Question

Tenant References (England)

CCJs – can you be unaware of one registered against you?

27 Feb 2016 | 4 comments

Tenant swears he didn’t know he had one. If he didn’t know, does that indicate he has been evading creditors? Credit report advises us to decline him as debt almost £6000. Could there be a mistake? If he is lying, we don’t want him, but if he is being maligned how can we find out?

Answer

4 Comments

  1. guildy

    I have never seen such reports being wrong so I have no doubt there is a CCJ (although we are now using a new system, the basis of where the information comes from remains similar to what we’ve used for years).

    Whether the prospective tenant was aware is unknown. In theory it is possible for a CCJ to have been obtained at a previous address for example after he had moved. However, the CCJ would still exist and be valid.

    There are a couple of options for the tenant:

    Firstly they could obtain their own credit report for free from various providers such as Clearscore or Experian (the latter probably being the more reliable).

    Such services will often provide advice on how to clear up a score including relating to any CCJ.

    The second option, is that the prospective tenant could look at the details of the CCJ – primarily which court is was obtained in – and make an application to have it set aside. The grounds being unaware of the CCJ. This is only possible if they make the application promptly upon becoming aware.

    This might give you an indication as to the honesty of the tenant?

    To clarify though, on balance, it is most likely that the CCJ is genuine and fairly probable that tenant is aware so you should be very cautious.

  2. Danny

    Thank you. He says his credit history isn’t the greatest but doesn’t give any other info about it. We have made the suggestions you suggest. He is desperate to have the tenancy, offering character refs and increased deposit, but we are being very cautious, as you say.

  3. guildy

    Do I recall you checked a guarantor at the same time? If so, ask if they are a home owner, which should then be checked here for a cost of £3.00.

    If they are, then maybe you could take the risk if you really wanted (that is not a recommendation, just an observation). At least if the tenant fails to pay and the guarantor fails, you could attach the debt to the home (it’s complicated and a fair bit of work but possible).

  4. Danny

    Adrian, it’s very good of you to come back to us. Yes, the guarantor check and HMLR check were fine. But, unless the prospective tenant comes back with some very convincing explanation of this situation I think we should avoid complication and continue to follow your golden rules.

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