A London landlord has had his leasehold cancelled after ignoring neighbours’ pleas to deal with an aggressive, anti-social tenant for more than a decade.
Neighbours Mr and Mrs Kandala claimed Andrew Cripps, who owns the leasehold on a property in St Ann’s Way, South Croydon, was in breach of lease covenant for allowing his tenant to cause damage, annoyance or inconvenience to the neighbourhood for 11 years.
Prolonged abuse had taken its toll and led to serious mental and physical health issues for Mrs Kandala.
Failure to respond
A First Tier Property Tribunal heard that despite writing to the landlord many times, he had failed to respond constructively to their letters or take any action. In an email from October 2019, Cripps replied to a letter complaining about the sub-tenant’s conduct, saying: “I apologise for any inconvenience/damage caused and please be advised I am taking this matter extremely seriously.
“We will of course give him notice if he continues to behave in this way.”
In 2010, the tenant was issued with a harassment warning by the police after setting fire to the Kandala’s back garden, but Cripps again did not reply to letters and the cost of repairs was met by the residents association.
“The tenant also let his dog foul in neighbours’ front gardens, parked across their garage and made regular threats of violence, screaming and shouting directly at the couple.
They said: “The residents association recently informed us that a notice requiring possession was served on the subtenant by Andrew Cripps. The subtenant immediately took to making repeated offensive sexual gestures to Mrs Kandala.”
The tribunal was satisfied that this was clear evidence of completely anti-social behaviour, amounting to breach of covenant. It also ruled that as Cripps was not named as a joint party on the building insurance policy, this was also a breach of covenant.