10:36 AM, 11th August 2016, About 5 years ago 12
We let a 3 bedroom flat as an HMO accommodating 3 tenants. For the most part this has worked very well with the odd hiccup, usually caused when one of the occupants fails to wash up and tidy up the kitchen after use or consistently leaves the bathroom in a mess.
Up to now we have managed to persuade the culprit to seek other accommodation without the need to serve a formal notice to quit. However, our latest problem tenant, who has been spoken to a number of times about the need to consider the other tenants and clean up after himself, has reacted badly to our suggestion that he might be happier elsewhere. We do not expect our tenants to do any more than is necessary to ensure that the communal facilities and equipment provided are left as they would hope and expect to find them. His 6 month Assured Short Hold Tenancy has recently come to an end and has not been renewed, which I understand means that it automatically becomes a periodic tenancy.
This tenant has recently had practically sole occupancy of the flat pending one tenant moving out and another moving in, with the third tenant spending most of that period away from the accommodation. He obviously went away for the weekend and left the kitchen in a filthy state with every pot, pan, utensil and item of cutlery and crockery used and left dirty and piled into in the kitchen sink or on the work surface. The bathroom facilities were left in a similarly dirty, unusable state. Had the other tenant returned to the property before we discovered the mess, he could have been forgiven for make a complaint in the strongest terms. He has denied responsibility for the state in which we found the place even though he must obviously be the culprit. He immediately threatened to consult his solicitor about being asked to leave, which makes me think this may not be the first time he has been faced with this kind of situation..
My questions are these:
1. Could this kind of situation place us and the culprit in breach of the Management Of Houses In Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 & 2007, and if so would that be sufficient grounds to seek his eviction if he will not leave voluntarily?
2. Could his failure to leave the communal areas and facilities in a reasonable state be a contravention of his tenancy agreement anyway?
When we first decided to rent out the property as an HMO we tried to do everything right and had the tenancy agreement drawn up by a solicitor. We gave the tenants copies of the agreement, landlords contact details and details of the deposit insurance scheme we are using to safeguard their deposits. Though we have a gas safe certificate we did not actually give each tenant a copy of it and I have since read somewhere that we should have done this and failure to do so may cause the courts to kick out any application for eviction and they could award him compensation.
3. Is this the case and if so what do we need to do to recover the situation?
We realise that if we have slipped up we may not be able to pursue the eviction route for the time being and will have to live with the problem for the time being, but if we now correct the information situation and the tenant does not mend his ways how long must we wait before we could take action to get rid of him without risking a claim for compensation.
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