What is a CCJ, and would one make a tenant unviable?

Question

My tenant has been referenced, and although they otherwise fit the bill perfectly, the report has shown that they have a CCJ. What exactly is this, and should I rule them out because of it?

Answer

Any type of financial black mark against a tenant can raise red flags, however, it is important to take everything into account before you a make a decision. You are right to consider you next move carefully.

A CCJ - or County Court Judgement - is a type of court order that can be issued in England, Wales and Northern Ireland against an individual if they fail to pay money that they owe. In Scotland, the process is called enforcing a debt by diligence.

A CCJ will stay on a credit rating for six years - however, a lot can change in this time! You should take into account the other elements of your prospective tenants reference before
writing them off, after all, a CCJ received five and a half years years ago possibly doesn't reflect them now!

If you find yourself in this situation, firstly you should consider whether the CCJ has been satisfied. If so, this means your tenant has paid their debt in full, and no longer owes any money.

Secondly before you move forward, make sure you find out what the CCJ was for. If it was for not paying rent, it might be worth considering if this is a risk you are willing to take. However, an unpaid parking fine (possibly easier to forget about than your rent!) could be slightly more justifiable.

If you choose to proceed, consider a guarantor. You are perfectly within your rights to request your tenant supplies a guarantor, someone who is willing to guarantee their rent if
they fail to pay. most people will be willing to supply someone for this role, and if your tenant is unwilling, this may raise a red flag...



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