11:30 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 10 years ago 41
A landlord who came out and told BBC’s The One Show of her troublesome tenant has now had further problems.
Broadcast on 2nd May, the landlord Mrs Trivedy was featured on the show in an item about rent-arrears and the difficulties landlords are having with tenants on benefit who are not passing on the rent.
Mrs Trivedy was shown getting the help of Landlord Action when her social tenants stopped passing on their housing benefit yet refused to vacate the property, leaving her £4400 in rental arrears. After the case was broadcast on the BBC, the tenants moved on which may have been a good result.
But the tenants left with much of the landlord’s furniture. And they have wrecked the home. Mrs Trivedy says “Wear and tear in a rental property is inevitable but what I was faced with, even given the tenants previous behaviour, was completely unnecessary. Not only is there damage to every room, they have stolen two sofas, a wardrobe, a chest of draws, a fridge-freezer, curtain poles as well as numerous smaller items. What remains was a complete mess and totally unliveable.”
The Condition of Schedule following the tenants’ departure describes the property as in poor condition with damage, missing items and a lack of cleanliness reported in every room, in addition to the garden being littered with dog mess. Mrs Trivedy says she has made a statement to the police in regards to the missing items but was advised that it was unlikely to be taken much further as there are varying degrees of theft and it is her word against the tenants.
Mrs Trivedy says “I am obviously thrilled to have regained possession following the notice served by Landlord Action which has avoided further rent arrears and additional court fees, but I still face being thousands of pounds out of pocket. I will have to make-over the entire property and replace furniture in order to let it again. I think the tenants should be made to pay.”
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action says this is not an uncommon scenario. Tenants can feel aggrieved after being asked to leave. But he adds, “In this case it seems the TV exposure may have made these people more upset”. Even though the house in Bracknell was shown on screen, the tenant was interviewed and the landlord is very shocked at their behaviour.
Shamplina also advised that in these cases landlords have to be careful not to throw good money after bad. The potential outcome of further action has to be weighed up against the costs and time involved. Firstly, is it possible to track down the tenants to recover the rent arrears and if so what is their financial position? Secondly, when you regain possession, what state is the property in and how much will it cost to put right? An inventory is paramount to proving this.”
Landlord Action has a busy rent recovery department for landlords who will act on behalf of Sandra Trivedy in helping her locate her ex tenants for a fixed fee. However Mr Shamplina says “in a case such as this, we must take a view as to whether the landlord really wants to spend money and enforce a money judgement if the tenants do not have a job or any assets. Obtaining a CCJ and trying to get a court order for monthly payments off such tenants is likely to take years to clear. Many landlords wish to do so out of principle but we advise landlords to weigh up their options before going down this route.”