Non-UK landlord's 'nuisance' tenants; how to remove?

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    Non-UK landlord's 'nuisance' tenants; how to remove?

    I live overseas but own a house in the UK which I rent out. The tenants signed a legal contract, committing themselves to a 18 month tenancy. In February he told me he had lost his job and had no money to pay the rent, never indicating that this would only be short term, he simply said - sorry but there is no money left! I told him he would have to pay his rent or would have to leave (I could not afford to 'carry' him for any length of time) - he found the money, then asked if they could stay a further month and use the bond money as that months rent. I agreed, now I have found out they have moved to another house around the corner - although they lied about this (They told me they had to live in a small house with their in-laws and told the van driver who was moving them to pretend their things were going into storage!) They have said they will not do anything in the house (cleaning etc) and the garden is not how I left it with them (there are now weeds everywhere etc)They said I can't have the house back until midnight today as thats when the day of the last month ends. Can they do this seeing that they didn't pay the last months rent but used the bond money instead of it being used for the intended things like cleaning, gardening, any necessary repairs etc? Are they liable for the 10 months left and also for my very expensive flight and expenses? I am having to be apart from my wife and live over in the UK until this is sorted out and cannot carry on my business where I live overseas. I only allowed them to use the bond as I felt sorry for them (losing his job, keeping his kids at their private school etc) They own their own house in Scotland. The wife has been very abusive, although she has several times brought up 'don't hassle us - we know our rights' and that kind of thing, ignoring the fact I have never 'hassled' them but have only have been accommodating and my only 'crime' is to ask that they pay their rent. .They also kept making excuses when I wanted to show other potential tenants around, saying it wasn't convenient etc.
    Also can emails be used as evidence in court?
    Thanks in advance

    #2
    It's a bit hard work out the salient facts from your message.

    Sound as if the tenants have skipped out of the tenancy early, but are up to date with the rent until then, but you have no deposit, and there are repairs needed - is that about right?

    A few points...

    Bad move letting them use the deposit against rent as you should have kept that separate, as it means you now have to claim against them for the repairs. However, apparently you didn't have the deposit in a government scheme, which could have landed in you in deep do-do, so you should probably consider you've got off lightly: you wouldn't have been able to evict them via the normal procedure, and they could have won themselves 3X the amount of the deposit from you if they'd known (they still could do actually if they cotton on - so one way forward for you would be to walk away and count your blessings...)

    If the tenant quits prematurely, as yours have, you can't claim the lost rent until the end of the tenancy; you can only claim your reasonable costs incurred in reletting - ie readvertising, vetting applicants etc - and you have to be seen to be making all reasonable efforts to find somebody. I doubt very much that any judge would allow the cost of your airfare etc in this connection; I'm sure he would tell you that you should be employing an agent rather than trying to manage a tenancy from overseas (and I'd probably agree with him).

    With regards to the cost of making good damages etc, you'll have to do that via the Small Claims Court, along with any costs you'll be claiming for lost rent etc. I trust you have an accurate inventory, signed by the tenants, when they moved in? Or you'll be unlikely to be successful there.

    Now that the tenant has quit, I can't see any relevance of much of your story - eg the abusive/obstructive tenant - a red herring?

    I've certainly used email printouts in court myself.

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      #3
      I did have my deposit in a government scheme, the tenant asked for that to be used for the last months rent and agreed to it being released. It does seem to me to be 'for the tenant' in the UK, very different to where I reside now.

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        #4
        i am sorry if i am not going to sound sympathetic, but how on earth did you think you could manage a property from overseas ?? you need a local agent - may i suggest you employ one straight away ?

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