Tenant too young to look after property

by Readers Question

11:59 AM, 22nd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Tenant too young to look after property

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Tenant too young to look after property

Hi all, I am a newbie here and in the properties business. I bought my first property 3 years ago and have same tenant and estate agent fully managing property since.

8 months ago I realised the agent had not inspected property for over a year and sensed something was wrong so I contacted the tenant directly and she told me the agents have been ignoring her since the beginning of the tenancy and she gave up reporting damaged or faults as they never got dealt with.

I went to the agents and made a formal complaint, but was told the tenant is the one who is not reporting and it was not their fault.

A few weeks ago I went to the apartment to inspect and I was shocked with the state of the property. The tenant is too young and unable to look after a property and follow basic rules. Flooring and carpet all badly damaged, all really dirty including walls, burnt and dirty sofa that will need to be replaced and so on.

I decided to ask tenant to vacate property (monthly rolling contract) but was told by agents I should not complain about damages and wait to see if tenant cleans and fixes all before leaving then take deposit if she doesn’t. I know for fact she won’t do it and I will have to pay all myself since the deposit won’t cover everything required.

What do I do?

I also feel I should give the tenant a reason why I have asked her to vacate the property?

Not sure I can trust agents after they completely neglected my property and feel they just want the easy route.

Learnt many lessons and won’t repeat mistakes, but I really don’t know what right procedure is now.

Your help would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Sonia



Comments

Sam Addison

17:00 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 4 months ago

evict tenant and cut your losses. Sack letting agents once tenant gone. Join a local landlords association and ask them about local letting agents.

Paul Shears

21:35 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sam Addison at 22/08/2018 - 17:00
Spot on. Nothing more to be said. Wrong tenant. Wrong agent. A great pity that I assume you are not in a position to self manage.

Darlington Landlord

22:43 PM, 22nd August 2018
About 4 months ago

At this stage If the tenant is paying the rent and the damage is unlikely to get worse you might as well let her stay as long as she wants whilst saving up for the refurbishment, unless your local market rent is going up significantly. Also ask her to report problems to you directly as well as to the agent so you can see who is really to blame for a lack of repairs. It's also worth providing a cleaning checklist/instructions (I recomend products such as detol mould and mildew remover and Ovenpride or similar - best left on overnight, just wish I got commission!) for how you expect the property to be left at the end of the tenancy "to avoid unecessary deposit deductions". You may want to ditch the agent if its possible without a financial penalty and self manage if they are doing nothing. If you get rid of the tenant definately find a new agent or self manage. You don't have to give a reason to ask the tenant to leave if you issue a section 21 (I would recommend you check the agents have protected the deposit and conformed to requirements such as providing a copy of the gas certificate and the epc and deposit scheme proscribed information before /at the start of the tenancy first)
There are so many new rules affecting landlords you can't rely on agents and to be safe you need to keep up to date yourself via sites like property 118 and (if you have one) joining a local landlords association is a big help.

terry sullivan

10:55 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darlington Landlord at 22/08/2018 - 22:43
WRONG--get her out--landlord could be prosecuted

Michael Barnes

11:03 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

What do you man "too young"?

Martin Thomas

11:38 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Tempting to demand a refund of fees paid to the agent as they have clearly not been doing their job properly. Agreement with agent should state how frequently they should inspect the property. Get tenant to email you stating what repairs were reported to agent and not acted on. If the agent won't pay, consider taking them to the small claims court - do they really want their name dragged into court?

terry sullivan

11:53 AM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

report agents to membership organization?

Graham Bowcock

12:33 PM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Dear Sonia

It is disappointing to hear that your agent has let you down, but it is not the end of the world whilst the tenant is paying rent.

I think it would be prudent to raise your concerns formally with the agent and also dis-instruct them, refusing any penalties they request due to their poor service.

We now live in a world where a good agent is worth their weight in gold, but a poor one can be a massive liability. Minor compliance failures can cause significant problems for landlords.

As for the tenant, it may be prudent to work with her. If she left, what would you do? Probably relet. You would have lettings costs and refurb costs, not to mention any void. If she is otherwise decent but careless and untidy there may be a case for sticking with her. With my landlord's hat on, I take a really pragmatic view on how tenants' occupy. Not to say that I don't have concerns to deal with, but given rents in my local area (and the size of my portfolio) I don't feel the need to be too concerned about the poorly painted purple walls. As a result I have many long term tenants (the longest 21 years - and she does have purple walls!) and few voids.

If the tenant thinks she will get looked after by you or a better agent she may respond better to some gentle nudging towards being tidier; more regular inspections and follow ups will help.

The bottom line is don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Think carefully before removing the tenant and work out if the situation can be resolved. As for the agent - sounds like you have the right to be unhappy. Demand your file with all compliance paperwork as part of their dis-instruction.

Good luck
Graham

Alistair NIVEN

18:53 PM, 23rd August 2018
About 4 months ago

Sadly appointing an agent to look after "everything" for you doesn't work. You have to manage the agent by inspecting their work very regularly in the early months until you are completely satisfied that they are doing a good job for you at a cost that is good value to you. Only then can you lengthen the time between your inspections to say once every 3 months then every 6 months. The Agent IS NOT ACCOUNTABLE at LAW if he/she makes a mistake whilst acting on your behalf IT IS ALWAYS THE LANDLORD. "People only respect what you inspect". Join one of the big Landlords Associations without delay.


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