Tenant vs landlord | Discuss

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Tenant vs landlord
23/12/2015
1:57 pm
orchid
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First let me say thank you to everyone for their great posts. This is my first question, so I hope I am posting this in the right section.

My tenant is a nice person. Pays bang on time or early. Never been late, and does keep her *home* clean etc. Last year and this year, I have spent quite a lot on the property. Long story, but previous owners never did repairs and let the place get run down, so it did need a lot of updating, which without prompting from my tenant, I brought everything up to date.  She came as a sitting tenant. Estate agents were not doing their job, and so I now look after things myself.  

Having gone through her paper work, which the estate agents handed over to me, I found out, she paid a premium for each of 3 cats that says she had. However, in reality she had 5 cats. 2 which she did not declare. In general chit chat type conversation about pets, I asked how many she had, and she said 5, so I mentioned that she had 3 listed, but please no more.  

She has a guarantor, did not pay a deposit, which is fine. But here is my problem. She leaves her windows open, including the conservatory door when she is out. I only know this because, I had to pop round while work was being done over several days.  I did mention to her, the whole thing about insurance premiums, to which she replied, it would be her stuff that would get taken. I then pointed out to her, that some people go as far as smashing up things and removing radiators, etc.  In short she does not see how important it is to lock up. Especially annoying as I had all new doors and windows with locks fitted last year.  I don’t want to push and nag or harass her, so I have kept quiet.

Now here is where I struggle with her and need some advice. She is on an AST. The property is 3 bed but one bedroom is off the second. She lives there with her 2 sons in their late teens, and has a daughter aged 21 who has left home. Recently she had a bright idea to foster a child, and only told me 6 days before Social Services were to inspect the house. Her idea was she would sleep in the living room and the foster child would have her bedroom. Living room has a fire place. As things went, her application was not approved. Then she told me a few months ago, that her son’s friend was moving in, because he has family problems at home, in 2 weeks time. I asked if he would be paying her rent. She said only money for food. We all know that this does not make sense. We are on water meters down here. I doubt she will be happy having to find money to pay for water, more gas and leccy.  Now, considering I had just spent a lot on a new bathroom, I just felt she was pushing things and taking advantage of my patience. I pointed out to her, that the house is rented to her and her family, but while she is free to have people stay for short periods, it was not okay to take on a lodger or sublet without my permission. And I would have to check out anyone who wants to live there. I pointed out that her tenancy does not allow her to bring in anyone without my permission. She was adamant that she had never heard of such a thing, until I directed her to the clause. Then she tells me her daughter and the boyfriend are moving in. To me, I can see over crowding.  If I am wrong please someone correct me. 

As I said, she is a lovely person, but I am struggling with this issue, as she was very upset. While I appreciate that she is the tenant with certain rights, I feel that being the Landlord, there are clear guidelines to protect myself and my property and I don’t have to say Yes to everything.

Thanks for everyone’s advice. Sorry about the long story.

25/12/2015
11:35 pm
PaulBarrett
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It doesn’t matter how lovely she is

She is taking the ###s!!

She is clearly in breach of the AST

Increase the rent to an amount you know she won’t pay

Wait for her to default then S8 and S21 her

She seems to think she can do as she wishes

You could easily source better tenants who would pay more rent

You are not a hotel for all her troubled family

 or for 2 additional cats

Conversely you might decide on a new AST with the daughter etc for increased rent as joint tenants

Sounds like HB might be involved here

But the mere fact that this arrogant tenant is behaving the way she is would tempt me to get rid of her

You give an inch they take a mile!!

04/01/2016
3:09 pm
Sharon Crossland
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Hi Orchid,

I totally get where you are coming from but I have to agree with some of the sentiments expressed by Paul.

I’m not a landlord but I work for the Directors of the company which own the freehold of the block of flats in which I live and with 18 out of 22 flats sublet, I deal with a lot of PRS issues.

I think at this point you have to ask  yourself if you really want to hang on to your tenant. I used to be a renting tenant and when my boyfriend at the time had to leave his current home, I asked my landlord if it was alright if he moved in with me. The reply was, ‘as long as the rent is paid, then it is not a problem’. This wasn’t because all he cared about was money. It was because I was a really good tenant and he knew I would not let someone else into the flat unless they would also respect it. This arrangement worked for some years.

Based on her attitude I would think very carefully as to how you want to proceed. Like you, I prefer to be nice but it is an unfortunate fact of life that it can backfire sometimes, which is what seems to have happened to you.

My advice would be to consider the possibility of serving a s21 notice as the tenancy was entered into before the new legislation surrounding the notice came into play.

Yes tenants do have rights (and ‘rightly’ so). It is the tenants home for as long as they have a tenancy agreement but this does not give them the right to ignore the agreement they made in the first place.

Don’t rush into a decision (and ask her if she has heard of cat flaps!)

Good luck!

Sharon Crossland AIRPM

11/01/2016
7:17 pm
orchid
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Sharon Crossland said
Hi Orchid,
I totally get where you are coming from but I have to agree with some of the sentiments expressed by Paul.
I’m not a landlord but I work for the Directors of the company which own the freehold of the block of flats in which I live and with 18 out of 22 flats sublet, I deal with a lot of PRS issues.
I think at this point you have to ask  yourself if you really want to hang on to your tenant. I used to be a renting tenant and when my boyfriend at the time had to leave his current home, I asked my landlord if it was alright if he moved in with me. The reply was, ‘as long as the rent is paid, then it is not a problem’. This wasn’t because all he cared about was money. It was because I was a really good tenant and he knew I would not let someone else into the flat unless they would also respect it. This arrangement worked for some years.
Based on her attitude I would think very carefully as to how you want to proceed. Like you, I prefer to be nice but it is an unfortunate fact of life that it can backfire sometimes, which is what seems to have happened to you.
My advice would be to consider the possibility of serving a s21 notice as the tenancy was entered into before the new legislation surrounding the notice came into play.
Yes tenants do have rights (and ‘rightly’ so). It is the tenants home for as long as they have a tenancy agreement but this does not give them the right to ignore the agreement they made in the first place.
Don’t rush into a decision (and ask her if she has heard of cat flaps!)
Good luck!
Sharon Crossland AIRPM

Thank you Sharon Crossland and Paul Barrett for your really good advice, which has now put my mind at ease.  hope you both had a good Holiday.

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