Tenant being held on remand – what should I do?

by Readers Question

8:29 AM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

Tenant being held on remand – what should I do?

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Tenant being held on remand – what should I do?

Readers QuestionsWe have received a cry for help from Julie Dawson. Her tenant is being held on remand and the Police have caused damage to the property through forced entry.

Below is the email we received from Julie, what would you advise?

Hi Property 118

I have a question I was wondering if any of your readers could help me with …..

I look after a property for a landlord and had been notified by the council a few weeks ago that the tenant is regularly shop lifting to fund her drugs habit and that there is a warrant out for her arrest ….  great I thought !!!

At this point I told the council to let whoever needs to know that I have several spare keys I could let them have, so feel free to let yourself in rather than break down the door.  No sooner had I said this I called to the property a few days later and the front door was boarded up.  The key doesn’t work in the lock now because the frame has been moved out, and I was told that because at this point she hadn’t been arrested, they could come back.

She has since been arrested and is now in prison waiting for her sentence.

So I emailed the police to ask who was going to pay for the replacement front door, which they have replied and said “not them” ….  and to cap it off I received an invoice through the post today for £160 that they expect us to pay for the “boarding up”, they had done.

Surely this isn’t correct !!!!

Has anyone else had this happen to them, and if so is this right or can I take this further ???

Thank you.

Julie Dawson



Comments

9:29 AM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

I've dealt with 2 claims like this in the past from my legal days. In both those cases, there was no arrest warrant, and there was no evidence of criminal activity once they had entered the property.

Initially they deny the claim - standard response. Once you confirm you are going to issue legal proceedings and give them 14 days to pay, they offer to settle without prejudice. I'm not sure if the facts of this case will apply, but it is worth writing a letter demanding payment/threatening court action, and seeing where you go.

The other issue, is possession of the property. The tenant will be on remand - and there is no guarantee of a conviction, so you cannot assume that he has surrendered the property and take it back. You should therefore issue a Section 21 Notice. You could also issue a Section 8 notice based upon the criminal activity, but that needs a conviction as proof -so not a course to take. So rely on Section 21 and get the ball rolling straight away.

Mary Latham

10:02 AM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

West Midlands Police spoke at an NLA landlords meeting a few weeks ago. When asked about this type of damage they said that they would not pay for the damage. The fact that you offered them the keys may help you but in my experience they are so short of funds these days they will try very hard not to pay but worth tying what Glenn has suggested. Good luck
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JO CHAPMAN

11:14 AM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

The Police have a power of entry to enforce an arrest warrant. The mistake you made was telling the council you had the keys and to let others know, you should have gone straight to the Police with the keys. The only time Police are liable for boarding up and repairs is if they enter with a search warrant and fail to find any evidence of criminal activity. I have only ever had one tenant who was involved in criminal activity and I contacted the local Police intelligence officer and let them know I had the keys if they needed to gain entry, which they did a couple of weeks later. I agree with Glenn, issue a section 21 and get rid. Sorry, but the landlord is going to have to pay for the repair.

Julie Dawson

17:00 PM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments ... it sounds like its going to be an expensive door and tenant ! She has been issued her section 21 which will end while she's still in prison, at least I know she cant do any more damage while she's locked away !

Mark Alexander

17:32 PM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

Have you contacted the tenant to suggest she gives 30 days notice to end the tenancy? This will be less grief for you both. Just because you have served a section 21 it doesn't mean you will have possession after two months, you will have to go to Court to get that.

19:26 PM, 23rd November 2012
About 6 years ago

I have had this happen a couple of times and have been unsuccessful in recovering anything from the police.When I watch on TV the police bash their way into a property I always think of the poor landlord! I agree with the others,
get possession back as soon as you can and start again. Last year I had a
tenant murder his girlfriend in a property which was then sealed off by the police and raised all sorts of other issues but at least the police called in cleaners to deal with the blood (multiple stabbing) which they didn't charge me for!

East

John Bolland

7:39 AM, 24th November 2012
About 6 years ago

This refusal to repair damage is clearly unfair to Landlords.
I suggest you ask the new elected Police Commisar what he will do to help you if you have one.

8:59 AM, 25th November 2012
About 6 years ago

I have had the same experince with police doing damage to a property and then receiving a invoice for a board up. We had to be firm with the company informing them we had not requested for a board up so there shall be no cost paid by our landlord. We have not heard any thing back yet. So we shall see.

Neil Patterson

18:49 PM, 26th November 2012
About 6 years ago

In a past life I worked as FD for a glass company who also did glazing. The police called us out for broken windows etc which we boarded up, often in the middle of the night. We would raise an invoice on the owner and chase for payment...which was sometimes paid, either by the owner or their insurance company. If no payment was made we wrote the debt off...we had no contract with the owner so couldn't chase payment legally. It was a numbers game...enough paid to make it worthwhile. Plus a lot of the people used us for the repair work. So don't pay for the board up, they won't chase you for long.

Julie Dawson

17:29 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Following on from my lovely tenant who has been served her section 21 notice .... she is still in prison and will be until the end of March. I have requested her deposit be refunded in full as she owes rent and caused damage to the property, way over the deposit amount. The DPS said the paperwork will have to be sent to her in prison to reply ..... 1. She wouldn't waste a stamp and 2. There's nothing in it for her so why would she even bother. Does anyone know what happens in these instances ??


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