Tenants from Hell (Part 2).  Every Landlord’s Nightmare

Tenants from Hell (Part 2). Every Landlord’s Nightmare

16:17 PM, 5th April 2011, About 13 years ago 2

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Sequel to Frazer Fearnhead’s popular Guest Blog

It’s amazing what you uncover upon conducting a check out inspection. Below are the top 7 nightmare cases inventory agents from The Video Inventory Agency have discovered.

  1. Unbelievably one tenant, who had in his wisdom decided to build a first storey extension over the kitchen without telling the landlord or obtaining planning permission. It also didn’t comply with building regulations and had to be pulled down.
  2. A tenant who had set the kitchen on fire several months before the end of the tenancy and had never bothered reporting it.
  3. Several cases where, on conducting an interim inspection, it was discovered that a spare room was being used to grow cannabis.
  4. Tenants who have seen fit to re-decorate.  In one case painting the ceilings black and the walls with purple gloss with a mural of Marilyn Manson on one wall.
  5. Several cases where tenants kept animals in contravention of the lease and allowed them to urinate inside the house so much so that the floorboards beneath the carpet were bleached and the whole house stank.
  6. A tenant who stole a cherry tree from the back garden. He swore he had planted it – yet it was 10 years old and he had been in the property less than a year.
  7. Tenants who have tried to replace new flat screen TVs with older models.

It is also worth noting that people have vastly different views of what is classed as clean. For example: one female tenant did not like the fact that an inventory agent commented on the state of the carpet. She claimed there was nothing wrong with it and that as she had only been in the property six months there had been no reason for her to have vacuumed it at any point.  Tenants have also argued till they’re blue in the face that mould or grime in a bathroom is fair wear and tear or that the carbon buildup on a hob is a natural scientific reaction and they should not be charged for cleaning it.

Take a look at this video which shows the mess that some tenants think is acceptable:


In fact, even if nothing is damaged, the level of cleanliness the property has been left in may mean you have to spend £200 or more on a professional clean before it can be let again. If you do not have sufficient evidence such as a high quality video you simply will not be able to substantiate a claim for that cost from the tenant if they challenge you.

Many of these nightmare tenants were in fact professionals – doctors, lawyers, nurses and business executives. In short they appeared to be perfect tenants when they moved in. However nice and civilized your tenants seem at the start of a tenancy there is no telling how they will treat your property.

You would need several hundred if not thousands of photographs to be taken at the start of a tenancy to cover all possible areas that might incur damage and to get an overall impression of the condition of the property. It’s clearly not practical to do so, which is why more and more landlords and letting agents now use video evidence to support the written inventory. A typical half hour video will provide the equivalent of over 37,500 still images and give you as a landlord the best possible protection.

This Guest Blog was kindly submitted by Frazer Fearnhead of

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8:09 AM, 14th April 2011, About 13 years ago

Is this the right video? Doesn't look bad to me - perhaps I have been unlucky in the past? Just a bin bag to put that lot into. Dom

5:36 AM, 21st July 2011, About 13 years ago

I agree with Dom - it really isn't the best video, because the fridge looked relatively clean as did the surfaces. Are they trying to say that they would not return the deposit because of that? No wonder 92% of landlords lose, if that's the case. On a scale of 1 to 10 of disgusting tenants this is about a 2.

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