Vile tenants ganging up on me, please HELP!

by Readers Question

11:39 AM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Vile tenants ganging up on me, please HELP!

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Vile tenants ganging up on me, please HELP!

Long story cut short … the last tenant (A) to move out of one of our small portfolio of 5 houses failed to pay her rent for the last month, left some minor damage etc etc and so this weekend we claimed the full amount of her deposit back from the DPS. Vile tenants ganging up on me, please HELP

Her response was to send me a batch of obscene texts and Messenger messages and then, worse to post a vile message across local social media – naming me as a thieving landlord who doesn’t arrange repairs, leaves the property unsafe etc etc – and describing our property (which she lauded on the same social media sites when she moved in as being ‘lush’) as a dangerous s**t hole.

She (tenant A) is blaming all kinds of supposed damage to her property, accidents she apparently sustained and her daughter’s ill health on the house – well, you get the picture of the weekend we (well me really, as this was all aimed at me personally) have endured.

By yesterday evening she (tenant A) had made contact through Facebook with the last tenant (tenant B) before her – who left the house in a disgusting condition btw and also forfeited the majority of her deposit, and believes she (tenant A) has ‘confirmed’ with her (tenant B) that the repairs that she (tenant A) is now claiming weren’t done were left over from then – which is an easily demonstrable lie as we have receipts and communications from both of them detailing what issues had ever been reported to us, and when each was dealt with.

I suppose apart from the vile personal attack the main thrust of tenant A’s argument is that a ‘roof leak’ was not dealt with. There WAS a leak through the roof that damaged the upstairs landing ceiling in the house in 2013, so a year before tenant A moved in. That leak was eventually located and traced to the neighbour’s chimney and fixed. The neighbour in question paid for 50% of the repair.

Tenant A caused a leak in the bathroom which damaged the kitchen ceiling (which has now been repaired and we didn’t charge her for that) and they are both now screaming all over social media that the 2 unrelated leaks are the same and were not dealt with.

She (tenant A) also seemingly now believes that the first month rent she paid us (in advance) entitled her to assume that would not need to pay for the last month she was living in the house – enabling her to allege (on social media, so the world and his wife have suddenly become legal experts advising her how best to ‘bring me down’) that I have stolen her first month’s rent money that she paid ‘up front’ (and which she is now saying I told her would be lodged with the DPS with her deposit – obviously untrue.)

Our Tenancy Agreement clearly states that rent is due each month in advance. She (tenant A) was given a receipt for the initial cash payment she made (deposit + first month’s rent) and her other rent payments have gone straight into our bank.

To make matters even worse (if that is possible) our next prospective tenants (tenant C) who were due to move in early in June, have seen all the nastiness emblazoned across Facebook and have decided they don’t now want to live in our house for fear of this last nasty piece of work (tenant A) taking repercussions against us by damaging the property – and so they have withdrawn and they have requested their deposit back (which I have just repaid)

My question is this: what do we do next??

All constructive feedback with me much appreciated.

Thanks

Denise



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:41 AM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Denise

I will get this into our Newsletter tomorrow and give it some further thought over night as I've never experienced an attack of this nature myself.

Chin up, I'm sure other members will be keen to offer you sound advice.
.

Barbara Thorning

13:02 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I would take screenshots of her FB posts and then write to her with copies reminding her that Libel is still an offence in this country. Also point out to her that under the Law of Tort you are entitled to sue for damages for any financial loss (Tenant C + subsequent void) as a result of her libelous actions.
Was there an inventory when she moved in? Did you do regular inspections? Can you get statements from various contractors to substantiate your version of events?
Good luck!

Elaine Hassall

13:03 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Would it not be best to de-friend the ex-tenants on FB, re advertise your property and just let them get on with it. Why you would want to be "friends" with a tenant in the first place is beyond me. Keep it professional and keep off FB.

Mark Alexander

13:09 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I'm not a big user of Facebook but I seem to recall having seen something which allows a person to report a comment on the grounds of defamation.

I think it's also possible to delete your own comments isn't it?

Any avid FB users out there who can advise?
.

Barbara Thorning

13:25 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "18/05/2015 - 13:09":

You can certainly delete your own posts, so Tenant A could delete her defamatory comments if she chooses to, which is why I suggested taking screen shots if they were needed for any future action.
I don't know how easy it is to get FB to delete anyone else's posts, I've never tried.

Denise G

13:39 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

We do have an inventory with pictures, plus pictures taken when she left.

I have un-friend-ed her (and un-friend-ed Tenant B when she moved out and may also un-friend Tenant C when I have a minute) but still subscribe to some of the sites she has posted (where in fact we have posted property vacancies in the past and found these 3 tenants - but you can be sure that won't be happening again)

All but one of her postings that I am aware of have now been removed as I requested that happen of the moderators as soon as we saw what she was up to.
The one that is still 'live' is I believe her own site and she is the moderator.

I did not comment personally at all on any of her postings, so have nothing to delete.
We (well my daughter does) have screen shots of her postings with ‘advice’ offered by all of the so called legal experts who chose to judge me based on her post rather than on any knowledge of me or how we actually operate as landlords, from before they were removed. Her obscene texts are of course still on my phone - and we have dated communications when she ever asked for jobs to be done, and receipts and invoices from the tradesmen who did them.
My partner e-mailed her last evening explaining what a month’s rent in advance means, telling her that he understands that she is cross and disappointed but that we will not be messed around and that she must remove the posts she has left around immediately or we may have to take action through the courts. He also detailed all of the repairs she has reported that have been sorted and her other comments about things that were either fixed before she moved in or were just not true.
She replied to him this morning stating that she is planning on taking us to court for a £1000 worth of spoiled property and her daughter's asthma caused by the ceiling she ruined in the kitchen!

Denise G

13:58 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

We do regular inspections - and have copies of the reports we sent her after they had been done. We also have texts and messages from her from before she moved in right up to less than a month ago telling us how wonderful we are and how good we've been as landlords - and now I need to do as I was told before His Lordship went off to work this morning, and leave this all this for now and go do something nice!

Barbara Thorning

14:01 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "D D" at "18/05/2015 - 13:39":

If you have the mental stamina to tough it out, I'd tell her to go ahead and do her worst. If, as you say, you have sufficient evidence to disprove her allegations she won't get very far. You could also say you will be going for a Costs Order to be awarded against her if you end up having to defend a vexatious claim. If the judge considers it to be vexatious he/she will be on her like a ton of bricks.

Ross McColl

15:45 PM, 18th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I've had a very similar thing happens to me. I have done a lot of restructuring on the portfolio I manage and as a result I had to evict quite a few tenants who missed rent, or wrecked the house.
When people are told they can no longer live in a house for free they sometimes get a bit upset.
A few of them did exactly the same thing to me, I decided to fight fire with fire and simply pointed out the facts, notably that they were lying and they were terrible tenants. I didn't allow myself to be drawn into an argument but felt I had to put my case forward and let people decide for themselves. Fortunately I had a lot of kind comments from my good tenants which helped me somewhat.
The fact is that tenants are in abundance. Get it advertised and get new tenants in as soon as you can to limit your losses, just make sure they are referenced properly so this doesn't happen again.
All the best.
Ross

Mick Roberts

7:32 AM, 19th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Ha ha sounds like a normal weekly event for me.

I thought I’d comment when Mark needs a hand because he hasn’t experienced this himself.

I try to avoid adding tenants (tenants that become mates) through Facebook, as sometimes it does go wrong, & tenant is always right, Landlord is always wrong. Tenant always wants more than what Landlord wants to give. Tenant wants luxuries, Landlord should only be spending what ‘needs’ to be done.

There’s a Facebook page my way called Spotted Bulwell. I get on with 95% of my tenants, & on Spotted Bulwell when anyone wants house, normally someone recommends me. But when my name comes up, there is always the odd one who also gets their odd mate to back em up to say ‘Mick’ is s__t, Mick don’t do any repairs. Obviously they won’t mention the fact, that they wrecked the repairs that you was doing for them.
And bad for us respectable Landlords, these people normally have a few mates that are like them & believe them, & wade into the discussion, so u don’t want their mates in the future anyway,

In your case, block them through Messenger, that’s one part solved.

I have had it once before where like u, tenant C, didn’t want a house cause she genuinely thought I didn’t do repairs ‘cause of what tenants a & b were saying. I’m sure for u, tenant D is waiting for your advert.

You ask what to do next? Avoid Facebook for your next tenant, easy really isn’t it. Problem solved.

Ha ha & as I read on, Elaine says it so simply.

U say u MAY un-friend tenant C? Get it done now.

David Beckham, so many million like him, a few million don’t.
Michael Schumacher, maybe 100 million love him, 2 million don’t. To do what us Landlords are doing, we are gonna’ get loads like us ‘cause they want a house, unfortunately we also gonna get some dislike us, jealousy, bad tenants etc.
We just got to shrug our shoulders & get on with it. Or get a job working for someone else.

I have hundreds on Facebook wanna’ be me mate ‘cause I’m the ‘house man’, but I know it would go wrong if I added them all.
Part of our job, avoid Facebook friends tenants if u can. I’ve got a special page for me & tenants, but I don’t hardly use it ‘cause I think in Landlords tenants game, it could go very wrong.

As many say, Landlord-ing is a young mans game.

And as Ross says, tenants are normally in abundance.

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