This horror story highlights the risks landlords face, even when they employ a professional letting agent. It underlines the importance of very thorough referencing and screening checks, and it puts into question the Government’s stated policy of removing the no-fault Section 21, the so called “accelerated possession” eviction process.
In this case it took the landlord seven months to remove an obviously rogue tenant, and this was even with the benefit of section 21.
How long will it take to remove a tenant like this when Section 21 is removed and the landlord has to go to a court hearing in every case, and argue the point with a judge? Often more sympathetic to a tenant than to a landlord, judges often refuse a possession order in the first instance, preferring to give tenants a second chance. The county courts and court bailiffs often have weeks’ and sometimes months’ long waiting lists.
The landlord is blaming her letting agent for allowing a rogue tenant with a history of bad behaviour to enter into a tenancy in her flat, and the unsuspecting landlord is paying a very heavy price for its claimed negligence.
Photographs obtained by MailOnline show the sickening filth the tenant left for others to clear up in the Barking, Essex flat. With maggots crawling all over the fridge and freezer, caused by the tenant deliberately unplugging them, the landlord has been left with a bill totalling thousands of pounds to clear this and other damage to the flat.
The landlord claims that the letting agents were not thorough enough and failed to carry out proper referencing and other checks to make sure the tenant, with a long history of bad behaviour, was rejected .
The landlord, who did not want to be named, told the MailOnline that she later easily discovered the tenant’s history; he was a “repeat offender and bad debtor, who had previously left a trail of destruction in his wake.”
Photo source – MailOnline
With the tenant’s rent arrears totalling £6,250, it took the landlord seven-months to evict him, during which time he had deliberately caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
As a Romanian citizen and EU national with no UK assets the landlord has no chance of recovering her loss through the courts and is now left with a hefty bill for the rent arrears, the legal costs involved in the eviction and for cleaning, repairs and waste removal.
After this experience the landlord is unlikely to be continuing to let her flat and will most likely sell; one less home available for renting. This could be repeated many times unless the Government put in place a robust system of removing bad tenants quickly.