Free court mediation with a tenant – does it work?

Free court mediation with a tenant – does it work?

0:02 AM, 10th May 2023, About 10 months ago 1

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Hello, my tenant tried to sue me to get compensation for one month’s rent and interest – £1,000 in total. She started to complain about damp and mould last October. According to her, water was pouring down from the ceiling.

My builder and I went to check, we saw water condensation on the ceiling but did not see any buckets or towels to collect the water. I told her to turn on the central heating and wipe the windows (some of the windows are single glazing and one window in the bathroom has a crack but no water can come in from the outside) but she refused to do it. She has been using free gas since moving in May 2022 and only registered her gas account before December 2022.

The pipe in the boiler was frozen when the gas engineer came to repair it and I served her a Section 21 on the same day before Christmas. I begged her to turn on the central heating when it was cold last November.

The court hearing for possession was held in April but I am still waiting for the court order.

The house next door, which I own, became vacant. The previous tenant left some bags of rubbish outside the garden and inside the house last December. I moved some rubbish to the far corner of the lawn neatly, so they were out of the way as the lawn is communal. The tenant complained and demanded I move them because it was “unsightly and interfered with her enjoyment”. A removal man promised to move the rubbish but did not turn up before Christmas. Finally, I had all the things removed when I finished refurbishing the house in January this year.

She also complained about rats. My builder put some poison down on the loft as there were lots of droppings in the loft. She put lots of belongings in the loft and I told her to remove them which she refused to do.  She demanded to get an expert, so I paid £140 to pest control from the council. The tenant who claims benefits told me to pay her £300 because rats damaged her expensive cosmetics last Friday, otherwise she will make another money claim to sue me for more money in court because she was told that there were rats. Last Friday was pest control’s last visit because no poison was eaten in three visits according to emails with the pest control department.

She complained about this to the enforcement department in the council in January this year. The office came to inspect the house and told me that no action would be taken against me. She filed the money claim to me one week later and I asked her why. She said that the officer told her there was damp and mould coming from the single-glazing windows. My builder cleaned some windows in February and these windows are still mould-free in April, and I also sent pictures of the window cleaning to the officer from the enforcement department.

I offered her £500 to move out in February but she wanted £1,000.

The court offered a free mediation that will take place this week.

Does anybody have any experience with how to deal with this?

Shall I pay her?

Any advice from the Property118 community is welcome.

Thanks,

AZ


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Comments

Alex Christian

8:38 AM, 10th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Hi, if you would like to know of what to expect at the mediation and how to get the most out of the process, feel free to give me a call on 07384 328122. I am a mediator specialising in property disputes and particularly in housing disrepair. This is our website - http://www.wensummediation.org. Happy to have 20 min chat for free to discuss your options. Kind regards Alex

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