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Tenant refuses to be “bullied” into paying rent owed after fleeing to Greece

A tenant who emigrated to Greece without paying more than £1,000 he owes in rent insists that he will not be “intimidated or bullied” into paying the money.

Erik Mikusauskas, who was a law student at the University of Lincoln, left the student house he was renting in West Parade, without notifying the landlord after deciding to move to Greece. 

Mikusauskas told Lincolnshire Live that he decided not to pay the landlord so that he could “support” himself while looking for a new job in Greece. 

The 20-year old was exposed on Facebook after the landlord, who has asked to remain unnamed, published a post on the website asking about his whereabouts. 

The former student, who admitted that he did not tell his landlord he was moving out, responded to the message by posting his own message to his ex-landlord, stating: “Catch me if you can.” 

Mikusauskas told the press: “I mean he [the landlord] tried to expose me because he didn’t believe I have moved and didn’t bother asking me so I memed him. 

“If I decided not to pay him there is very little he can to reclaim the money as my British bank account is empty and I don’t have any property in the UK.

“He can get a CCJ against me, but then again my credit score in the UK doesn’t matter and he’ll only be wasting more money.

“This isn’t an ideal situation but I refuse to be intimidated or bullied into it.”

He continued: “I do [feel sympathy] obviously but it’s being stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

“It’s either I pay him the money I had but I wouldn’t have any more to support myself while I tried to find a new full-time job in a small university city where there aren’t many full-time jobs available.

“Or I go to Greece to have a nice job and a better life.”

The landlord claims he only became aware of the situation after a housemate of Mikusauskas told him that the former student had emigrated.

He said: “If he ever came back [to the UK] I would take every legal route possible purely for the principle.

“If he was that nice he could have at least left a tenant [but he has] completely left me with an empty room so late in the [academic] year and not getting rent for a year.”

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    And the moral of this sad and unfortunate case is never take tenants on face value regardless of their financial position - alway insist on a guarantor. I did and it saved me thousands of pounds... But I learned the hard way too.

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    • N P
    • 19 September 2019 09:27 AM

    Unfortunately a guarantor is a bit of a luxury. Most guarantors are parents/relatives, in this case and my case where most of my tenants are from abroad, a guarantor based abroad is virtually useless. Even if the guarantor is based in the UK they ideally need to be a homeowner, which isn't always the case. More often than not a suitable guarantor cannot be provided. But I agree, it's always worth asking to see if one can be provided. I'd love to see employers be guarantors.

     
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    @ NP. I'm of a similar opinion but only to a point, you speak as if there's a shortage of would-be tenants. Where is the gain in letting the property to tenants who are likely to abscond? It's a lose-lose situation.

     
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    Money claim on line, £60 (tax deductible) money well spent, CCJ on his record for 6 yrs, then do the same again for another 6 yrs, this guy will very likely come back to this country at some point, revenge is sweet, the grand really doesn't matter.

    Daniela Provvedi

    Totally agree! I would also go ahead with the CCJ.
    If this tenant wants to burn his bridges with the UK and not give a damn, then he deserves what he gets.

     
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    I had a Tenant that was well in arrears and told me at Christmas time he couldn’t pay me rent because he had to buy Presents for his relatives, now that’s far more important ?.

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    I had that one from a single mum some yrs ago, ended up both her and her child being evicted, I no longer do single mums, more trouble than they are worth.

     
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    whilst uk is in eu--court order can be enforced in greece?

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    • S S
    • 19 September 2019 14:50 PM

    Note the headline - Tenant "bullied" - the tenant signed a contract and he has breached that contract. He has left the country making the choice NOT to honour his contract. Now the LL is "bullying". This is WRONG. The headline should be "Tenant refuses to HONOUR contract". Now if a LL asks someone within the terms of the contract to leave the property, he is vilified - Government change the Law to protect the "poor" tenant, but when the tenant does a runner leaving the LL in the lurch - the Tenant is bullied....LL are in a NO WIN situation. LANDLORD TODAY why do you make headlines that support LL bashing even when the poor LL has done nothing wrong?

  • Paul Barrett

    Kneejerk reaction I am afraid.
    LL automatically presumed to be in the wrong.
    Tenants are presumed to ALWAYS be as pure as driven snow.
    LL by DEFAULT are always rogue!!
    FAKE news is alive and well and is rapidly destroying the PRS.
    Tough s##t on tenants who increasingly won't be able to source any rental property at prices they can afford or choose to afford or NOT
    !
    Blame Shelter; GR, Govt and Councils.
    Not the fault of LL.
    I yearn for the day that desperate tenants are forced to offer sealed bids to secure a tenancy.
    May not be far off!

    Bill Wood

    Sealed bids - never thought of that - might be a good idea.
    Those that want it most, and can afford it, and who submit proper references etc, get the house!

     
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    There should be tougher rules for tenants regarding rent payment, paying bills. Since we cannot ask for more than 5 weeks towards the deposit then we should ask to pay 2months rent in advance instead of 2months rent in advance.

    Paul Barrett

    @prafula
    Do us a favour would you clarify what you meant to say in the last sentence of your post!

     
  • Paul Barrett

    Two month's rent in advance makes a S21 more awkward.
    Mind you pretty academic as S21 is going irrespective of any consultation results.
    Welcome to the nightmare of allegedly an enhanced S8 process!!

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    I have taken two cases to county court not just for the money but more for the principle that they tried to have me over. Both times I have won and the result stays on their records which hinders them for future renting. Each time I make sure that they know why I took them to court - maybe some may say to rub their noses in it - but I say 'you break the rules you pay the piper' and the word soon creeps around the rest of my tenants.
    I really like the comment from Andrew Townsend dated 19.9.19 0917.

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    You are absolutely right David and the best part about suing a former tenant for arrears of rent, or anything else come to that - is: you don't have to have the new address you can sue the tenant using their last known address i.e. where they lived as your tenant.

     
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