Tenants house is a mess – help!

by Readers Question

17:45 PM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Tenants house is a mess – help!

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Tenants house is a mess – help!

My tenant has been in my property for over two years now. Never the tidiest of girls but has a good job and always paid rent on time but I arrange to access each year with gas engineer for annual service.  Tenants house is a mess - help

This year there were worrying signs of disorder.

There’s obviously new man been installed with violent tendencies as small window pane in front door broken to gain access to lock which had been crudely repaired by board screwed to inside.

Bedroom door smashed and lying in pieces in spare bedroom.

Smoke detectors removed

Curry hurled at a wall.

Mountains of dirty crocks on drainer and laundry piled up against back door.

Gardens were tidy though

What should I do?

I’ve rented the house for 20 years and have never faced a situation like this before.

Thanks

Ruth



Comments

Mark Alexander

18:00 PM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Ruth

I'd probably just write a very polite letter saying that I had noted the various matters and expect them to be dealt with, failing which the cost of making good will be deducted from their damage deposit at the end of the tenancy.

I would also mention that there appears to be evidence of another person living at the property without your consent and probably leave it at that.

I would send the letter recorded delivery and keep a copy on file with the recorded delivery sticker as evidence if required at a future date.

I am quite philosophical about these things. It's their home at the end of the day and if they choose to live like pigs that's up to them providing they are not causing more damage than their deposit would cover and they are paying the rent and not bothering the neighbours.

If you pile on too much pressure they may move out and then you will have the cost and hassle associated fixing up the property and with letting the property to another tenant who may turn out to be even worse.

Sometimes you just need to take a pragmatic approach.

From what you have described, the damages can probably be dealt with for a few hundred pounds if they are not sorted by the time they leave. Surely their deposit will cover that?

You may also be pleasantly surprised at what your letter achieves too. Letters like this often worry people into thinking they are going to be evicted unless they get their act together very quickly. I've had a few incidents like this and more often than not the problems are rectified without me having to get heavy. It can, of course, go the other way too and that's when you need to consider eviction. If that's the case, don't get involved, it's worth the extra money to pay somebody who deals with evictions as a full time job - see http://www.property118.com/member/?id=1945

If your tenant has another person living at the property without your consent then that person has no rights of tenure so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

If it's domestic violence you are worried about, I am unable to advise you on that, other than to say don't get involved personally, just report your concerns anonymously to the National Domestic Violence Helpline and let them do what they are best at - see http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

I hope this helps.
.

Mike W

18:18 PM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Ruth,
I don't know what you tolerate with regards to property damage but I don't tolerate broken door, significant cleaning requirement and damaged back door. More worryingly removal of smoke detectors. I don't know English law on the matter but in Scotland I would worry about this as it would impact on the fire assessment & building regs. And that impacts me as landlord.

Sacha Martin

20:00 PM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Ruth

in the letter do state a date and time that you wish to go back to inspect!

Ruth Mitchell

10:09 AM, 11th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/07/2014 - 18:00":

Many thanks Mark for your valued comments. They are very much appreciated and I shall write the letter today. I do retain a deposit and so far this will largely cover the clean up when the time comes.

Ruth Mitchell

10:14 AM, 11th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike W" at "10/07/2014 - 18:18":

Many thanks for your comments Mike, they're much appreciated and I shall write a letter today asking for the repairs to be carried out and the smoke detectors replaced immediately. I shall state a reinspection date too.

I've never had to tolerate physical damage to my property before so your comments are much valued as it's a bit of a new one for me!

Ruth Mitchell

10:15 AM, 11th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sacha Martin" at "10/07/2014 - 20:00":

Will do Sacha! Many thanks for your response.

Neil Robb

9:51 AM, 12th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Ruth

I have a tenant who had three children under five in the house I turned up and found the property untidy and dirty. I had a letting agency looking after the house so they obviously were not doing there checks.

I pointed out very politely that the house was falling into disrepair and needed tidied and I understood she had a lot on her plate but this needed addressed. The next time I went to the house it was totally different the tenant put down new flooring tided up the house and it was looking really good.

I think sometime we just don't see what is around us until it is pointed out.

Philip Savva

18:47 PM, 13th July 2014
About 4 years ago

I agree with what Mark said!


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