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to be fuming with the DVLA and wonder what the heck we can do about this mess

(28 Posts)
LividLou Sat 30-Mar-13 19:35:18

Long story, will try to keep it short - the tenant who used to live in house left behind a load of debts - had not paid any elec/gas/council tax bills, had several store cards with lots owing on them, etc etc - nightmare. Initially we forwarded everything to her - some of the letters were obviously hosptial appointments and about benefits, there is no way I was going to ignore and bin these important letters. As soon as she had moved out, letters from debt collection agencies etc and baliffs "we came and you were out" notices started arriving too.(the house was remaining unoccupied at this time) When after several months it became evident that the ex tenant was not doing anything about these, we started sending everythign back to the return address with covering letters saying she did not live there, and telling them her last known address (where the agency told us she had moved to)

It took a long time, lots of phone calls etc but finally we have managed to get ALL of these sorted and are not being bothered by her debts any more.

Then we had a letter from the DVLA informing her that someone was trying to register a car she was registered as owning, had she sold it - also reminding her of her DUTY to inform them of change of keeper. I wrote to the DVLA and explained she did not live there, gave them her last known address and the address of the letting agent incase she had moved on again.

since then we have had dozens of parking fines etc - the agencies these are coming from (mainly transport for london), followed by letters threatening legal action etc etc. I have written carefully to each one - their reply " we get our info from the DVLA and the car is registered to AB at this address". So they keep coming. Almost every week. I write to DVLA again. No reply. I write again 2 months later, No reply. I ring - they can't discuss but advise me to send a copy of a current bill. Then we get a letter about her needing to renew her photo driving licence - so I send it back with copies of all my letters again and a current council tax bill (showing the house as unoccupied) to their complaints dept. I finally (after alomst a year) get a bog standard letter (in which the tenant is referred to by the wrong gender) saying "due to data protection we cannot amend a persons driving lisence record without their authorisation"

so - she has moved and not told them, she has sold her car and not told them, someone else is driving it now presumably unregistered!! and clocking up loads of fines etc, she has failed to renew her photo licence - but WE, who have done our best to infom all the relevant people are STILL getting these bloody fines every single week. Not to mention the fact that I suspect in fact it may NOT be her ex-car, but maybe someone has cloned the plates, who knows.

this has been going on for over a year. It is so not fair, the stress, the time, the expense of the letters and phone calls, the worry about getting baliffs turning up and the address being blacklisted!! What on earth can we do!

and yes i am a regular and have NC becsue this may out me in RL

TonysHardWorkDay Sat 30-Mar-13 19:40:27

Addresses can't be blacklisted, only people. Stop writing to anyone, just send the letters back unopened marked return to sender not known at this address. TBH engaging with them is probably making things worse as they might think you can be pressured to repay someone elses debt.

Ignore, ignore, ignore, nothing to do with you. I had this when I moved into my current place. Just keep sending the letters back.

galwaygirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:41:21

Are you opening her mail or are the letters addressed to the occupier?

We had similar problems in our last place so I sympathise but we just crossed out the address and returned to sender writing ''Not at this address' and forgot about them, apart from the bailiffs leaving cards we could read without opening. We contacted them as you have done and heard nothing more. I really don't think you should be opening her mail?

TheEasterQODdy Sat 30-Mar-13 19:41:32

Fuck knows

We're enjoying a lull in the endless letters re the van insurance taken out at our address, defaulted, unreported accident, bailiff threats etc.
We've rung and written, I reckon we will get a court summons soon for this person that has never here, we don't know them!! Argh

Feel your pain

galwaygirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:42:10

Oh yes just to add that things have moved on with credit ratings etc so a bad record at and address shouldn't affect you personally.

Flisspaps Sat 30-Mar-13 19:44:26

If bailiffs turn up, then you can prove you're not her.

People, not addresses, are blacklisted.

Return the post to sender, or shred it. Treat it like junk mail. It's honestly not your problem to worry about - it'll be hers when they catch up with her!

galwaygirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:44:47

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to open someone else's mail.

galwaygirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:45:24

Or destroy it so shredding it is not advisable

Catkinsthecatinthehat Sat 30-Mar-13 19:48:07

Complain to your MP, and ask them to take it up directly with the DVLA, which will result in the case being looked at by the correspondence unit dealing with complaints from Parliamentarians

Vicky2011 Sat 30-Mar-13 19:50:37

We had similar many years ago which involved letters and phone calls and various baillifs refusing to accept that I was not in anyway related to the previous tenants. In the end we got a solicitor to write (well fax - it is a while ago) the bailiffs and councils (there were £1000s in parking fines) saying, well I'm not sure what to be honest, but it was good legal-ese and enough to stop the harassment immediately. Annoying to have to pay for the letter but worth it for the speed with which they backed down.

LividLou Sat 30-Mar-13 19:52:00

Gah! I just feel so pissed off though because have tried to be responsible citizen and do the right thing - gave her the chance to see to it herself first and she obviously has no intention of ever sorting the mess out. Have given the DVLA all the info - have proved noone living there etc!

why cant they say thank you we will look into it? if they ARE trying to write to her at her new place, what can they do if she is just ignoring everything??

I reckon she will move on again before long and leave another mess for some other poor soul!

Did not know it was people not address blacklisted now though, that does help a bit! Thanks.

What can baliffs do? Can they take stuff becaue they think they are the correct address for the person they are chasing??

SneakyNinja Sat 30-Mar-13 19:52:57

Yabu to worry about it. It really should be nothing more than a minor irritation. We have almost exactly the same situation regarding debts and bailiffs. We even had one turn up on our doorstep, 'Are you Mrs Soandso?' 'No, she hasn't lived here for 3 years' ' Ok, sorry to bother you'

Any mail that is not to you just return to sender or straight in the bin. Job done.

LividLou Sat 30-Mar-13 19:54:56

I will try to chant "it's not my problem, return to sender" ad infinitum!

SneakyNinja Sat 30-Mar-13 19:55:55

Sucks being a good citizen doesn't it grin

TonysHardWorkDay Sat 30-Mar-13 19:57:34

Lividlou, they can do nothing to you. Don't get involved and don't get engaged just send it back. Think about it, you'd be pretty peed off if I wrote to the DVLA on your behalf and changed your details?

Highly unlikely baliffs will come, they cost money and no one is going to send them out. They can only levy on the person who owes the debt, not on you. I had a Ctax Baliff once years ago, it was the same as sneakyninja. He had a pop at the council on the phone as they knew the couple weren't living there anymore (as I was paying ctax) and still sent him. The people who previously lived in my house owed a fortune, I never had a knock on the door and stopped getting any letters after a year.

TonysHardWorkDay Sat 30-Mar-13 19:58:20

Cross posted, do that Livid and just have a nice glass of wine instead.

LividLou Sat 30-Mar-13 19:58:37

see SneakyNinja, I did not think they would accept that so easily and go away - even if I can prove my ID, thats not the same as proving she does not still live there and that none of the household possessions are hers?

LividLou Sat 30-Mar-13 20:06:23

Judging by the responses, I am obviously overthinking this, I have to shrug it off - I've tried, now its not my problem.
trouble is I feel some sort of guilt by association, and have always been rather stressy about debt and legalese etc.

Must try to not give a damn!

Tony - Obviously I dont expect them to accept my word for her new address - just accept my word that she does not live at this particukr address - it's more that they wont even say "thanks, we'll look into it" - they ought to be able to put something on record that would stop the fines coming. when will they ever stop if she never changes her details ?

AuntieMaggie Sat 30-Mar-13 20:10:03

It sounds like you've been opening her post (which is illegal btw) which may sound to the people you're talking to like you are making excuses for her or are her.

you should just cross through the address and put 'no longer at this address return to sender' on the envelope. it takes a while but keep doing it and don't interact with anyone on her behalf anymore.

GrendelsMum Sat 30-Mar-13 20:10:35

We once had bailiffs come to the house looking for someone who'd previously house shared there - and yes, the conversation literally went 'no, he doesn't live here anymore', 'oh, okay then'. It was a bit bizarre, to be honest.

ScarlettInSpace Sat 30-Mar-13 20:13:14

Agree with the posters above saying not to engage, and although I know you were trying to do the right thing if you have been opening her mail then it's out of order IMO and probably against the law.

Just return to sender unopened with NO LONGER AT THIS ADDRESS written all over it, that's what I do with the various bills that still turn up at my house addressed to my former lodger [and former friend] 2 yrs after she left.

I opened the letter addressed to me advising me my littlewoods acct that i had no bloody idea about was now cleared [ive never had a f'king littlewoods acct in my life, at least she had the sense to pay THAT off before she moved out, but that's a whole other story grin ]

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 30-Mar-13 20:17:19

The dvla is having huge paperwork issues,I understand a documentary is in the pipeline of being filmed about them,

If your interested I can give you the reporters details

notnagging Sat 30-Mar-13 20:19:00

I'm sorry I can't see what your issue is. You've taken it upon yourself to do all of this. Why?
Your name isn't blacklisted or your address so why stress yourself out?

TonysHardWorkDay Sat 30-Mar-13 20:19:09

It can be hard when you are used to dealing with things by the book. Luckily I've lived in a variety of dumps and have got used to ignoring the rubbish left behind!

As for the DVLA, remember they are a government organisation, freedom of thought is not allowed. Quite often they use standard letters that cannot be amended by the little people. When I worked in benefits I was mortified by the basic errors in our standard letters (Yours Sincerely) but I could not physically change the template. If you ignore it long enough eventually someone that is able to make a decision will take a look. It is mostly likely that the driver of the car will eventually be pulled for an offence at which point the correct details will come to light. I've also heard of at debt collectors that counted a response as a successful contact, so in their case engaging was actually perpetuating the situation rather than bringing it to an end.

As a rule of thumb I generally find it takes around a year for the letters to stop after you start sending them back. You might still get the odd fishing letter but again ignore.

Chandon Sat 30-Mar-13 20:28:39

Yes, it is stressful.

We had lts of debt collectors and bailifs and even the Crown Court ( at 6 am on a Saturday morning) for the previous owner.

And countless letter, loads.

I sent ALL back with " not at this address" or "moved", also, I told the postman to please not deliver letters to me that were addressed to this person.

It all faded. I did not let the bailiffs and crown court prosecutor into the hpuse though, but either way, it was NOT ME they were after, so it was a nuissance but nothing worse.

You made a mistake in engaging with someone else's debt collector IMO, return to sender unopened, all of them! And it will all disappear.

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