15:02 PM, 17th February 2014, About 10 years ago 36
I recently bought a 3 bedroom property off another landlord with an existing tenant who has been there for seven years seven years. I created a new tenancy for 12 months to give the tenant some peace of mind and it has turned out to be a huge mistake!
My tenant is claiming benefits, £530 of her rent is by paid by the council and she tops it up £95 to make it £625 in total. Her £500 pound deposit is protected with the “my|deposits” scheme and I gave her copy of the precribed information, gas safety certificate and other required documents. I’m telling you this to show that I done my homework unlike most newbie landlords.
After completing the purchase and the new paperwork with the tenant I went on holiday for 5 weeks and in my third week I received a text from my cousin who lives two doors away. He explained that the ceiling of my tenants kitchen has signs of damp and there is leakage in the waste pipe in the toilet. I cancelled the rest of my holiday and came back early to sort the problem. I went to take a look for myself and took a builder with me. The day we were supposed to visit her she informed me that ceiling had fallen down. When we went there my builder told me that ceiling damage had been deliberate. He explained that there were signs of damp but this much damp shouldn’t bring the ceiling down.
My builder carried out the work over a two day period by installing flashing lead on roof and by cleaning the guttering pipes and replacing the seals to stop leakage. The whole kitchen ceiling has been replaced and new toilet has also been installed.My tenant then showed me there are signs of damp in third bedroom, which builder believe was because of condensation. We agreed to take a look at that too but my builder couldn’t do anything immediately so we explained that he would be back the following week. Yesterday my tenant informed me that a hole has appeared in the third bedroom in the roof and she can now see sky through the hole which is unbelievable.
My cousin inspected it for me and he is convinced the hole has been created deliberately too.
Mt tenant is now threatening to take me the court. My cousin is her Facebook friend and he’s informed me that she’s been putting up the pics of the damage she has caused and saying that I am a lazy landlord. He told me that her intentions are to take me the court and that she’s looking for easy money.
This tenant has now asked me to provide her a letter to allow her to leave early. I obviously want to get rid of her ASAP too. My question is:
1 – Can I her give her such a letter to allow her to leave early? ( I don’t want to fall into any legal obligations and if that letter can be used as case of harassment to evict her early? )
2 – The property has been inspected again today by another builder and he too confirmed that hole is a deliberate damage, however we do not have a proof that she did it so can I report this to police as criminal damage to the property?
3 – Her AST expires on 12/12/2014. Under the circumstances, is it possible to evict her before then as I am not able to spend huge amount of this deliberate damage as I have already spent £4,000 in two months.
Many thanks for the suggestions.