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Nightmare tenants trying to sue

(26 Posts)
Tryue Wed 06-Dec-17 12:58:50

Does anyone have any experience of this? I was letting out a flat through an agency. The tenants were in the property for a year in total and didn't pay any rent for the last 5 months. They finally left last week after I served them a section 21 notice.

I told them I was making a claim on the deposit (will cover a quarter of what they owe as they also left the flat unclean) and thy have got very angry and suddenly told me the flat was infested with rats. I let it out through an agency and once I was told the tenants had complained of mice- I got pest control in immediately. After that Rentokil checked the property again and said it was fine. Only mice, no rats, and all the mice had gone.

The tenants (they have lied multiple times throughout the tenancy) have now said they complained of rats to the agency and the agency must not have told me, and that the rats made them ill and damaged heir belongings and they are going to sue me. They also said the report from pest control saying the flat has no infestation must be false and they have photos of damage etc.

I have told them if they want to they can sue. My concern is not that there was a problem (I have received regular reports after the agency inspected the property and know it was in a good state of repair and the tenants never mentioned this to me at an earlier stage) but that the tenants will be able to successfully fake a problem to get a claim.

I am assuming they would need doctor's notes to say they had been ill and the cause was infestation? I also assume a professional from environmental health (or similar) would have needed to verify a problem and they can't just present photos in court?

Any advice would be great this has been a headache from start to finish.

RubMyRhubarb Wed 06-Dec-17 13:04:02

They can't withhold rent even if there is a genuine problem, it does them no favours. If they're going to sue you (which they aren't, more hassle and expense than it's worth) then they have to prove their claims. If they claim sickness caused by rodent infestation - they have to prove it.

PeterGriffinsPenisBeaker Wed 06-Dec-17 13:04:45

Call their bluff and ask them to prove they've been in touch with the agents. They're trying to get away with non payment of rent. Try a Section 8 too, both can be served simultaneously.

And tell them you're going to Small Claims for rent in addition to taking their deposit. Play hardball, they're lying!

Bluntness100 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:05:37

Ach they are just trying to scare you. Tell them to sue and leave it there.

TrinitySquirrel Wed 06-Dec-17 13:06:35

It's on them to 100% prove it. Not on you to prove otherwise. You have proof they paid no rent. Proof of rentokil coming out. Proof from the letting agency that they never submitted any complaints about rats.

They're full of shit. And the court will spot them a mile off.

DopeyDazy Wed 06-Dec-17 13:06:45

they're just trying it on. I have legal cover with my landlords insurance ,check that you have and advise them that you are referring everything to your solicitor and looking to recover all outstanding losses and I'm pretty sure they'll lose interest

TrinitySquirrel Wed 06-Dec-17 13:07:35

I'd take them for every penny tbh. Cheeky twats. This is why we're reluctant to let out our property when we move.

araiwa Wed 06-Dec-17 13:09:05

Counter sue them

Id be holding their entire deposit against unpaid rent too if thats still legal

Pringlemunchers Wed 06-Dec-17 13:10:35

Unless the so called ' rats' were there before they moved in. Is up to them to remove them.

BalloonSlayer Wed 06-Dec-17 13:20:04

Yeah like a useless bunch of twats like that are EVER going to get round to instructing a solicitor.

Hissy Wed 06-Dec-17 13:20:37

Sue them for the rent they still owe you.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 06-Dec-17 13:26:06

How can they make a claim? They have no evidence. I’d definitely take them to small claims for the outstanding rent.

Ghostontoast Wed 06-Dec-17 13:27:29

It sounds like the only rats in the property were the tenants!

Good luck with getting any owed rent out of them. Could be a lot worse - a friend evicted his tenant who stopped paying rent and the flat was torched mysteriously.

Scaredycat3000 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:32:37

So who told you the tenants were lying? By any chance the lying thieving lazy bastards that are estate agents? The estate agents are hardly going to say yes they told us all about that, but we just ignored them, we weren't really interested, no profit in it for us. They just blame the tenant rather than fess up and lose a profitable LL. Anyway new tenants, new set of fees to up and then to collect all over again. You are trusting the middle men who gain the most from all this.

Tryue Wed 06-Dec-17 13:46:28

I think the tenants are lying because rentokil came out and said there are no rats in the flat and no evidence of them.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 06-Dec-17 13:51:25

If it was so dreadful why did they need evicting.

So who told you the tenants were lying? By any chance the lying thieving lazy bastards that are estate agents

The agents have no reason not to pass on the message and Rentokill have said there was nothing left

wowfudge Wed 06-Dec-17 13:53:33

I think the former tenants may be trying to make a case that their eviction was retaliatory, which is illegal. My concern is that they didn't pay the rent, but they were served with a s21 notice (no fault), not a s8 notice (breach of tenancy agreement). Why was that?

The responsibility always ends with the landlord even when you have a managing agent so hopefully you have insurance you can fall back on if the tenants bring a case and can prove they contacted the agents, but nothing was done. In those circumstances, you would sue the agents for not performing their contractual obligations.

Ask the agent for a report of all contact with the former tenants for your records.

Aki99 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:58:28

Keep all of your own evidence until you actually receive the litigation paperwork. Sue them for unpaid rent

Tryue Wed 06-Dec-17 14:01:36

The section 21 was served as it was the end of a fixed term tenancy and I wanted possession as a priority over unpaid rent. I was advised to do this by my solicitor and sue for unpaid rent afterwards.

Aridane Wed 06-Dec-17 14:16:04

I think they're just trying to stop you suing for unpaid rent and muddy the waters

Scaredycat3000 Wed 06-Dec-17 14:24:21

The agents have no reason not to pass on the message
The reason is they can't be bothered to do their job, it's happened loads to me, politely waiting two days for them to get back to me regarding the cooker breaking, tell me they have no record of my call. Or when we arrived to our new flat expecting one queen size bed and getting one single and one double bed, or being told to trim the bushes repeatedly, except there are no bushes as we told them repeatedly.
And you said rentokil said the mice (big mouse small rat, simple case of confusion) had gone, but your tenants said they had been reporting it for ages before the estate agents told you, so perfectly possible that the tenants correctly reported a rodent infestation that took so long for the EA to do anything about that the seasons had changed and the rodents had gone.

CocaColaTruck Wed 06-Dec-17 14:29:51

Threaten to counter sue the scumbags.

Percephone Wed 06-Dec-17 14:42:23

Check the rental agreement. Usually pest control is the responsibility of the tenant. Obviously it has to be pest free when they move in.

CuriousaboutSamphire Wed 06-Dec-17 15:02:58

The reason is they can't be bothered to do their job, it's happened loads to me But not all agents are like that, unless you know OP and use the same agent!

And you said rentokil said the mice (big mouse small rat, simple case of confusion) had gone, Nope! Mice and rats leave very different droppings and look very different. Impossible to confuse even the young. And Rentokil don't just bait and run, all proper pest control make return visits.

DopeyDazy Wed 06-Dec-17 15:25:30

and many agents get a commission for referrals so they're probably delighted to send round a drain clearer or pest firm.

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