Property damaged. Advice please

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    #16
    DoricPixie - The door would still have been broken no matter who manages it.

    The police also came to check on my ex T at the request of his family but did not break the door. He was at home but did not open the door. I have a feeling he asked his family to contact police and then mentioned this to everyone he could that he was not well but he was quite well in his head judging by his actions during the eviction.

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      #17
      I understand a little of this - I can assure you all that the Police force i am familiar with take very seriously when they put a door in, it is not done as an after thought, all manner of checks are done to find the person before the door goes in, there would have to be a real and credible danger to that persons life for this to happen, the most common reason is a threat of suicide, it is often from the mouth of the tenant themselves telling a friend or relative that they are either thinking of it or are going to do it (they are often a high risk from previous attempts), if all the enquiries do not track the person down and they will not answer their phone then the door goes in, this happens a lot more than people think. If a LL has a tenant with mental health issues then this will always be a danger to their property, the tenant is not in their right mind, if they have attempted suicide when the Police go in then they will be sectioned under S136 (after A&E have finished with them). If when the mental health assessement is done it is deemed they do not have capacity then how exactly can a LL expect them to pay...... this is the danger of taking on such a tenant, if you do not wish this to occur then S21. Harsh maybe, but when you see this every week you realise there is rarely a long term good outcome and this type of tenant will always be high maintenance.

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        #18
        minorbark,

        Tell me, how does one accidentally end up with tenants? What was accidental about your actions?

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          #19
          Originally posted by Perce View Post
          DoricPixie - The door would still have been broken no matter who manages it.

          The police also came to check on my ex T at the request of his family but did not break the door. He was at home but did not open the door. I have a feeling he asked his family to contact police and then mentioned this to everyone he could that he was not well but he was quite well in his head judging by his actions during the eviction.
          Eh? Where did I even insinuate it would make a difference?

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            #20
            Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

            Tell me, how does one accidentally end up with tenants? What was accidental about your actions?
            Whether you like it or not, the phrase 'accidental landlord' is widely accepted to mean someone who didn’t buy a property with a view to letting but has done so because of a circumstance they have found themselves in. I'm not going to debate whether it's daft to take the use of the word 'accidental' literally as I'm confident that the phrase is widely used enough for the vast majority of readers to have known exactly what is meant by it.

            That's still all irrelevant though as whether I bought the property with deliberate intention to rent it or find myself doing so due to what made financial sense for me at the time makes no difference to the fact I currently find myself with a broken front door on a property I own and would appreciate some advice from those with more experience than I have on how they would deal with it.

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              #21
              As the landlord you are responsible the structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows so you need to fix it. As the door wasn't broken down accidentally your accidental cover with your insurance isn't going to pay out (the irony). Is there another clause in your insurance policy that covers you for the emergency services breaking the door down?

              I can't see the police paying but if you don't ask you don't get. I can't see how the tenant is liable so if neither the police nor your insurance will pay you'll just need to suck it up.

              Hudson01 and I have both already told you to take steps to evict the tenant with a Section 21. You could trying for a Section 8 ground 10 but it is a discretionary ground so could fail.

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                #22
                Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                As the landlord you are responsible the structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows so you need to fix it.
                I know I need to fix it, at no point have I said I don't intend to.

                Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post
                As the door wasn't broken down accidentally your accidental cover with your insurance isn't going to pay out (the irony)
                Put the Alanis Morissette CD down, that's nothing to do with irony.

                Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post
                Is there another clause in your insurance policy that covers you for the emergency services breaking the door down?
                There is something that implies it may cover it but the specific wording is hard to interpret as either explicitly covering or exempting my particular situation which is why my broker has advised opening a claim to see if those higher up will accept it.

                Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post
                I can't see the police paying but if you don't ask you don't get. I can't see how the tenant is liable so if neither the police nor your insurance will pay you'll just need to suck it up.
                I've no intention of pursuing the police for payment as they've clearly acted lawfully. I'd have thought the tenant has some responsibility to take care of my property while he resides there though. Not going to investigate what the rather loud banging at the door was about sounds negligent of this responsibility to me but, as I've already said, I didn't buy the property with the initial intention of letting it out and have no prior experience of similar situations so I've no idea where I stand legally, hence the request for advice.

                Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post
                Hudson01 and I have both already told you to take steps to evict the tenant with a Section 21. You could trying for a Section 8 ground 10 but it is a discretionary ground so could fail.
                And that's very much appreciated...then you went off on one about my use of the phrase 'accidental landlord'

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                  I understand a little of this - I can assure you all that the Police force i am familiar with take very seriously when they put a door in, it is not done as an after thought, all manner of checks are done to find the person before the door goes in, there would have to be a real and credible danger to that persons life for this to happen, the most common reason is a threat of suicide, it is often from the mouth of the tenant themselves telling a friend or relative that they are either thinking of it or are going to do it (they are often a high risk from previous attempts), if all the enquiries do not track the person down and they will not answer their phone then the door goes in, this happens a lot more than people think.
                  I don't doubt that at all. Although I'd appreciate the police at least just corroborating the story that I've had from the letting agent so I know there's nothing more sinister going on, I'm not trying to pick any fault in their actions and trust they have acted lawfully and in a manner they believed was appropriate for the situation at the time. I also appreciate, slightly annoying as it is, why they can't provide me with any info to either confirm or deny what my letting agent have said so I'll never know what actually happened at the time as the tenant's version of events has so many holes in it I find it hard to believe any of it.

                  Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                  If a LL has a tenant with mental health issues then this will always be a danger to their property, the tenant is not in their right mind, if they have attempted suicide when the Police go in then they will be sectioned under S136 (after A&E have finished with them). If when the mental health assessement is done it is deemed they do not have capacity then how exactly can a LL expect them to pay...... this is the danger of taking on such a tenant,
                  Completely understood. This, in part, is why I wish the police would give a simple yes or no when asked if the letting agent's version of events (which they got from the tenant) is accurate. I understand the reasoning for them not being able to though. Again, I don't know whether the legal implications change with the situation, but I'd be more inclined to want to pursue a tenant for damages if the door was forced open in relation to a criminal investigation than I would if it was done due to genuine welfare concerns.

                  Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                  when you see this every week you realise there is rarely a long term good outcome and this type of tenant will always be high maintenance.
                  This is possibly the best single piece of advice to come from the conversation so far. As I'm fortunate enough to not see this happen every week I've no idea what the long term prospects of his welfare improving are. As much as I don't particularly want to add stress on top of a guy who already seems to be struggling, as has already been said, none of us are a charity and, in his case, he may actually be best placed in the care of one.

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                    #24
                    From painful personal experience of this issue... You should formally contact the police, ask them why they broke the door down and ask for compensation. Their lawyer will then write to you with some information which may be useful for you to know (but not giving very much detail). I expect they'll say that the police actions were lawful as they had been contacted by a relative and believed there was a threat to life... and that they are therefore not liable for the cost of the damage. The police don't smash front doors down lightly, as others here have said. The cost of the new door will fall on you. The chance of the same thing happening again is high, as is the chance of other problematic things happening, which is why you should evict. You should use a S21 if at all possible.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      minorbark,

                      Just because someone knocks on your door, even if it crescendos to them banging loudly on your door, it doesn’t mean you have to answer it or have to go and investigate.

                      If the tenant suffers from mental health issues and the police were sent round because someone thought the tenant’s life was in danger you’d have a very hard time proving someone in that state of mind was negligent.

                      Since you appear to want to continue making the deliberate and conscious choice to let the property it might be an idea to join NRLA and do some training courses.

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                        #26
                        A back door way into finding out what did happen (or more info than you have now), is to ask for a callback from the local PCSO who covers the beat area where the tenant lives (go online and start a live chat), he or she will know far more about your tenant that a faceless comms operator at HQ or anyone else based at the local station. My best guess is that they would have dealt with him on a number of occasions and will be able to confirm if it was a genuine concern for welfare...... i suspect it was to be honest, all what you have said rings true. If you do get confirmation that it was what you think, then what ? Will you issue a S21 or hope that any assistance he is receiving (if any) gives some benefit. It can take many years for any mental health issue to even start to waine and often it is with the individual for life, most have periods where they are total lucid and act in a normal manner causing no issues, but other times they will have manic stages where all the various emergency services/local housing etc are called and often family members (and landlords) are involved also, it is a lot to take on as a single LL. Think very carefully if you decide to give him a chance. Good luck.

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                          #27
                          WebLand,

                          Thank you.

                          My initial contact with the police was just a phone call to the local station. As I almost half expected they wouldn't give up much info, I didn't particularly push back when they said as much and I left it at that. A formal complaint might fill in a few blanks in the story but I do fully expect that they will say the police actions are lawful and I certainly don't think the officers responsible would choose the actions they did without considering it close to a very last resort.

                          The more responses I see here and the more I think about it, the more I edge towards taking the S21 route as regardless of why the police chose to visit (for criminal or welfare reasons) consensus seems to be that the chance of a repeat incident is high.

                          It looks like I'll be hoping my insurance does cover the cost, preparing myself for the worst case that it doesn't and questioning the letting agency on what, if anything, can be done to try to avoid a similar tenant in future.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                            If you do get confirmation that it was what you think, then what ?

                            t can take many years for any mental health issue to even start to waine and often it is with the individual for life, most have periods where they are total lucid and act in a normal manner causing no issues, but other times they will have manic stages where all the various emergency services/local housing etc are called and often family members (and landlords) are involved also, it is a lot to take on as a single LL. Think very carefully if you decide to give him a chance. Good luck.
                            When you put it like that I'm more inclined to edge towards the S21 route regardless. As much as part of me feels some compassion for the guy and doesn't want to lump more stress on top of someone who appears to be struggling already, as has been said before, none of us are acting as a charity.

                            I'm no mental health expert but can easily believe your assurance that it's possible some people don't ever truly recover from such illness and, as much as I knew there would be some challenges and unexpected expense along the way and I didn't get into this thinking it would all be plain sailing with easy money coming in each month, I also didn't get into this because I needed a new hobby. I'd prefer the experience to be as pain free as possible and if I need to move a tenant on in order to achieve that it does unfortunately seem to be the way to go, even if that means a bit more stress up front to start with.

                            Cheers

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                              Just because someone knocks on your door, even if it crescendos to them banging loudly on your door, it doesn’t mean you have to answer it or have to go and investigate.

                              If the tenant suffers from mental health issues and the police were sent round because someone thought the tenant’s life was in danger you’d have a very hard time proving someone in that state of mind was negligent.

                              Since you appear to want to continue making the deliberate and conscious choice to let the property it might be an idea to join NRLA and do some training courses.
                              I'd beg to differ there. In my opinion at least, negligence is negligence regardless of someone's state of mind at the time. The tenant surely has a duty of care to look after the property they are renting and by choosing not to open the door they have, albeit indirectly, failed in that duty. If, for example, the tenant had a guest in the property who was actively causing damage and they failed to prevent that from happening (whether they were active observers of the destruction or asleep at the time) they would be held liable so I struggle to see how this is all that different.

                              You're determined to try to keep using my use of 'accidental landlord' against me but seem to be the only person who refuses to accept the phrase for it's well known, common, usage. Yes, I consciously chose to let the property, I've never denied that, but it was done due to lack of other viable options at the time and was not my plan when I first purchased. Maybe I got into this a little naively and expected the letting agency I use to be more forthcoming with advice as they knew my situation when I asked them to find me a tenant but prior to today I hadn't even heard of the NRLA. Yes I will soon be signing up to see what training they think I should have had before getting involved. Are there any courses you'd recommend yourself?

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                                It's a loss to the landlord arising while the tenant was responsible for the property.
                                It's not necessary for them to have caused the damage themselves or been negligent in any way.

                                The tenant should try and recover the cost from the police (although they might as well not bother).
                                police won’t pay as they will quote some law that they followed and therefore not liable. I remember reading about this but can’t remember the specifics. Tenant is still not liable whether it’s a loss to the landlord or not as they didn’t cause the damage end of the day.

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