May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 17, 2013
A tenant was told he could be evicted for rent arrears – because he owes the princely sum of 1p to his housing association.
Koisor Miah was sent a stern letter by Circle 33 housing group informing him of the tiny debt and demanding he settles it within seven days.
The letter, which landed on his doormat on Saturday, warns he faces “further action” and could even lose his home in Birnam Road, Finsbury Park, if he does not pay up.
Mr Miah, 35, a health and safety expert who runs his own business, said: “I couldn’t stop laughing. The letter says if I don’t clear the debt, they will seek to take further legal action. I’m at risk of losing my home over one penny!”
The letter includes a bright red strip where the words “your payment is now overdue” are written in capitals.
It says a direct debit bounced, which placed him in arrears of 1p, but Mr Miah insisted that he checked with his bank and no payments have been skipped.
He says he has not missed a single rent payment since moving into the flat he shares with his 12-year-old son in 2010.
He added: “It doesn’t seem to be automatically generated, because someone has gone to the trouble of signing it. I’m sure it cost a lot more than 1p just to post this letter.
“I feel like refusing to pay it just to see what happens – will they waste taxpayers’ money by taking me to court over 1p?
“To threaten me over a penny is ridiculous. How I’ve managed to owe 1p, I don’t know. I would be angry if it wasn’t so laughable.”
A spokesman for Circle 33 insisted a direct debit has been missed and said the letter was automatically sent as a result.
However, she did not explain why Mr Miah has a debt of 1p.
Neil Brown, managing director of Circle 33, said: “We inform residents when a direct debit is refused to ensure that they are aware and can take appropriate steps to check the situation with their bank.
“Our team will be calling the resident to talk through the letter with them.
“We do appreciate the feedback and will take it on board when we are improving our communications to avoid any future misunderstandings.”