Working tenants accrue £40,000+ in default & damages.
One of the Landlord Referencing community has come forward to reveal their story regarding two working tenants, who not only left their landlord with £5,000 worth of disrepairs and £2,000+ worth of rent default but have also ripped off many other landlords at the price of £40,000+ – in just a few years.
What with all the bad press that Local Housing Allowance tenants continually receive, especially with the impending changes to the welfare system (via Universal Credit), we have a very different story to tell – straight from one of our most vigilant Letting Agent members.
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Tenant Alert Reference : NW-COKO-127
The tenants in questions were fully credit referenced and lifestyle referenced, both passing with flying colours. The husband had his own IT company and the wife worked for the local council in one of the local schools, so everything appeared normal and above board.
The couple moved into the property in July 2010 and at first were the model tenants; paying their rent on time and the cleanliness of the property always appeared adequate on inspections. It did sometimes appear to be a little untidy (children’s toys, clothes, etc) but nothing out of the ordinary.
However within the first 3 months the couple began to start paying their rent late, always having some form of plausible excuse as to why.
Then their rent payments completely stopped. The letting agent tried to help the couple by making a number of payment plans with them but they would never adhere to them – sometimes paying off a lump sum, but never clearing their account fully.
After the continual mockery of their tenancy agreement the landlord and the letting agent decided that enough was enough and served the couple with an eviction notice, which they contested.
Shortly after, some routine maintenance was needed to be carried out at the property, so the agents engineers attended and reported back that the house was in an absolute “state”. This included piles of rubbish and belongings strewn all over the property, cat faeces in various rooms and an overpowering smell of urine present in every room of the house.
Following this discovery the agent contacted the local council and social services, who attended and confirmed that the property was in an appalling and uninhabitable condition. The local council also carried out their own investigation into the case and discovered that the couple had done this to a number of other privately rented properties in the area. And over the course of a mere couple of years the couple had accrued debts (via rent arrears and property damages) amounting to £40,000!
They were eventually evicted in May 2012 by the court bailiff, whereby the husband attended court and tried to contest the case again, but failed.
When possession of the property was gained, upon entry the agents and landlord were utterly disgusted and outraged at the condition it had been left in.
Bags of household waste and human faeces were piled up in the utility room and bedrooms, including soiled clothing.
There was cat faeces and urine covering the entirety of the property and there was even human waste found smeared on the furniture.
It also appeared that the couple had not put the bins out for some time and the yard was full of household waste, and to make matters even worse the entire property was infested with fleas.
Following their eviction from the property, the tenants were placed in emergency accommodation and the local council team that the landlord and agent had been working with have recently confirmed that within several weeks into their newest tenancy they are now in arrears with them also.
This case firmly highlights three key importances for all landlords and letting agents in the UK:
1. The importance of lifestyle referencing your potential tenants,
2. The importance of regularly inspecting your property
3. The importance of not judging a book by its cover.
This is a clear case of a break down in communication between the landlord and their local authority, and just as we all have a right to being housed we should also all have the right to know all the facts; to gauge the future outcome.
Had the previous landlords been able to comment on these tenants then this case could have been prevented, as well as the umpteen cases before.
Our vast network of landlords and letting agents, covering the entirety of the UK, work together to prevent rent defaults and damages being inflicted on their properties and to also protect their existing tenants from rogue neighbours.
We offer this service, amongst many others, completely free.
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Community forum related topic: Are Tenants accountable for intentional damage via the Police?
A big thank you to the letting agent who kindly supplied all the information and photos for this article.
They wish to remain anonymous to protect all parties involved.
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