tampering tenant

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    tampering tenant

    I have an ongoing situation with a Tenant in a downstairs flat.

    For over six months she has been claiming there are issues with the heating/electrics. I have instigated various repairs and remedies to the tune of thousands of pounds in a vain attempt to address the reported issues. Recently, I have had exhaustive fault finding done by various qualified Electricians (who had all said the sequence of events was inexplicable).

    Last week, after she had reported numerous trips and faults with various controls, we finally saw the elephant in the room and realised that she had been tripping the circuits and tampering with controls (after she had been away for three days and no faults had been reported by the Tenant in the upstairs flat, which is served by the same consumer unit). I am now convinced there has never been a fault after she came back and started again reporting tripping events etc. numerous times every day. She was actually caught in the cupboard containing the fuse box a number of times in close succession while I was at the property at the weekend and that finally confirmed my suspicion of what was happening, although she will not admit actually tripping switches.

    My solicitor said I was entitled to to install a CCTV camera in the cupboard containing the consumer unit, and lock it so she had no access, which I did. After 48 hours there has not been a single trip, however the heating programmer and room thermostat in the communal hallway were still being tampered with and after one of those was isolated in a tamper proof box, that too has not since been affected.

    She has now requested an HHSRS inspection, apparently because something in her flat is either dangerous or faulty and I believe she is going to argue that the heating is not working properly and I have not fulfilled my landlord's obligations.

    Her 12 month AST commenced on 15th February 2015 and I have not issued her with a Section 21 Notice, because I wasn't aware she was creating the problems. I suspect she thinks that invoking an inspection might give her the right to stay in the flat for another six months if I did now serve a Section 21 Notice (which as I understand would currently mean she would need to leave after 14th April). I wonder if she could then claim retalitatory eviction, since I had "failed to fix an existing problem".

    I believe the current position is that this applies only to tenancies commencing after October 2015, but what I am not certain about is whether a new (periodic) Tenancy will be deemed to have commenced when her AST runs out on 14th February, and consequently whether she can invoke the new law?

    Also, please can anyone advise me of the easiest and fastest way to get her out, and whether I have a chance of recouping any of my costs.

    #2
    The retaliatory eviction "process" affects all tenancies, not just new ones.

    For the local authority notice to invalidate a section 21 notice it would have to relate to a pretty significant hazard - it isn't just any notice, and would need more than just a failure to meet a repair obligation.

    The easiest way to get her out is most likely a section 21 notice.

    You will find it difficult to recover your costs, unless you can prove that the tenant was causing the damage - you're probably right, but would the fact it's stopped persuade a judge to award compensation?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Easiest & fastest is bribe her to go.

      I wouldn't due to her culpability, but you did ask.

      What were her credit & landlord reference checks like?
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        Issue a Sec 21 now, not later.
        Does the thousands of £'s you spent include an electrical certificate?
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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          #5
          Hi, no sorry I didn't do proper credit checks (I have on other properties since) - She seemed like a very nice girl - moving to Oxford for doctoral research - father a vicar!

          Comment


            #6
            not sure the relevance of a tamperproof stat has against tripping electrics? Assuming gas central heating? Also be careful with stat lock down as you must allow tenants a certain amount of access to the stat if you follow guidelines. I wholly recommend the inspire home automation Landlord stat for the purpose of only allowing certain overides/limits

            Comment


              #7
              Do you mean now, as in before the HHSRS inspection?

              Would it make any difference if it was served on the 14th?

              Yes, thousands includes domestic installation certificate, gas safety certificate and boiler service, motorised valve, heating programmer, programmable room stat, cylinder thermostat, boiler PCB, re-wire of wiring centre, 17th edition high integrity split load consumer unit, all 12 volt lighting replaced with 240v LED downlights, reterminated earth bonding, some re-wiring, mains operated smoke alarms, plus hours and hours of fault finding by four separate electricians.

              Comment


                #8
                We have isolated the circuit board so it cannot be tripped manually and the electrics are no longer tripping.

                She continues to reset or switch off the programmable thermostat and the heating programmer which are both located in the communal hallway. Yes, one gas boiler serves both flats, but it is located in the kitchen of her downstairs flat and she is also repeatedly turning it down to minimum (no idea of her motive, except perhaps to upset the upstairs Tenant to such an extent he moves out?)

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Sligsy View Post
                  Do you mean now, as in before the HHSRS inspection?
                  Sooner rather than later can only mean one thing. Now.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Untruthful

                    Sligsy - Post 1

                    Sadly there is a failure to tell the truth here - the tenant is the person who has suffered as a result of this landlords inept attempts at solving a very real problem.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Big and Bold... it must be right. The louder you shout the more correct you are... works in the organisation I'm employed by.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        omg!!!!!!!!!
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment

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