Invoice for property secured after police break in

by Readers Question

10:02 AM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

Invoice for property secured after police break in

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Invoice for property secured after police break in

I have received an invoice after my property was secured after a police break in. My tenant of 7 years has left the house recently and I’ve given him his deposit back. I am currently getting the property ready to let out again. I commented to him that the front door was difficult to close, and he said it had always been a bit awkward and had got worse recently. I had to pay someone to fix it as best as they could and they told me that it seemed to be twisted and in their opinion had been broken into.

Everything became clear today when I received an invoice from a company who secure property for the police. It was for just over £200. I phoned them to ask why they were sending me a bill, and it appears that the police broke into the house on a ‘welfare issue’ and this company secured the door. This happened in January and they told me that they have sent a number of invoices to the tenant which he has ignored. So they found my name and address on the Land Registry and sent me the bill.

I complained that if they’d let me know earlier I would have been able to deduct it from the tenant’s deposit, and pointed out that they should inform the landlord as it is my property that has been damaged. At this point they offered me £20 off if I pay within 7 days. Invoice for property secured after police break in

I have emailed the tenant to tell him I’ve been sent the invoice and told I have to pay it and he should send me the money asap. Apart from the fact I have his mail in my house I have no hold over him so he has no incentive to pay this bill.

My question is – do I have to pay it? Or can I just give the company my tenant’s new address and tell them to pursue him?

Thanks

Roberta



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:09 AM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Roberta

I'd be very tempted to send the tenants forwarding address and see what happens on the basis that the company claim to have deemed the tenant responsible for the damage. There may be a reason for this.

Even if it goes all the way to Small Claims Court and you lose you will still have an extra 30 days to pay up before your credit rating is affected. Having said that, if you are responsible why didn't the company contact you in the first instance? I suspect the Small Claims Court would be more likely to be sympathetic to your position than not so on this basis I think I'd probably fancy my chances if I were you. Worst case scenario you lose, pay the extra for the Court fees and chalk it up to experience.

I think it's highly unlikely that demands for payment would ever escalate to Court but I do think you ought to acknowledge the claim, deny responsibility and be as helpful as possible as this will all count in your favour if it does ever get to Court.
.

Ian Ringrose

11:38 AM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

And this is way we need a nation register of landlords, so that the police can look up any property they break into and contact the landlord. If it is kept simple, it should cost no more than £10 per year, per property.

Romain Garcin

12:06 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

As discussed in another recent thread on this topic: How can you reliably make the tenant liable in such scenario?
The damage was not caused by the tenant, and the landlord is responsible for such repair, so it is not obvious how to pin it on the tenant, IMHO.

KATHY MILLER

15:01 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

I had a tenant domestic and the boyfriend kicked in a UPVC door the police were called about 1am. The police had the door secured by a firm .

I rec a bill for £220 I only found out about the incident when a police officer mentioned it to me 3 days later . The boyfriend was taken to court for the domestic but the police did not get costs awarded to me.
The repair door company I ended up paying the 220 they said the tenant would not give my name and they found me from the land registrar.

I wrote to the head of police about

1. I was not informed
2. I felt they should pay as I was not given a change to sort out.

I couldnt get any money from the police , I did get an apology that no one contacted me.

I also wrote to the head of the courts regarding my interests not being taken into account.

In total I lost around 1000 by the time a new door was fitted, no change of getting any money from the tenant.

The female was put in a refugee outside area and no one would give me an address. Social services were very uncooperative and I had a house full of stuff I was left to deal with.

If you go to court I would love to hear the outcome.

Roberta Goodall

19:12 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

Ian - I live in Scotland, I'm a registered Landlord, and they still waited about 4 months before trying to find me and then consulted the Land Registry. So the registry of landlords made not one iota of difference.

The problem is that they weren't looking for a Landlord to tell them their property was damaged. They were just pursuing the tenant. I think the police should be asking the occupant of the property that they damage who the owner is so they can inform them of the problem.

I think I'm going to contact the police now to put this point to them, it seems a no-brainer to me that this should be done.

Mark Alexander

20:54 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roberta Goodall" at "28/05/2014 - 19:12":

It just begs the question (YET AGAIN!) what's the point of landlord registration?

The scheme in Scotland has cost millions and seemingly achieved very little indeed.

If it's not even being used by the Police this is further evidence that it is ideed just a scheme to create "jobs for the boys".

So much for the Nanny State, apparently the stealth taxes collected from landlords are not even being used to fund that!

Grrr .... this makes me so angry!!!
.

john henderson

21:15 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

I had the same experience this February. A small oval piece of glass in the centre of a wood front door was put through during an argument with her partner.

I had a call at midnight saying the police would be boarding up the window. The cost was to be £180. I said no way would i pay it and not to do any work. The house was secure apart from this small piece of glass. I was there the next day to repair it and it cost me £14.

So the fact that they contacted me, gave me a chance to say I wouldn't pay their stupid fees. Got lucky i suppose.

Harlequin Garden

21:56 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

I had police break into a tenants room in an HMO, the husband had been found ill through drugs and on a shift change over the new shift decided that they needed to find his wife, called at the address in the middle of the night, were directed to the key holder by the other tenants, ignored them and broke down the door. This was then secured by padlock and we were not left a key - wife wasn't there.

When we eventually found out what had happened, a day later, they had refused to take our phone numbers from the tenants, I made a massive complaint and the police paid for the new door and decorating. They also wrote a letter for me to give to the other tenants explaining that the situation was not the landlord's fault.

We lost 3 tenants who felt threatened by the situation. Always been a very quiet house until then, is again now thankfully.

AA Properties Wales

23:10 PM, 28th May 2014
About 4 years ago

Always make a formal complaint against the police. If they had a warrant they are within the law, if they are in hot pursuit they are within the law. BUT if it has cost you ( and it has me) then you send the police a bill, tell them the local newspaper are interested in your plight. Give the police a chance to sort it. Give the tenants a warning letter if it has led the police to the door, charge the tenants for your time.

KATHY MILLER

7:40 AM, 29th May 2014
About 4 years ago

On another occasion I get a phone call from tenant in top flat to say police have just
used a battering ram on my door to the bottom flat.

I attended and the police are still there and I ask them whos paying for the fire door.

Again I wrote to head of police and was informed that as it was a 999 call ( tenant had took overdose) then no damages could be claimed

The tenant did pay out of the deposit.

The tenant in the top flat did have a key for the bottom flat but they told him to go back into his flat. He had his daughter of five with him who got very scared.

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