Problem Tenant Help

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    Problem Tenant Help

    I have a tenant on a 12 month contract since August. She has flagged up many, many issues with the property on a weekly basis since she's been in - many of which I have dealt with swiftly in the beginning ranging from pest control in the attic to her complaint the house was not let in a clean enough condition (it was absolutely fine just not deep cleaned). I personally steam cleaned the carpets for the latter whilst stressing that the house was the same as she'd viewed it when she signed the AST and this way beyond my responsibility as her landlord.

    We are now are loggerheads over the conservatory as I have started to so no I will not accept that the cosmetic issues she is flagging up are a necessity to fix. First she complained of damp and I got a builder to assess and he said there's no damp - only minor cosmetic issues. Then she said it's cold... I said it will be it's a conservatory. No she is complaining it's full of holes and letting air in. I've now had 2 professionals out who both say there is barely anything wrong and she continues to refute this. She has demanded a reduction in rent because of the impact on her health and business and claimed that it says in her contract she will run her business from the conservatory. It does not and therein lies the problem.

    I have offered her exit to the contract but she will not take it, She has claimed that the Council Housing Improvement Team have been out and presented a list of 'issues' that she's clearly written. There is no report and she claims it's now with Environmental Health. I have an ongoing log of her complaints and have added the new ones to it and advised on the work I will do and timescales.

    I want to get an agency to take it on because she is causing me so much bother but the one I approached first said they can't take on the current AST and only would take it on after that contract. My ex did the AST as my 'property manager' and it is terrible in many ways. I continue to search for an agency but in the meantime what can I do?

    She's had the How to Rent document already but the problem seems to be that she claims minor cosmetic issues as urgent repair works impacting on her health despite professional advice.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    #2
    I'd contact the team at your council and the EH dept and ask for a copy of the report.

    Ask her to email or write a letter you rather than contact you by phone or text and then don't respond to any other contact.

    This gives you time to consider her complaints and decide what, if any, action you're going to take. How are the minor cosmetic issues affecting her health?

    Get ready to issue a section 21 two months before the end of the contract.

    Comment


      #3
      If she wont cancel the contract early, I would inform the T to provide the issues in writing, and then priorities the work, if they are minor and non urgent, then give a time scale of 3-6 months. I wouldn't believe the council has come out, as they tend to notify the L when they are due to inspect so that they or a representative of the L can be there during the visit if they wish to.

      The T seems to be clued up on how to manoeuvre, the how to rent guide. I hope you have complied with all your legal obligations in order to serve the S21 notice in due course, and if she stops paying rent get ready for S8.

      Comment


        #4
        Is the conservatory designed to be part of the every-day living space, or as a summer room?

        In particular, what separates the conservatory from the rest of the house?

        Comment


          #5
          I had this with a guy once a few years ago. I guess laws have changed a bit since then but I just ignored the T and said unless the council write to me i'm doing nothing. I don't know what game your playing but I told him he needed to stop and said he's an idiot. Turned out he was doing it to try and get housed by the local council but they told him to jog on in the end as there was nothing wrong with the property. His main 3 issues where all the walls had cracks allowing a draft which was just paint cracks. And the internal staircase was going to collapse, I remember going round and walking up the stairs and there was no noise so I asked his girlfriend to go up and down and again no noise so he walked up them and of coarse they creaked a bit and I said sorry pal its your weight I can't help it that your 18 stone . Oh and apparently the heating kept breaking down but the rad valves kept getting shut off and he accused me in the end of going in his flat at night to turn them off. We fell out and eventually he surrendered the tenancy.

          Comment


            #6
            The council would have contacted you to inform you of their intent to view and they would have sent you a copy of the report. Seems very odd if she had the report, why not share it with you! I wouldn't believe a word she says and would find the evidence myself.

            I too always put in everything in writing with my tenants and vice versa.

            Good luck!

            Comment


              #7
              No reference or a full, honest (obvs..) one.
              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 MdeB View Post
                Is the conservatory designed to be part of the every-day living space, or as a summer room?

                In particular, what separates the conservatory from the rest of the house?
                The is a lockable door between the house and conservatory - it has been added on to the main house at some prior to my ownership. Definitely designed to be an occasional space not everyday and she is not accepting this.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                  I'd contact the team at your council and the EH dept and ask for a copy of the report.

                  Ask her to email or write a letter you rather than contact you by phone or text and then don't respond to any other contact.

                  This gives you time to consider her complaints and decide what, if any, action you're going to take. How are the minor cosmetic issues affecting her health?

                  Get ready to issue a section 21 two months before the end of the contract.
                  Thank you. I think she may have underlying MH issues along with physical (back issues) and dust and things not being perfect are impacting on her MH. She is claiming the situation with regularly raising minor issues on a weekly basis has deteriorated her MH. Quite frankly her borderline harassment is impacting on my MH but I haven't brought that into conversation.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Maroni1 View Post
                    The council would have contacted you to inform you of their intent to view and they would have sent you a copy of the report. Seems very odd if she had the report, why not share it with you! I wouldn't believe a word she says and would find the evidence myself.

                    I too always put in everything in writing with my tenants and vice versa.

                    Good luck!
                    Well strangely enough the Housing Improvement Team from the Council had come out on Monday so that bit was true however when I spoke to them about their assessment and they said exactly what the builder and maintenance man said: that all the issues are minor and non urgent. She has twisted the problems they conveyed verbally in her email to me and I have come back on every point with what they actually said. She had called them to say there was holes in the walls and mould and when they got there they quickly realised that was simply not true. I read each point she claimed they said to them over the phone and they clarified and refuted each point. One point was 'the conservatory lets rain in' and it wasn't raining on the morning of the inspection so this claim is completely false. The HIT said there was no evidence of rain coming in or having got in previously. They don't provide a report and they said to her and myself there is nothing they can do. She claimed they have passed it to Environmental Health but they said not - it would have to be in a serious state and there was nothing unsafe or remotely major wrong with the property. I recorded the call also.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                      No reference or a full, honest (obvs..) one.
                      Clearly not a full honest one! Unfortunately my previous property manager dealt with this and clearly didn't undertake thorough checks. Unless her previous property was immaculate and she raised no complaints... or her mental health has subsequently deteriorate.. who knows. In many ways my bad for trusting him.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I wouldnt underestimate her if I were you. She sounds highly manipulative and fairly knowledgeable about how to sc&$w over a landlord. I'm not sure why you gave her 12 months rather than 6, but I think you should serve notice on this tenant at the earliest opportunity.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                          I wouldnt underestimate her if I were you. She sounds highly manipulative and fairly knowledgeable about how to sc&$w over a landlord. I'm not sure why you gave her 12 months rather than 6, but I think you should serve notice on this tenant at the earliest opportunity.
                          I agree. My ex property manager suggested 12m and is an idiot. Lesson learnt!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by 4567 View Post

                            Clearly not a full honest one! Unfortunately my previous property manager dealt with this and clearly didn't undertake thorough checks. Unless her previous property was immaculate and she raised no complaints... or her mental health has subsequently deteriorate.. who knows. In many ways my bad for trusting him.
                            I meant that YOU give tenant "No reference or a full, honest (obvs..) one."

                            I;d also verbally tell tenant that you are confident they will be happy with the accommodation in their next home.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                              I meant that YOU give tenant "No reference or a full, honest (obvs..) one."

                              I;d also verbally tell tenant that you are confident they will be happy with the accommodation in their next home.
                              Ah yes with you now thank you!

                              Comment

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