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To be pissed off about Baliff threat

(44 Posts)
DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 17:28:51

I own a house in a terrace, the next street has the same name but is a place.
Over the summer we had several tradesmen arrive at our house with kitchens, windows and so on. We dutifully corrected their mistake and sent them around the corner as we have done with post and take-aways over the last few years.

In Late summer a woman arrived at the door wanting to see the house, so I told her 'oh you probably mean place' but before sending her round the corner asked to see the letter she had. It was from our local housing association and had my address and postcode. So I called the association and they said they would correct the information on their databases.

A week or so later we had a letter from TalkTalk saying they would be connecting the internet to our house. 'Oh no you won't' I said and called them to point out that an error had been made. Woman with letter had obviously given out the address on the letter to the utility companies. So... I called the housing association to let them know and they were all 'oh well our system definitely says place not terrace' to which I replied 'well it would because I called you to ask you to change it but your tennant still seems unaware of the mistake'.

So... FFwd a couple of months and we have had several letters from talktalk saying she is in arrears (We did post a few into her letterbox but started opening when it became obvious they wouldn't stop) and now a County Court thing saying she is in arrears to a Nursery and that the Baliffs will be sent.

The Housing Association say it's not their mistake (Despite the months we had of builders knocking the door before the tenant moved in) and that they have told the tennant to let people know she has got the address wrong.

Anyway - sorry for the ramble but I am not BU to think that actually the sodding housing association is at fault here (apart from running up the debts) and they should be busting their arses to fix it?!

WitchesBroomForMyChin Mon 17-Oct-11 17:31:10

YANBU all that faffing must be maddening. You have my sympathy.

Inertia Mon 17-Oct-11 19:32:39

You could also try contacting the street naming division of your local council - they run a centralized database of addresses which are then linked to the Royal Mail database. We had years of problems due to a slightly incorrect entry on the council database, and a different error on the Royal mail postcode system.

SugarPasteZombie Mon 17-Oct-11 19:39:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Minus273 Mon 17-Oct-11 19:42:57

YANBU, it's horrible being chase by bailiffs for someone else's debts <bitter experience>.

topknob Mon 17-Oct-11 19:43:52

Oh those HA tenants they are a PITA aren't they ! shock

topknob Mon 17-Oct-11 19:44:33

You must have a different name, don't see the problem tbh!! Just point it out if they call round !

FabbyChic Mon 17-Oct-11 19:45:27

Its not down to the housing association it is down to the tenant to ensure people have her correct address, surely you have different postcodes though?

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 19:48:03

Start sending all post back with 'not known at this address' and 'please amend your database to correct street + postcode'

If bailiff letters come through just ring them and give the correct address.

Dealt with this before, its a huge pain in the arse

Minus273 Mon 17-Oct-11 19:48:55

you don't see the problem topknob? The problem is they threaten and intimidate you and accuse you of fraud when you try and prove you are not the person wit the debt. When I was going through it I became scared to go out in case I came home to an empty house.

The OP wasn't getting at HA tenants btw. She mentioned the HA as they were the people with the original database error which started the problem rolling.

PigletJohn Mon 17-Oct-11 20:16:41

It is most likely the other person who is telling people the wrong postcode (which, maybe, she got off a letter from the HA when she moved in)

If you tell companies a postcode, they will look up the address using PAF (Postcodes Address File) which they rent as a computer package using date provided by the Royal Mail.

The company or the other person might not notice that the system is filling in the address as "10 Rillington Street" when it ought to be "10 Rillington Place" and in many cases, unless someone puts in the other postcode, the system will not allow you to change the street name.

So what's needed is for the other person (and any company writing to them) to start using the correct postcode, for a start.

Good luck with that.

You could try finding out their postcode, and including that in your standard letter "Mrs Scroggings lives at 10 Rillington Place SW1A 1AA" which may do some good. You can look it up on
www2.royalmail.com/postcode-finder?gear=postcode
if you want.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 17-Oct-11 20:20:22

does the HA actually own the house the tenant is in? or are they just paying her rent?? if it is the second you are being unreasonable.

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:24:22

nothing at all against HA tennants btw, my dad worked for a HA for ages ad the woman seems nice but just hasn't changed the postcode with any of the utility companies. Plus it's kind of not her fault either, the HA is at fault for providing her with the wrong address and for then denying that it was them. They have even tried to blame it on a 'language barrier' as the tennant is Polish but I have spoken to her and her English is fine.

I will contact the HA again.

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:25:19

The problem is that bailliffs don't care if it's a different name, I've been chased for ex-flatmates and it's scary!

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:25:26

fabby, we do have a different postcode but for some reason the HA gave her ours!

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:30:39

this is what scares me. I own this house and I don't want any county court judgments or bad credit against the address.

When I first realised the mistake I called the council tax, gas and electricity and asked for a note to be put on my accounts saying that they shouldn't be changed because I could see this coming. Ihat's why I contacted the HA straight away to tell them about their mistake.

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:40:16

Which is why you need to start returning ALL post that isn't addressed to you. Also make sure you're entry on the electoral roll is up to date. So much of it is ballieffs just trying it on, hoping people will pay because they're scared. When I was 21 I got a letter at my parents address, addressed to my firstname and ex-flatmates surname. I paid it (only £60) because I was scared about my parents address being on some database.

I know now that if I'd rung the bastards, told them that they had to wrong name/address and to check the electoral roll then they would see that this person didn't exist (due to the unique combination of names, I doubt there is anybody by that name in the world). I've done it since and they jsut go away. Honestly

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:43:02

thanks Jareth, I will start returning them again.

this latest one was from her child's nursery and we have called them to explain. Apparently while she gave no postcode she did give 'terrace' not 'place'. This is the only correspondence we've had from the nursery, or rather the baliff on behalf of the nursery.

SugarPasteZombie Mon 17-Oct-11 20:44:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Mon 17-Oct-11 20:45:43

I believe there are some laws prohibiting the harassment of debtors.

I would have thought bailiffs would like to claim they don't harass non-debtors either shock

If it was me, I would write a standard letter (letters are treated more seriously than phone calls), keeping a copy on file, and post it to every company or debt collectore. Something on the lines of:

"Dear xx

I have received your letter of (date), your reference (ref) addressed to a Mrs X at (my address)

I write to inform you that Mrs X does not live here, and never has done. Her correct address is (her address and postcode).

Please correct your records and let me have your written confirmation that you have done this"

You can also hand a copy to anyone who calls round, but insist on knowing their name, and the name and address of the company they work for, so you can post a copy. If they need telling more than once you can demand that they reimburse your postage and stationery costs, and compensate you for the stress. They probably won't pay, but it won't hurt to ask.

You also need to write to the credit reference agencies and (1) get a copy of your file to see if it mentions the other person (2) tell them Mrs X does not live there, and never has done. As you have no financial association with the other woman your own credit record should be unaffected anyway.

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:46:07

I would also let her know that you are returning all her mail, and that you suggest she contacts the companies she deals with to make sure she has the correct information. Put the onus on her, shove everything back in the postbox and stop worrying about it. Seriously smile

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 20:46:42

Oh, and if the bailliffs come knocking, don't open the door at all. Just shout through that they have the wrong address and that you will call the police if they don't leave.

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:53:18

it is a massive pain in the arse though sad
I mean, what you are saying is I have to ask everyone who knocks the door if they are a baliff before I answer it! What happens if I just answer it? I can still tell them to piss off, right?

DuelingFanjo Mon 17-Oct-11 20:54:09

I am spelling bailiff wrong aren't I? meh!

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 17-Oct-11 21:02:45

Once the door is opened I think they can shove their way in - foot in the door and all that.

I have no idea how to spell bailliff. smile

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