Good References for Bad Tenants

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  • Good References for Bad Tenants

    We all know that some unscrupulous LLs have no qualms about giving terrible tenants good references just so that they vacate, despite the fact the the T may have wrecked the place and owe several months' worth of rent.

    My question is, under English law, are such LLs not rendering themselves liable for damages caused to the new LL?

  • #2
    If you can prove to the satisfaction of a judge that the landlord has falsely given a good reference to a tenant who has proved unsatisfactory - merely to make it easier to get rid of him, then you can claim damages. You are also risking several £1000 that the judge may not so decide and you will be lumbered with your own and the landlord's costs.

    Your call!

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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    • #3
      Just write when they began to rent and confirm their name. You have said nothing bad and have complied with the request! This would be my course of action. I would not write a glowing ref for a bad tenant whether it was illegal or not.
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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      • #4
        I agree with islandgirl, but I suppose some LLs (like some employers) are so desperate to get shut of bad tenants (employees) and if writing a bogus reference is the only way to do it, that they will bend the truth to do themselves a favour.
        '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

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        • #5
          When I led a dept and had to write them, the company told us to only give "bare" facts - when the person joined, what their job title was etc. They were scared that if the person did not perform in their new job they may be liable - mind you it was an American company....
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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          • #6
            Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
            When I led a dept and had to write them, the company told us to only give "bare" facts - when the person joined, what their job title was etc. They were scared that if the person did not perform in their new job they may be liable - mind you it was an American company....
            Interesting! Times have changed from the days from my early years in teaching when the deputy head of one school I worked at was a total liability. The best thing you could say was that nobody usually died in his lessons. He was supposed to be in charge of ICT/audiovisual resources, but was so disorganised and stressed out that he would rush round ripping batteries out of one bit of equipment to put it in another so it would work in your lesson (which had begun ten minutes ago) and having about three heart attacks in the process. When the phone rang in his office, it took a major archeological dig to to locate it - there were boxes of wires and stacks of files everywhere from floor to ceiling. Most days he just hid behind them.

            Yet he came highly recommended from his previous college - a 'beacon' ICT place! - and with a glowing written reference!
            '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

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            • #7
              wonder what yours and mine would say? :-)
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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              • #8
                Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                wonder what yours and mine would say? :-)

                Well I saw mine last year for a job I applied for and I didn't recognise myself! Obviously wanted to get rid of me
                '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

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                • #9
                  I totally agree with the others. I too have had to write references for bad tenants and when given a form to complete I throw it in the bin and write my own reference sticking to dates, rent amount and names on AST.

                  If they they dig further for more info I will give it and wont lie but generally lots of Landlords wont dig any further (to their detriment!)

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                  • #10
                    Well, it's not as if one had to do any 'digging' here, is it?

                    The questions are the usual ones: has the rent been paid on time, the property looked after, and has the tenant caused no problems?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
                      If you can prove to the satisfaction of a judge that the landlord has falsely given a good reference to a tenant who has proved unsatisfactory - merely to make it easier to get rid of him, then you can claim damages. You are also risking several £1000 that the judge may not so decide and you will be lumbered with your own and the landlord's costs.

                      Your call!

                      P.P.
                      In the small claims track there is the no-cost rule, so if you are claiming less than £5k you are reasonably safe in that respect. The most you can be asked to pay is £50 a day for lost earnings and up to £200 solicitor fees.

                      But I really wanted to hear from one of our legal eagles here (never there when you need them, are they?) as to which pieces of legislation apply here.

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