10:41 AM, 20th February 2023, About 10 months ago 4
Hi everyone, it had to happen. I have got my hands on some troublesome tenants. My fear is the chance of a harassment/threatening behaviour claim by them and thus a possible rent repayment order.
It is a HMO (licenced a bit over a year ago and a half ago) student property and has valid gas cert/electrical safety cert: house has smoke detectors in each room (more than required) EPC rating C for 8 years now.
The background: They moved in on July 1 last year immediately followed by the previous tenants and started complaining about day 1 of moving in about how untidy it was. So I agreed to get a professional to clean up within a week. Then 2 months later-ish, a tenant complaint about various things including maybe slight damp patch of a wall when exposed to a camera flash and perhaps a mould patch size of 1/4 of a penny and all dealt with soon after.
Then in November The tenants repeatedly phoned the managing agents about another alleged mould issue, mainly to do with as same location as before. So the managing agent gets various quotes – one involved removing and redoing the entire section of a wall of the room in question as that was the main complaint.
All the while some guarantors now were shouting at the letting agency staff managing. I was also by way of the agents told they were also threatening legal action now also. So after that I went round and asked if I could look at the problem and was told I could have a look and was allowed in. No unpleasant words or threats were exchanged whatsoever. I guess a frank exchange of opinions. Then I got an email the following day complaining about the lack of notice.
Then as I set about getting quotes for some of the works to be done that were necessary as the earlier quotes some work was unnecessary. Around this time a fridge stopped working and from being informed of that to a new one being installed was 9 days. They keep complaining about the original complaint – so the managing agents and I with the tenants’ agreement agree to a day where they can say and show what they say is wrong in its entirety.
Which is almost everything allegedly. Letting agent however finds nothing particularly wrong except perhaps slight peeling wallpaper here and there other than the works I agreed to do. The tenant claims alleged damp/mould according to their dad is due to the chimney – only problem is there is in fact no chimney for decades. Then things quiet down as I get those works done. Then mid-Jan their cooker is said to have stopped working (only part of it had) and they it fixed ”asap”’ – so I arranged with a workman to go around on the same day and have a look at if to see it can be fixed or needs replaced. Again was allowed in but the following morning get an email from the managing agents saying they have complained about the lack of notice. Again nothing bad was exchanged.
It does appear malicious behaviour on their part as the new fridge was doodled on within days of being installed. In December, the main tenant complaining even had a ‘What to do this week notice board’ which stated phoning the letting agent one day to complain and another was to send a passive aggressive email to the agent again.
Another day was hoping I didn’t pop round (I have only gone round when they have had a issue not once). Moreover in total less than 5 times. This tenant also moved the desk from her room and replaced it with the desk in the spare unused room without even asking.
Back in November the most complaining tenant claimed the alleged damp in the house caused her to be ill then this changed to be very ill and a doctor agrees with. This then changed to the doctor saying the damp ‘does not help’. No proof of what the doctor is said to have said has been provided or an offer of talking to the doctor in question. All the while they said at the meeting with the agent they have taken lots of photos of the problems. Again none provided. She also seems to be a member of a drama group at the Uni. She also ‘liked’ a story about some students getting a rent repayment order from their unlicensed HMO property. Also worth noting for all the threats, they not once so far called in environmental health nor has the council’s HMO department been called in.
So I guess need I to worry about a housing act 2016 rent repayment order claim on the basis of harassment/threatening behaviour or any other ground due to the lack of notice?
I mainly fear a fictitious made up account of my alleged behaviour being the basis of a rent repayment claim.
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