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I initially found the tenant through a builder who was doing some work for me. Hard luck story
about housing and as I had a newly refurbished house near to the school that his children were going
to I agreed to rent it to him and his family. I referenced through Landlord Referencing and took a
deposit. All was fine. I felt fairly safe with him as he came across as very professional and he also
worked for a well know local letting / estate agency. Wife was an air hostess
They were tenants for about 18 months. I had various complaints of loud verbal arguments and
inappropriate language used towards the children. Alarm bells were ringing. An inspection revealed
a smashed kitchen cupboard door and two bedroom doors had been ‘shouldered’ open. At the
same time one of my cleaners mentioned that the tenant registered a business from the address
which was forbidden under the Ts and Cs of the AST and insurance. Further investigation revealed
that the he had stated the address was owned by the company he registered at Company House.
I issued a section 21 and had a long email in response, which essentially stated that HMRC had given
him permission to run the business from my address !!!!
He left, having paid the rent but the damage was strange. Doors taken from the rooms, lodged in
the hallway and the hinges and door handles stolen. Loft insulation removed from where it was laid,
and thrown in a bundle into one corner of the loft. Almost all the door handles and locks were
broken and front / back door keys changed. Shed and gate keys gone
Multiple kitchen doors replaced by him – none matched each other. Gloss white comes in so many
There were sharp tacks inserted into the bottom of some of the doors. Had the builder not have
been wearing gloves, he would have been injured. There was no reason for those to have been there
except for malicious intent
The bathroom door lock was broken inside. The builder closed the door when he went into the
bathroom but couldn’t get out. (not laughing – promise) Could have been worse. He could have
been locked out and couldn’t get in
Garden wall demolished to park a car – garden pond now non-existent. All walls had picture hooks
but a clause in the AST said that he agreed to have all walls skimmed when he left. Didn’t happen.
Walls painted different colours and attempts to fill holes were unsuccessful.
A damp patch was reported several months prior. The builder asked for fridge freezer to be moved
for access – instead the tenant built shelving over it after the section 21 had been issued.
No access was possible because of a large dog.
All furniture that couldn’t be moved was deposited outside on the pavement with a ‘please take
free’ notice on. No one did and it was scattered on the road and later dumped back into the garden
by angry neighbours.
All the usual dirt left except the bathroom which was fine. Usually the worst place when tenants
This guy is a real Jeykll and Hyde person. Smart and articulate when working, but scruffy and
Landlord Referencing have always been extremely thorough, but although they researched his
financial background, they could not have forseen what he was like as a tenant. What annoys me
most is that another referencing company asked for a reference. I declined as I believe a good
tenant is more than someone who pays the rent on time.
I went to great lengths to say that this person was a bad tenant. I explained that I’d not been able to
access the property and that he was not responding to emails or phone calls. A property inspection
had revealed damage. I therefore could not provide a good reference for another unsuspecting
landlord to take him
That company asked if there were any rent arrears. There were not. They therefore saw fit to pass
him on to someone else. I think that’s irresponsible and unprofessisonal.
I have posted details on Landlord Referencing which is all I can do.
I’m thinking now of issuing a Licence to Rent for one month prior to issuing a full AST. In that time,
the last landlord could give a fuller and more honest appraisal of the tenant. If its not good then I
will ask the tenant to leave. I don’t know if that’s legal – haven’t asked anyone yet – but it would
have helped the next landlord who has taken this extremely arrogant and unprofessional, tenant. If
using LRS the next landlord would also have been able to look up my comments and made a
decision. I would have been OK to be completely truthful, as he would have gone from my property.
Just a thought…
Hi MrsRent, no it’s not legal to use a licence to rent. A tenant is a tenant and the contract will be an AST even if a licence is used. It’s the facts of the occupation which the law recognises not the name that the contract is called. The case law on this is Street V Mountford which you will find if you google it.
Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
Here in the South West we have a list of Tenants names you can look up before doing the AST.
Not a blacklist you understand but it enables Landlords to speak with previous Landlords. Presumably this person did not have a renting history.
Strange indeed but you were lucky to get full rent by the sound of it.
The law needs to swing back to a balanced position and start valuing Landlords again.
But I would say that !
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