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  • Problem Tenants

    Tenants damaging my property to get up-grades



    Hi, I'm new here. Was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.

    My tenants, a young couple, moved in a week ago. This is the first place they are renting. As soon as they were in  the flat, the bathroom cabinet mirror came off and apparently almost hit his face.

    The next time I go to replace the diverter knob on the bath tap, he tells me the wall-mounted portable heater is not working and that the girlfriend is asking if I can increase the volume of the water.

    They also wanted a sofa bed on top of the standard double bed, sofa, medium-size fridge and frost free freezer and all the other furnishings that are in there. Now they are having noise-issues with the people above them but won't go to speak to them and they're asking me to go instead. In the one week that they've moved in, I've been to the flat 3x to sort out problems. I'm guessing that each time they have neighbour trouble I'm supposed to go there to sort it out.

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt and replaced the bathroom cabinet. My gut tells me the cabinet was the only thing that didn't quite match the rest of the bathroom so he pried the mirror off to get a replacement cabinet.

    They claimed the mirror fell off and hit the wash basin but the wash basin was not damaged at all. The only damage to the mirror was on the edge of a small corner where there were cracks and small chips - tell tale signs that some had pried that corner to get it off the cabinet.

    When I replaced it with a cabinet that matched the rest of the bathroom in colour she was gushing about how she loved the new cabinet. But when the heater broke down, I refused to replace that. I told them we would never have put a portable heater that didn't have a thermostat and mount it on the wall with the wire running down the inside.  It was put there by the people trying to sell the flat.

    These things break down especially without the thermostat to regulate the itself by automatically cutting out when it got to a certain temperature. And I would never run the wire inside the wall for such a filmsy appliance. Inside that toilet, I burnt myself on the heated towel rail which was piping HOT. The bathroom was like sauna and I was perspiring while fixing the tap. They must have left the heater running for long hours until it eventually burnt itself out. As for the water pressure, I told them where they could find a power shower head that could make a difference but refused to get them one.

    Before they placed the holding deposit, she was telling me what I needed to do to the flat to make it homely for her. She was also telling me what her favourite colours were. but they had no money for the holding deposit but asked me to take it off the market for them anyways. I was in no hurry since I was doing some major reno work to the flat. Somewhere in the middle of all that, they managed to scrounge enough money for the holding deposit. Looking through their bank statements, alarm bells went off in my head. They were both living at home with their respective families and they were both in the red at the end of each month. He had two or three payday loans to clear.

    I brought up my concerns but they said they'd clear their debts before moving in to the flat. Somehow, they managed to pass referencing and credit check which surprised me. So there they are in the flat.

    While I was fixing the tap, he was home alone. He told me about two accidents that happened in a part of the town where I frequented for DIY supplies. One of them was fatal it seems. He claimed the police were all about town and the roads were closed due to the accidents. I thought it strange that nothing of that sort appeared on  the news so did a search, then asked others to look it up as well but there wasn't even so much as the ghost of an accident in that area on the day he mentioned. He's part of a gang so maybe he was threatening me, I don't know.

    Yesterday, I arranged to meet them at the carpark below their flat to collect the rug they didn't want. When I arrived, some burly men were hanging about and started shouting at me to get out. At 6pm on Saturday, that isn't the kind of scene you usually get there. They were probably his mates. I'm beginning to think these people in my flat are more trouble than they re worth. The rent they pay doesn't even cover for the nuisance they cause. And I don't even know if the subsequent months rent is going to get paid at all.

    Any advice, anyone?

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    Not much advice can be given here to be fair other than next time if your gut feeling is something isn't right, go with your gut. For now, hold your ground and hope for the best. First opportunity for them to leave get it done.

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    Agreed - instincts can never be explained - but should never be ignored.

    Couple are clearly wet behind the ears - and need to appreciate that a bog standard cheap rental is never gonna be a boutique hotel arrangement - and that needs to be emphasised at earliest opportunity.

    If they were lucky enough to get a social let - there would be no fittings of any kind to worry about aesthetics - nor even any floor coverings - and also may not have been decorated for years. In short functional but austere.

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    I'm feeling very uncomfortable that they are in my property doing goodness knows what.

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    Yes, I agree. I should have listened to my gut. I aim to get them out asap.

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    Keep a note of all communications with the tenants, preferably via email and/or text message.

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    I always do. Thanks, Adam. Protected myself right from the start by keeping a record of all the communication that transpired between them and myself.

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    You need to lay down the rules and emphasise that if anything else breaks it won’t be replaced but will come out of their deposit. And that you won’t replace and add anything. You have to be a tough cookie otherwise they will treat you like a pushover. They might come to their senses, if not serve them a section 21 after 4 months.

    And never let to anyone with dodgy finances, they are nothing but trouble.

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    Sadly nowadays kindness is often mistaken for weakness.

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    Thank you adribadri. You're right. I thin they're testing the limits to see what they can get away with and when they find they cannot they use their friends to intimidate me in the carpark. Good advice. Thanks.

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