Should I sell or risk tenants buying at undervalue price?9:08 AM, 25th September 2019
About 3 weeks ago 48
My partner is freeholder to a building – a shop and 2 flats. The flats are both owned by leaseholders and are both sub let. The flats have access to a shared bin store.
A neighbour has been complaining that bin bags are left in the store and never put out for collection. They smell, as whoever leaves them puts food in the bags.
The neighbour did, for a while, bag them in bags the correct colour to be collected and put them out himself. He then ran out of bags and does not want to pay for more.
We contacted the tenants and leaseholders when we received the first complaint, all deny putting rubbish in the store. Although interestingly the bags changed to the correct colour for a while after the initial notice. So the neighbour was able to put them out for collection.
We are now back to black bags. We know that we are responsible as the property owner for disposing of the rubbish, but do not want to be lumbered by the cost and effort for ever more. He is now getting very angry about the smell and the lack of resolution. So right now we are facing the prospect of having to pay to remove the rubbish every fortnight for the rest of our lives and have no way to recover costs as no-one admits responsibility.
We know who is doing it, but do not have usable evidence. It is apparently illegal to open rubbish on property that the dumper has access to as it is still classed as private property. I am wondering if we are given in writing statements that say none of them own the bags it becomes legal for us to open them and prove who is responsible and start to issue the correct notices?
Although based on this background I think we will fail with that also…
The tenant in question has in the past broken many other rules including smoking in the communal hallway, dealing drugs from the flat and causing noise nuisance to name the serious ones. Sadly after spending several thousand pounds we are informed we do not have enough legal right to do anything to anyone. All these issues are too trivial and difficult to enforce or deal with. The landlord (leaseholder) is on the side of the tenant because they receive their rent and sticks to the line that there is no evidence of the tenant doing wrong.
On top of this, we did report the tenant to the police for dealing and a guest of a neighbour who entered the property by mistake (first visit), wrote a witness statement that they were offered drugs in the flat. We also reported him to the DWP because he is working cash in hand and claiming benefits.
We informed the leaseholder of the issues, but instead of dealing with the tenant he instead gave copies of our exchanges so the tenant knows we reported him to the police and DWP. He has been intimidating and partner has been abused in the street. But unfortunately this is too trivial to legally deal with.
I really hope someone can offer a suggestion, otherwise we are going to have to sell and move because my partner is about to have a breakdown over this and her business is suffering hugely as she avoids going to her shop to work. The access to the cellar is through the communal hallway and she will not go there out of fear of being attacked by drug users that hate her.
I am only really looking for help with the bin bag issue, the rest is just beyond hope really.
Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.
Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agentsLearn More