How do I enforce debt recovery from former tenants?

Question from Danella McCormick updated on 12th September 2008:

Hi I had some tenants who moved without paying rent, I went to Tenancy services and was awarded the money, then chased it through the Ministry of Justice who sent a Bailiff to assess the tenants who basically said they can't afford to pay. Where do I go from here?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

If a landlord has a Tenancy Tribunal order establishing a debt, and is not able to arrange for payment of the debt with the tenant directly, they may enforce the order through private debt collection agencies or through the Collections Unit of the District Court. There are several types of proceedings available through the Collections Unit for enforcement of monetary orders, some of which may be appropriate if your tenant is not able to repay the full debt immediately. As you have already started enforcement proceedings with the Collections Unit, I suggest that you speak with them further about the options for enforcing the debt. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to private debt collection agencies to find out about the services they can provide.

Landlords recommends: DBH has a new information pack or CD called Get It Right - A landlord's guide to practical property management. You can download a copy here:

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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