Penalty Fare - tenant no longer at address

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ChristopherJ

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I have received a final reminder for the payment of a £110 penalty fare (£80 PF + £30 admin fees) from IRCAS on behalf of TfL for the previous tenant of my household who had been caught fare evading on the London Underground on 9th March 2012.

I moved in to this property in December 2011 so the previous tenant has taken advantage of the recent move and still claimed that he lives at what is now my legal address.

Should I just ignore the letter or contact IRCAS to confirm that the tenant no longer lives at this address?
 
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I would contact IRCAS. You have nothing to worry about as you have done nothing wrong, but contacting IRCAS might allow them to prosecute this fare evader for providing fraudulent information.
 

exile

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The wisest thing would have been to return the mail unopened assuming you have no forwarding address
 

ainsworth74

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You could either contact IRCAS informing them of the mistake or simply return it marked either NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS or NO LONGER AT THIS ADDRESS.
 

bluenoxid

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I have received a final reminder for the payment of a £110 penalty fare (£80 PF + £30 admin fees) from IRCAS on behalf of TfL for the previous tenant of my household who had been caught fare evading on the London Underground on 9th March 2012.

I moved in to this property in December 2011 so the previous tenant has taken advantage of the recent move and still claimed that he lives at what is now my legal address.

Should I just ignore the letter or contact IRCAS to confirm that the tenant no longer lives at this address?
Reseal and return to sender marked with no longer at this address since Dec 2011. You could ring them but that is your choice.

Ignore the mitherers about whether you should open the post. What is done is done.
 

Darandio

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Reseal and return to sender marked with no longer at this address since Dec 2011. You could ring them but that is your choice.

Ignore the mitherers about whether you should open the post. What is done is done.
Never mind mithering. It's an offence, end of.

It would have been much easier to not open it and mark on what you have suggested, then pop it in the post rather than open, read and then ask advice.
 

Bungle73

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Never mind mithering. It's an offence, end of.

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So? If something arrives at my house with our address on it, but an unknown name of course I'm going to open it to see what it is. For all I know it might be for me, but they've got the name wrong.
 

Darandio

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Quote the offence then.
Not entirely sure of the offence in law, but the PF website states this:

Q. I have received correspondence at my address but the person does not live here.

A. If you have received a letter at your address, and the person named on the letter does not live at your address, then DO NOT OPEN THE LETTER. It is not addressed to you and you break the law if you open someone else's mail. You must return it to the post office by writing on the envelope "not at this address" and putting it unopened in any post box. (No stamp required)
Presumably an organisation such as that has an idea what they are talking about?
 

CheapAndNerdy

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Have you actually opened the mail? Isn't that illegal in itself?
I think this is the relevant legislation:

Postal Services Act 2000 S84 SS3 said:
A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.
 

Darandio

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Yes, just found and looked at that. Although I imagine there is a case for reasonable excuse providing the outer packaging looks threatening towards the household.

If not, and the packaging looks like much any other letter, then it should be simply returned.

If its got my exact address on it to me that's a "reasonable excuse" to open it.
Why? There are naturally going to be previous tenants.

Although reasonable and accidental are not going to be far apart I imagine.
 

ChristopherJ

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So? If something arrives at my house with our address on it, but an unknown name of course I'm going to open it to see what it is. For all I know it might be for me, but they've got the name wrong.
Indeed.

Lets evalute the circumstances. Firstly an offence in the form of fare evading on the railway has occured. Secondly, it has been discovered false and fraudulent information has been illegally passed to deter the first offence.

And I'm the bad one here...?



Another reason to put in my little green book that the UK is a **** country and that I'm outta here. Canada here I come!
 
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Darandio

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And I'm the bad one here...? Jeeze. :roll:
Not at all.

Lets evalute the circumstances. Firstly an offence in the form of fare evading on the railway has occured. Secondly, it has been discovered false and fraudulent information has been illegally passed to deter the first offence.
But there is absolutely no reason for you to know any of this, other than opening the mail, which is an offence regardless. Small fry of course, if put up against the second offence.

The main issue is with the way the system works. It wouldn't be beyond the realms of possiblility that you could be dealt with more severely than the offences brought up in the first place.
 

Bungle73

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Indeed.

Lets evalute the circumstances. Firstly an offence in the form of fare evading on the railway has occured. Secondly, it has been discovered false and fraudulent information has been illegally passed to deter the first offence.

And I'm the bad one here...? :roll:

Another reason to put in my little green book that the UK is a **** country and that I'm outta here.
So, the UK is a "****" country and you want to leave because it has a law designed to protect people's private mail?
 

Greenback

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It really is better to return any letter that arrives for someone who does not live at the house to whoever has sent it. That way the can, hopefully, amend their records. Most occurrences of this nature will be due to using out of date records (I still get an occasional letter delivered to my parents house, 18 years after I moved out permanently).

Of course, there must be many instances of people opening mail that is not addressed to them every day. It is unlikely, I think, that anyone would be prosecuted unless they were intending to gain some advantage by so doing, rather than just not looking at the envelope.
 

CheapAndNerdy

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One issue with simply returning to sender is that you have no idea how long it will take for the letter to get there and make it to the desk of someone who can correct the mistake/oversight. And in the meantime, the bailiffs/police could turn up and cause the current resident further problems.

I think opening letters (with my address on it, I would emphasise) in order to protect myself is quite reasonable. And in fact on a couple of occasions, due to administrative errors by a bank and HMRC, my intervention undoubtedly helped the intended recipient by resolving what could have become serious problems (rejected insurance/delay in receiving state pension) much more quickly.
 

34D

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One issue with simply returning to sender is that you have no idea how long it will take for the letter to get there and make it to the desk of someone who can correct the mistake/oversight. And in the meantime, the bailiffs/police could turn up and cause the current resident further problems.

I think opening letters (with my address on it, I would emphasise) in order to protect myself is quite reasonable. And in fact on a couple of occasions, due to administrative errors by a bank and HMRC, my intervention undoubtedly helped the intended recipient by resolving what could have become serious problems (rejected insurance/delay in receiving state pension) much more quickly.
Agree 100%. A letter from a debt collection agency (which ircas is in all but name) could well be followed up by a personal call.

I'd also say that businesses pay very little attention to letters that come back marked 'not at this address'
 

SussexMan

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A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

So opening an item of mail which has been delivered to my house which doesn't have my name on it is not in itself an offence. It is qualified in two ways. 1) I have to intend to act to a person's detriment, and 2) I mustn't have a reasonable excuse. So it is fair to say that opening the mail is not always an offence.

And another thought: mail is delivered to addresses not to people and an item of mail delivered to my house could be said to have been delivered correctly as Royal Mail only has a responsibility to deliver to the address, not to a person. So Royal Mail have correctly delivered it!
 

CheapAndNerdy

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And another thought: mail is delivered to addresses not to people and an item of mail delivered to my house could be said to have been delivered correctly as Royal Mail only has a responsibility to deliver to the address, not to a person. So Royal Mail have correctly delivered it!
Yup. That is exactly how I would argue it in front of the jury. <D
 

Clip

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Never mind mithering. It's an offence, end of.
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No, It isnt. Ive opened plenty of mail especially when they are red letters for someone who used to live at my house and then rang up the people who sent it and informed them as such. As of yet I have still not been prosecuted.
 

Darandio

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I'd also say that businesses pay very little attention to letters that come back marked 'not at this address'
Probably very true actually, I'd imagine there are those who are receiving mail legitimately that do this to try and change the scent.

For me, it still doesn't excuse it though, given I have been in a position where mail was sent to an old address. Luckily, like Greenback, that old address was the parents house but no harm done despite informing the sender several times of the change. The documents in question were financially sensitive, so if it wasn't someone trustworthy at the old address, I could have been in a spot of bother.

For that reason, I still agree that mail should be returned. It's fairly easy to assume that not everyone would open mail for the right intentions.
 

Clip

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Probably very true actually, I'd imagine there are those who are receiving mail legitimately that do this to try and change the scent.

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The reason why most companies dont reply is because they do not directly send them out themselves and they are done by mail printing companies who work on behalf of all the major companies like banks and such like and the return to sender letters they recieve back normally just get shredded and ignored and not reported back to the company.

Hence why you are ok to open it and actually let the company know they have the wrong address for whoever its for.
 

Darandio

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No, It isnt. Ive opened plenty of mail especially when they are red letters for someone who used to live at my house and then rang up the people who sent it and informed them as such. As of yet I have still not been prosecuted.
But I thought legislation had already been posted above? Regardless of whether you have been prosecuted or not, it seems to be an offence?

Granted, the conditions are vague.
 

Clip

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But I thought legislation had already been posted above? Regardless of whether you have been prosecuted or not, it seems to be an offence?

Granted, the conditions are vague.
The legislation says if you are going to use it to the detriment of the addressee. Given that i am not and am actually being a good citizen by letting the company know that they do not live at my house then i am not doing anything to the detriment of the addressee. And that is why I, and thousands others who do the same have not been prosecuted.

Now if I opened up someones new credit card and went on a spree when the pin came through due to s slighty wrong address then I could be prosecuted. See the difference?
 

Darandio

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The legislation says if you are going to use it to the detriment of the addressee. Given that i am not and am actually being a good citizen by letting the company know that they do not live at my house then i am not doing anything to the detriment of the addressee. And that is why I, and thousands others who do the same have not been prosecuted.
But you can inform them that they do not live there, merely send the unopened letter back stating as much. Whether they take notice or not isn't your issue.

Now if I opened up someones new credit card and went on a spree when the pin came through due to s slighty wrong address then I could be prosecuted. See the difference?
What if they had not corrected their records, and sent it to what they assumed to be the correct address and the same practice happened? You could still be prosecuted.

What I dont understand is why the mail needs to be opened for the reasons stated earlier? In case of a following visit by enforcement? Surely you can prove you are not the intended recipient of the action?
 

Clip

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But you can inform them that they do not live there, merely send the unopened letter back stating as much. Whether they take notice or not isn't your issue.



What if they had not corrected their records, and sent it to what they assumed to be the correct address and the same practice happened? You could still be prosecuted.

What I dont understand is why the mail needs to be opened for the reasons stated earlier? In case of a following visit by enforcement? Surely you can prove you are not the intended recipient of the action?
Quite simply because the return address does not have a contact number on it to call them so without opening the envelope how are you meant to contact them?

Look accept it is what it is and try not to be too difficult about being told that it is not an offence to open mail that comes to your house if the address is your address UNLESS you use it maliciously.
 
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