legalites of previous house ocupants...

legalities of previous house ocupants...

We bought and moved to this house earlier this year. We've continued to get mail for the last tenant of the previous owners. I normally redirect mail "gone away" and send back to the "if undelivered" address. Recently we had an envelope with NO return address, opened it - and it's from the council - a final demand for benefit overpayment for a previous tenant... Should I contact the council by phone and explain they have moved on, or just send the envelope back with "gone away" on.. I don't want bayliffs appearing at the door... or court summons to this address...



Smutmaster General
From my own previous personal experience, just send it back to them saying not at this address. If you phone, some numpty who's been given the job of chasing it up will use you as an excuse to pass work on, and you'll be badgered, just coz you're a voice at the end of the phone who has made contact and is therefore linked to the "case".


Legendary Member
Open the letters, call the company, tell them the situation, but don't give them your name or number or you'll get calls every few weeks.......

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I've had this situation before, in fact still do in one particular case.

I always open the letter. If it's something like a final demand or similar, then I contact the organisation involved, you really don't want the bad-guys at dawn routine and having to argue the toss whilst in your jim-jams.
If I can re-direct I have done for the odd bits and pieces, or if it's of no value then bin it. Recently we have started getting a few bits for some occupants that set-up a chalet business in France, I've simply written "no longer at this address" and given last known contact info in France and faxed it back to the Bank.


Years and years ago, living in Flatland in Hove, I had a similar situation. Previous occupant, whom I didn't know and had never met, had no forwarding address, she was just a name on an envelope to me - had an unpaid parking fine, that was all. I suppose it must have been a police ticket since it was the Plod pursuing her. Innumerable letters, some of them recorded-delivery (which I refused to sign for), several personal calls by officers of Her Majesty's. Was explained to me that they couldn't close the file on the case. I never did find out how to stop them coming. And I presume, after an interval of 30 years, that that fine's still unpaid. :sad::biggrin::biggrin:


New Member
I get water bill demands, have done for a year, I opened the last one, it was claiming some guy at my adress owed them £100 and that debt collecters/baliffs would be coming round

This is rather strange, as I am the only person who has lived there as its a brand new flat, even if the landlord owed them a standing charge it would only be £25 pounds

Rang them months agon and explained

The demands keep coming, I think it will end in me having balifs charged with burglary someday soon if I happen to be out and they force entry, or a stand off until the police turn up and get rid of them for me


Resting in suspended Animation
I would do what zimzum says to a t. If the collection of council tax/benefit is privatised I'd be extremely worried since these companies are incredibly incompetant.


Thanks. I'll probably call the council on Monday, and say the person they want to contact has left, then return the letter. In theory the district council should know that we are here anyway, via council tax, and electoral role. Hopefully this will avoid bailiffs at dawn... :sad:

These people's water demand also arrived, so I've just rung TW, and they've put a note on their system, and said to just return the demand.



The following seems to work (especially if the unwanted post is sent in an unstamped envelope along with the letter):

Dear Sir/Madam/Computer/Robot/Gholem/Automaton/Android/Simulacrum/Babelfish

I have returned a number of these to you since I moved in and I have always put "Gone Away" on the returned envelope.

Since I have lived at xxxxxxxxxxxxx for nearly four years now, perhaps someone might take time away from their busy working life to find out what Ms xxxxxxxx’s new address might be and save me the trouble of taking time away from my busy life to write to you again.

I have included Babelfish in my salutation, in case you have outsourced your database management to a country where English is an unknown concept.

If you send anything to me again, I will return it in a bloody great envelope with 3 weeks back copies of the Sunday Times and without a stamp.

I remain, sir, most respectfully yours
Julius P Gruntfuttock


Senior Member
Ipswich, Suffolk
From my experience of working ithe "collections" department of a finance company you ought to call the council and tell them they have moved on.

explain to them you situation, that you have recently purchased a qroperty that was let out by the previous owners. you don't need give them any of your details at all.

The council will then do 2 things. Firstly a "seek search" will be carried out to locate the offending tenants, this wil highlight any addresss that they have claimed as their own since the application for benefits. they wil also contact their employer (if there is one) to see if they have details of a new address.

You ought to make a note of the operators name and the time/date of your call... this will help if they do persist in sending you mail or calling you.
We got loads of these when we first moved, including one from NTL pursuing me for money I didn't owe them from an address I hadn't lived at for three years. But the most persistent offenders were...........

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Mr Walovski had long since departed from my house.....but they wouldn't have it. We sent stuff back....the landlord sent stuff back.....still it kept coming.

So I wouldn't worry too much about those CDs. The info on them is three years out of date. At least. And spelled wrong.


I had the bailiffs and the police round, chasing after a previous tenant who seemed to be in a lot of trouble.


Smutmaster General
Fnaar said:
From my own previous personal experience, just send it back to them saying not at this address. If you phone, some numpty who's been given the job of chasing it up will use you as an excuse to pass work on, and you'll be badgered, just coz you're a voice at the end of the phone who has made contact and is therefore linked to the "case".
Yes, we had bailiffs round as mrs f had been kind enough to respond to officials chasing unpaid council tax from person who lived in a flat after mrs f had left there, and had nowt to do with her (or me for that matter). The officials simply got a name who had responded, and went for it. It's chasing money to meet targets, not anything to do with the actual misdemeanour at all. I told 'em to f*** off and do their bloody homework.
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