Tenants Property

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    Tenants Property

    Hi everyone

    If you are all sitting comfortably, then I'll begin and I'd be grateful for any advice please;

    Without going into the gorey details (although if anyone wants to know what happened at any particular juncture then feel free to ask)

    I gave a lovely middle aged couple a 6 month AST in March last year. I took £100 deposit and the balance was to follow the next weekend after they moved in on the Thursday - I know, I know, I still can't believe how stupid I was but there you go, no use crying over spilt milk! (This was my first experience of letting my property)

    That of course was just the beginning, however, after section 21 notice (correctly served) numerous days off work and countless sleepless nights, I was finally awarded possession and they were to be out Jan 9th. They never budged and I had to instruct the Baliffs to remove them. After THREE frivolous appeals by them to the courts (the last one was lodged as two baliffs were actually in the property attempting to remove them) they were eventually ordered to vacate immediately by a very irate judge.

    The next day Tuesday 27th March after again refusing to budge, they were escorted out of the house by two uniformed police officers. At that point, I changed the locks and gave them a letter stating that they had 7 days to remove their possessions after which time they would be disposed of. The baliffs watched as I also placed a copy of this letter in the front window of the house for all to see. True to form, and several nasty calls from the tenant later , they are now threatening to take out an injunction against me for the return of their property, and no removal is forthcoming.

    I am lucky that housing benefit was paid directly to me which helped keep the final bill down but at this moment in time, I am out of pocket by £973 (legals and unpaid rent) but this figure does not include the cost of cleaning and redecorating (every single wall has several pictures nailed up and every room will need to be repainted) .

    I really would like to draw a line under this whole sordid affair once and for all and to this end have now told them that they can have theif stuff if they just pay me the £973 but as I've said, they are now threatening ME with legal action.

    What I am asking please is, what are my rights? To say that the law is seldom loaded in favour of the victim is an understatement. These people have used every trick in the book to get this far and I'm convinced they've not finished yet.

    If I can salvage any money from this then that would be a bonus but I would be prepared to let it all go to charity if I knew could. Can anyone tell me where I stand please - and thanks for paying attention to the end!

    Cheers
    Ian

    #2
    You must comply with the requirements of the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/uncollected_goods.htm

    You cannot flog their belongings within a week of regaining possession of the property because of the arrears. Despite being unreliable tenants, they still have rights and it's clear they intend to exercise them.

    Other posters should be able to tell you the best way of lawfully addressing their rent arrears (or whether that will take too much expense and effort on and is likely to be an ultimately unsuccessful action).

    Here is some info about tenant screening and steps to successful landlording which may prevent you from encountering 'professional tenants' (i.e. those with good knowledge of their rights who exploit the landlord's ignorance of the law and who actively seek out those who will give them the keys before any tenant checks are undertaken or deposit handed over, etc).

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/succes...andlording.htm
    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/tenant_screening.htm

    Comment


      #3
      clarification required;

      You have offered the tenants to retrieve their belongings, but they say you are withholding their stuff?

      What ever you do; do not allow them to set foot inside ever again.
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

      * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

      You can search the forums here:

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the replies thus far and I can assure you I have taken steps regarding both points mentioned.

        Beeber; I have since had 3 successful lettings to happy tenants in other properties and if nothing else this saga will serve as a very harsh lesson for me. Thanks for the links which I have read with interest. I am determined not to let this issue cloud my judgement of tenants in the future.

        Bel; I have told the tenants by phone that they can only collect their stuff only by appointment and only after paying the £973 and have already refused them access. They of course are now accusing me of being unhelpful (whilst predicatbly disputing the amount I am claiming)

        The point is, I went to court prepared to forsake any outstanding rent in order to get my house back. Now, although I am already prepared to let the lot go for nothing, I just saw this (possibly naively) as a way of getting something back out of it.

        Even if I tell them to come and get their stuff, I just know that they will take advantage of my "weakness" then what? What happens when they dont collect it? What happens when I have a new tenant but the house is still full of furniture?

        I must stress that I am not out to gain from this. If I can get something back to cover a few costs then great, but what am I supposed to do with a houseful of furniture I don't want? Any storage costs I might incur, just like my other costs to date, will never be recovered so at what point can I put their stuff out on the pavement?

        Even if we forget my original 2 month notice to quit, they have had since the original County Court date of Jan 9th to make other arrangements for them selves and their goods. I realise they have rights and I cannot, and do not wishto, argue with the law, I am just trying to ascertain what I can and cannot do.

        Thanks again to all
        Ian

        Comment


          #5
          Allow them to retrieve their goods and "ahem" oh dear, is such and such missing? Well it wasn't there when you left, maybe you have receipts and proof that it was in the property when you vacated?

          The stuff won't be worth anything but pain is such a delightful educator!!!

          Comment


            #6
            I hope you are charging them storage costs.

            Comment

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