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View Full Version : Tenant Re entered property using key after handing house back



walter01
09-10-2011, 20:46 PM
Hi,

Need some advice urgently!

Here's the background. Tenant gave notice owing arrears but had made some improvements, laminate floor and cheap kitchen, to house. We came to the agreement that the rent arrears of £625 would cover the cost of improvements and her deposit would be returned less 8 days rent (1-8 Oct)so long as everything was leftin place. This was verbal and in text messages.

Following checkout yesterday, which she chose not to attend, some other issues became apparent, which are going to cost money and time to rectify. I called her this afternoon to discuss these issues and was accused of trying to wriggle out of returning the deposit. Not true.

Anyway half an hour later my husband went to the house to do a little job and discovered that the tenant and her husband had entered the house using a key that they had kept hold of and had ripped up the floors and dismantled part of the kitchen.

She claimed she was doing this because we had reneged on our agreement.

Police attended and said that it wasn't illegal to enter the house after the end of the tenancy, using a key she had no right to have, because she was collecting items that belonged to her. Even though I have it in a text message that she agreed to leave these items to cover rent arrears.

I find it incredulous and ludicrous that it's not against the law to do this.

In order to get the kitchen units back my husband signed in the police officers log book that we agree to her receiving £400 from her deposit. We will get £325 which won't cover the cost of floors etc and other remedial work. So she has had £625 rent arrears and will get £400 back from deposit.

Feel completely let down by the law! Haven't got a clue what to do next or if we can do anything.

Please any suggestions :-(

Snorkerz
09-10-2011, 20:51 PM
I believe the laminate flooring - once it is down - becomes a fixture. See this thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?41778-Tenant-Leaves-Window-Blinds-3-months-later-wants-them-back!-What-to-do&highlight=blinds

Can you clarify why you felt you had to compensate the tenant for the kitchen / flooring? What flooring was in the place when let, and do you have an inventory to show that?

walter01
09-10-2011, 21:00 PM
Hi

I felt that it was the right thing to do. Also wanted to avoid the situation we have ended up in. Police just kept saying it was a civil matter, landlord/tenant dispute.

Carpets were down when she moved in and they were stored in loft by tenant, so they are still there but will have to be refitted.

Feel so let down.

Snorkerz
09-10-2011, 21:15 PM
I feel your pain - been there, done favours, been **** on.

Is the deposit in a government approved scheme?
Did you have an inventory/condition report?

walter01
09-10-2011, 21:25 PM
Yes deposit is in a scheme and we have inventory from check in.
Just can't believe that this is legal.
Gobsmacked!

Snorkerz
09-10-2011, 21:44 PM
I would suggest you apply to the scheme for the full deposit.
The tenant will (presumably) dispute this.
You will be given the option of using their arbitration service to decide what is fair. You are allowed to decline this. I would suggest you do and then you either sue for all the missing rent & provable damages (including carpet re-fitting) or (if the tenants beat you to the court), counterclaim for the same.
The tenants will think their policemans statement will give them a watertight case - but I don't think it will if you can present the facts you have given here with proof of everything you have said.

If the judge finds in your favour, you need to ask him to include an order to the deposit scheme to release the funds. If the tenant has no assets or employment I wouldn't put too much hope on getting more than the deposit off them. If they haven't got money, they can't pay, no matter what a judge orders.

mariner
09-10-2011, 21:57 PM
Did Ts ask for your prior permission to take up carpet, install laminate and cheap kitchen? Next time don't offer to contribute to T's 'improvements', they rarely do a proper job.

walter01
09-10-2011, 22:23 PM
This has left me feeling so disheartend that I'm not sure can face prospect of dealing with all the s**t that comes with being a LL again.

Previous tenant did a flit owing £1200 in rent, now this one and all c**p she caused. They were both vetted by agent and passed their checks.

She did ask to make changes, and verbally agreed that kitchen would stay and carpets be refitted if she tookthe floor. Clearly her word is worthless, learned to my cost. Been s**t on from a great height, shafted good and proper. Not only by tenant but by law too.

walter01
09-10-2011, 22:26 PM
Just another quick question,

Under the original 6 month tenancy agreement signed in Oct 2008 she had a guarantor, is that guarantor still liable for unpaid rent?

JK0
09-10-2011, 22:40 PM
Just another quick question,

Under the original 6 month tenancy agreement signed in Oct 2008 she had a guarantor, is that guarantor still liable for unpaid rent?

Yes, and kitchen repairs also, I would have thought. Was guarantee by way of a deed?

Have you changed the locks now?

Snorkerz
09-10-2011, 22:42 PM
Depends on the wording of the guarantee. What did it say about the duration?

And as JK0 says - was it witnessed and was it a deed?

walter01
09-10-2011, 22:43 PM
Haven't got a clue, it was organised by the agent. So will have to chase that up in the morning.

Thanks for all responses BTW. Maybe will all be clearer to me in the morning!

bhaal
09-10-2011, 22:59 PM
What are the 'other issues' you referred to in your first post?

You admit that you and the tenant had an agreement which you then didn't stick to. It's difficult to have a great deal of sympathy for you as a result. Before making your bargain you had the ability to inspect the property and determine if there were any additional matters that should have been taken into account. However, without knowing exactly what was said between you and the tenant it's difficult to know what the precise terms of your deal were.

Even if the kitchen units were a fixture it doesn't meant the tenant has no right to be compensated for paying for them. I would urge you to think about how much they are worth in materials and labour (and therefore how much money you would effectively be getting in addition to the £325 you'll recover from the deposit) before you waste time and money going into a lengthy dispute process with the tenant.

walter01
10-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Hi the other issues were
*she had half heartedly painted original 1930s doors which now need to be dipped
*removed and filled in the door keeps when she then removed the above doors and replaced with her own.
*on giving notice put the original doors back up, (I have no problem with this as they are better doors), however doors don't close properly now as the keep has been removed and filled in. Also these doors were previously lockable but can't be locked now.
*Left a huge clock shaped hole in the wallpaper were a clock was glue to wall.
*left house dirty- bathroom cupboards and drawers covered in razor hairs etc, thick dust on paintwork, food and drink stains on paintwork, chewed and spat out sweets on bedroom carpet.
Not to mention clearing the garden of established plants, breaking and not replacing glass in outhouse window, leaving behind matresses, bedframes and other junk.

Yes as you say I did have an agreement. The terms were exactly as stated in the original message. However, that agreement was also dependent on a satisfactory handover of the house, which she chose not to attend.

I find it incredulous that she is allowed to enter a house after her tenancy ended, with a key she shouldn't have and rip out fixtures that had been ofset against rent arrears.