Help please-hate new tenant!

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  • Help please-hate new tenant!

    My tenant has been in place in my ground floor flat for 48 hours and already I wish I had not let to him! I went round today with a builder to get an estimate for the cost of renewing the patio and found that my new tenant has

    (1) blocked the main drain with sewage/toilet paper. I have arranged for my builder to visit tomorrow - can I bill my tenant for this?

    (2) Thrown an oven rack into the rear courtyard

    (3) Attached a satellite dish to the front of the flat (which is right on the street) without my permission (that I would not have given).

    (4) That installation meant he must have drilled through the front wall into the lounge.

    (5) Repainted (I dont know why) one of the front window cills in a different color from that of the rest of the building.

    (6) Dripped that new paint onto the small patio area in front of the house and not mopped it up.

    I feel he is going to be trouble from start to finish. I want him out - now!

    I checked the tenancy agreement (SHT) and it does not mention satellite dishes, not does it say he cannot paint a window cill a different colour - it is a standard agreement. I checked with the council and they have no objection to the dish, which is ugly and intrusive and only about 9ft above the ground. It's just above the bay window and looks just horrible.

    Please please can someone advise me? I am sitting here typing this with tears running down my face. I fear that I do not have 'a leg to stand on' as he has 6 months to go on the contract!

    I would be willing to let him stay to the end of the week, then give him all his rent and his deposit back in full, if he'll only leave.

    I just feel that if this is how he behaves in the first 24 hours then what might he do next?

    Can anyone please advise me? Is there some way I can get him out?

    Worriedlady

  • #2
    I don't mean to sound harsh but you seem to be overreacting here.

    The cost of unblocking the drains - if the blockage was caused by the tenant and could only have been caused by him - you can I believe charge him.
    And just tell him nicely that he shouldn't use as much paper as it will cause it to block again.

    Regarding the oven rack, I have no idea what that's about. But I suppose you could pick it up and store it until you have new tenants.

    The satellite dish I'm not too sure where you stand. If there's no mention about it in the agreement I suppose the tenant could have thought that he was free to choose.
    Remember that when the tenant moves out, the dish stays (unless you pull it down yourself) and it can be a "selling point" to new tenants (that they won't have to pay for satellite TV to be installed because it's already there). It may be ugly to you but many people want satellite TV and if you forbid it you might lose otherwise good tenants.
    Saying that I don't know how pretty the property is and how bad the dish "disfigures" it.
    Anyway, an expert might be able to tell you if you can request for the dish to be removed.

    For the hole in the wall, the installer should have done it professionally as not to damage the wall.
    I would guess this could be repaired easily if need be.

    Repainting the window a different colour: this is not a problem as such. Once the tenant leaves he must give you your property back as it was when he took it (except for wear and tear) so if you're not happy with the different colour you can request he repaints it back to what it was or retain some money from the deposit to get it done professionally.
    It is common for tenants to try and make their new home a bit more like theirs. They ideally should ask before redecorating but some don't know they have to.

    Regarding the paint drips, you can ask him to clean it up now but you mentionned you are planning to renew the patio anyway so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    I understand that you are concerned about the tenant being less than careful but you could have a friendly chat with him to express your concerns (without sounding like a fussy landlady) and give him a chance to explain or repair his mistakes.
    You won't, I think, be able to make him leave before 6 months for such problems. But to be honest if he pays his rent on time and doesn't destroy your property, it's not too bad.

    Please cheer up and give him a chance. The best way to deal with it is to be friendly and not over-react.

    Comment


    • #3
      Many thanks for replying. It's good to get the opinion of someone who is not in 'panic mode' as I am right now.

      There has been a bit of misunderstanding ... the house is a bay-windowed one right on the pavement, and he has the ground floor.

      He has painted one of the *outside* window cills in a different colour from the whole of the rest of the facade of the house, that itself was painted just 2 years ago. The paint he has used has been dropped onto the *front* patio of the house. The patio I was having the estimate on is at the rear ... and he did not know that I was even thinking about having the work done. I'm certainly not going to have it done now!

      I spent £4,000 having the front of the house made perfect and this blighter has spoilt it in 48 hours.

      Anyone else got an opinion on this? Should I just let him do what he likes and spoil this cosmetically-excellent home?

      Comment


      • #4
        Ladylady, I'm sorry I didn't understand from your post that he painted the outside of the window at the front of the house damaging the front patio.

        In this case I'm afraid I don't know what the law/rule says. No doubt an expert will be able to advise you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh Dear!
          • There's no such thing as a "standard" AST
          • Write to your tenant and state he is behaviung in an un-tenant-like manner,and that you don't approve of his behaviour.
          • If your agreement doesn't state anything about satellite dishes or not to redecorate, there is little you can do.
          • He is indeed responsible for the cost of unblocking the drain - that is if your AST states he is, otherwise............well...see above!
          • Please take professional advice before drawing up an AST.
          • Did you properly reference the tenant - and I mean PROPERLY?
          • I'm sorry you've got an undesirable tenant but he seems to know the "system" better than you do.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


          • #6
            [*]Did you properly reference the tenant - and I mean PROPERLY?

            Yes!
            [*]I'm sorry you've got an undesirable tenant but he seems to know the "system" better than you do.[/list][/QUOTE]

            Oh well that's me stuffed, then. Have a good laugh won't you!

            Comment


            • #7
              Ladylady, I don't think anyone here is laughing at you, however there is little people can do here when the law says your tenant isn't doing much wrong.

              Paul F advised you to "Write to your tenant and state he is behaviung in an un-tenant-like manner,and that you don't approve of his behaviour."
              I'm not sure there is a procedure to evict the tenant if he keeps acting in an un-tenant-like manner but if there is, there's your chance.

              Maybe you can check the AST agreement your tenant signed and see if the question of decoration or satellite dish is covered in it. If it is then you have something to back you up; if it isn't then I suggest next time you get a more thorough agreement (ask your agent if you have one).

              Comment


              • #8
                I sympathize with you. There is so much to think of and it helps to be a pessimist before you 'ok' a final draft of a contract. I am a novice - I have only just rented out a property for the first time. I tried to think of all possible eventualities when I drafted the contract but you can't think of everything. And I bet some letting agents don't, either. It really helps to read through other people's situations on this website, and apply this to your own circumstances next time you prepare a contract. So cheer up - you may not have the tenant you want, but you are better prepared for next time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I sympathise with you - you certainly seem to have a tenant from hell, but try to focus on the rent and serve a S21 notice (requiring possession at the end of 6 months) right away, so you really can limit the damage.

                  Specific comments on your numbered points:

                  (1) blocked the main drain with sewage/toilet paper. I have arranged for my builder to visit tomorrow - can I bill my tenant for this?
                  - without forensic evidence it could be difficult to prove the origin of the turds etc

                  (2) Thrown an oven rack into the rear courtyard
                  - there should be a clause in the agreement not to do anything that might annoy other tenants or neigbours

                  (3) Attached a satellite dish to the front of the flat (which is right on the street) without my permission (that I would not have given).
                  make sure any future agreement contains a clause "not to fix anything to any part of the property without the LL's permission in writing"

                  (4) That installation meant he must have drilled through the front wall into the lounge.
                  worry not - it's unlikely to have caused any serious damage

                  (5) Repainted (I dont know why) one of the front window cills in a different color from that of the rest of the building.
                  any future agreement should have a clause prohibiting repainting without the LL's permission

                  Talk to your tenant about all these things and explain your concerns.

                  Finally, cheer up! Things are unlikely to get worse. And focus on that rent!
                  Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                  Comment

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