Flatbed truck and a small van in the backyard

Flatbed truck and a small van in the backyard

14:40 PM, 4th November 2021, About 4 weeks ago 6

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Hi, I wondered if you could help my wife. She has a commercial property with 2 x 2-bed flats above. She found out in August that a tenant from one of the flats had decided to store a flatbed truck and a small van in the backyard belonging to her, (these vehicles appear to have no tax, mot or insurance) and are being used for storage of mattresses and other odds and ends, after talking with people it seems that they had been parked up back in May.

She has (via her letting agents) insisted that he remove the vehicles, giving him 28 days notice through email communication.

He is only entitled to park 1 vehicle in the yard in accordance with his tenancy agreement. But was also parking an additional vehicle that he uses, therefore in breach of his tenancy agreement, this is all being pointed out to him.

He then promised to move the vehicles but not till the end of October. So far she has been very polite in communication and careful in her approach to this matter. Today(3rd November) she found out that it is still there, apparently, he is due to move it by the end of the week.

What can she now do legally to get this matter resolved

Paul



Comments

by Peter Poupard

11:34 AM, 5th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

When this happened to me and the registered keeper was unknown to me I wrote a message and delivered a copy to all the local addresses. The message read

"To the owner/keeper of vehicle ********. Your vehicle is parked in a space reserved for my personal use. You are committing a trespass and I will be enforcing action to have the vehicle removed to the highway if it is not moved within 7 days (remember to date the message).
For a vehicle to be used on the road, and to park on the highway is to use such a vehicle, it must be taxed and insured so please be aware if I have to relocate your vehicle you will become liable for tax and insurance and if your vehicle has been declared as SORN the declaration will cease to qualify as it will no longer be parked off road. As such DVLA will issue you with a fine for not having a current road vehicle excise license."

The offending vehicle was moved within days. Result!!

by alocjtoi

8:26 AM, 6th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

You might find it useful to refer to a similar topic here: https://www.property118.com/can-i-be-charged-to-tow-tenants-car/

by Jessie Jones

11:02 AM, 6th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Paul,
I think that you are doing the right thing at the moment by talking to the tenant.
If the vehicle is not being used on a public road, then there is no obligation for it to be taxed, MOTd or insured.
However, it does remain somebody's property so you can't just do what you like with it.
Irrespective of what your contract says the only 'legal' way of dealing with this is via a Section 21 eviction, whereby a landlord can regain possession of their property without having to give a reason. This route is expensive and might take a year or more.
If you think that they are brushing you off, then inform them that you will be issuing a Section 21 notice if the vehicle is not gone by a specific date. Be prepared to serve that notice on the date you state, otherwise the tenant will consider that you don't mean it. In all likelihood, the tenant will feel under pressure and do something about the van. If they don't then you have to consider at that point whether to seek formal possession, and only at that stage would you need to engage a solicitor to ensure that your paperwork is done properly. Even a minor error with your paperwork can render your application void.
It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of issuing a section 21 notice. Does the tenant pay rent as they should do? Are they keeping the flat in good repair? Are they difficult to manage, such as neighbour disputes? Is it likely that service of a Section 21 notice will cause them to stop paying rent?
Often, tenants do things that we don't like but we have to consider the commercial side of our business. Just by way of example, I have a tenant who keeps a really filthy house. It smells awful, clothes and bedding aren't washed, food boxes are left everywhere and I really despair at them. But they pay the rent and are polite and cause no other trouble. So I leave them in peace, in the full knowledge that the house will need gutting when they leave, but that may as well be later than sooner.
If an old van being parked where it shouldn't be is your only problem, don't stress over it. Tenants do not treat our properties as we would treat them.

by DSR

13:28 PM, 9th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

try writing to him again stating that he said it would be moved by end of Oct and clearly still there so he is now in breach of his own agreement. Add in that as a result of the state of it and that you have had complaints from other tenants (even if you haven't!) you have had no choice than to report to Enviro Health (just drop them an email with all the details on - also useful for possible evidence later?).
Don't mention the SORN stuff - just play innocent and just ask him to move it on to the road, just off your property and you will be happy. (then report it). PS you can still report it now - it might not have a SORN at all. Just say you have seen it on a public road., If the DVLA write to him, he'll see that the issue is becoming a bit 'hot' so might prompt action?

by amarni

12:20 PM, 10th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 06/11/2021 - 11:02
Do you raise the rent in anticipation of the clean up operation and time it will take too? And is it acceptable to you for contractors to have to enter such premises to undertake gas safety checks etc?

by Jessie Jones

12:38 PM, 10th November 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by amarni at 10/11/2021 - 12:20
Getting a bit off topic really. But to answer your questions, I leave the rent artificially low to encourage them to stay in the hope that this delays the need to refurbish. The house does stink, but my plumber charges me £86 for doing a 30 minute gas check. If he didn't want the work he would put his price up.


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