Tenant hoarding rubbish/junk and messing-up property

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    Tenant hoarding rubbish/junk and messing-up property

    Hi
    I have looked through many posts but I cant seem to see any that can help with my problem...

    I have carried out an inspection at a house to find that the tenants who have only been in the house for 6 weeks are clearly hoarders! It is a 4 bedroom house and every single room is absolutely filled with stuff/junk/rubbish. The tenant has told me that he has just not had time to sort everything out since moving in and that I will notice a big difference next time (I have arranged to go back in three weeks time)... I am very concerned about this and need to start looking at possession proceedings.

    He has a 6 month AST. Am I right in in thinking that I should serve him with a Section 8 notice on Ground 13 and apply to the courts for eviction? Do I have to allow him a certain time to remove the stuff etc before I can apply to court?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    #2
    By 'rubbish', do you mean organic waste (ie stuff which will decompose) or do you just mean stuff which you wouldn't personally want, but the tenant clearly does/did? One person's rubbish can be another's treasure.

    As long as the 'rubbish' is not posing a risk to health or blocking fire escapes, I would not be minded to evict at this stage, unless tenant was not paying the rent. (Is that the case?) Perhaps give them until the next inspection - they may well intend to sort it out.

    Can you explain why you are so concerned about it? It's their home, in the end, and as long as it is easily restored to its former glory when they leave, the only problem I can envisage is that it may put prosepctive tenants off when being shown round.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      Read the AST carefully. Can you pinpoint those obligations which T is breaching? If so, you could serve a s.8 Notice on:
      a. ground 12 [breach of non-rent obligation]; or
      b. ground 13 [condition of house deteriorated due to T's neglect or default]; or
      c. ground 15 [condition of furniture provided by L deteriorated due to ill-treatment by T];
      or a combination of these grounds (all discretionary, rather than mandatory, unfortunately).
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        Read the AST carefully. Can you pinpoint those obligations which T is breaching? If so, you could serve a s.8 Notice on:
        a. ground 12 [breach of non-rent obligation]; or
        b. ground 13 [condition of house deteriorated due to T's neglect or default]; or
        c. ground 15 [condition of furniture provided by L deteriorated due to ill-treatment by T];
        or a combination of these grounds (all discretionary, rather than mandatory, unfortunately).
        But if the rubbish (assuming non-organic), is just cluttering, rather than affecting the 'condition of the house' as such (by which can we assume it means staining, rotting, physical damage to fabric of building or its contents), is that sufficient grounds on which to evict?

        Obviously no LL wants a 'Life of Grime' scenario, but can we ever legislate against clutter?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          But if the rubbish (assuming non-organic), is just cluttering, rather than affecting the 'condition of the house' as such (by which can we assume it means staining, rotting, physical damage to fabric of building or its contents), is that sufficient grounds on which to evict?

          Obviously no LL wants a 'Life of Grime' scenario, but can we ever legislate against clutter?
          True. Cluttering is not a ground, either in AST or Schedule 2 to 1988 Act. That's why I suggested that OP would have to pinpoint precisely what T has supposedly done (or omitted to do) in breach of the AST's obligations whether positive or restrictive.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            Personally I doubt a judge would award possession - the tenant is bound to attend court, apologise and promise to clean it up
            PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
              Personally I doubt a judge would award possession - the tenant is bound to attend court, apologise and promise to clean it up
              Well, that's a start isn't it? Anyway, T is not 'bound' to attend court at all; perhaps he won't.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                Well, that's a start isn't it? Anyway, T is not 'bound' to attend court at all; perhaps he won't.
                Perhaps 'bound to' was being used here in its non-legal sense of 'very likely to' (as in : It's Monday, so we're bound to be having liver and onions).
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                Comment


                  #9
                  OK. But at least either:

                  a. T will attend, be made to account for the mess, and the Court will:
                  i. award L a Possession Order (perhaps suspended); or
                  ii. not award possession at this stage but make it easier for L to assert- next time that L brings T before Court- that possession ought then to be ordered; or

                  b. T will not attend and the Court will be at least sniffy about his absence (plus more likely to award possession, if L's evidence suffices).
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    OK. But at least either:

                    a. T will attend, be made to account for the mess, and the Court will:
                    i. award L a Possession Order (perhaps suspended); or
                    ii. not award possession at this stage but make it easier for L to assert- next time that L brings T before Court- that possession ought then to be ordered; or

                    b. T will not attend and the Court will be at least sniffy about his absence (plus more likely to award possession, if L's evidence suffices).
                    You will know better than I whether a judge would be likely to grant a possession order in these circumstances, but until we know the answers to the questions I posed in #2 (specific nature of rubbish and whether it is causing property to deteriorate and how), is it not premature to advise OP to go to court over it?
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      You will know better than I whether a judge would be likely to grant a possession order in these circumstances, but until we know the answers to the questions I posed in #2 (specific nature of rubbish and whether it is causing property to deteriorate and how), is it not premature to advise OP to go to court over it?
                      Did I? When?
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        Did I? When?
                        Apologies - I interpreted your posts 6 and 8 as endorsing the idea of LL attempting to gain a possession order.

                        Sorry if I was barking up the wrong tree. (Or perhaps just barking).
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          Apologies - I interpreted your posts 6 and 8 as endorsing the idea of LL attempting to gain a possession order.

                          Sorry if I was barking up the wrong tree. (Or perhaps just barking).
                          I merely suggested service of a s.8 Notice.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            sorry my fault - I meant that the tenant would attend rather than be forced to
                            PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi

                              This could well be completely wide of the mark, but in a housing context some types of "hoarding" can be a sign of mental health issues, such as obsessive compulsive behaviour. Nothing to worry about; just something to be aware of if it continues. It may be that the individuals concerned are receiving or need some professional support.

                              On the other hand, they might just be messy beggars!

                              Preston

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