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Nightmare Tenancy(116 Posts)
First time poster. Please pardon my mistakes. I am caught up in a very difficult situation which has completely stressed me out. 8 months back, I rented out my house to a family (mother, her two adult daughters with 8 children between them) I was very worried letting out to such a large family but they were very keen, very polite and produced two personal/character references. I have been a landlord before this, had to rent out because we needed to move due to work and renting ourselves. The very next month tenants rent was overdue by 10 days, same story the next 2 months. Had an inspection if the property by agents in the 3rd month and heartbroken as my beautiful house resembled a junkyard. Got Section 12 notice issued to get property back at the end of 6 months. On receiving inspection report and notice to end Tenancy, tenants sent a long offensive email saying we were in the wrong and the property is really bad. Then Coronavirus hit. We them they could continue to stay until it was safe to move out. Next month rent paid 3 weeks late after much chasing. Then they complained about oil tank leak. Being in the midst of Coronavirus peak, we paid emergency charges to have someone take a look. Had the oil tank changed but took over 3 weeks as contractor was struggling with supply. Tenants paid no rent this month or the next. Again after chasing, paid April’s rent 6 weeks late and then just stopped paying rent all together while coming up with various complaints. Got them issued with Section 8 notice. They have finally left but owe us 2 months rent which according to the agent, they have just refused to pay. Also refused to provide their forwarding address. I called up the two people who had provided personal references. Last evening a man phoned saying he was my tenant’s Manager saying I am harassing my ex tenants and everything I have claimed is a lie and I will be sued for harassment and slander. This person happens to be there close friend as I have seen him at our property whenever we have visited (probably lived there too). I feel that it I who is being harassed by my ex tenants not the other way round. But what is your opinion, AIBU in my actions. Please help with your suggestions. I have lost my sleep and peace of mind completely. Sorry, forgot to mention, they have had no loss of income or any change in their financial position.
You can take them to the small claims court for the outstanding rent but without an address to serve the notice on that will be tricky.
Personally I would move on from this, write off the money and stress. People like this are just scammers and you will end up getting a ccj for £1 a week for the next 40 years.
Sounds like you’ve been more than lenient.
I have no experience of this only ever being a renter and always being a good tenant, but can you just use the usual legal channels to recoup the money? Their claims of harassment are unsubstantiated, unless there’s something you’re not telling, so don’t worry about that. If they continue to harass you involve the police.
I think you need to speak to a solicitor, and if the house was left in a bad state deduct from their deposit accordingly. It would only be what I’d expect if I’d been an awful tenant who didn’t pay.
Ignore the threats to sue you - that kind of legal action costs a fortune and it is difficult to prove anyway. It's just a tactic to stop you pursuing them to recover the unpaid rent.
You've done nothing wrong, you acted decisively to remove people who behaved appallingly. I would move on from it, however unjust it is, it's not worth the energy and additional expense. Block their numbers.
I think you've been very lucky only to be down 2 months rent and not to have had the huge costs of bailiffs and eviction. Hard lesson learnt, listen to your instincts next time.
Not sure you're allowed to be ringing references, etc about it though. Would have thought it would have been a breach of gdpr as their contact details were given purely for pre-tenancy checks
As pp says you could pursue it through the courts, which could be very expensive, stressful and no guarantees or let it go for your own peace of mind.
Just write it off and breathe a huge sigh of relief that these scumbags are no longer around your neck
Please tell me you protected their deposit and can raise a claim to keep it.
Thanks for all your replies. I think I’m retrospect, I should not have called the personal references. I guess I am so frustrated with these people, I just wanted to tell about them to these people who had provided the references. Agents are not very helpful, they said they can do nothing if tenants refuse to pay. The house has been messed up by them; deposit would not cover. Moreover the rent owed is more than the deposit. Plus they have used up all the oil worth £800 we had filled up and refused to reimburse.
@AnyFucker the deposit is protected. We have followed all rules in sending notices etc. Never visited the property since being barred by them; they did not allow us to go on and inspect the installation o the new tank and we had to pay the contractor without checking their work.
The problem is the tenants have become offensive and cries harassment whenever we have asked for the rent. Just wondering if it was ok for the manager/ friend of the tenants to get my number and threaten me on the phone? Is that not GDPR breach?
Take them to small claims court , keep a receipt of the oil they used( why did you fill the oil tank for them ? ) , add in the costs of repairing any damage and the two months rent and your solicitors costs . It will be worth it to damage their credit rating if nothing else .
Facebook is usually a good way to track people down esp to find the area they live in .
If you rent the property out again , only accept tenants with a guarantor and look them up on Facebook , instagram etc to get a feel for the type of person they are .
@Whatisthisfuckery I just trusted them. They were so polite and humble when they wanted to rent. Seemed harmless - three women with 8 children. We left them box a of chocolates and wine to welcome them☹️
What contract did you have with your agent - tenant finder, management ? It sounds as if you have been very naïve. I suspect you may find utility and council tax bills outstanding too. Did you have any ll insurance , legal cover included in buildings cover perhaps ? You can file a small claim and it is likely the agent or a solicitor could track them down or send to work address. If they want their deposit back they will be in touch anyway although they probably just right it off each time.
Do you have an email address for them ? I would make all contact through email from now on so you have a paper trail . Block any numbers from their friend. Send him your email address before you block him and ask him to pass it on . Take lots of photographs of your property with a date stamp on them . And go and see a solicitor.
@Purpletigers this oil was in the tank at the beginning of the Tenancy. Again after installing new tank we filled it with 500 litres to check. Told them before filled they would have to reimburse but they refused.
Never ever trust anyone when it comes to renting a property. People are especially good liars when they want something . Rent to a family with a couple of children in a local school next time .
you might want to get advice from c.a.b to see if there is any redress on this. it's not much comfort now but you are ridof them and know next time to go with your gut feeling about who you let to.
You could do small claims court, but really all you will get is the satisfaction that you've ruined their credit rating, which let's face it they aren't ever going to be in a situation to need it to be good. It's unlikely you'll get the money back.
Never fill oil for a tenant again . That’s up to them to sort . Put it on the tenancy agreement if necessary . Please go to a solicitor, we had to pursue a customer of my husbands though small claims once . The satisfaction of not letting him get away with it was worth more than the money he was ordered to repay . The money was a bonus .
@LIZS Yes I do have a LL insurance cover. The tenants that promised they would get a tenants cover at the start of tenancy but later said they have decided not to. The property was beautifully furnished; it all messed up now☹️
And when you do go to small claims make sure you name all three adults on the claim . Kill three birds with one stone . I’m angry on your behalf .
No GDPR breach as no one is action on behalf of a business. Sorry it sounds awful.
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