Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago 35
I became a landlord in May 2018 as I moved in with my partner into Central London. I own a 1 bed flat in Buckinghamshire which has a lounge/kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The property is situated on a corner by a shop and a business park and is a terraced property (ground floor) with no front or rear garden. I sought the work of a letting agent (a larger one in the area) and gave the property to the letting agent to find a tenant and manage it and resolve tenant queries paying them a fixed monthly fee so that I would not have to take care of the work as I moved approximately 30 miles away. The letting agent is a large company within its area and has a lot of properties on its books for letting and for sale.
They found an older, single woman in her 60s who is retired. She moved in during May 2018 and all seemed well. She said that she was recently divorced, had a daughter and son-in-law in the area and wanted the property for 3 years, but with a 12 month break clause between all 12 month periods and even paid a whole years worth of rent up front. The letting agent took their management fees and deductions up front from this money before passing it back to me. This all seemed ok until she started complaining about the rubbish.
The tenant and her son in law recently complained to the letting agent (who manages the property on behalf of me) that there was no place to put her rubbish. The local District Council does fortnightly rubbish collections alternating with general waste collections once a week and recycling the next. The tenant generates approx. one plus more sacks of general waste a week and has no place to put it.
I contacted the council, but they are of not much use. They told me the property is not suitable for a wheel bin as it will block paths, but they also provide no communal collection or can specify where to put that extra bag before the fortnight is up.
The tenant also had a disagreement with my neighbour (a commercial business) as she put the extra sack on the commercial business’s premises without asking them.
The letting agent kept asking me for a solution. Initially when I lived at the property I was happy recycling once weekly and using general waste the next. Any excess I would take to the tip myself which is situated a mile away, but there are recycling bins nearby.
I have had constant calls and emails with the council who advised that the tenant would either need to take part in recycling, or take the extra sack to the waste recycling centre or to ask the Business Park if they would allow her to site a bin on their site.
I went over to speak with the business park 2 weeks ago and they allowed her a temporary solution over the next 3 months to store a waste wheelie bin where she could place her extra sacks in. They also said she could use their waste bins on a more permanent basis inside the entrance of the business park which is approx. 10 metres away. Her son-in-law complained and said that his mother in law would not be happy doing this due to the large vans or vehicles that use the business park (1 every 2 hours!)
She and her son in law has now written a letter to the letting agent complaining and asking for financial compensation for hardship for the issues the waste collection has created on her life.
She knew the type of property she was renting prior to moving in, was aware of the local District Councils rubbish collection policies and I gave this property to the letting agent to deal with, and the council have given me a solution I have actioned.
There is also a written clause in the tenancy agreement under the tenants obligations that insist that they must properly dispose of all rubbish promptly.
I have been a good landlord by doing as much as I can here, by speaking with the commercial business, the local council and the business park and identifying solutions.
Does this tenant have any chance of achieving compensation, or any legal success? I would now like to have her evicted if so.
I look forward to some valuable advice that I can action.
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