Very difficult tenant issues

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    Very difficult tenant issues

    I'm going to keep this short as its a long story. I have a tenant who signed the new tenancy contract on 15th June and then on 27th June I received about 20-25 messages and pictures the evening saying the flat was unliveable due to pests and that he had only moved in the night before. I went round to see him the following day and was really annoyed as basically a few little insects that just needed either hoovering up or dispatching outside.Then he started complaining the there was a spider in the flat, so I asked him "could you not simply kill or remove them" which I didn't get an answer too.

    So anyway I agreed to have pest control come in and give a full inspection and treatment which really wasn't needed but just to keep him happy. Then on Thursday past, 22nd July I received an email in the evening threatening legal action as he had moved out and was staying in a hotel as the flat wasn't fit to stay in due to infestation. So I called pest control asking how they got on with the treatment as they were instructed to go in on 28th June but was told the tenant wouldn't let them into the flat to start the treatment until Thursday the day I received the email, basically 3 weeks later. Thankfully pest control had a paper trail for me and actually sent it to me to prove the contact and attempted action.

    Bottom line is the tenant has told me he wants payment for the full hotel bill for the 3 weeks he stayed there bearing in mind I was never told about any of this until Thursday night and he also wants all his clothing, bedding and fabric items professionally cleaned at my expense. He also wants the 2 bedroom carpets removed as the rest of the apartment is wooden or tiled flooring so he feels the small insects are breeding in the carpets. I had Both the local council pest control and a private company look into the issue and both stated the carpets are in very good condition so no infestation in the carpets. They also stated that I have done everything required and they think its a minor issue with him over reacting.The carpets were also Both professionally cleaned which involved high temp steam 2 days before the contract started.

    He has stated that if I don't do everything he has requested then he will start a stage 1 tribunal against me. Im feeling very stressed about this as I just don't firstly understand the problem and secondly don't understand why he never contacted me before going into a hotel. I mentioned that in our contract it states the property isn't to be left unoccupied for more than 14 days without me being told about it but his answer to this was "its not unoccupied as all my belongings are still there"

    I would really appreciate any advice on this as to how I should proceed with him.

    I suspect he is a professional scammer, i do not believe anyone can be such a wimp as to be running scared over a few spiders etc, he may be doing this to simply be paid off to leave the tenancy etc. I would engage a solicitor given he will try all he can to get money out of you, offer to end the tenancy with both of you walking away from the lease, given the house is so unsuitable for him how could he refuse ?? I bet he does though. The fact you have a lot of the paper trail is good, but you will have to put up a good defense as i feel he has done this before.


      Has he paid the rent on June 15th and then again on July 15th?

      Sounds obvious but have you double checked you have done all the correct paperwork and deposit registration/certificate - triple check it !!

      Personally, going forward I would not liaise with the tenant in any way other than written correspondence (if you send an email CC yourself so you have a copy of both sending and receiving it with the tenants email showing too).

      Be quite blunt but polite and offer to end the tenancy early on a mutually agreed date should the tenant wish to move out - don't suggest they move out, but simply offer the option. Do not discuss his financial claim in any way other than to keep writing you are not liable.

      If it's simply a case of an incredibly "fearful" tenant or that the tenant realises they made a mistake and wants out then provide them that option BUT do not discuss anything which could be interpreted or twisted to give any grounds for his absurd claims.

      Only if he declines to move out would I then involve a solicitor.

      But - make notes of everything.

      My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol


        Do you not have a managing agent?


          What were credit and landlord reference checks like for this gentleman please?
          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...


            what kind of infestation? "a few insects" is vague.


              I suggest you read "when I say no I feel guilty"; it should help you to cope with the situation.


                OK, to answer your questions and give an update. I went round on Sunday to speak to him taking your advice on how to handle this. I asked him what exactly it is he is wanting and if he's unhappy and wants to move out then I'm willing to let him move without the 28 days notice this week and said let me know tomorrow.

                I patched a hole above the kitchen wall units that a larger than required hole for the unit lights was and pointed out by pest control as to a possible entry point then we had a chat as to his concerns. I told him that the carpets are not coming out and that I'm not liable for his hotel bill as I never knew anything about until Thursday night and the fact he refused entry for pest control do do their treatment imediately. I also stated that there is no need for everything in the flat to be cleaned ie the clothes, bedding etc he mentioned in Thursday nights email and that also the pest control man also said this.

                So where I stand now is I'm just waiting for him getting back to me today to see if he wants to stay or go. He did pay 6 months rent upfront so I don't think he's so much of a scammer but either has a genuine fear of carpet Beatles, insects in general or just wants out of the lease. He did apologise to me for shouting on the phone before I left.

                Neelix - No I have 3 rental properties and manage them myself

                TAD - the referencing came back fine except for his lack of income but he stated he had savings which didn't look good on the reference. Now normally I would have refused him but after speaking to his previous landlord he paid her monthly and on time with no issues for 3.5 years. Thats why I asked for 6 months upfront rent as security. He is only here till May as he is doing an extra year at uni then he goes back to his home country

                Bob - IT was diagnosed as carpet Beatles which have entered the building some how

                MdeB - I had a quick look for this article but couldn't find it, which category on the forum is it under ?


                  You seem to be in control of the situation and I'd see what the tenant wants to do.

                  If they want to leave, I'd let them and if they want to stay and pay for cleaning etc, I'd also let them.
                  I wouldn't pay for the hotel and I'd just wait until there's some action.

                  If they try and sue you for the hotel bill or take you to a tribunal, I'd let them.
                  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).


                    Thanks for the reassurance as I feel I’ve done nothing wrong and over and above what I can do but it’s a first for me being threatened with legal action and did scare me if I’m honest. Still waiting for his reply as in if he’s staying or going.


                      Originally posted by Helvie View Post

                      MdeB - I had a quick look for this article but couldn't find it, which category on the forum is it under ?
                      It is not an article, it is a book.


                        So an update on this situation. After the conversation on 25th July saying the I would waive the 28 day notice period he was meant to make a decision by the following Tuesday , the 27th. I never heard anything from him so pressumed he had decided to stay then on Monday the 2nd August he messaged to say he had decided to end the tenancy and would be moving into a new apartment on the 6th August but asked if he could hand over the keys on Monday the 9th to give hime time to remove his possesions which I didn't mind. He eventually handed the keys over at 12pm on Wednesday 11th.

                        Now he paid 6 months rent upfront and I have no issues giving him back what's outstanding but he now states that he should only pay up to the 2nd August as that's the day he told me he was ending the tenancy and I had said I would waive the 28 day notice period. Im really going to be glad to see the back of this tenant


                          The tenancy ended on the 11th August.
                          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).


                            Tenant quite obviously taking the ****. I’d be hard with this person.


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