How do you know the LL will not care about the law?

    What makes you think it is unlikely to be prosecuted?

    Can you direct me where it states that it allows a LL to open an ex tenants mail, I cant seem to find it


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    Quote Originally Posted by 45002 View Post


    There is also the "Theft Act" to consider,you are opening something that clearly does not belong to you,Not addressed to you,plus you are misguided in your interpretation of the law.

    You are breaking the law and admitting it on a public forum...

    The correct thing to do is to mark the items "left this address,return to sender" and pop the letters into a post box next time you pass one and you don't even need to stick a stamp on..

    Royal mail are are obliged by law to return unopened items to the sender..

    Lets just hope one of you Ex tenants or someone does not come back at you and take legal actions against you..
    How would the Police prove that the person is looking at the name on the envelope?

    Every property I have lived in, I have opened all mail, and purposfully do not check the name, it is thus an accident if its not for me This was essential as in one property for example, I had 3 months of Bailiff's, debt collectorsicon, Court Enforcement Officers (the ones with powers of arrest), Police, Armed, normal uniformed and plain clothes detectives, loan sharks and any number of others after the previous tenant.

    One is legally and perfectly entitled to assume any mail arriving through your letterbox is for you, and there is no law or act of parliament that says or suggests you check the name on said mail.

    I also believe the law does in fact give leeway for the purposes as above, of protecting yourself and your property from bailiffs, police, king kong and whoever else.

    And in actual fact, I was able to help the previous tenant in one property I lived in. Letter from a DCA, the language used was extremely dodgy sounding, it just didnt sound right, there was no consumer crediticon licence number, no companies house reg no, and when contacted by phone to be told to bugger off, person not known, a very dodgy conversation ensued, with claims and demands that even most DCA's would shy away from. For example, I was told that they were sending people round, and that "by law" I had to let them into my home, and show any documents they ask for to prove I was not the person they were after - should I fail to comply, by not allowing them in, or showing the documentation then I would apparantly be committing an arrestable offence and the Police would be called, who would then force entry, and allow the collector in to search for id documents.....

    Trading Standards were sent an extremely detailed complaint. The DCA turned out to have no credit licence, no DPA registration, were not registered in companies house, and were in fact operating (against their tenancy agreement) from a council flat near Leeds. I believe they were hammered and hammered hard, and the landlady passed it all over to the ex tenant who hopefully took further action against the individuals.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Landlord Opening my mail

    There is a process for redirecting mail which *may* be easier and more constructive than trying to persuade the Police to prosecute the LL (in the face of huge cuts in Police numbers etc. etc.)

    Some "reasonable excuses" are referenced above. The lack of "intending to act to a person's detriment" is also referenced.



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