T has made my property filthy- what can I do?

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    T has made my property filthy- what can I do?

    6 months ago I let a property that I had completely refurbished. Everything was new and shiny. The tenants are giving notice to quit which is fine, but the property is a mess. Not only is it messy and utterly filthy, but there is some damage to walls/paintwork/carpets, that makes the place look shoddy.

    Obviously there is time for the tenants to rectify these issues prior to moving out, however, I would normally try and hold a few viewings whilst the tenants are still in situ with a view to re-letting ASAP after the tenants have moved out. The current state of the property would put off most tenants though, or certainly reduce the rent I would expect to receive.

    Has anyone else encountered/resolved this problem? Is there anything I can do to encourage the tenants to make it nice? Or do I just have to suck it up and try to re-let post tenants vacating?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    #2
    You could write nicely to the tenants but be warned that anymore than that might be considered harassment. Remember that unless your tenancy agreement has something in it regarding viewings and the notice you will give then it sounds like these tenants might object and again regard it as harassment.

    I used to be a housing officer and I was always amazed at how some tenants treat the property they are living in, rats are cleaner and better behaved.

    Probably just have to suck it up. Might want to give them notice incase they decide not to move after their notice to quit expires.

    Hope you've got a big protected deposit!
    ****************************************

    If you are unsure about what to do seek professional Legal advice.

    Comment


      #3
      Don’t risk fresh new prospective tenants seeing your property in less than pukka condition. You'll be wasting your time because a sensible prospect would simply not believe your promises to make the place look good after the fact.

      By all means gently encourage your existing tenants to leave the place as clean as possible by the time they leave. Keep it friendly.

      Do you believe that they will actually leave when they say? If not and you want them to go, you need to issue a legal notice seeking possession - s21.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the responses guys. Ah well, looks like I will have to wait. Thankfully, I have a 6 week protected deposit. I'm confident (well, as confident as one can ever be) that they'll move outl, it's just frustrating having the lag time whilst the redecoration/cleaning work is carried out.

        Wouldn't it be great if everyone was as clean and tidy as me? lol.

        Comment


          #5
          I'd still give a notice just incase!
          ****************************************

          If you are unsure about what to do seek professional Legal advice.

          Comment


            #6
            T has made my property filthy- what can I do?

            I bourght a brand new house in 2007 and let it to a young couple who have since had two children.The AST was for 6 months and is now on a statuatory periodic tenancy.The initial agreement started on 31 march 2007 with a £450 deposit, not protected as it was before april 2007.I didn't do a written inventory as the property was brand new, not furnished but carpets, curtains and built in cooker and hob were provided.I took lots of photographs which I showed to the tenants at the time.My problem is that the place is filthy!I have done regular checks over the 3 years each time the gas cert was due and because you have to let people live their lives and because it is cosmetic as apposed to 'damage' I have never made an issue of the dirty stae of the place,however,now they have two children a boy and a girl and they are thinking of moving to a bigger property.The carpets are ruined completely,no amount of cleaning is going to revive them and the whole house will need decorating.The shower screen has never been cleaned and is going to have to be replaced.I suspect that because they have quite happily lived like this all this time that the place is not going to be handed over in a satisfactory state.Is it ok for me to write to them once they serve notice to tell them how I expect the property to be left? I know I have to expect a bit of wear and tear but surely that doesn't mean having to fit all new carpets and pay for the oven to be cleaned,and to redecorate the whole house at my own expense.What do you people think would be a fair amount to keep from the deposit?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by teeps View Post
              I didn't do a written inventory as the property was brand new, not furnished but carpets, curtains and built in cooker and hob were provided.I took lots of photographs which I showed to the tenants at the time.
              Do you have evidence of the date of the photos? Anything else which proves the brand new condition at the start of the tenancy, such as estate agent details perhaps? Although everything was new, you will still need evidence of this if there is a dispute with the tenant.

              Is it ok for me to write to them once they serve notice to tell them how I expect the property to be left? I know I have to expect a bit of wear and tear but surely that doesn't mean having to fit all new carpets and pay for the oven to be cleaned,and to redecorate the whole house at my own expense.What do you people think would be a fair amount to keep from the deposit?
              The tenant is liable for anything over and above 3 years' worth of fair wear and tear, (i.e. actual damage) and for leaving the property as clean as they found it. As you say, you wouldn't expect the property to be in mint condition after that length of time, and if it's a family house, then it's likely to suffer more wear and tear than a one-bed flat let to a businessman who's out at work all day and rarely cooks, for example.

              Unless the decor is actually damaged - for example, if the children have scribbled on the walls, or there are deep dents/scratches/chips - then the T won't be liable for redecoration.

              If the carpets require replacement, then you can only charge a portion of the cost of replacement based on the anticipated lifespan. For example, if you'd have expected the carpets to last 6 years before needing to be replaced due to fair wear and tear, then your actual loss would be 3 years' worth of use, so it would be fair to charge 50% of the cost of replacement with a similar quality carpeting.

              Is the shower screen really beyond cleaning? I assume you mean limescale build up, but this can be removed, albeit it would take several hours. I once descaled a shower after a tenancy that hadn't been done for 2 years and I think it took me 4 hours overall and a lot of Viakal. Anyway, this is the sort of thing the T could, in theory, do themselves (but sounds unlikely they will).

              By all means write to the T and remind them of their liabilities after they serve notice.

              Comment


                #8
                filthy property

                Thanks for the advise westminster. Yes I have all the documentation from when I purchased the property,I completed just prior to the tenants taking over on 31/04/07. The photo's are not dated unfortunately. The children have scribbled all over the walls and there are chunks out of the walls in places so I think it is more than fair wear and tear.The shower screen is just thick with bodyfat and lime scale so I think it would be easier to replace. The carpets are definately done for as they are stained and never even been vacuumed.The oven and shelves are disgusting and will definately have to be professionally cleaned.I don't think they will be getting the deposit back somehow!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Cleaning is never wear and tear. The problem is proving it. If you get them to admit it in writing somehow (text/email?) maybe that would help your case... It sounds like the place will need a lot to get it back to a let-able condition, replacing carpets won't be cheap, but professional cleaning of the whole property is preferable because T has to pay the full cost, rather than just a percentage of the cost of replacing anything.
                  Good luck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    filthy property

                    Hi Remyrobson,perhaps it will be a good idea to take photo's of the state of the property when they leave before the cleaners go in,preferably on the handover day whilst they are present? And I think probably some documentation for them to sign to say they agree that the photographs show the condition of the property.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by teeps View Post
                      Thanks for the advise westminster. Yes I have all the documentation from when I purchased the property,I completed just prior to the tenants taking over on 31/04/07. The photo's are not dated unfortunately.
                      So what do you have which proves that the carpets, decor etc were brand new at the start of the tenancy?

                      The children have scribbled all over the walls and there are chunks out of the walls in places so I think it is more than fair wear and tear
                      .
                      Agreed. You'd still have to factor in wear and tear, i.e. you probably can't charge 100% of the cost of repainting.

                      The shower screen is just thick with bodyfat and lime scale so I think it would be easier to replace.
                      It's not about what's easiest but about what is the cheapest remedy.

                      Originally posted by teeps View Post
                      Perhaps it will be a good idea to take photo's of the state of the property when they leave before the cleaners go in,preferably on the handover day whilst they are present? And I think probably some documentation for them to sign to say they agree that the photographs show the condition of the property.
                      Yes, but if the T disputes the damage/cleaning you will also need evidence of the condition at the start of the tenancy. You need before and after evidence to prove that the damage etc was caused during the tenancy, otherwise T could claim the property looked like that when they first moved in.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I do have extensive range of photographs taken when I bourght the property with carpets and curtains in it all ready for letting,I have all the purchase documents related to buying the property,and a tenancy agreement which started the same month as completion of purchase.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by teeps View Post
                          I do have extensive range of photographs taken when I bourght the property with carpets and curtains in it all ready for letting,I have all the purchase documents related to buying the property,and a tenancy agreement which started the same month as completion of purchase.
                          None of this proves the date when the photos were taken.

                          However, if there is a dispute and it is heard in the county court, then there is a reasonable chance you'd be okay, because cases are judged on a 'balance of probabilities' - and there is a good probability that the undated photos were taken around the time of purchase, in the period immediately preceeding the tenancy.

                          But in future, remember that it is always advisable to have an inventory check-in carried out, signed by the tenant. At the very least, write the report yourself/take photos and get the tenants to sign and date everything.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            P.S. mind the gap posted this useful link on another thread. I advise you to have a read of it, from the paragraph headed "Starting point for the TDS and the arbitrator". I know this tenancy began pre-protection, but the article is still relevant in terms of what evidence you need to support a claim for deductions (whether via adjudication or the county court).

                            http://www.propertyhawk.co.uk/index....agazine&id=411

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