Damage caused by tenants ex – who pays?

by Readers Question

9:54 AM, 22nd October 2014
About 6 years ago

Damage caused by tenants ex – who pays?

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Damage caused by tenants ex – who pays?

One of my tenants had her/my house damaged when her recent ex partner (father of her child and on the tenancy up until May 2014) broke in recently.

The police were called and they boarded up the house. Damage caused by tenants ex - who pays?

I have received a bill from the police for this, do I pay or does the tenant as I see this as a domestic.

The father has admitted the damage and at the moment he is in prison.

Thank in advance for your thoughts

Regards

George Clark



Comments

Gary Nock

11:45 AM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

New one on me IO....costs for damage in common law normally only recoverable from Chief Constables if a riot is formally declared and then the Police Authority (before they were disbanded) foots the bill. Now its the Police Commissioners I think.

Industry Observer

11:51 AM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Gary - OK once I have finished my week-end chores I will dig and research I know it exists, quite how useful it is though may be doubtful.

Eviction Group

11:52 AM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Memories from my training were that Riot Act had to be read, quite literally out loud !!!
Ahhh Halcyon Days!!!
But on a serious note I am under the same impression as Gary.

Gary Nock

13:06 PM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Eviction Group" at "25/10/2014 - 11:52":

Having dealt with domestic violence for years (not personally I hasten to add -Mrs N is quite gentle these days) I do have some sympathy with the lady. But I am also a landlord and see it from that perspective. It's a fair bet this won't be the last time. Add intothe mix that the tenancy has changed. Is the remaining tenant now on housing benefit. If so that can be problematic in itself. If George decides to S.21 the tenant to avoid further incidents he will need to ensure the deposit protection paperwork is in order otherwise he will not be able to use Section 21 ( IO you taught me all I knew on this 🙂

If the new tenancy kicked in in May and it was a 6 month then prescribed information will need re-serving in November. That is unless IO the law gets changed before then. I have just done one. The DPS Terms and Conditions which were 4 pages are now a 24 page booklet. With the certificate and the Information for tenants leaflet it is now 32 pages that has to be served. But it has to be done or no Section 21 plus you could get fined.

George Harrison

13:40 PM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

In this case I have a council paper bond for the tenant

Industry Observer

13:44 PM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Ah no Gary I made that mistake first time I saw it but the bit that needs serving to satisfy Initial Requirements is just the actual rules which in April 2013 version were 4 pages so two double sided sheets, I think they may now irritatingly be 5 pages. They are part of the 24 you refer to, I know exactly what you mean.

Yes until the Deregulation Act comes in it is safest to reprotect the money and re-serve PI you can't be wrong if you do (unless you cimply copy the original PI but some detail has changed, like the post tenancy contact address!!).

I heard yesterday that renewals might now also have an amnesty provided they are tidied up within the 90 days. But it will not be a blanket amnesty to forgive all sins and omissions, unless it changes again!!

Industry Observer

13:45 PM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

In that case George you do not have a deposit as defined in the 2004 Act - it has to be money not a promise of it.

This is bad news though as generally such 'bonds' are worthless as they will normally only kick in for arrears and more importantly, the LA must agree the loss. Guess how often they do that, all they have to do is not agree and they are of the hook for any paywent.

Jessie Jones

15:05 PM, 25th October 2014
About 6 years ago

As another retired police officer of some 27 years, I have a different perspective on this.

I would repair any of my properties even in the middle of the night to save myself £95.

The correct area of law here is contract law.
The Police have a responsibility to secure the property but their first port of call should have been to ask the tenant or the landlord to make their own arrangements.

When the Police called a contractor to secure the premises, they made a verbal 'contract' with him. They did not make one with you and you have not made a contract with anyone. Even if your tenancy agreement covers this situation, it does not impose a contractual obligation between you and the Police or boarding company, only you and your tenant.

Additionally, when the Police prosecuted the offender they should have sought compensation on your behalf via the Courts. Whilst it is true that the Courts do tend not to award compensation, they certainly won't if the Police didn't ask for it.

I would simply reply to the Police and refuse liability in this case. Explain that they should have contacted you in the first instance, and sought your agreement to use a contractor. You might also like to point out to them that they should be seeking their recompense via the Courts and not through you.
In your reply you might also ask them why you have not been given the opportunity to apply for compensation through the Courts, not only for the cost of the temporary boarding, but also for the damage caused.

Industry Observer

13:33 PM, 26th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Very good post Jessie

Ray Davison

15:11 PM, 27th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "24/10/2014 - 13:44":

Gary, not worth the paperwork? The Police seemed to think it was worth doing their paperwork to raise the invoice on the Landlord!

There do seem to be two issues here. The first is who is responsible for the damage (Which can be complicated by the relationship of the tenant to those causing the damage) and the second is do the Police have the legal power (In the absence of the Landlords prior agreement) to charge the Landlord for the costs of boarding up? If so, can anyone can quote the actual legislation that gives them that power as in my experience a you often get a lot of bluff and smoke and mirrors in these situations.

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