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Tenant not informed me that will move in withyoung children. Demands I install bars on windows.

(19 Posts)
Akiko100 Sun 23-Dec-12 16:34:39

I am disappointed to find out that, my new tenant has two young children. She will share custody with her ex. Children will spend the week with her. She has signed the contract as one person. My house is not suitable for a young family. She will use ex-garage room as their bedroom. Master bedroom is two flights of stairs up: quite far to hear her children at night. She now demands that I install security bars on the windows downstairs.

She has proved to be a very demanding and malicious person from week one. Among the long list of requests, she wanted me to replace the flush handle, which was a bit wobbly, but otherwise, in a perfect working order. I reassured ger, that the handle was recently checked by a plumber and it only needs a little getting used to. Two days later, the handle was broken, using extreme force. I fixed it, without questioning. I am convinced that, she broke it on purpose.

This only adds to my worries that, this is a person, without any scrupols and will be capable of breaking my windows (as she did wqith the handle) in order to prove her point. I am conserned that, she will blame me for anything that happens to her children. For example, my stairs are wooden and not carpeted; kids may slip down. There is no childproof banister; the windows are not childproof; the juliette balcony- quite wide to be left open when small children are around.

I am not prepared to spend hundreds of pounds in order to secure the house for a person who, did not tell me she will live with family. She did not put these demands before she moved in, otherwise, I would not let the property to her.
We are bound by a six months' contract. Is there a way that I can give her a notice before that time?

GlaikitFizzogTheChristmasElf Sun 23-Dec-12 16:40:59

What does the lease agreement say? Is there a get out clause? Can you get anywhere with her misrepresenting the fact she was a single perSon when the lease was signed, but in fact was always going to be moving her children in?
are y leasing through an agent or privately? Who drew up the contract?

Sorry, many questions!

nkf Sun 23-Dec-12 16:44:04

She has not been honest with you. What does the contract say?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 16:48:21

surely she has secured the tenancy using false information? you need to speak to the solicitor or letting agent that drew up the contract.

BackforGood Sun 23-Dec-12 16:56:57

WOuld it depend on whether you just assumed she was single, or if she actually stated that ?

Collaborate Sun 23-Dec-12 17:52:31

What does your tenancy agreement say about responsibility for broken windows? Might be the tenant. I wouldn't have thought it would be your responsibility to convert a garage into habitable accommodation or do any of the other things she's asked for. Speak to your solicitor if you're unsure.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Sun 23-Dec-12 17:55:04

Similar happened to my parents. Refused to install a luxury item so they withheld rent. The day after the rent was due my dad served notice. They backed down and were fine after that but thEy had been seriously taking the piss before that.

lougle Sun 23-Dec-12 21:41:47

The trouble is, the tenancy never includes children - they can't be named on a tenancy agreement. So, it would come down to whether you have any proof that she claimed to be single, yet had children, rather than just not mentioning them.

Did you check that she had no children? Did you advertise, and did you specify 'no children'?

jojane Sun 23-Dec-12 21:44:30

Our tenancy includes the children's names and states that only the named persons can reside at the property.

meditrina Sun 23-Dec-12 21:48:37

Might it be possible to state simply that the flat was let as seen, and you will not therefore be adding bars to windows (might be an obstacle to exit if there were a fire?)

If you want to make it easyfor her to leave a place she appears to find unsuitable after moving in, can you afford to offer to waive the usual notice period?

montage Sun 23-Dec-12 21:56:55

Was the property let as a one-bed or as a two-bed? i.e. was the garage room ever approved of ans advertised as a bedroom, even for an adult?

Sabriel Sun 23-Dec-12 22:13:22

When I rented (through an agent) I was specifically asked who would be living in the property, and had to tell them how old my DD was. I assumed this was standard practice?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Sun 23-Dec-12 22:25:39

i had to state the names and ages of all the people who would be living in the property with me when i applied for my house (through agent). with my previous LLs they didn't use agents but both asked if i had children and met me with the children before agreeing to let.

we've lived in 4 rented places and each time we've had to include details of each person that was going to live in each house. i thought it was the same for everywhere. surely if she only put her name down, and didnt mention any dc's then its false information. she cant just move in and demand for the place to be changed in such a way surely? unless something was genuinly broken.

and would the garage be safe the for dc's anyway?

i would try and get rid if you can. she sounds like she's going to be trouble

Tenancy aside, how does she propose to get them out if there was say a fire blocking the bedroom door and bars on the windows! No, no, no!!

Elansofar Mon 24-Dec-12 19:09:05

Not sure about the child issue. you can always try to let to a singley but they may later have children and you can not infringe their right to family and private life under human rights. If you don't like a tenant, then all you can do is serve notice to end the tenancy at the first opportunity and stick to best practise. ref the windows, Always look at the lease in the first instance. It will probably be silent on matters like window bars, so it might be classed as an improvement so check the improvement clauses. You as landlady have a duty of care to ensure the property is safe and fit for purpose, incl under fire regs. If in doubt of your position speak to the building control section of your local council and ask their advice about whether window bars would be safe and legal as this will depend on the size level, opening mechanism and position of the windows. If they say your property is safe without them, then there's no duty on you to provide. Hope this helps

holidaysarenice Wed 26-Dec-12 20:07:04

Fire safety laws do not allow bars on windows. Ring your council or fire station for relevant laws.

ReallyTired Wed 26-Dec-12 20:21:30

I doult it is legal to use the garage as a bedroom. The children need to sleep in the main part of the house. If there was a fire then the children would be trapped in a garage and possibly die.

There is no reason that you should install window bars. It is not legal requirement.

"I am not prepared to spend hundreds of pounds in order to secure the house for a person who, did not tell me she will live with family. She did not put these demands before she moved in, otherwise, I would not let the property to her.
We are bound by a six months' contract. Is there a way that I can give her a notice before that time? "

It is very hard to evict a tenant. It requires a court case and is very expensive. Especially if you require ballifs. Some tenants deliberately get themselves evicted to get a council house. You can evict for being 60 days in arrears of rent or at 6 months. We had to evict a really evil tenant and the whole fiasco cost us 5K.

Do you have legal insurance?

Akiko100 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:34:46

Thank you all for your replies. one month on, this tenant appeared that, she has also a partner, who is the father of the children. They claim to live separately, but I do not see a reason why. Tey are not separated, and he is always there. I suspect that he shares the accommodation, but For some reason has not appear in the contract. They both work, but perhaps claim benefits? I do not know and it is difficult to prove, as I am not going to stand out all night spying on them. Even though, as her partner, he can spend an occasio
nal night with her????

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