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To get a forwarding address from thieving renters

(51 Posts)
Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:11:38

Long story, but in a nutshell...

We have a property that is being renovated, we live in one self contained end, the middle section is needing doing up and the far end section is an operating holiday let. In order to help get the middle section up and running as a let we offered it rent free via local Ads and gum tree to people willing to do 14 hours work a week with my husband, they would be responsible for council tax, bills etc and they had free wi fi from us.

The people we eventually chose moved in, they were great, really liked them. It all went tits up 2 days ago when we discovered via my mug who stayed with us for a month whilst I gave birth to DS2 that they had 'borrowed' £50 from her and not paid her back after lots of hard luck stories. It turned out to be £150 not what she agreed, she only found out after she went to the cashpoint (she gave them her card) she's a partially sighted disabled pensioner. Turns out they have taken money from our business account which they had access to which my husband let them use to get materials for the refurb, they also lied about paying other monies back they borrowed from us a month ago. I could go into everything here but they have blatantly lied to use and stole and took from a vulnerable pensioner, when I confronted them about my mother they pretended it was £50 they took until I told them it was £150 and the. Changed their story.

It gets worse. Apparently bailiffs are coming, my mum heard them talking about this, they haven't paid their council tax on this property or the previous one.

My husband has taken one of the guys trade tools he stored in our garage as assurance that they repay the £250 they owe us (not including fuel we paid for them that we have written off) which they can have back as soon as we are repaid in full and they don't do any funny business with the property. they have 7 days from yesterday to get out.

They are refusing to give us a forwarding address....the address of one of their parents basically as we want to be able to forward creditors etc onto them. Is this unreasonable????

What a mess, does anyone have any advice, this is such a horrid situation, I have. Newborn and toddler I'm looking after and just feel overwhelmed. We really liked these people and trusted them, I return they stole from us and took advantage of my mother who also liked them.

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:12:22

Mug was mum!!! Typo

Nuttyprofessor Sat 05-Jan-13 14:14:44

Freudian slip

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:15:30

I know!! My mum ans I feel like utter mugs.

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:15:49

Damn iPad

StiffyByng Sat 05-Jan-13 14:17:42

You need to tell the police. They have committed theft.

SoupDragon Sat 05-Jan-13 14:18:16

You can't force them to give you a forwarding address and, TBH, any address they gave would most likely be false. Why would they give you a correct address to send creditors onto?

I would chalk it up to experience.

Oreocrumbs Sat 05-Jan-13 14:20:04

Never mind faffing around with addresses get the police.

To be honest you have all been very naive, but that is done. Get the police now while you know where they are.

I don't think they have to give you a forwarding address, not sure, but if they are going to steal from you and your poor mum then they are hardly going to be overly concerned about giving you a false address.

Also what is you tenancy agreement, becasue even though they are theives, by law you have to give 2 months notice. Not sure how or if this applies in your situation but do check.

LessMissAbs Sat 05-Jan-13 14:20:26

What a mess - go to the police.

I doubt they have a forwarding address at present...

To get the money back, you'd probably have to sue them in court yourselves, but for that you need an address.

Sorry to hit you when you're down, but I find it incredible that you can be savvy enough to run a holiday let and own a largeish property, yet you gave them access to your business account, your mother gave them her cashcard, you "let" a property free of charge in return for labour - please tell me you drew up a tenancy agreement, contract and asked for references? Surely??

LIZS Sat 05-Jan-13 14:21:34

Sounds like they have done this before . How long did they stay ? Unlikely they'd be chasing a current CT bill through court yet unless they have been there a while. Did you have a tenancy agreement ?

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:21:45

I don't think the police will care, my mother handed them her card with pin number unbeknownst to us I hasten to add, she said they pleaded with her not to tell us. They say she begged them not to tell us, I know who I believe, she's gutted, got Direct debits bouncing out of her account now.

My husband gave them the business card to get some materials for work as he was working at home and they abused that trust.

We feel it's all our fault, our cards should never have been given to them, would police be bothered with this?

Fwiw, they owe the local garage money, vets, corner shop, bread man, other people who they have run up account with etc.

Oreocrumbs Sat 05-Jan-13 14:24:38

Yes the police will be bothered. But act now while you know where they are.

Also wrt to the other debt collectors that may come, I think you just have to prove you are not them.

So if a bailiff does come asking for mr and mrs X and you tell them they have gone and show them something to prove you are mrs Y that should be it.

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:24:56

Yes we have a tenancy agreement, that was done belt and braces. My DH gave them the business card, I was never comfortable with that but didn't intervene. He trusted them and I had more important things on my plate having the baby and sorting out my businesses for maternity leave.

They are in breach of lease I believe, not paying bills and theft. But DH is handling that, this is just horrid.

LIZS Sat 05-Jan-13 14:25:27

Were they claiming benefits , working ? HMRC/DWP will be interested if they may owe them and will find it relatively easy to track them. You and your family have been very gullible , make sure you report to bank and change all access passwords, pins and cards. Police on 101 may be able to advise though and they may have history.

Reaa Sat 05-Jan-13 14:26:33

I would say still a police matter

LessMissAbs Sat 05-Jan-13 14:28:04

Err, if they are using your mother's card to set up unathorised direct debits, of course the police would be interested.

Why don't you contact the police NOW, while they are still around, instead of posting on mumsnet?

You have been unbelievably gullible.

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:29:13

One is definitely claiming benefits the other is working, not sure of his full situation but I think he may be claiming some sort of incapacity....

All bank cards have been cancelled and reissued.

sad. Feel like such idiots. They were so nice, they have done this to others in the village as well, telling real hard luck stories, we've been suckers.

HollyBerryBush Sat 05-Jan-13 14:29:24

What have the banks said - although I'd be surprised if they help you as you all freely gave pin numbers and bank details away.

This is word against word isnt it - they accessed your accounts with your permission.

I really don't know lovvie, difficult one. I really don't think you have a leg to stand on

I've googled - the banks will say it's your fault sad

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:30:32

LessMiss - they went to the cashpoint with her card, she gave them her card and pin sad not a DD. They worked on her for weeks, made out they had no money for food.

LIZS Sat 05-Jan-13 14:31:15

Incapacity but can hep with renovations ... Can you direct bailiffs to the employer's address.

NewYearNewNN Sat 05-Jan-13 14:31:54

I think OP's mum's own direct debits are bouncing because there's £150 less in her account than there should be LessMissAbs.

Have you rung police yet? If not why not? <stern>

Oreocrumbs Sat 05-Jan-13 14:31:59

Afrod, you have my full sympathies, but you need to make sure you act correctly.

Get onto the police asap about the theft. Do this now.

Then you are going to have to go through an eviction process. Now chances are from the sound of these people they will bugger off to evade everything catching up with them - but you have to act legally.

You need to look at the type of lease, and I suggest you post in legal and property for advice but basically you have to give 2 full months notice to quit, youy can not order someone out in 7 days - in breach of lease, theif, scum of the earth, whatever.

Also did you take a bond? And if so please say it is protected. Otherwise they may well take you to court for 3x the amount and they will get it.

If they decide not to run off, you are going to have a lengthy battle getting them out, so start off doing it right now. I think they probably will scarper, but start it right and you will be on track.

But the police will help nudge things along. Oh and don't tell the police you have taken their tools hostage wink

Afrodizzywonders Sat 05-Jan-13 14:32:03

Holly - we see it as a civil matter as we did give our cards to them. So it is our fault entirely. Just trying to get what we can back and get them out ASAP with no damage to our property, hence taking the work tools from one as assurance.

NewYearNewNN Sat 05-Jan-13 14:32:36

wow loads of xposts! sorry

EllieArroway Sat 05-Jan-13 14:32:42

Yes, go to the police.

But hang on - they have 7 days to get out from yesterday? This is almost certainly not legal, I'm afraid, no matter what shitbags they are or how they have broken the lease.

They have a tenancy agreement with you, hence they have a tenancy. Even if they are not paying rent, the agreement to provide labour instead of paying rent does not take away any of their legal rights.

If you force them out you are committing a criminal offence which could carry a prison term. You'll also have to pay them compensation that is likely to run into the thousands.

Please be extremely careful unless you want your husband in prison?? The courts take a very dim view of illegal eviction.

I sympathise, truly, but.....oh dear sad

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