Misuse of House

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I have a serious problem with six student tenants, all 19yr old 2nd year girls. They complained of tiny plaster mites and dampness in 2 bedrooms. This complaint sounded bad. I knew that the house had always been structurally bone-dry and in good repair. I was there in less than 24hrs to investigate. I went there twice two days later to check everything. I also phoned the following morning to check. The Pest Control Officer had also called there. He had given them exactly the same instructions as I had, namely, to open the top windows regularly and put the heating provided on. They refused to do either.

The house has wall-mounted powerful balanced-flue sealed gas heaters in every room. They did not want to use them because they "did not like gas". Instead, they used their own small useless electric oil-filled radiators, free standing amidst their rubbish. This was contrary to the tenancy agreement stating not to use fires or heaters of any sort except the gas heating installed. I reminded them of this.

I told them not to dry their wet laundry in their bedrooms and corridors, but to use the Washer-Dryer provided. They again ignored me and continued as before. What does a 68 yr old landlord do with six teenage girls who think they know it all?

These visits, checks, and phone calls gave them the precise actions they were expected to follow. It was up to them now to phone me if the outcome was not satisfactory. I did not hear from them and I thought that was the end of the matter.

However, nine days after my last phonecall to them, all six girls had secretly moved out of the house into Halls. This was unkown to me and without any Notice of their intentions to vacate the house. Indeed, the first I knew of this was three days after they had gone away to their old Hall of Residence [more fun there?]. This was by a letter sent by the solicitor father of one of the girls, postmarked after they had vacated the house. It was delivered by 2nd class mail!

When I recieved this suprising letter, I immediately went to the house, but there were no plaster mites anywhere.

I phoned the agreed House Representative and told her I would be able to re-let the house and refund all the rents from the date of re-letting. I asked her to leave all the keys on the Hall shelf immediately, together with a written note stating that they wanted to terminate the tenancy. No problem, so I thought.

Fifteen days later,and still no keys. Then I recieved a different Solicitors' letter stating they wanted full refunds of all of this term's rents, paid from the date they [secretly] moved out of the house. They have not returned any of the house keys and there is evidence that they[?] are still visiting it, eg., chairs moved, kitchen used, window top vents closed.

Surely, these Solicitors cannot be legally right. As a landlord, I feel that the situation is now out of control. It could involve some serious dangers involving public liabilities and malicious damage to my property. I feel this is bullying by student teenagers reading Psychology and Criminology of a landlord who has always gone out of his way to please them, and all his student tenants for the past fifteen years. Please advice.

17/02/2007 00:00

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