Most landlords take the necessary action and put the appropriate measures in place to prevent possible issues arising with their tenants, but even with the best preparation and protection in place, a landlord can find themselves in an unfortunate position of having to seek advice on a stressful tenancy issue which is costing them time and money. Take a look below at our Tenant 101 – Part 2 – and if you haven’t already, you can read Part 1 here.
My tenants have reported me to the local council, but I don’t feel I have done anything wrong.
Although strictly-speaking landlords aren’t regulated by a central body, they do have to answer to the local authorities, who will investigate and in some cases prosecute on behalf of disgruntled tenants where there is evidence they have been treated unfavourably and illegally. If you have been reported, then you must take this seriously, as the consequences can be expensive in more ways than one. Even if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong, you should review the events in question with an impartial body (preferably someone experienced in the field, such as a solicitor or lettings agent) who will then be able to advise you on the next steps to take. You will need to be very honest with them, providing as much information as you possibly can, even if you are not sure whether it is relevant. In return, they will be honest with you and tell you whether you may be lawfully accused of wrongdoing or whether you are in a position to dispute the allegations made against you.
My tenant has up and left without warning. What now?
If you have enlisted specialist services in securing the tenant in question, then you should have detailed paperwork and background check information which will now act as your collateral and valuable tool in locating and resolving any outstanding issues with the tenant. If they have left without providing warning or notice, it’s unlikely that they have left the agreed rent for you either – so aside from anything else, this is a debt collection matter. If you have the correct legal paperwork and know where the tenant is currently residing, you can pass this on to the courts which will then take care of the rest for you.
However without the correct paperwork, or with no knowledge of where your tenant may have got to, you may find it tricky to recover any money owed and it may not be worth the initial outlay of debt collectors, court judgements and private investigators for the sake of one month’s rent.
In either situation, you can enlist the help of a lettings agent to fill the space swiftly, so you hardly notice the tenant left in the first place. At Property Man, we have plenty of experience in filling vacant properties for new landlords and landlords whose previous tenants have absconded. In most cases, we can help fill the space quickly, whilst helping to find a resolution to any outstanding debt or rent owing from previous tenants.
My tenants have caused a lot of damage to the property – they deny it was them and say it was criminal damage caused by a neighbour. What are my options?
Even the quietest, most seemingly trustworthy tenants can sometimes pose problems. Often when damage is caused to a property, people like to play the ‘blame game’ and place the onus on someone else to pay for the damages. If you have set up the tenancy with the help of a lettings agent, you should have a legal document signed by the tenant which renders them responsible for any damage caused to the property whilst they are living in it – no matter how it was caused or who by, within reason. If not, then you may have to investigate further, perhaps by offering to speak to the neighbour in question. If it really is criminal damage, then the police should have been notified – if they haven’t, this is usually a sure sign that their tale is less than truthful. If they can’t give names and aren’t keen for you to investigate further or ask questions then this should be a warning sign – in this case you may find you have to absorb the cost of the damage if you aren’t covered legally. Once again, if all documentation has been properly drafted and signed as soon as the tenant is due to move in, you’re legally protected.
For more information on how you can deal with tenancy issues and protect yourself from experiencing nightmare issues with tenants, take a look at our Services page here or drop us a line with a question or enquiry via our contact page. .