The mysterious case of the missing dishwasher. | Discuss

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The mysterious case of the missing dishwasher.
30/04/2015
1:34 pm
redgrove
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Police officers have been investigating the mysterious disappearance of a dishwasher from a rented property in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

The evicted tenant told police officers that at the end of the tenancy he had given the keys to the house to a scrap merchant so that he could remove a quantity of scrap metal. The landlord commented that it was odd that this scrap man had unplumbed and removed a new dishwasher, still under guarantee, whilst leaving a large quantity of broken white goods behind including a washing machine and a disused freezer. The landlord has receipts for the cost of removing the abandoned goods.

The tenant had been vetted by Rent4sure. Throughout the tenancy the tenant had claimed to be working for a local firm, Safeline Environmental. He had stated that he had been working for the firm full time for several years and, as a consultant, he was earning a substantial salary. Rent4sure received a reference allegedly from one of the company directors. It is believed that this was obtained via email and not on headed company note paper. On moving in, the tenant sublet rooms. He also breached the tenancy agreement by keeping two dogs and two cats.

After the property had been vacated the landlord was taken aback when two officers from Bromsgrove Benefit Office arrived to interview the tenant who had allegedly been claiming benefit and keeping the money. The damage to the property was considerable and exceeded his damage deposit. On vacating the house this tenant left no forwarding address. Demands for unpaid bills have been arriving on a regular basis. He is believed to be still living in the Bromsgrove area.

Whilst the scrap man and the dishwasher have not been traced, police officers have been successful in getting the former tenant to reimburse the cost of the missing dishwasher. However, the landlord still has repairs to complete and is trying to recover £5,620 in rent arrears plus court costs.

Tenant alert reference WM/GG/05122015

30/04/2015
1:42 pm
David Price
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Welcome to the real world of landlording.

30/04/2015
1:59 pm
Landlord001
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Oh dear.... sorry to hear this Redgrove.

Could you just confirm if there was an agent involved, or did the landlord reference direct with Rent4sure?  If there was an agent, is there a tenancy application available for inspection?  I know this could be a bit 'after the event' but it might be worth knowing what loopholes the tenant exploited before the tenancy began. 

I'm still awaiting a response from TPO regarding a similar nightmare tenant scenario where an ARLA agent was involved and an obvious duff reference led to landlord losses of £8k.  The agent is hiding behind the referencing of LetsRisk, who like Rent4sure, said the tenants were as pure as driven snow! 

I'm left wondering what TPO will make of it.  I'll have to post when I know.

Good luck with the clean-up.

 

001  

30/04/2015
2:11 pm
Paul Routledge
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When will landlords and letting agents and even so called professional referencing companies start taking referencing seriously and start using systems that raise every problem before a tenant gets the keys.

Last week we raised discrepancies on over 50% of our references.That did not mean 50% of tenants failed it meant that 100% of our landlords and agents found out the truth warts and all. A tenant only fails referencing when a landlord or agent refuse to take them and not because they know the truth.

30/04/2015
2:27 pm
redgrove
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Landlord001 said
Oh dear.... sorry to hear this Redgrove.

Could you just confirm if there was an agent involved, or did the landlord reference direct with Rent4sure?  If there was an agent, is there a tenancy application available for inspection?  I know this could be a bit 'after the event' but it might be worth knowing what loopholes the tenant exploited before the tenancy began. 

I'm still awaiting a response from TPO regarding a similar nightmare tenant scenario where an ARLA agent was involved and an obvious duff reference led to landlord losses of £8k.  The agent is hiding behind the referencing of LetsRisk, who like Rent4sure, said the tenants were as pure as driven snow! 

I'm left wondering what TPO will make of it.  I'll have to post when I know.

Good luck with the clean-up.

 

001  

Yes, I used a Bromsgrove agent. After contacting a solicitor for advice, I have now obtained a copy of my tenant's application (to which I am entitled) and I am referring it to Action Fraud and the police.

30/04/2015
3:04 pm
redgrove
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David Price said
Welcome to the real world of landlording.

Dear David,

Sad but true ! I am much older, much wiser and now play an active part in vetting any new tenants. Trust me, it has been a learning curve. I now have Rent Guarantee Insurance.

The 2015 Budget, announced by Chancellor George Osborne, outlined plans to make it illegal for private sector tenancy agreements to include clauses preventing sub-letting. Are subtenants going to be held accountable?

The bills are all in the 'best mates' names. One has even made a complaint to Scottish and Southern Energy for demanding payment. I have absolute proof that he was living there. This is the same one who was letting out his property and making money from it. He had two dogs and refused to remove them even though neighbours had complained to the department for environmental health about their barking. A lot of the damage to the property was caused by pets.

Both tenants and landlords are affected by 'nightmare tenants'. Letting agents are bound to lose business. Nobody benefits except the rogue tenants. As for Rent4sure, I am utterly disgusted. Words fail me !

30/04/2015
3:24 pm
Landlord001
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Hi ya

Ok, get the Rent4sure information too (also your entitlement) and see what the decision was based on.  Might've been based on nothing at all, it could've been just a box-ticking exercise.  Did you have a written contract containing the agent's ts and cs? 

I hope Action Fraud and the police do the rightful thing.... it'd also be worth giving what you know to the Fraud officer at the benefits office in case they are in receipt of benefit now and shouldn't be.

Let us know how you get on and I'll do the same so that we can compare notes - if only to let everyone else know what the reality actually is for landlords if they take a wrong'un.  (I'm almost prepared to put money on it that Action Fraud do nothing in your case and that TPO in my case do nothing either - but we'll see!)

The solution is of course, not to take wrong'uns in the first place - and we know what we have to do, don't we?  You and I can't blame our agents any more because we know better than to trust those in the pockets of insurance companies.  Only agents who use LRS are worth their salt! 

I hope this makes every landlord out there VERY WARY if they have current tenants that have been referenced by either Rent4sure or LetsRisk.  Even if they are good tenants to date, the best thing to do is re-reference them on this site and take out RGI.  It's so easy to do and you'll sleep better for it.

That's what I did last year as soon as Paul R's RGI product went live.  Something positive had to come from the dreadful experience of being 'done over'.  Never again, not ever. 

It's the best money I've ever spent!!!

Good luck, mate.

 

001

30/04/2015
4:54 pm
Mary Latham
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I am really sorry to read your post but this is a story that I hear all the time and it is the reason that I support TenantReferencingUK. This is the only company which does the complete referencing job and provides all the documents to the landlords in his personal file.

I will NEVER take another tenant before checking him/her out with a serviced reference and taking Rent Guarantee Insurance from this site. Most of my tenants have been wonderful but I am currently dealing with a really difficult one who owes me £4,500 rent from tomorrow. She has been served with a Section 21 but she has reported me to the local authority because she said that I had changed the locks and she could not  get back into the flat - this is totally untrue and fortunately the officer who called me knows me and my reputation and was happy to close the case when I offered to go to the flat with my keys to see if the locks had been changed - I thought that the tenant might have done this. He did not take me up on the offer.  When I went with the Gas Engineer this week - having given the tenant written notice of one week - my keys opened the door and the flat looked like a bomb had hit it. I didn't touch anything but I am really angry.

I am now getting direct payment of half of the rent - this is all the LHA covers because it is a  high end two bedroomed, two bathroomed flat in a very expensive area and the tenant is a single occupier.

I have been accused of harassing the tenant when I sent a carefully worded email updating her on her rent arrears and telling her that the council would be paying her LHA to me. I have received horrible emails and text messages telling me that I have ruined her health.  When I reminded her that I bought a plane ticket to get her back to the UK when she went to South Africa to visit her family and found herself short of funds, she told me that I was not a Christian because Christians do not remind people of the good deeds that they do. I had reminded her of this to make the point that I had helped her in the past and that I did not want to cause her stress but could not afford to keep her as a non paying tenant.

I have one month before the S21 comes to an end and I am fully expecting that this will go to court - with all the costs and  stress this will involve.

I find it very difficult to say that I will never take a tenant who does not qualify for RGI and who has not passed the TenantReferencingUK robust process but I cannot go through all this again and I now need to protect myself and my future rental income from people who do not care who they hurt.

I am pleased that you now have your property back and even more pleased that you have put your tenant on to this site - I will be doing the same - I am sorry for the stress that this has caused to you and also the cost.

Mary Latham Landlord

 

Mary Latham Landlord

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

30/04/2015
5:36 pm
redgrove
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 I am so sorry for your situation. It is incredibly stressful. We met at the Redditch landlords conference and you gave me good advice about how to deal with my nightmare tenant. It was you who told me to join this site. I too tried everything before taking court action, but in the end, like you, I had no choice.

I will NEVER, NEVER, EVER AGAIN take a tenant without rent guarantee insurance, and without participating in the vetting process, however, it is not a cure all.

These rogues tenants spoil it for the good ones. I see the property ombudsman is pushing for regulation of letting agents/vetting agents. Australia already has it. Are we so backward a nation that we cannot organise it?

I have now turned the money judgement against my tenant into a County Court Judgement (CCJ). It cost me nothing extra. For anybody reading this post you have to ask for the form from the County Court where your judgement was issued. You fill it in and send it back. They stamp it, job done. It is incredibly frustrating that a money judgement is not automatically a CCJ but it is a current law (which needs to be changed). A CCJ should then show up against any credit check used to reference a tenant. Amazingly, I found a current one against my tenant that Rent4sure had missed, due to a loophole in the law. However, I suspect that they were not looking for it as he had ticked the box to say he had none and tenants never lie, do they? We owe it to fellow landlords or anyone who is thinking of lending money to these people, banks, car companies etc.

Wishing you the best of luck but I know that is of little consolation.

01/05/2015
5:52 am
Paul Barrett
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Just goes to show that no matter how good referencing might be it is always advisable to have the referencing confirmed by having a RGI policy.

It follows the old Soviet mantra

Trust but verify!!

If the RGI policy cannot be obtained after all the full LRS process then it is down to the LL to make a business decision as to whether to take the tenant on!

It does seem that that even very experienced LL are now only going to consider taking on tenants who can qualify for a RGI policy

How this may change these LL way of doing business remains to be seen.

But I believe it will cause those LL to exit the lower class areas and move their investments to where RGI type tenants would wish to rent.

It may well result in less positive cashflow presently; but it has always been my contention that I would rather receive £150 less per month if that meant I could have a tenant who could qualify for RGI.

Other LL may feel the same way!!

I believe until the eviction laws are amended so that eviction for rent arrears may occur very quickly; say 14 days then RGI remains the last resort for a LL to protect his income!

That other mantra is very pertinent as far as a LL dealings with a tenant go

Talk softly but carry a big stick

RGI is the big stick!!

I think the importance of RGI is impressed even more on us LL by the recent and ongoing experiences of probably the most experienced LL in the country; a certain M Latham, apologies to Heineken!!

Her recent experiences must surely give pause for thought as to how such LL manage their business

With rumours of HB reductions and requirement of tenants to pay 10% of their rent aswell as council tax the viability of HB tenants needs to be seriously questioned by those LL that are invested in the market.

I believe a flight to quality with all tenants having RGI will be increasingly the way LL decide to go.

It would make eminent financial sense.

There are now many good quality tenants who can't afford to buy but want a decent place

They would always pass RGI

These are the new tenant demographic that need to be targeted

HB tenants should be left to those LL that are rich enough to cover the losses this HB lot cause.

I think it says a lot about the state of the market when M Latham makes such declaration that from now on she is only taking on tenants who qualify for RGI.

I think we should all take note of what she states.

Her experience and knowledge about the PRS in England is probably unbeatable and it speaks volumes when she states for her it is RGI only tenants in future!!!

Other LL should sit up and take note!!!

10 billion in welfare cuts will be occurring if the Tories win the GE

These WILL severely impact on many LL who accept HB tenants

Time to start dishing out those S 21's;  just in case!!!!!!

01/05/2015
9:44 am
Landlord001
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Hi Mary

Just wondered if you knew that the government put the eviction notice online in easy-format in February this year?  Have a look at:

https://www.gov.uk/accelerated-possession-eviction

Fill the form in, save it, then print.  Up comes a check list of all the paperwork you need to include for the submission of your application, namely:

  1.  The original tenancy agreement
  2.  The latest tenancy agreement (assuming there has been a re-issue to the same parties since the original
  3.  The notice you gave to leave i.e. Section 21
  4.  Proof that the notice was served
  5.  The deposit scheme certificate or insurance premium certificate

As you're a good paperwork-keeper you'll have all the above.  When your tenant doesn't leave on the day after the notice, have this claim oven-ready to file into Court that day with a cheque for £280.  Within a 3 week turnaround you'll have your Possession Notice.  If wrong'un remains in situ when its 14 days are up, then speak to Wolf, the high court bailiffs (who are on this site).

Save a bit of cost by doing the Possession Order yourself.  The form is crystal clear.  As long as you submit all the evidence they require it'll work.

Good luck, Mary.  Hope this helps.

 

001  

06/05/2015
11:28 pm
Amy
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Landlord001 said
Hi Mary

Just wondered if you knew that the government put the eviction notice online in easy-format in February this year?  Have a look at:

https://www.gov.uk/accelerated-possession-eviction

Fill the form in, save it, then print.  Up comes a check list of all the paperwork you need to include for the submission of your application, namely:

  1.  The original tenancy agreement
  1.  The latest tenancy agreement (assuming there has been a re-issue to the same parties since the original
  1.  The notice you gave to leave i.e. Section 21
  1.  Proof that the notice was served
  1.  The deposit scheme certificate or insurance premium certificate

As you're a good paperwork-keeper you'll have all the above.  When your tenant doesn't leave on the day after the notice, have this claim oven-ready to file into Court that day with a cheque for £280.  Within a 3 week turnaround you'll have your Possession Notice.  If wrong'un remains in situ when its 14 days are up, then speak to Wolf, the high court bailiffs (who are on this site).

Save a bit of cost by doing the Possession Order yourself.  The form is crystal clear.  As long as you submit all the evidence they require it'll work.

Good luck, Mary.  Hope this helps.

 

001  

Thank you Landlord 001 . I have kept a copy of that site and passed it on to other LL 

07/05/2015
9:27 am
David Price
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I have just completed a claim form using the site suggested by Landlord001, https://www.gov.uk/accelerated-possession-eviction.  It took less than ten minutes and was correct in every respect, the right bits were crossed out and the right boxes ticked. 

I did not need to spend the usual half hour meticulously checking the form for errors.  In addition I usually get a third party to check as to pay £280 to have the form rejected by the court on an avoidable technicality is heartbreaking.

Credit to HMCTS they have provided a good piece of software which does exactly what it says on the tin.

01/07/2016
12:46 pm
amy
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David. Yes this is good.

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