Incompetent tenant

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    Incompetent tenant

    I really can't decide what to do about my tenant so I'd like to ask you what you think.

    6 months AST now periodic. T been in property for approx 4 years or so.
    In England.
    Deposit and all paperwork done.

    T is a mother of 3. The eldest is paralysed from the waist down. All children are under 10 years old.

    The property (bungalow) was perfect when they moved in as they were the first tenants - new laminate, carpets, paintwork, boiler, garden nice and tidy.

    Now: laminate ruined (in parts it is peeled off and there is no laminate on it), black mould everywhere (due to windows not being opened), garden completely overgrown, ubiquitous brown leather suite in the garden, garage stuffed with rubbish, broken toys etc, insulation torn off external bedroom wall, carpets missing or wrecked (not particularly bothered about them as they were only cheap), scribble on walls, poorly painted walls, wallpaper peeling off where clothes have been put on rads, handle missing off French doors, dog kept in the conservatory ruining the laminate and stepping in its own poo then jumping up at the back door.....and I could go on but you get the picture.

    The disabled child is getting too big for the mother to lift and the health people have suggested they find an accessible property and won't adapt my property because it's a private rent. You might be aware that getting a 'council' adapted property is next to impossible as house builders are not obliged to include accessible properties when they build new estates. I've told the T that she will need a reference off me and that I will not be able to give her a glowing ref with the property in the state it's in now. T said she would replace laminate, get rid of rubbish, tidy the garden etc but has done nothing so far.

    On the one hand: this is a vulnerable family completely on benefits.

    On the other: If I evict them they will have no suitable property to go to as there just aren't any.

    But then: the property is in a poor state, decoratively, and if I evict them I'll have to sort it all out. They realise they'll lose their deposit which might just about cover most of the cleaning and repairs. It will take me ages to get them out as the council will advise them to stay put, meaning I will have to go through the whole eviction thing and I really don't want to evict a disabled child.

    And then: I'm running a business and my asset is not being looked after. I could find a tenant who would (hopefully) look after the place.

    Should I insist, nag etc them to do the basic stuff, especially the garden, and let them live in the pig sty they've made?

    Or should I evict them?

    The black mould is a health hazard for a child whose health is already compromised, but that's not my fault as the T admits the windows aren't opened. I've tried phoning the council for their advice and help but they never answer the phone.

    I'm really torn between letting them stay and evicting them.

    Your thoughts would be gratefully received.


    #2
    Inform council social services
    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


      #3
      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
      Inform council social services
      I've tried phoning them several times but can't get through. They already know the state of the property as they've assessed it for accessibility. Part of me is concerned that I might be responsible for adapting the property which would cost tens of thousands.

      Comment


        #4
        It's a business.
        They're destroying your asset and you need to evict them (they've done so much damage already that they can't fix it).

        The disabled child isn't your responsibility, and it isn't the reason for their catastrophic lifestyle either.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          It's a business.
          They're destroying your asset and you need to evict them (they've done so much damage already that they can't fix it).

          The disabled child isn't your responsibility, and it isn't the reason for their catastrophic lifestyle either.
          You're quite right, and you're the voice of business sanity. I think I'll give one more serious nagging to get the repairs done within a timescale, then consider eviction.

          Comment


            #6
            Whilst a lot of this sounds bad, I think you have misunderstood the purpose of garages. It's a completely false rumour that they are for cars. What you describe seems to be considered the intended use of garages.

            On the other hand you do need to address the garden sofa and the garden generally, as these are standard markers of tenanted property, and indicate an incompetent landlord.

            You should write to the council about the mould etc. That's particularly important as it may be used against you during eviction proceedings.

            Comment


              #7
              Download copy of HER council's housing allocation policy and work out if she'd get priority if on waiting list.

              Sounds like she's not got the time to sort that question. Get her to apply, and keep copy of huge form
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                You're quite right, and you're the voice of business sanity. I think I'll give one more serious nagging to get the repairs done within a timescale, then consider eviction.
                I don't usually recommend eviction, but this has just gone beyond a nagging.
                Once the place has been so trashed, the tenant's response is more likely to be to give up altogether than start a new way of life.

                An alternative would be to increase the rent to compensate for your increased costs, but I've assumed (possibly unfairly) that that's not an option.

                Although that might focus their attention - you're not doing the gardening, so I'm going to have to provide a gardener for £100 a month, your dog is doing £75 of damage to my property each month, etc...
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                  Part of me is concerned that I might be responsible for adapting the property which would cost tens of thousands.
                  That's one of those old bits of misinformation/rumours.

                  A landlord cannot be made to make adapations (for disability or infirmity) at their own expense.

                  They may be asked to allow adaptations to be made, paid for by the tenant or more likely by Social Services.
                  They don't have to agree.
                  Those adaptations will not be later removed by SS if/when no longer needed.
                  The LL has to stand the cost of removing them and making good, or could always advertise it as an adapted property which as already said are in short supply so could attract a premium.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The council have told her to look out for a private or housing association adapted house. I know full well that there very few in the town (I know of only 7). I've told her she's got no chance of getting one in either the near or distant future and that she needs to keep on at the council. I have been unable to get through to the council housing dept, or children's social services at the council as they just don't answer the phone. I've got through to the child's physio therapist but he is unable to do anything. As she has a roof over her head I don't think she counts as priority.

                    She is unable to have a movable joist because she can't open it fully in the bathroom so it's unsafe, so she's lifting the child into the bath and this is bad for her back. If anything happens to her her children will go into care as the dad is not in a position to look after them.

                    It's a sad situation and is going to end badly.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      I don't usually recommend eviction, but this has just gone beyond a nagging.
                      Once the place has been so trashed, the tenant's response is more likely to be to give up altogether than start a new way of life.

                      An alternative would be to increase the rent to compensate for your increased costs, but I've assumed (possibly unfairly) that that's not an option.

                      Although that might focus their attention - you're not doing the gardening, so I'm going to have to provide a gardener for £100 a month, your dog is doing £75 of damage to my property each month, etc...
                      She is hopeful of starting a new way of life now Mr T is off the scene and said she would make the repairs she is responsible for but nothing has happened. Increasing the rent would be possible but she wouldn't then have the money to do the repairs.

                      If I issue s8/21 she will have no incentive to do any repairs and I will have the long and stressful and costly process of evicting her. This will go right to the bitter end including me standing outside while the bailiffs turn up to evict a disabled child.

                      If it was only a few things that needed doing I would do them, but it's a whole house internal rebuild - knocking walls out, widening doors, adapted bathroom and making the garage into another bedroom as she has been told she needs 4 bedrooms, and ensuring the child has access to the garden. I've told her to tell the council I don;t mind if they do this as long as I won't have to pay anything at any time, but it's still no go. If the council would do the work she could stay there, and I'd have to do more inspections.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think this calls for a precautionary possession order BG. (s21, then possession order, but not evict unless you have to.)

                        You still get the rent, but are protected against any spurious accusations from the council.

                        I was considering this for my friend.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you JKO, I think this is the course I will take. I'll give her a final chance though before eviction. I'll have to make a decision and be proactive.

                          The sad thing is that my Mum has an adapted house - downstairs toilet, stair lifts, walk in bath (it would need a more suitable bath or hoist), wetroom, a garage that could converted to a 4th bedroom and my brother and I have just made the garden accessible- and Mum is going into a home. I might have been able to persuade my brother to let it to this family, but there's no way he'll agree to let to somebody who can't look after it.

                          edit: I won't, of course, tell the T about Mum's house.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had to give notice to a tenant who has a special needs child. The council deemed her as a priority, she went to the top of the waiting list and once the notice period was up they took responsibility for housing her. I was expecting the council to tell her to wait for me to send in bailiffs but because of the child this, to my relief, didn't happen. Hope this helps.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Not sure if you want to hear this..... but your getting way to involved in this tenants life and her troubles, as said, this is a business and she is/has severely damaged your asset. I understand she has major problems with 3 children and one being disabled but what is she then doing with a dog which can not seem to control it's bowel movements ? And the furniture in the garden is just plain lazy, evict, and do it asap. I work with a number of individuals who lead chaotic lives and they promise the earth but deliver zero (wuda, cuda, shuda), ignore all the promises of '' i will change / i will ??? whatever, its total rubbish, if she can not even clean up her own dogs poo then how the hell is she going to bring your property back to how it was given to her ? She is not. I can see your trying to do the right thing, but this is far beyond the remit of a private landlord, get back to basics and remember the reason you have a BTL, your not a charity.

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