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groupoffour

Enforcing A CCJ Against A Letting Agency Director/landlord, or Switching small claims case to the (actual) Landlords

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I have decided to repost this case with a clearer description of events and my questions regarding them. I should apologise, however, for any still present lack of clarity and also for the length of the post:

 

I am one of four tenants who were awarded a CCJ against the person who countersigned our tenancy agreement claiming to be both the landlord and the director of a letting agency managing the house which we rented. I will from now on refer to him as ‘CCJed’ (unless anyone can suggest a better name) and he was named directly in the order without any reference to him being director but with the letting agency office stated as his address which we used for correspondence.

 

The CCJ was awarded as a penalty for not protecting (via TDS) or repaying our deposit. However, in investigating how to enforce the CCJ we have found several complications and discrepancies via the following sources:

 

Land Registry – Shows the Landlords to be a differently named (apparently) married couple and not CCJed, the director of the letting agency who is signed as landlord on the tenancy agreement.

 

Companies House

 

16/02/2007 date of appointment of Letting Agency

 

04/09/2007 Letting Agency was dissolved

 

26/10/2007 We, the tenants, signed a new assured shorthold tenancy agreement beginning from Nov 2007.

 

01/05/2008 Tenancy agreement expired.

 

13/08/2008 Our small-claims case filed.

 

This information appears to confirm CCJed as the director of the letting agency which is a limited company (“LTD”), however, it appears that, from before we signed the contract the letting agency had been dissolved. With this information in mind it is unclear whether or not it is still a legitimate (correctly awarded) CCJ and where we can hope to get our deposit back. The letting agency’s office is still open and the company continues to trade.

 

Another point of confusion as to whether this is a legitimate CCJ, is that it has been placed on the director which a forum member informed me would normally be illegitimate because the letting agency is a limited company. However, the fact that this director (CCJed) has signed as the landlord (albeit seemingly illegitimately) may mean our CCJ was correctly made and can be enforced. Firstly, does this appear to be still a legitimate CCJ? Secondly, is it not a criminal offence to give one’s name as landlord on a tenancy agreement when it is not the case?

 

A forum member also suggested we might be best served looking into switching our focus to the landlords. Clearly in this respect we jumped the gun in deciding who to bring our case against. If this appears recommendable, would it be easily changeable via the existing CCJ or would we need to start a new case with fresh court costs?

 

We have received no contact from CCJed subsequent to him posting his defence and counterclaim which was subsequently struck out due to him not attending our hearing with I believe a default judgment in our favour.

 

The address of CCJed was given as the Letting Agency but this may be insufficient given the lack of response to our case following the judgement and the fact that the company has officially been dissolved (despite it continuing to trade, now, long after its dissolved date). I am currently out of the country and am therefore conducting this research from afar. When I return I intend to contact the Dawn Advice Ltd on 0845 456 6815, attempt to access half an hour’s free advice from a solicitor, and possibility employ a licensed private investigator in order to successfully enforce. Other avenues which appear may be useful which I have found from reading numerous posts on numerous legal/consumer rights websites are Business Anti-Fraud helpline on 0800 788 887, Customs Confidential hotline on 0800 595 000, the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.

 

If any members have any extra advice or similar experiences I would greatly appreciate it.

Edited by groupoffour

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If a landlord has instructed an agent to deal with the letting of a property it is likely that the landlord has not seen the deposit. It is normal practice for the agents to place the deposit in a secured account on behalf of the landlord/tenants. It might be worth contacting the REAL Landlord and explain the situation, they may not be aware of what's happening and you never know they may be able help resolve the situation.

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If a landlord has instructed an agent to deal with the letting of a property it is likely that the landlord has not seen the deposit. It is normal practice for the agents to place the deposit in a secured account on behalf of the landlord/tenants. It might be worth contacting the REAL Landlord and explain the situation, they may not be aware of what's happening and you never know they may be able help resolve the situation.

 

Thanks. I am deliberating doing that but also am concerned it may have a negative consequence as they may all be in cahoots...

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