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to wonder why I have to fill out the bloody form?

(27 Posts)
mrsdamvan Thu 22-Sep-11 11:04:13

Moved into current house a few months ago. Have had several letters from baliffs regarding unpaid debt by the bloke who used to own house. Spent ages ringing them up explaining bloke no longer lives here etc etc. Thought that was all sorted. Until penalty letters started arriving for previous owner's girlfirend. Girlfriend still has her car registered to this address and has run up loads of parking fines which she hasn't paid.

So again, at great expense to myself (endless telephone calls on home phone during the day) I rang up the council and explained Miss X doesn't live at my address, can they stop sending the letters here. They say OK. I don't have a lot of confidence that they'll update their system as bored woman on end of the phone doesn't seem interested and is reluctant to take the details. Lo and behold letters from the court arrive saying they're going to come and repossess property if Miss X doesn't pay her parking fines. Again I ring up and explain Mixx X doesn't live at my address. Get told I have to ring DVLA.

Has anyone rung the DVLA? Endless phone calls and I still can't get through to the right department. After spending 57 minutes on hold with the DVLA last week and still no closer to sorting out what must surely be a common problem (I mean people mover ALL the time) I give up. Phone bill running up more and more. A letter arrives today for Miss X from the DVLA saying she hasn't taxed her vehicle, she may be fined £80 etc etc. Am now feeling really annoyed. Ring up the number on the letter, get shuffled from one department to another. Finally speak to someone, explain the situation only to be told that I have to fill in a form saying Miss X doesn't live at my address. Apparently I have to give them all MY personal details, print off a form from their internet and return to them. WTF?

Bloke from DVLA says they can't update their system to say Miss X doesn't live at my address and the onus is on me to sort it. What do they think I've been trying to do, like I have nothing better to do than spend hours on the phone to them trying to sort this out? Why the hell can't they do their job. And why is it up to me to fill out the form Miss X should bloody complete.

And breathe.

redexpat Thu 22-Sep-11 11:12:39

That is annoying. Fill out the form. Enclose a letter explaining how many people you have spoken to, how many phonecalls etc and suggest better training for their staff.

moffat Thu 22-Sep-11 11:12:43

That is so annoying - we had a similar situation with fraud in dh's name. In your case are the letters addressed to the previous owner? If they are could you just return to the sender and say on the envelope "no longer at this address". Not sure of the legalities here though.

moffat Thu 22-Sep-11 11:14:08

lol at x-posting with redexpat, I would send that letter by registered mail.

mrsdamvan Thu 22-Sep-11 11:14:44

moffat why didn't I think of that? Genius. If I just send them back to sender surely they'll get the message... [hopeful emotion]

ProfYaffle Thu 22-Sep-11 11:17:28

Mrsd - that's what I did when dh's ex's post kept turning up here for years after she'd moved out. I got sick to the back teeth of seeing her name so I started sending everything back marked 'not known at this address' - hey presto all the post stopped.

AKMD Thu 22-Sep-11 11:33:48

YANBU but you are causing yourself unneccessary stress. Get some labels printed saying in capital letters "RETURN TO SENDER. NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS." and affix one to every letter you get for the previous owner/previous owner's girlfriend/previous owner's cat/whoever. Stick them over the original address, pop in the postbox and forget about it. Stop opening them, stop calling people, stop worrying.

The previous owners of our house ran up massive debts with everyone under the sun, left their car registered here, stole a hire car by leasing it against this address, everything you could think of. We get plenty of post for them 2 years on and it all goes straight into the recycling bin. I did open one or two envelopes, saw that it was debt letters (as suspected) and binned them. Guess what? Nothing has happened. Our house hasn't been reposessed, we haven't had debt collectors at the door, nothing. The only trouble we've had was with the hire car when a man from the hire company came to collect it shock but once we told him that the people he was after no longer lived here, we didn't hear anything more.

Stop worrying.

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Thu 22-Sep-11 11:39:09

Agree with op's. Not known at this address and back in post. Btw it's illegal to open someone else's post, so I believe, so there's not much else you can do.

SqueezeMeBakingPowder Thu 22-Sep-11 13:34:34

Yep return to sender unknown at this address and yes it's illegal to open someone else's post.

We had official looking letters posted here, still do, and opened it and it was credit card bill for someone who I believe had never lived here. Got loads of stuff for this person, all official looking and we rang the local police station just to let them know that it seemed someone was using our address to get credit cards etc, and they said it was illegal to open the mail, and if we got any more to just return to sender, and write unknown at this address!
Never had any problems by doing that!

Pseudonym99 Fri 23-Sep-11 04:45:22

Write a letter. I never ring anyone as nothing gets done.. Send a letter via recorded delivery.

TheSkiingGardener Fri 23-Sep-11 06:09:05

We had similar problems. I returned everything to sender and no-one ever turned up to repossess anything.

One problem we did have was that our solicitor had forgotten to complete our house purchase and register us as the owners with the land registry. When we had sorted that out the letters stopped. I think they were checking with the land registry and seeing that the previous people still supposedly owned the house.

FlubbaBubba Fri 23-Sep-11 06:14:43

Just interested - why did any of you open the post in the first place (if not addressed to you)?

TotemPole Fri 23-Sep-11 08:47:51

Definitely return to sender, not known at this address.

If the bailiffs do arrive, don't let them in.

OP have you updated the electoral roll since you moved? Debt collectors will use this as a tool to find people.

mrsdamvan Fri 23-Sep-11 10:02:12

well on the back of the envelope the letter from the DVLA came in, it says 'do not return to sender'. hmm still going to stick it in the letterbox this afternoon.

to answer the questions about why I opened the letters, well it was an automatic reaction. We get quite a lot of post so I just assume it's all for me or my dh. I then open it and am confronted with baliff and court letters. I then worry the baliffs are going to come round and try and sort it out...

CailinDana Fri 23-Sep-11 10:44:35

Don't open her mail, simple as that. Cross out your address, write "Not known at this address, RTS" on the envelope, and send it back in the post.

They don't know how to deal with your complaint as people aren't usually willing to admit they've opened someone else's mail as it's a criminal offence.

mumeeee Fri 23-Sep-11 11:41:26

Don't open her post. I think it's actually illegal to open post that's addressed to someone else. Just put back in post with not known at this address.

Shutupanddrive Fri 23-Sep-11 11:48:24

You should not be opening her post, or anyone's post that is not addressed to you. Just return to sender and don't think any more about it. It's not your problem!

mrsdamvan Fri 23-Sep-11 12:00:12

I disagree shutupanddrive. The issue is fthe former owners have not bothered to change their address. We're not talking about them forgetting to inform the local pizza delivery they've moved, we're talking about the DVLA (and by law you're meant to tell them when you moved).

I did what I thought was a sensible thing - ring up the DVLA and inform them that the copious amounts of correspondence they are sending to Miss X is to the wrong address, in the hope they would update their records. Same with the baliffs and the court. I don'ty want the worry of baliffs coming round to repossess my property hence why I've been trying to inform the authorities that these people don't live at my address.

I took out a re-direction service for my mail when I moved from my own house. Former occupants should have done the same if they didn't want to run the risk of people opening their mail.

slavetofilofax Fri 23-Sep-11 12:02:48

I agree you shouldn't be opening her post.

You are making a bigger deal out of this than you need to, just send it all back with 'not known at this address on it'

It's not illegal to do that, you are doing nothing wrong, so it's not like they are going to come round and slap your hands for not filling in forms and spending ages on the phone!

Shutupanddrive Fri 23-Sep-11 12:32:43

But if you hadn't of opened her post wouldn't know any of this and would not be stressing about it!

Shutupanddrive Fri 23-Sep-11 12:33:06

You wouldn't I mean

eurochick Fri 23-Sep-11 12:45:07

It's illegal to open her post.

I recommend the "Not known at this address, return to sender route" moffat suggests. Stick it in the post box and forget about it. Don't waste time on the phone. That is what we do.

I did this with the DVLA who sent parking tickets, etc to the former owners. It's an offence not to give the DVLA your correct details so they probably got another fine when the DVLA managed to track them down. I didn't get anything else from the DVLA for those people so presumably they updated their records. I didn't have to fill out a form and would not have done so. It's not for me to spend time dealing with people who cannot manage their own admin.

gallicgirl Fri 23-Sep-11 12:46:43

Agree with sending the post back unopened.

As far as bailiffs are concerned, if they do turn up, just explain the situation and they should go away. You may have to show them ID just to prove you're not the person they are looking for but they cannot take possession of your property.

Sidge Fri 23-Sep-11 12:50:39

It's not your problem.

Return all post to sender.

Bailiffs have no jurisdiction over your property, I believe they have to ascertain that anything they seize actually belongs to the people they are chasing. If they turn up at your door (which I doubt) asking for Miss X you say she doesn't live there. The onus is on them to find her, not you to sort out her problems.

Elefant1 Fri 23-Sep-11 13:25:38

It was a few years ago but I found that sending letters back with "not known at this address" did not work. To start with we never thought of opening someone else's post but it just kept coming.
When we got bailiffs coming to the door we decided to start opening the letters and phoning the companies, this had more effect, though some we did have to ring a couple of times.

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