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  • Problem Tenants

    Bad tenants left - unpaid rent and damages

    hello - I’ve had some very nasty tenant experience and old appreciate any guidance in the right direction that will help me deal with the situation.

    In Summary, the tenants did not pay rent on time for at least 6 months. Then they just stopped. After about 6 weeks of unpaid rent, they left abruptly, giving me a one day notice and leaving the house in a mess (their broken furniture and other items that they don’t need). The carpets, walls and garden is a mess. There is a lot of garbage in the garage.

    The deposit which is in DPS only covers the unpaid rent. I have started the process for claiming that money though DPS. It’s been 2 weeks and the tenants have not responded which shows its clear that they are not expecting the deposit back.

    Since they have left without giving me a forwarding address, I am seeking some information in the following areas

    1. I would like to file a small claims case against them for the damages. I have their phone numbers and can see they have social media (flaunting expensive dinner parties). I also know where they worked when they lived in my house. Don’t have their current address.

    I am hoping I can file a case and then take the papers to them and give them a choice to come back to the house, take their mess and clean up to avoid a legal case. If not, I will pursue the case and at the least get them a CCJ. Thoughts?

    1. I don’t know where they were paying for electricity. I believe I am liable for bills now, but how can I find out where they ere paying so I can pick up? Or am I liable? Since they left without proper notice, leaving their possessions in the house 2 months before their contact ends, they should still be liable for bills until end of contact?
    2. Is there a way for me to find out their current address?

    Thanks

    Mishtu

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    The letting agent that you used will be able to advise re getting deposit back from DPS  and should have details of next of kin.

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    Hi Mishtu,

    I am sorry to hear of your plight.

    Personally, I don't think the threat of a small claims court will encourage your tenants to return and take their rubbish and belongings.  Mentally, they have left your property and everything associated with it, including you, the landlord.  However, from a legal perspective, you have to be very careful about making assumptions about the end of the tenancy and also how you treat their belongings.

    We have this helpful video:



    You can use a service like FinderMonkey to find their new address.

    I would recommend you employ the debt collection services of PT partner, Landlord Action, who have a special department which deals with debt collection from delinquent tenants and will also ensure that everything is done to the letter of the law with respect to you taking back the property.

    With regards to the electricity bill, the tenants were liable up to the date they left.  You become liable after that.  If you visit the property (see above advice in the video), there may be some unpaid bills which indicate who the supplier is.  You should take a meter reading, send it to the electricity supplier, and let them know your address for any standing electricity from the meter reading onwards.  They will need to chase the tenants for any unpaid bills up to the point they left.

    I do urge you to contact Landlord Action and they have huge experience of these cases and can guide you through to the best possible outcome for you.

    Click on the banner at the top of this thread to visit the Landlord Action website.

    ​I hope that helps for starters and good luck!

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    I don't get why people do this, speaking as a tenant it's hard as hell to get a decent place (myself included) these people's irresponsibility make it hard as hell for decent tenant's like me to relocate to another place, can anyone explain the logic in people who do this?
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    Because they think they can get away with it - and the shocking state of the English civil debt recovery process often means they are right.

    But you are correct about it making landlords very gun shy of tenant that don't already have UK history as a tenant...  The I've been living with relatives for the last year excuse doesn't wash with me any more!
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    DISCLAIMER just my personal opinion - for legal advice consult a qualified professional grown-up.

    Dear Misthu,

    Sorry to hear of these problems.

    Before you go down the legal route, ask yourself whether or not these tenants are likely to be able to pay their debts.  If not, then proceed carefully as you may never recover  your legal costs.  However I dont want to discourage you as there are several legal options which could yield a result for you ( CCJ, attachment of earnings, lien over their bank accounts).

    Provided the tenancy was ended legally, try and get the property back on the market ASAP.

    Best of luck

    Pete
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    Pete

    The Astute Landlord

    I am sorry about what happened to you.

    My advice for next time is don’t put up with 6 months of late payment. Dump them as soon as possible. Does your lender put up with late payment from you?
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