Tenant Has Caused Damage To Property – What Are My Rights?

Errr…I came across this rather disturbing video recently – it’s footage of a landlord inspecting his property soon after a tenant had vacated. I can’t seem to find more details about the case, but have a look at the visuals…

I can’t comprehend why anyone would want to let a property get into that kind of condition, unless the landlord allowed a silverback gorilla to pass the tenant applicant screening process.

There must have been some kind of motive there. I’m guessing the motive was “insanity”

Needless to say, I don’t think the security deposit will quite cover it; it’s going to cost an arm, 2 legs and 4 penises to get that place back to any reasonable state. My only question is, how/why did the Landlord not keep on top of this?

Ok, don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for the landlord and I hope he gets everything sorted, however…

Landlords/letting agents are entitled to, and should perform routine quarterly inspections.

What happened here? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s pretty apparent the property in question wasn’t reduced to puddles of urine and rubble on moving out day. That property is clearly the result of months and months of ruthless torture.

On a side note, I’m quite concerned that the landlord touched the boots that were resting on the cooker. He’ll probably need a tetanus shot now. I, personally, wouldn’t have entered the building without a gas mask and rubber gloves.

To think, I was crying like a little bitch a few weeks ago because my tenant broke the front door.

Claiming damages against the tenant

In this particular case, it’s unlikely the landlord will see a dime from the culprit. When someone causes damage to that extent, it’s unlikely they’ll leave behind a contact card. They’re usually gone for good.

However, some landlords have successfully used independent ‘people tracking’ services (just Google it) to hunt down the culprit and then proceeded to file a claim against them.

If your tenant has caused damages, here are a few points…

  • Landlord’s right: Of course, you have the right to claim against any damages caused by your tenant (not to be confused with wear and tear).
  • Tenancy Deposit: the deposit is there to be used against damages. However, be warned, if the tenant denies responsibility for any alleged damages, it will be up to the tenancy deposit scheme that you secured your tenant’s deposit with to decide the fate of your claim. In that case, you will need to prove the tenant caused the damage i.e. this is when property inventories are particular useful.

    If the deposit doesn’t cover the costs of the alleged damages, you can apply to a county court to file a claim for a larger amount.

  • Small claims court: You can apply to a county court to claim money via the GOV website– the entire process can be done online these days.
  • Eviction: if your tenant is still living in the property and you’re displeased with any damages caused, you may have grounds for tenant eviction (if that’s the option you want to take). You can get free legal advice on evictions & problem tenants from here.
  • Legal advice: If you want any further advice on your rights, you may want to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Referencing, Property Inspections & Property Inventories

I can’t emphasise the importance of thorough tenant referencing, regular property inspections and a detailed inventory.

Proper tenant referencing is the best way to avoid disastrous tenants, while routine inspections is the best way to identity, prevent and limit damage, and a detailed inventory will help with any claims.

Out of curiosity, what’s the most damage a tenant has inflicted on your property? What was the outcome?

7 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Jools 19th March, 2009 @ 09:40

Bugger me! Are you sure it was not the check in inventory? Only joking.. and to think that i was unhappy that the flush mechanism from one of my loo's dissapeared recently in a 'mysterious manner'1 I mean how the hell does a screw in, push button flush mechanism get lost? As it was a poncy ROCA suite it cost me best part of £40 for a new button because of course they dont do the button on its own and you then need the new dual flush mechanism to connect it to!

Had a tenant put his elbow through the plasterboard as well. He WAS being evicted by two burly gentlemen at the time and he WAS halfway down the stairs still wrapped up in his duvet when he woke up so maybe he was 'a bit confused'. I hasten to add I knew nothing about this until days after as it was being managed by a letting company who decided to act. Dead funny though! Apparently they dumped him on the pavement outside and then went back in to bring out his belongings. Funnily enough though all the other tenants in the house have paid up in a timely fashion since.

I did catch someone smoking in the kitchen recently despite there being no somking signs everywhere and I had a right hissy fit. I provide the broadband free of charge so I flounced about scooped up all the gear and stropped off moden dragging behind and dropping bits of stuff everywhere. Thinking back it was proabably a bit like John Inman as opposed to Mike Tyson but it made me feel good at the time. Gave it back to them two days later after two of them went to the the letting agents to apologise and they stood there heads bowed and bottom jaws quivering as they had the riot act read at them by me and the agent both trying very hard not to laugh!!

I love this landlord stuff!!

Jools

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Guest Avatar
Dr Nogood 19th March, 2009 @ 19:03

I was all set to laugh at this...but that's just shit! Trashing a landlord's property because they are a fucker is fair enough...doing it because that's how you live is pretty sad...possibly junkies...

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th March, 2009 @ 07:39

Yeah, that's a good point. This looks like the result of "lifestyle" as opposed to revenge. Someone would have been living in those conditions out of choice. It's pretty messed up.

3
Guest Avatar
Belle 10th January, 2012 @ 16:41

I was thinking maybe he deserved a bit of a mess but that is just.. woah.

4
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Stan 23rd January, 2014 @ 20:53

That place looked so badly decorated with a crappy cooker .... the trashing almost improved it imo.

5
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Eleni 24th April, 2016 @ 09:30

The worse damage Iv had to my property was a tenant living filthy and taking bricks out of walls and the walls getting wet with weather and eventually he caused structural damage , he stalked me at my house so I wasn't allowed to go and view my property as police said to stay away , it took two years getting him out , he did all this damage , would phone health and tell them things that weren't true , all to get social housing and rent of 4000 eventually the law changed and I got him out , every wall and every ceiling was damaged

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Graham Barnes 20th February, 2017 @ 18:53

Strange though it may seem, our property was fully managed by a letting agency and the tenant and her a**hole of a son still managed to completely trash the place is broken doors, paint thrown everywhere, blood and "stuff"(say no more !) on the lounge carpet, cooker hood ripped off the wall, toilet blocked, just to name a few of the problems.
By the way, having called out a drain clearing company (at my expense) we discovered that the blocked sewer was due to a woman's vest being flushed down the toilet !
She gave the agency her notice, and then basically did a runner, leaving all of her belongings behind.
On approaching said agency re the damage and compensation to cover the costs etc I was politely informed that they'd contacted the guarantor (her mother who lives in France), who in no uncertain terms said " it's f*** all to do with me, I'm not paying a penny!
Therefore I suggested taking the woman or mother to court to see what they had to say and was told No we don't do that because it'll cost money !
Another point I made was why weren't the quarterly checks carried out, and the response was "well we were busy and forgot" !
Luckily, the agency agreed to pay for carpets, but we, as owners were left to pay for repairs and redecorating.
Not happy at all, and to top it off we're still getting her post, mainly bills I assume and dept collector letters!

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