Can my neighbour harm my credit rating?

4 July 2013


For some time now, I have been receiving post addressed to my next-door neighbour but sent to my house. At first, I did the neighbourly thing and took the post next door and politely asked him to contact the sender and advise them of the error.After several months, I got fed up with this and started to send the mail back marked "not at this address" but letters continue to arrive. Most of them seem to come from car dealers or mobile phone companies.I have contacted the companies, but they will not do anything unless my neighbour corrects the error himself. Meanwhile, I recently mistakenly opened a wrongly addressed letter and realised my neighbour may be in financial trouble.I am concerned that the incorrect addressing may be deliberate. Is it possible that my credit rating could be affected as someone with a bad credit rating appears to live at my address?Could I find bailiffs knocking on my door thinking that my neighbour lives here?
GM, Essex


If the same senders continue to send information despite your efforts to stop this happening, your next step should be to make a written complaint to each of these organisations. Date and keep copies of all letters, as if they do not take action you may have to escalate your complaint further. National Debtline can provide further assistance, should it come to this.

Your credit file only holds financial information about you and the name of anyone you have a financial connection with, such as a joint loan or overdraft. This means that your neighbour's financial history cannot affect your credit file, regardless of whether your address is being incorrectly used. However, if you do wish to look at the information held by credit reference agencies, and this is generally a good idea no matter what your situation, you can do so by contacting the three main agencies - Equifax, Experian and Callcredit.

As you have concerns that the use of your address may be malicious, you could also contact Action Fraud for advice on 0300 123 2040.

With regard to bailiffs, theoretically a bailiff could call at your property if they had information indicating that the person concerned lived there.

However, in practice this is very unlikely as procedures should be in place to prevent this happening. If it does occur, do not let the bailiff into your property and contact National Debtline for further advice.