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View Full Version : Tenant damaged property- how should landlord proceed?



J-nine
24-02-2008, 10:34 AM
We are currently residing in south Africa, with a property in London. We had an Estate Agent managing the property. Council tenants moved in and were paying the rent until December, when we started to have a couple of hiccups and payments were not made in time or at all.
Last week we received a horror email from the Managing Agents stating that the Tenants had moved out the previous Friday and there was a large amount of damage to the property.
The damage included broken windows and doors. Missing doors and door frames. Chuncks out of the walls and damage to the carpet where a window had been left open and water had seeped into the carpet causing discolouration. One of the carpets have been cut out.
Forunately my spouse was visiting the UK and visited the property - to find it in a damaged state and completely filthy (toilet black and kitchen floor full of grime) truly disgusting.
The Managing Agents last visited the property 3 months ago and said that it wasn't damaged then.....
The Managing agents are refusing to take responsibility for the aprox 1500.00 damage.
We traced the tenant & she said that the damage was caused by wear and tear, but she suggested that we have the repairs done and she will re-imburse us. We obviously can not trust that this will happen....
Please, please does someone have any advise for us?

Beeber
24-02-2008, 11:13 AM
Was a dual signed inventory arranged at the start of the tenancy? In other words, do you have any proof that the property was let out in a good condition?

J-nine
24-02-2008, 12:00 PM
We have the Dual Inventory contract between the Managing Agents and ourselves. I am not certain at this point if the managing agent requested the tenant to sign the agreement.

Planner
24-02-2008, 20:36 PM
What protection does a landlord have against damage to property by tenant? - THE DEPOSIT

How much did they pay and whats left once you take the deposit off the £1500 repair bill? thats the difference the tenant should pay and you would have to take them to court to enforce it if they dont want to pay it. Of course if they are council tenants.... can they afford to pay it?

Beeber
24-02-2008, 22:05 PM
We have the Dual Inventory contract between the Managing Agents and ourselves. I am not certain at this point if the managing agent requested the tenant to sign the agreement.

Best check with the managing agent to see if they took the very basic step of getting this reviewed and signed by the tenant as the inventory is a key document when it comes to resolving the issue of damage to a property.

Does your agent belong to a regulatory body, such as ARLA?

This forum debates the value of inventories and the consensus is that a landlord that doesn't have an inventory will have a weak case without one as it's essential evidence to prove the tenant is responsible for the damage to the property.

Tenants who come to this forum complaining about unfair deductions from rogue landlords are often advised to take their landlord to court and assured the judgement of a small claims case tends to go against any landlord that doesn't have one in place. In other words - no inventory = no deductions.

J-nine
01-03-2008, 11:13 AM
Thank you so much for all of your advise - it has been a great help.

The deposit was about 850.00 so we would be looking at a difference of about 650.00.

There are some major irregularities whereby the tenants kept pitbulls and the dogs were known for their bad behaviour in the street. We clearly stated that permission had to be granted if the tenant wanted to keep pets or if any changes needed to be made to either the cosmetic or structural effects of the property, due to the nature of the wooden floors we did not want animals in our house, but alas this managed to again fall through the cracks with the managing agents. The dogs have been responsible for a great deal of the damage caused to the house. Walls have changed colour and carpets have been removed and replaced with inferior carpeting (as this was all that the tenant could afford apparently) - these changes have been made without our permission.

Unfortunately the tenants are council tenants, so we are reluctant to go the court route as we feel that our efforts (time and money) will be futile.

It is heartbreaking that tenants can behave in this manner, as so much time and effort was taken in restoring our house, prior to the tenants moving in.

Grange
01-03-2008, 11:20 AM
Does your insurance cover this?

caroline7758
01-03-2008, 12:25 PM
I presume when you sau they are council tenants, you mean they are claiming Housing Benefit, rather than you are housing them on behalf of the council (in which case you might be able to claim from the council). They don't have much chance of becoming council tenants if they have abandoned a property.