Is there something about celebrities that makes them a petty bad tenancy risk? One landlord recently fond that out the hard way when he rented a property to popstar and former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.
The landlord claimed that the three-bedroom property, located in Enfield and costing £3,466 per month to rent, was let in ‘tip-top condition’ but returned to him in an ‘appalling’ and ‘unlettable’ state.
The reported damage, created between September 2014 and July 2016, included a smashed sink, cigarette burns, stains and doors ripped from hinges.
Something very similar happened a few years ago with international model, Kate Moss: “Party-loving Kate is not a model tenant”, said the headline in the Daily Mail, “For a girl who epitomises the urban chic of metropolitan life, moving to the country was always likely to be a difficult transition for the supermodel Kate Moss, said the report.
Moss’s stay at honeysuckle-bedecked Walnut Tree Cottage eventually cost here thousands of pounds in compensation after the 300-year-old property was wrecked by flood water and trashed after wild partying, while she was renting it, and after a long battle for the landlord.
Tulisa Contostavlos, the former N-Dubz star was recently ordered to pay over £70,000 to the landlord of her property, Andrew Charalambous, after it was heard the luxury home had been ‘trashed’ during her tenancy.
What saved the day for the landlord was the independent inventory check-in and check-out report carried out by nation-wide inventory franchise firm, No Letting Go. This was the key in providing evidence of serious damage caused to a North London flat said the landlord.
When the case went to court, Contostavlos’ lawyer argued that the damage was not caused by her and that it was not above ‘normal wear and tear’. However, judge David Saunders ruled against her and she was ordered to pay compensation, interest and legal costs in excess of £70,000 to Mr Charalambous.
The inventory work on the property was carried out by Mitchell Walters, the owner of No Letting Go’s Barnet and Enfield franchise, who deals with many high-end properties in the capital.
The landlord has described the inventory work carried out at the property as ‘excellent’.
“We were pleased to be able to contribute towards helping the landlord win compensation in his case against the former tenant as the property was treated very poorly and would have cost him thousands to renovate and repair. Our inventory reporting helped to demonstrate its pristine condition at the start of the tenancy,” says Mitchell Walters.
“Hopefully the high-profile nature of this case will help to remind landlords and letting agents about the potential financial implications of property damage if they don’t have professional and comprehensive measures in place.”
Nick Lyons, CEO and Founder of No Letting Go, the UK’s largest provider of inventory services, said:
“We can see from this case the importance of an independently and professionally compiled inventory.”
“It’s clear that the type of damage being reported was certainly not wear and tear, but when serious disputes between landlords and tenants like this occur, being able to prove it through evidence becomes crucial if landlords want to recover costs for repairs and replacements.”
“This case also shows that it doesn’t matter whether a rental property is at the very top or bottom end of the market, landlords and letting agents need to follow the same procedures when it comes to documenting its condition before, during and after a tenancy if they want ensure they are protected against damage,” he says.
No Letting Go is the UK’s largest provider of inventory services with over 65 offices across the country. It was crowned Lettings Supplier of the Year in 2016 and is a member of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, ARLA Propertymark, safe contractor and the British Franchise Association.