Black mould: The landlord's or tenant's problem? | Page 2 | Discuss

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Black mould: The landlord's or tenant's problem?
15/01/2015
11:40 am
Karren
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Urghhh.. It sounds like I need the luck of the Irish on this one. We have served a section 8 on the grounds of: 8,10, 11, 12, 13 & 17. The tenants are 3 months in arrears as they haven't paid a penny since they moved in. So far I am the only landlord to have taken it this far as these people are serial non payers ( previous 3 landlords struggled to get them out) but are both in full time employment. We are hoping to have a court date by Monday and then hopefully have a hearing sometime in Feb. but this is all based on the best case scenario according to the solicitor. 

If only I had known 3 months ago what I know now Cry

15/01/2015
12:16 pm
Amy
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Karren. Dont we all? 

15/01/2015
12:44 pm
David Price
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rigsby none of the S8 possession orders, except the successful one, were mine I was merely helping colleagues.  All the claims were contested on the grounds of grossly exaggerated dis-repair, with the help of a free solicitor.  One was subsequently solved with a section 21, the rest are still pending.  Meanwhile the tenants are still living rent free.

The frustrating thing is that the dis-repair is itemised by the local council who have a vested interest in keeping the tenant in place.  such items as 'cracked tiles in bathroom', broken of course by the tenant, 'broken electrical socket', again broken by the tenant, 'rubbish in back garden', not part of the let property etc, resulting in a claim which grossly exceeded the circa £7,000 rent arrears.  A nightmare to defend.

15/01/2015
12:50 pm
Karren
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This is not music to my ears at all Frown I feel like Alice in Wonderland with this LL business.....

"Everyone here is mad. I'm mad. You're mad. It's only by chance n' careful planning if you're not!"

15/01/2015
2:43 pm
Patricia A
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Karrin

You soon learn to be a mad landlord Smile

You get tough as well. You don't listen to sob stories . Landlords cannot afford to,  because the law treats us all like rogue landlords and we have no power .You check everything a tenant tells you and then check again. 

If a tenant throws his dummy out of the pram and shouts unfair or sobs, you move onto the next tenant. 

The tenants need to come forward , give you all the paperwork you ask for,  and more if needed and you do all your checks and if your gut instinct is not right, you do more checks. I listen to my guts a lot and go onto the next one SmileWink

If all fails i 'phone a friend' at the  LRS  office and they put me right.

LL also need to learn to compromise sometimes in order to get a tenant to vacate.

I read an LRS thread on alternate ways to avoid courts if at all possible.  

15/01/2015
2:45 pm
Patricia A
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David Price said
rigsby none of the S8 possession orders, except the successful one, were mine I was merely helping colleagues.  All the claims were contested on the grounds of grossly exaggerated dis-repair, with the help of a free solicitor.  One was subsequently solved with a section 21, the rest are still pending.  Meanwhile the tenants are still living rent free.

The frustrating thing is that the dis-repair is itemised by the local council who have a vested interest in keeping the tenant in place.  such items as 'cracked tiles in bathroom', broken of course by the tenant, 'broken electrical socket', again broken by the tenant, 'rubbish in back garden', not part of the let property etc, resulting in a claim which grossly exceeded the circa £7,000 rent arrears.  A nightmare to defend.

So a garden full of rubbish is not counted as 'being of the flat then? '

The rubbish we have cleared ....sigh . Dustbin men 2 we are 

15/01/2015
4:12 pm
David Price
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The point I was trying to put across was that he garden is not part of the property, it belonged to an adjacent flat.

15/01/2015
4:49 pm
Karren
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Quick question for you David then, when tenants leave rubbish at a property can they be charged for removal? If the garden comes as part of the property that is. It's something I had only briefly thought about and not really got a plan together in the event of them leaving rubbish but seems I might need one!

15/01/2015
4:59 pm
Amy
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David Price said
The point I was trying to put across was that he garden is not part of the property, it belonged to an adjacent flat.

You mean that they left all there rubbish in some one else's garden. In the words of Victor Meldrew 'You wouldn't believe it' SmileSurprisedConfused

But i would -cos a tenant filled her neighbours shed up with rubbish just before she moved. I couldn't help but laugh..... 

15/01/2015
6:13 pm
justiceyearner
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I'd be interested in the response to the question about rubbish. Tenants have ledt: kids shed (dilapidated); twin buggy; 2 pushchairs; assorted scooters, dolls prams, see-saw, ride-on cars; black bin bags of rubbish in property; perishable foodstuffs in kitchen cupboard; and a calor gas cannister in garage. That's just the rubbish aspect of these 'delightful' tenants. Cry

15/01/2015
10:02 pm
David Price
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Karren said
Quick question for you David then, when tenants leave rubbish at a property can they be charged for removal?

Tenants can be charged for any dilapidations, essentially anything that has been damaged or altered beyond 'normal wear and tear' including rubbish clearance.  That's the easy part, the difficult bit is getting them to pay or do anything about it.  If you have taken and protected a deposit then in theory you can claim against the deposit BUT it is probably more effort to claim than to go and earn sufficient money stacking shelves in the local supermarket.

Whatever the situation always take the tenant to court (moneyclaim on line - it's very easy), don't worry about their current address for as long as they have a tenancy your property is their current address.  In all my time as a landlord and many hundreds of claims I have only had two defend, one did not turn up in court and the second misbehaved so much in front of the judge that I was given judgement regardless.  For all the rest I have default judgements but no payments, however a tenant with an unsatisfied CCJ is unlikely to get a tenancy from a reputable landlord.

Always record the tenant on this site so as to make it as difficult as possible for them to get another tenancy.

My attitude and the advice I always give is lick your wounds, prepare the property for a new tenant and get on with the rest of your life.  Don't get mad get even.

15/01/2015
10:28 pm
Patricia A
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And: also learn. I look in all the sheds now and even look in the neighbours when a tenant is departing, oh and lofts as well! I have Been caught out twice by lofts  Smile

16/01/2015
9:53 am
justiceyearner
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Thanks Patricia A. Had checked the loft, nothing there.

David, the deposit doesn't cover rent arrears so am seriously considering moneyclaim online.

This is a steep learning curve for me (first tenants). The relinquished the tenancy, eventually, but not properly (so TDS have said I must raise a dispute because they had written that they aloso relinquished the deposit but only wrote £450 and the deposit was £500). They have taken white goods (maybe the rubbish was considered by them as a part-exchange) so I reported the theft to the police. Got a crime number and had an interview scheduled for this morning. Police have just rung and said it's a civil matter?! Persuaded him it wasn't, so he has now gone to interview them. I don't know where they now live but gave the police their workplace address.

16/01/2015
10:24 am
Patricia A
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I had a cooker stolen a few years back 

The police found the tenants straight away and asked me if i wanted it back? (policeman suggested that i leave it with them )- because the new place they had was cooker less and they did not have a means of cooking.

I said "yes please- straight away "  and they bought it back. Tenant owed rent and had left the place trashed as well.  I had a photo of the cooker because it was new , so there was no argument . I took the policeman around to my trashed flat and asked him if he thought that any tenant would rent a flat from me in the condition it was in ??????

(The policeman told me that the tenant had said that the flat was in a terrible condition from the start of their tenancy, (he was a rookie)  This is the attitude we Landlords have to deal with . 

16/01/2015
10:45 am
justiceyearner
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Snap Patricia. Police just rang and said that they had located the male tenant and the white goods are at his place of work. I can go and pick them up (nice) so I will have to get a van to do that.

Police officer told me that tenant had voiced a lot of 'issues' about the property. I know exactly what those are:

  • complained of damp last year. So had roof vents put in and mould cleaned and redecorated. Now it's mouldy again. Caused by condensation, not damp
  • Gas hob condemned. I went out and bought one that day. Fitter arranged to fit 3 days later, as tenant had to go to work. Tenant did not contact fitter to arrange a time
  • claimed that cooker was broken too (on facebook). Have been unable to check that as prepaymentt meters showing debt which I'm off to sort now that the providor has removed the debt from the property

The tenants relinquished the tenancy by leaving a note in the property which also stated that they relinquished the bond of £450. The deposit was £500 and the TDS, who the deposit was registered with, have told me that I have to open a dispute with their resolution centre.

16/01/2015
11:26 am
Patricia A
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I cannot find it now but we have a thread on the TDS and My deposit schemes with all the pros and cons on both 

Mary Latham has some very nice statistics on the TDS 

17/01/2015
12:13 am
justiceyearner
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Thank you. Any idea how I can find that thread? Search is not bringing up any results that fit the criteria in your post.

Police rang back. Fridge freezer and washing machine found, in the tenants father's pub. Have been told that I have to get a van and pick them up as the tenant has told the police officer that I have a relative with a van!!! I don't because he sold it. Beggars belief: we have located your stolen property, it's at this address, hire a van and go andcollect it.

17/01/2015
3:17 pm
Amy
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Do you think they are staying at the pub?   If they are its an address you can use . 

17/01/2015
5:06 pm
Patricia A
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Are the police prosecuting them for depriving you of your goods and the stress , time used and cost of recovery?

17/01/2015
7:43 pm
justiceyearner
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No Patricia. It would have to be a civil prosecution because they had keys. Akin to shops having to prosecute shoplifters. The law never ceases to amaze me. Surprised

Going to pick up my goods tomorrow; armed with camera to photograph them. Policeman said that they were in good condition yesterday. I told him that if they weren't the station would be getting another call.

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