Checklist for debt collection agencies
Many landlords make use of debt collection agencies to help them with the submission of claims. Claims often contain insufficient information and documentation. Claims often consist of one "main item" and contain inadequate explanations. Inadequate claims may mean that decisions are not made in favour of the complainant.
The HTU is not permitted to hand down judgements in absentia (whereby anyone who fails to respond automatically loses his case). There is therefore no point in requesting such. The HTU decides individual claims in accordance with normal consideration of the evidence. Any doubts will have a negative impact on whoever has submitted the claim in question.
Here is a list showing what should be included in a claim:
- The address of the tenancy to which the claim applies must be shown clearly.
- A copy of the whole signed lease, along with information about the period of tenancy and the rent payable, etc. If no written lease is available then information to this effect should be provided. In such cases the most important terms and conditions of the tenancy must be provided. If the lease has expired, information should be provided about when the dwelling was vacated, when the keys were handed in, when the dwelling was rented out again and when the period of notice expires.
- Do not submit claims as unspecified "principal claims". Since the HTU has to consider the individual items contained in a claim, a specified list of such individual items must be provided. For example, if a claim relates to overdue rent/unpaid electricity bills, then information must be provided about which months the claim applies to, which amounts apply to rent and which amounts apply to electricity.
- Please enclose documentation relating to all claims. Such documentation must show both the amount lost and the fact that the respondent is responsible for such. It will then be easier for the respondent to consider the claims in his response, and the HTU can then make the best possible decision.
- Information should be provided about how any debt collection fees have been calculated (which provisions have been referred to in the Debt Collection Regulations, which amounts form the basis for the calculation of fees, which debt collection rates have been used and how many times, and whether or not VAT has been charged). Any demands for payment should be enclosed.