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Tenant finaly left but oh what a mess...

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cassa333 | 01:22 Wed 31st Aug 2011 | Business & Finance
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My tenants tenancy runs out 1st sept so we made arangements with her to do an inspection today. She wasn't there and said we were not allowed to go in the house.

However as per her tenancy we could and did. While we were sitting in the car two neighbours came over and said we were in for a shock. She had left the previous friday (into temerary accomodation provided by the LA).

The place is a sh!t hole. Bare wires hanging were light fittings should be, external air vents missing, dirt, rubbish, broken furniture (and condoms!!!) all over the house and garden. Carpets totaly ruined dirt and greese over the walls. The burgler alarm system has been ripped out and along with the fridge freezer and washing machine we now no longer have a lawn mower. We can't turn the water on as when she stole the washing machine she just turned the water off and pulled it out!!! The garden if full of disgarded cr@p and fence pannels down.

There is over £700 of debt on the electric meter and god knows how much on the gas.

We don't know where she has gone and the LA won't tell us so we have diddlies of recouping the cost of the clean up.

Other than WHY do some people behave like this, I don't have a question I just wanted to vent. Sorry

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Oh Cassa that sounds a nightmare situation, I have been a private tenant for 36 years and would never in my wildest dreams act that way.
i truly think that some people have the absolute inability to put themselves into someone elses shoes ever. She probably sees you as a rich bitch who can afford property and stuff, therefore why would it inconvenience you too much to have to buy new stuff or clear up her mess? She probably can never see herself in your situation, so wouldn't have a scooby how it might feel That's if she thought at all!
Shame we don't have Judge judy in this country - i'd advise you to take pictures and keep receipts in case you can ever catch up with her
shame and I can just imagine how you feel - end of the line is, most people (in my experience) are absolutely fine - you've just been unlucky to have one of the other sort. Good luck with sorting out the mess.
Terrible for you. Disgusting creatures - some people. The house opposite me is privately rented and the landlord has just had work done there. Must have cost him thousands of pounds. Makes you wonder if it is worth it. But how do you assess what people are like until they move in and live there? An impossibility I reckon. You just have to take a chance.
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It is so frustraiting. Not all landlords are mean capitalists getting rich off the backs of the 'poor dissplaced homelss'.

Some of us just have one place to help invest a little for our retirement. I am not going to get on my soap box about some people today not striving for anything and just expecting it to be given on a plate. I would be here all day lol

But thank you everyone for your kind thoughts.
I too am a landlord and, while for me things have never been as bad as you describe, I can easily imagine your feelings - almost certainly first and foremost of betrayal. My worst experience is of a tenant's son playing football in the long corridor and the ball being kicked into a 130 years old stained glass window - he then absconded minus a month's rent with lots of repairs and replacement required, not to mention cleaning as well. It is quite astonishing how dirty people leave a rented place in (put in a clause that the place is to be thoroughly clean at the end) and it makes you wonder what the average British person is like. We take a two months rent deposit and have given the tenant interest on that but that will stop (see below). The first thing I would suggest is that you do not rent with any equipment at all (you are required to maintain it) and perhaps no furniture either. Presumably your let property is some fair distance away from your home (mine/ours is not) so, especially following this experience, it is advisable to arrange a periodic visit (ensure the contract includes this) whereby you can see what things are like. As for utilities, I sincerely hope you ensured that the contract placed responsibility on the tenant for signing up - you only carry the responsibility while there is no tenant in the property, and you need to inform the supplier(s) when someone moves out and again when someone moves in (watch out for standing charge tariffs - avoid) in order to be clear of responsibility for the tenant's consumption. Clearly you will have considerations regarding the law on furnished/unfiurnished lets and regulations that affect you in general. In my locality it is required that landlords register and pay a fee (or be fined, leading to worse if ignored) and that is supposed to ensure that landlords are fit and proper. There is a law coming in whereby the tenant's deposit is to be placed into an out-of-reach account operated by a semi-government scheme. These things are said to have been necessitated by bad landlords' behaviour (they certainly exist) but I am unaware of any effective measures being put in place to deal with bad tenants such as yours and ours. The effect seems likely to be a steady increase in rent levels to cover the potential risks - the government will face a conflict of interests, higher rents bring in higher taxes (taxation of the poorer through this set-up, for they are the ones who pay - unless the rent is covered through benefits, nonsense). People like me may decide not to rent if it gets too bad (you yourself must wonder). However, I did eventually catch up with the "window tenant" but he simply said he would "be in touch" - nothing. He knows our only recourse is court action, an unpalatable choice because the courts are as likely to be useless (from our point of view) as being effective in restoring a balance, quite apart from their simply being a very last resort option - courts are a very unpleasant process. The advice you have been given of establishing a record is good - that is what we have always done. Commiserations.
Firstly... I feel sorry for you and the way you've been treated by these tenants...

But, You do not have the right to just walk into the house without the express permission of the tenant, regardless of what it says in the agreement, even if there is a clause in the agreement stating you can it is not a legal or enforceable clause. although in this instance nothing will come of it due to the situation if you get any more tenants in do not ever just let yourself into the property as you could find yourself in trouble with the law.
My daughter used to own a flat which was rented out, and she found out that the place was basically being used as a brothel. The tenant had gone and there was a right mess left, and furnishings gone. She found a list of telephone calls received and made, and it was a huge list. The tenant had also had lots of keys cut so that people could let themselves in and out, as they did whilst my daughter was there once, and she was asked who exactly she was! The first thing done was to change the lock in the front door.

Thereafter, after having problems getting compensation from the tenant, whose father actually paid the deposit, she took out a private summons through the local court, and before it actually went to court, a payment was made to her, covering all costs.

She sold the flat very soon after.
That's awful! I hope there was a deposit you can use to cover some of the costs.

It's people like her that make people wary of tenants. I've been privately renting for years and have always treated every house as my own home and in return I've found (except for one) that I get treated well by the landlords. I'm not sure why anyone would want to leave any house in that state, or even live in their own mess like that.
She has stolen property so you must involve the police & make sure you get a crime number. They might (with a lot of luck!) be able to get the local authority to let them know where she is so they can investigate the theft properly.

I assume the gas & electric were in her name so you have no liability at all for those debts. Make sure you take meter readings & get the accounts altered to your name as from the date the tenancy ended.

All decent tenancy agreements give the landlord - or agent - the right to inspect the property, normally after giving 24 hours notice. What has happened to you indicates it is always a good idea to make such inspections quite frequently, at least until you are satisfied the tenant is acting responsibly.
Oh no, you poor thing. Can you not take legal action against them? I live in rented digs myself and would never behave like that.

Can any other ABers help out here? This sounds very serious.
Very sad situation for you!........but when you rent a property out then it's the chance you take!..........hope you have a deposit that will cover your losses!.......
I'm with themas, she has stolen property so involve the police, I'm sure they can track her down. What an awful experience, I hope you get the chance to get some recompense although it's often not the case in these kinds of situations. It's a shame they can't put some more provisions in place protecing landlords the way they do for tenants. I used to manage some properties for a former landlord of mine and it can be a minefield.

Make sure you make full notes and take plenty of photographs and get quotes/receipts for all costs incurred in putting things right in case she can be traced.
1. List the contents Stolen with as much info as poss, incl serials/model nos. if poss..
2. Report to Police ASAP
3. They will find her if a genuine complaint.
Just another thought, did you have any kind of landlord's (or other appropriate) insurance on the property you could claim on for anything?
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Thank you everyone for your kind words.

We went there today to start the clean up operation. 4 hours and we got the sitting room and hall cleared and at least clean and half the kitchen cleaned. The builder couldn't get there because of traffic so unfortunately will have to wait till friday to get the locks changed.

We are going to have to hire a skip to get rid of the rubbish and stuff left behind.

She owes hundreds of pounds to every utility catalouge and service provider going back a couple of years has debt collectors coming out of her ears, even a court appearance today!!! and one last week for not having a tv liceince (she left all her post strewn about).

The one ray of sunshine was that a neighbour popped over with her new address :) That person is going to be getting a bottle of wine from me.

I think a few letters going out to her debtors is in order :) :)
Well done that neighbour. That should be very good in finding her when you issue with a summons. I think that you should tell the Police as that is what they are there for.
The police won't want to know!.........civil matter!..........you'll have to persue her through the courts privately!...........and if she has nothing, you'll get nothing sadly!........
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We are resigned to not getting our money back but will make it as difficult as possible for her by letting her debtors know where she is :)

I think I will buy the neighbour a good bottle of wine.
welshlib is wrong. She has stolen some of your goods. That is a criminal matter - not civil. You really should involve the police.

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