Wilful damage being caused by my tenant

Wilful damage being caused by my tenant

15:02 PM, 17th February 2014, About 8 years ago 36

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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. Wilful damage being caused by my tenants

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.




Richard Kent

12:59 PM, 21st February 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "21/02/2014 - 12:44":

Hi Sharon,

Good Point - "The councils are trying to get us private landlords on to their list to house all off their wasters"

Could you put some paragraphs in your replies as they are really difficult to read otherwise 🙂

sharon underwood

13:26 PM, 21st February 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Kent " at "21/02/2014 - 12:25":

Hi Richard, I so glad you had a good experience with the council but juding by the comments on this forum re: councils encouraging law breaking" I think it is very few & far between.
I had 8 different council departments visit the house & invited me to be there, on my arrival they said tenant did not want me in the house, I pointed out that they had asked for my presence but they said I had to give tenants 24hrs notice, I said ok come on lets go give them 24hrs notice & she said not worth it as they do NOT have to comply!!! They are not on the side of the landlord as they want all private property rentals to be handed over to them to try to clear their long waiting lists & I have had 2 separate councils admitting that to me then later denied it!! fortunately I had witnesses to that call so they could not deny it. I hope this goes well in this particular case but can only reiterate how important it is to have all these conversations documented & witnessed IF you don't need it then that's all to the good but be prepared, it made no difference to me as the house is lovely & they found no problems but still made my life a living hell & would hate for anyone else to go thru what I have been thru...PS I have an outhouse on this property that is damp etc NOT because of anything I have done (she never reported a leak to me) & I have asked her numerous time to move into main house but she likes it where she is however I did think council would have issues with it but they did not amazingly !! I gues im just saying be prepared for all eventualities xx Good luck

Richard Kent

13:54 PM, 21st February 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "sharon underwood" at "21/02/2014 - 13:26":


I will read the other thread about Law Breaking later so thanks for that.

I would not call my experience good to start with but I had to put my case forward to encourage understanding from the council. The council chose not to take any further action as the tenant was refusing access 🙂

Can you believe I had the housing department call me once to ask me whether I wanted rent payments to be made directly to me or not? 🙂 Did they really need to ask the question? Did they think the answer might be "no" ? 🙂 ........mmmmm now let me think about that, do I want the council to make direct rent payments to me?............ 🙂

As for your reaction to the tenant refusing access, sometimes it is better to be less 'confrontational' with the council and more conversational. Example instead of saying "ok come on lets go give them 24hrs" you could have said "As you know the tenant has a right to refuse access so my hands are tied"

Either way the tenant is demonstrating their unreasonableness by refusing access.

Yes, I am aware of and I have been at the receiving end of Local Authority laziness, poor intervention etc etc.

The biggest question is why do tenants behave like this? Normally because their agenda is to avoid paying rent. In this case the Local Authority give you the usual advice about having to wait 8 weeks etc etc..... I won't bore you with the rest as you already know:)

sharon underwood

14:34 PM, 21st February 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Kent " at "21/02/2014 - 13:54":

LOL! They asked me the same question before I couldnt believe it duuuhhhh let me think on that hehe

I am always very reasonable with council & 6 out of the 8 where great, but this one woman for whatever reason was a complete bitch from the start. I had 1 of my previous tenants with me & she explained she had lived in property for 6 yrs with no hassle from me at any point
The breaking point for me was A) Its was by their invitation i was there at all & they had given notice to the tenant, &
B) I found out that she had talked to police telling them to be on alert from me when she had absolutely NO foundation to do so!!
As I said when my MP contacted them they was running around like idiots trying to please me, so like a fool I left left it with just the council tax problems remaining,
The manager of CT said all proceedings would be put on hold until he had sorted it out & next thing I know I had a CCJ against ME!
There is NO excuse for any of this bad behaviour from councils & I am glad I had that woman suspended as she was a horrible woman from the start,
It sounds awful I know that I would be happy over someone losing their job but I knew she would do to others what she had done to me as I had never given cause to treat me like that..
Its amazing the amount of sites that are saying the same thing about the councils, they are under huge pressure to find properties but to p*** landlords off isnt the answer.
I phoned 2 councils this morning both promising to call me back today, Well so far not looking good leaving me stressed over the weekend. Again GOOD LUCK & go prepared, plz will you let us know how it goes???

Lauren Breslaw

15:43 PM, 12th February 2015, About 7 years ago

**Moderators note - this comment has been allowed as Journo Requests of this nature are expempT from "House Rules"**

Hi there,

A random post I appreciate!

I work on a program called Judge Rinder on ITV. It sounds like this property dispute is something we could help you with.

I can't put too many details on this page, but would you be able to give me a call on 0161 9521 954?

It's just a conversation at this point, but you could claim up to the value of £5,000

Jay James

20:32 PM, 13th February 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lauren Breslaw" at "12/02/2015 - 15:43":

Interesting. It would be nice to see all involved putting their case.

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