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Celia_Alan

Selling repo'd cars? Advice required

Question

I work for a company that owns and rents out industrial units we have a tenant that hasn't paid rent for several months. Lots of promises and partial payments but we are going to evict them and take control of the contents of the unit to sell to cover the debt, it won't.  There are several cars in the unit some we may just fill with scrap metal and get collected. Others are worth a bit more and from a casual look will run so could sell but no log book would this be a huge issue in selling? Would you buy a car with no log book from a company I know it could be iffy from a private seller?

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Would probably get some proper legal advice , I know sometimes repo cars end up in auctions but it could open up a can of worms if some of those cars arent his..

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From what I have been lead to believe is that it's not our problem it's his. He hasn't paid his rent and we are taking control of all of the contents of the unit to cover his debt. If someone can prove ownership that's different but otherwise it will be sold. 

Tools and stock are easy to sell but the vehicles may end up crushed for scrap which is a shame with something like a classic mini.

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INAL but I believe that you cannot sell a third party's private property in such a case. You can only recover debts based on their properties. I am reasonable sure that you will have to perform some due diligence to found out what vehicles are theirs. It seems to me there would be a reasonable expectation that they are not his in this case. So if the third party finds that you auctioned off their property, they could try to recover their losses from you.

 

The DVLA specifically has forms for these cases as in order to find out the registered keeper, you have to have "reasonable cause". I suspect your situation covers this. It's a free service too.

 

Of course, if you have done your due diligence and was unable to find an up to date keeper, then you can take further steps like getting rid of them.

 

As arizona says, get some legal advice from an actual property lawyer to prevent getting shafted down the line, though contacting the DVLA would be the second step I would take after taking control of the unit.

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As above. Take proper advice.

First of all check with DVLA who the registered keeper is. That is however not necessarily the legal owner. You need to be sure the legal owner is the same "Person" as the debtor. Then you will need to HPI them to make sure they are not owned by a finance company.

Nemo dat quod non habet is a basic rule that you can't sell what you don't own. A repossessing Landlord may have some right to sell the tenants fixtures and fittings but with regards to possible assets like these I would recommend you obtain a ccj for the money and put the bailiffs in to enforce it. You can upgrade enforcement by transferring it to High court as they have more enforcement powers.

You could try applying to DVLA on a V62 to obtain a V5 but that only says who the registered keeper is. It is not a document of title, but I wouldn't buy a car without one personally.

I deal with conveyancing work rather than litigation so these are suggestions not formal advice! Contact a specialist before doing anything but wandering in. lifting and flogging them willy nilly is errrm a bit high risk! If you sell them without checking you may end up having your collar felt for theft or Taking without consent! This is not a good thing.

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The laws are very complex regarding taking items to repay debts, and contravening these can be a criminal offence, or at the very least can lead to a large compensation claim. Effectively any items taken that aren't owned by the debtor are stolen property, this may even apply to goods taken without court documentation. Bear in mind that a company and the company owner is not one and the same.

 

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We don't want to sell a third parties property but surly they would need proof of ownership otherwise anyone could claim to own it. As their business was buying, fixing and selling cars we are quite confident they belong to the tenant as a sole trader. But will check the DVLA link thanks. 

I will be doing nothing without authorisation from higher up in the company. We really don't want the hassle of parting out this crap and hope it will scare him into paying his rent but doubt it will. 

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INAL but I assume that the tenants of these units have to sign a contract, which stipulates what happens in the event on non payment. It seems likely this would say that any item left in the unit would be used to recover any debts. However, in exercising such a clause it would be up to the creditor (i.e you) to ensure that any item does indeed belong to the debtor.

 

However, no contract can contravene other legal rights. _Chris_ is right to raise the point of courts. It would seem right to go to small claims court (assuming that the amount is less than £3000, as you're in Scotland) to get proper authorisation. But maybe it's more?

 

Once you have the appropriate documentation in place, it should be possible to get the V5C from the DVLA, etc. There's companies that specialise in selling cars in these sorts of situations, like this one. Maybe they'll take the cars in exchange for this Eurofighter Typhoon model thing.

 

You could even try inviting this guy:

gallery_ustv-storage-hunters-sean-kelly.

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wasn't there one of those debt recovery bbc things which the dodgy company basically used a different company to register the cars in a lot in, so they could not use them as part payment for a CCJ. Seemed to remember they had to note down all the cars and do a search on if they were actually registered to the company, and if so they could take them.

 

 

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Thanks for the advice I've not been ignoring this thread just been busy with work and the wifes idea of just a wee job round the house which turned into pulling down walls stripping 30 years with of wall paper argh. 

 

Anyway tenants started paying more rent so this may not be needed we will see but won't hold my breath

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