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Slum Tenant
20/06/2016
12:43 pm
moyeni
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 We have a tenant in one of our very upmarket fully furnished apartments who settles her rental by the due date without quibble. However, thus far she has inter alia ; smashed the glass top hob, broken a double bed, permitted mould to grow in the bathroom and appears to be highly allergic to maintaining our property to the standard she received it in. We have recently been alerted by the managing agent to the appalling state of the carpets which are filthy beyond any acceptable level of wear and tear. Obviously this standard of “cleanliness” is rife throughout our property. Added to this are the many calls I receive from the Concierge about complaints regarding her excessive visitor numbers. Our present letting agent informs us that we can do nothing about the state of our apartment, notwithstanding the clause in her lease clearly stating that the apartment should be maintained to a standard in line with the standard at occupation. I would like to add that an engineer report on the glass hob stated that it had been smashed by a heavy pot and an engineer report on the bed was that the slats had been broken by her 9yr old son jumping on it. As none of this could be proved – we replaced both at our cost. I would also like to add that, at no time prior to her occupation, were we aware a child would be an addendum to our lease stipulation that the apartment was to be occupied by two adults only. 

Please advise what rights we can enforce towards insisting our apartment is cleaned – if any – bearing in mind that we are non UK Landlords and, whether the contention by the managing agent that we and they are powerless to enforce such cleaning, is valid.

20/06/2016
2:50 pm
SamiiB
Somerset
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Hi Moyeni, thanks for your post.

I shared it on a facebook group and have just received this reply:

Martin McGrath: Your rights in this regard will almost entirely rest upon the quality (or not) of the SIGNED inventory that was carried out at the start of the tenancy. The more detailed the inventory, the more chance you have of enforcing it. Without a signed inventory, your chances of winning any subsequent dispute are virtually zero.

Original Source

Hope this helps! Smile

Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk .

Any queries email me at:

samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk / samii.boydprice@nlceuk.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994 (option 6).

21/06/2016
7:38 am
Zestres
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Hi, in addition to the inventory, your tenancy agreement should have clauses about damage to effects. If these are wilfully damaged during tenancy and are required to be replaced, a report from an independent, ie contractor who replaced the smashed hob, as let’s face it, they don’t just smash on their own is usually enough, your agent should be enforcing payment from the tenant and also making regular documented inspections recording the level of neglect and degradation on each visit. This will provide vital evidence for a claim on the deposit.

21/06/2016
9:20 am
moyeni
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SamiiB said
Hi Moyeni, thanks for your post.

I shared it on a facebook group and have just received this reply:

Martin McGrath: Your rights in this regard will almost entirely rest upon the quality (or not) of the SIGNED inventory that was carried out at the start of the tenancy. The more detailed the inventory, the more chance you have of enforcing it. Without a signed inventory, your chances of winning any subsequent dispute are virtually zero.

Original Source

Hope this helps! Smile

Thank you for your response.

I do have an inventory with very clear photographs of what my property looked like before her occupation.

My query really revolves around how I can enforce a cleaning standard NOW before the complete deterioration of my property when her lease ends next year in July. By then her deposit will definitely not cover the accumulated damages. I doubt her deposit covers them now.

According to my managing agent I cannot force her to address the present abuse of my property but I can send in a specialist cleaning firm at my cost to attend to her mess (sic).

It appears that, under UK tenant/landlord regulations, my investment can be eroded by the ill use and abuse of a tenant without her having to take responsibility for that loss of value.

That’s a difficult fact to accept.

Kind regards

21/06/2016
11:02 am
Jo
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You cannot enforce any cleaning regime on this tenant. The property is hers to enjoy as she wishes until the end of the tenancy. You can remind her of her agreement to maintain the property but it is her choice and her lifestyle. You cannot send in a company unless she agrees to it and then she would also have to agree to pay if you did not want to.

This is why this site exists!!

You can commence repossession proceedings by providing her with a section 21 if you decide you do not want the tenancy to continue beyond the fixed term. Or if you are very brave use one of the grounds on the section 8 possession route (I wouldn’t).

21/06/2016
12:52 pm
moyeni
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Thank you all for your cogent replies. You confirm my managing agents advice that the tenant is now in possession of my property – notwithstanding any clauses in her lease that oblige her to maintain it to a satisfactory standard. 

Although I am a member of Landlord Referencing – in fact I consider it a categorical imperative – it is quite apparent that not all Landlords subscribe to this concept. The tenant provided an unimpeachable rental history and was employed in a long term position. And her previous Landlord merely endorsed those particulars. There was no  further information on her tenant behaviour.

Had her past Landlords been members of any of the supportive and informative organisations that landlords use as a collective platform to share such information, I may have avoided what is going to be a very expensive exercise. 

I urge ALL landlords to utilise these sites as a vital tool in sharing pertinent expositions on tenants.

In fact you owe it to the rest of us. 

22/06/2016
3:22 pm
Silverfox 48
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I read with interest this string of comments – am in a similar situation, the granite worktop has been smashed in two places (!!!) among other things,  I want this tenant OUT. But I must say, when I took this tenant on, I had good references from the agent I employed, but when I attempted to contact her previous agent he refused to comment citing data protection. How do we get round this? If an agent contacts me in future for a reference for this tenant I will not lie, but I will be economical with the truth. Which probably is how she got into my property in the first place. Tenant referencing is all well and good, but I can only post when she has gone – if any landlord read a true description of her behaviour and the condition on the property, they would certainly not take her on. Which means I then have to go thro all the long winded process of getting rid the hard way. GrrrYell 

22/06/2016
4:22 pm
moyeni
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@Silverfox 48.

Yes. The present system protecting the rights of tenants over the rights of landlords ensures that no matter how diligently we investigate a potential tenant – we are denied transparency. Data protection in itself is an abuse of “right to know”. And this is exacerbated by the full collusion of managing agents who are driven by earnable commissions and the fact that they cannot be held liable should a tenant screened by them prove questionable. Landlords are ALWAYS left with the costs and the problem. I still consider it an imperative to lodge data on sites such as this one, but I can sympathise somewhat with the previous landlord of my tenant who must have been driven by enormous desire to make her someone else’s problem. My managing agent has suggested I pay her leave (sic).

Added to this is the egregious regulation that a managing agent can operate without your sanction once you have appointed them ie carte blanche to take deposits and rentals in your name – often to keep their companies afloat – place tenants by signing the lease contract on your behalf; and all without the law considering them liable should anything go awry. There has been a plethora of unscrupulous letting agents in the UK taking full advantage of the lack of industry regulation by conveniently closing shop once their fraud has been discovered and reopening under another name. Landlords are held responsible for the appropriated rentals and deposits. Not the fraudsters themselves. It’s perverse isn’t it?

I find my desire to continue operating in a country which considers me a “snivelling parasite” (if only I could stay in an upmarket, fully furnished property at half the cost) with scant regard given to the difficulties it encompasses – very difficult to tolerate.

I must abide by a plethora of stringent rules. My tenant doesn’t have to. 

I echo your GRRRRR!

23/06/2016
11:49 am
David Price
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23/06/2016
12:06 pm
Dale Roberts
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Thank you David. Yes. That is the article I mimicked the description from.

I generally ignore people who attempt contention with such banal tirades BUT the general view when esteemed Luddites, like C.Devine vent, is that it is true. And that needs challenge else the delusion becomes the normative. 

As I’ve already mentioned, I provide very luxurious, fully furnished apartments to tenants who are heavily subsidised at my cost as the rental payments are about 50% less than mortgage repayments. Add to that insurances, taxes, bad tenants, void periods, damages, letting agent fees and commissions and non paying tenants.

I firmly believe I should feted by government. Not victimised for their housing failures.

As an aside, may I add that I enjoy your trenchant replies on these forums.

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