Can we charge our tenant ? cried wolf (again)

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    Can we charge our tenant ? cried wolf (again)

    H All
    We have a tenant who has recently reported 3 mysterious water like stains around the house, we went to investigate - very strange as they were all around the same height but around the house both upstairs and down on both inside and outside walls these stains are round with nothing above or below .... there are no pipes / cables in the area of the stains we were totally at a loss as to how this could have happened - the tenant has a young child
    we could ourselves see no way that these could have come from the house and to our untrained eyes we felt this must be external forces - so we called in damp and wet rot buildings consultant to survey the walls - his conclusion - after probing the walls with various damp meters was that the walls were in fact dry and that the "damp patch" has not come from the building - as we suspected
    The report stops just short of suggesting the child / wet hands etc but does mention external forces
    this report has cost us both time and money - are we being unreasonable in asking the tenant to pay for this as they have essentially cried wolf - not for the first time we recent sent a bee expert in as they had reported a lot of bees etc - we paid this one
    thanks for any feed back
    Simon


    #2
    Who is in house - couple? Kids? What were references like?

    S21
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      Hi Thanks for the reply - youngish couple one toddler and baby - think mother is at home mostly the toddler does seem to pay little attention to mothers instructions - stains are child finger height and around 24 inches across and round
      This was let through an agent who we are assured checked out references etc

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        #4
        Ask to see copies of checks and references. If agents refuse, fire agent.
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          You've almost got to wonder if this sort of nonsense will become commonplace, as a way of precluding a s21 notice.

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            #6
            HI all - I am now going to be down £160 for things that feel like I should not be paying for the agent does not seem to want to actively pursue and think there is little chance of getting the money back - I swallowed the cost of the bee investigation but am more reluctant to swallow this one as well just wondering what approach others would take
            thanks for any thoughts
            Simon

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              #7
              I would issue a s21 notice, and tell tenant you won't apply for a possession order if they pay for the abortive investigations.

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                #8
                I would normally say get rid, but these tenants advised you of a problem, its your duty to deal with it. if it had been a serious issue you would be complaining they hadn't told you. even if you found a loaded water pistol or water balloons, wet hands shouldn't cause that sort of issue !!! you need to have a friendly chat if you don't want to use the agents, explain the findings and that next time if its directly attributable to the tenant then you would be seeking reimbursement. don't be heavy handed just explain youre running a business for profit not loss.

                as for a bee expert .... WTF !! you go and look yourself, observe if theyre getting in through holes etc and block them up if they are (as I did recently) it cost me more in fuel - 30 miles round trip at tax deductible mileage - than it did for a bit of sand and cement - f you don't observe a problem then there isn't one.

                you can get a damp survey for free normally.

                there are far more worse tenants around - you haven't suggested they are a nightmare, just a nuisance !! point out to them your concerns and you may avoid additional agents fees and a void period, costing far in excess of the fees paid out so far.

                just nip it in the bud NOW.

                if it continues after your friendly chat then at that point consider further action

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by spike589715 View Post
                  an agent who we are assured checked out references etc
                  you should request all paperwork connected with their application process from the LA. It's yours by rights and may reveal things which may influence your decision about what to do re tenant.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    MisterB,

                    Hi thanks for your thoughts

                    Cheers
                    Simon

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                      #11
                      T reported a potentially serious problem, which you rightly investigated, using a prof tradesman of your choice. He found no app cause and could only suggest the child.
                      Sit down with T and calmly discuss his report & conclusion.
                      As for bee's, invite local bee keeper to remove the Queen and advise on poss entry points for you to seal.
                      The occ T complaint is to be expected. It is how you subs deal with the T is the key. LL has some repair cost liability.

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                        #12
                        bees might well be mason bees, in which case perfectly harmless to humans and a benefit to any gardens nearby

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                          #13
                          Hi MisterB,

                          Thanks for the thoughts
                          We had no clue as to how this could have been caused - we investigated, a couple of visits to see if there had been any change etc we took in metal detectors to confirm that there was nothing in the wall - cables / pipes etc the mother was adamant that they had not put washing against the wall or anything else that could possible cause the issue- it was coming from the wall and nothing to do with her etc we explained how we felt this was not possible as there were no pipes etc in the walls and it was in random places around the house - all marks at exactly the same height (child natural reach height) the mother was also saying how worried she was that the "damp" would be effecting her child - we felt we needed to do something hence calling in an expert - the report is basically that this has been caused by external forces and not the house.
                          we are now faced with a bill for something the tenant has caused, also the walls will now need some work to look good again who is going to be paying for this ? is it fair wear and tear ??


                          not sure how we could get a free damp survey ? would be good to know for any possible future issues.

                          Regarding the Bees - I know sounds a bit crazy bee expert, the reason was we were very busy at the time with other projects and could not sensibly get to the house ourselves for a while, again the mother was insistent that there were a lot of bees an how worried she was about her child being stung we felt if something happened and we had dragged our feet we could be liable etc and in any case if there were a lot of bees and potential risk we would want to sort this out quickly i n all cases we want to do the right thing - but not have the pee taken out of us. this cost us money again.

                          hypothetically
                          someone touches a pipe in the house and thinks they got an electric shock - reports to us we HAVE to act fast so we call in an emergency electrician who checks out everything and declares all correct and safe do we just pay this as well ??


                          Cheers
                          Simon

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                            #14
                            Hi mariner, Thanks for your thoughts
                            We have no issue in repairing the house at all, we have recently replaced a back door, and washing machine we have just agreed to replace some old windows in the back bedroom with some nice new double glazed units.
                            They had a leaking tap in the kitchen we replaced with a nice new set -down lighters in the bathroom a bit rusty - replaced no problem at all with genuine wear and tear
                            Personally I feel it is the agent who should be discussing with the tenant ? we are quite busy with other projects and pay an agent to sit in the middle my concern here is the agent seems quite happy to let us pay for everything for a quite life - I wanted to know where we stand and what we can reasonably expect

                            Cheers for now
                            Simon

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think tenant has you down as a pussy, if you've replaced all those things they would have seen when viewing.

                              Comment

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