Theft of tenant’s money ?

by Readers Question

7:20 AM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Theft of tenant’s money ?

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Theft of tenant’s money ?

I just had an angry tenant phone to say that £40 hidden in her bedroom has been stolen today (Tuesday). I was in her flat today by agreement, as was our cleaner and our valuer. I was not with the cleaner and the valuer all the time.

I had told the tenant not to leave cash about (which she acknowledges) although that was just precautionary advice from me. she says it was hidden.

The reason for our cleaner attending is that the other joint tenant moved out and the replacement is moving in tomorrow.

The finger of the tenants suspicion falls on the cleaner, who has done a lot of work for us over the last 3 years or so and there has never been a problem before.

I have told the tenant to report the matter to the police and confirm the details to me by e-mail as she wants me to ‘investigate’. I have no reason to think that the tenant is making this up, although she could be mistaken.

Am I legally responsible for reimbursing the money, even though there is no hard evidence of the amount or the theft? I realise for good relations that may be a good idea, but that is not my question. I feel she is at least partly to blame.



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Michael Barnes

12:31 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "30/07/2014 - 07:35":


Michael Barnes

12:40 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

This is an allegation of criminal activity.
Therefore it must be reported to the police by the alleged victim.
You have advised the tenant to do this; do not get further involved unless and until the police so advise (they should talk to the cleaner, not you, if you want to maintain their trust).

On the point of 'not leaving money in the room', it is my opinion that this is the tenant's home and she should be able to leave ANY of her personal belongings there when not present without fear of loss.

Dr Rosalind Beck

13:55 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Some tenants of ours said our builders had stolen their dope! No further action taken there. 'Hard luck' we said.

Neil Patterson

14:24 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "30/07/2014 - 12:31":

Very Sorry Michael my bad.

NLP = Neuro-Linguistic Programming

From Wiki -

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.[1][2]

Bandler and Grinder claim that the skills of exceptional people can be "modeled" using NLP methodology, then those skills can be acquired by anyone.[3][4][5][6][7] Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, myopia,[8] allergy, common cold,[9] and learning disorders, often in a single session.[10][11][12][13] NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and in seminars marketed to business and government.[14][15]

Neil Patterson

14:26 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "30/07/2014 - 14:24":

My very badly made point was that the idea that money could be stolen was put in the tenants head by accident.

Maybe I am the "dope" Rosalind was referring to lol

Simon Topple

14:52 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rosalind Beck" at "30/07/2014 - 13:55":

Tenants need to be better at hiding their stash of dope! Or maybe their flat mate fancied themselves as Omar Little from the Wire!!!!

Roy B

17:27 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

Why would your cleaner steal £40 - hidden as the tenant says. You say you have had no problems in the previous 3 years. The tenant must be willing to report it to the police otherwise I would think they were trying it on. Horrible situation and creates suspicion all round. Do not give money aas a good will gesture - could well be seen as an admission of guilt and lead to further compensation claims as well as showing a lack of faith in your cleaner.

Sally T

21:55 PM, 30th July 2014
About 6 years ago

We've had it before having a new fire alarm fitted. The tenant told us he'd had £80 stolen by our electrician, we told him to go and check his ceiling and to tell us what he could see, he said 'nothing' and we said that was because there was no new alarm in his room yet as the electricians hadn't got that far. He quickly decided he must of spent more in the pub than he thought !!!

Renovate To let

9:08 AM, 2nd August 2014
About 6 years ago

I think the clue may be in the situation.

One of the joint tenants has there therefore difficulty with the rent or with deposit retentions (e.g. for the cleaning you are doing) re the proposed new joint tenancy?

Otherwise, as above she is alleging a crime so she must progress it (or not) via the Police. Why on earth would you stump up £40 that you know you are not responsible for? If you reimburse (aka allow yourself to be tapped) then expect this to be the start of the tenant viewing you as a soft touch.

If she really left £40 hanging around and it really was taken then she has learned a valuable lesson about taking responsibility for her own actions - and she must inform the Police so they can see if any other incidents have been reported regarding the same suspects.

i bet she will not....

Joe Bloggs

9:55 AM, 2nd August 2014
About 6 years ago

there werent any disputes with the tenant who left (who was very easy going and paid all the bills and deposit!). the remaining tenant showed me where the money was 'hidden' and it wasnt really hidden at all being in a china bowl under some papers by her bedroom door. the sort of place you would put loose change and keys etc. also the money has been there since april. she says she has reported to police but not heard anything or had crime ref no. i think the tenant is telling truth as otherwise she would have said the money was better hidden. thanks for all suggestions. i think there is an element of contributory negligence and i think the money could have gone missing earlier. i will prob suggest to her that i will make a £40 registered charity donation. if she had been more careful this nasty situation would have been avoided.

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