Eviction and return of deposit from inherited tenancy?

by Readers Question

5 months ago

Eviction and return of deposit from inherited tenancy?

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Eviction and return of deposit from inherited tenancy?

I have the bailiffs booked for a legal eviction at one of my properties on Thursday 30th Nov. I purchased the property in April 17 with the tenant in situ, so I inherited the original tenancy agreement which had gone periodic by then. Their original deposit was transferred into my name.

A long story short, but whilst they’ve been paying monthly (a very low amount which was never increased), they changed the locks refusing me access so I couldn’t maintain the property. It looks a mess from the outside so no telling what I’ll find inside.

My question:

I am trying to get a copy of the original “Check-in” from the previous owner, but what do I do about returning the deposit and can I deduct the cost of changing the locks as well as everything you could normally claim with a property returned in a poor state?

I have a locksmith booked to change them anyway, but they may also have also have to force entry.

Many thanks

Paul

Comments

Neil Patterson

5 months ago

My Deposits have an example dispute where the landlord had to change the locks because the tenant did not return the keys so I am guessing changing the locks would be an allowable deduction, but you would need receipts. You would probably need to prove you had no option other than to force entry.

>> https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Locks-Dispute-Case-Study-2.pdf

"Regarding the change of locks, the adjudicator was satisfied that the tenant had beached the tenancy agreement by not returning the keys to the landlord. Furthermore, the adjudicator found that the landlord was entitled to change the locks for security purposes as the end date of the tenancy had passed.

However, the landlord did not specify the amount they were seeking to retain nor submit any evidence by way of invoices for the actual costs incurred.

In the absence of any evidence as to the cost incurred by the landlord for replacing the locks, the adjudicator was required to decide what was reasonable considering the circumstances.
The adjudicator was able to make an award to the landlord and, by using public sources of information, decided that £70.00 was a fair amount to award."

Paul Kaye

5 months ago

Your tenants are clearly in breach of contract.
All your costs can be deducted from the deposit,sounds like the deposit will not cover what you also find inside!
I would also persue them into court for monies still owed you ,if the deposit does not cover damages.Take photos and obtain quotes,also video on the day all that happened ie entry etc

Paul Mullally

5 months ago

Thanks. The plot thickens....

From speaking with the previous owner, I don't know if there was an official "check-in" as the agent handled everything, but I do have photographs taken at the time. I've just asked the agent and he's checking his archives to see what he can find.

The rent has been paid in arrears up to this current month which is due today, so I may only be owed this month's rent plus any damages. I have a locksmith booked, so receipts won't be a problem.

This will be my first eviction, so which me luck....

Tim Wragby

5 months ago

I am surprised that when you purchased the property with tenant in situ but you did not obtain a copy of the inBentley and signed AST with your purchase paperwork.
The adjudicator will want to see that changing locks is not permitted in the tenancy agreement and sadly if you have no signed inventory/check in report then it is unlikely you will be able to claim anything from the deposit.
You may need to chalk this up to experience and save yourself significant court costs as you may not be able to recover any meaningful amounts of money now that the rent has been paid almost up-to-date as the tenants can unreasonably but technically claim The property was in a similar condition to it is now when they moved in and you have no legitimate way of countering this.
When I purchased the property with tenant in situ I visited the property Prior to purchase and also made a visit to confirm the condition of the property once I was the legal owner and updated the inventory at that time with tenants signatures as it therefore made it very easy to compare Changes in condition at the end of the tenancy. It would appear that your Predecessor was badly let down by the agent as you have no contract with them I think it’s unlikely you can no longer claim any damages from their incompetence

Paul Mullally

5 months ago

Thanks Tim.

Unfortunately the tenant stopped communicating about 2 years ago and the locks were changed at roughly the same time. They were advised many times by the agent of their breach by doing this which was itemised in the AST (which I was supplied a copy of).

I bought the property without seeing the internals but do know the original owner and was in the property before the tenant took occupation.

Chris Daniel

5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Wragby at 28/11/2017 - 21:50
Most decent Tenancy agreements ( the NLA's has ) a clause that rental amounts owed are deductable from the deposit.

Kate Mellor

5 months ago

Photo's taken at the start of the tenancy will go a long way towards showing the condition on commencement. Especially if they are digital (which they mostly all are these days) and therefore contain embedded code showing the date, time and location the pictures where taken.

Paul Mullally

5 months ago

We are sooooo far beyond worrying about photos proving the condition!!!

The place is unreal to believe someone with a small family can live in that state. I would estimate 3 full skips of rubbish to be removed before we can see any damage.

And they think Landlords are the "scum of the earth!"


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