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Eviction from long tenancy

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This is an area I've never had to deal with in over 10 years of letting properties of my own or managing them for others but here goes.

I manage a property for a friend as a letting agent. Very nice detached chalet bungalow that was stripped out and refitted at a cost of almost 40k to a standard that my friend would live in it. All his properties are the same and very well appointed. We got a tenant who started a 3 year tenancy on an AST (RLA) in early November 2015 and also a guarantor. A couple of weeks after moving in came all the heavy rain and bad weather that flooded the rear garden in less than a day. My friend had laid it to weed control matting and put down bark etc to provide a low maintenance garden. The new tenant mentioned it to me and after speaking to the owner and a couple of landscape gardeners all suggested to leave while the bad weather took hold and revisit it once it had subsided. In the meantime I went to the property and forked the weed matting to see if it helped which it didn't appear to do.

Jump forward to about mid January 2016 when the worst of the weather had subsided and we could at least take a look at it and try and figure it out. More bad weather ensued until at last we got to it again at the beginning of March. We pulled most of the weed matting back and turned over/loosened some of the underlying soil and which within about 2 days made the remaining water go away, but it still left it mushy and obviously in need of drainage works. My friend had never seen it flood even a year ago prior to getting it ready for letting to the previous tenant. He asked me to get 3 quotes as he realised it may cost a reasonable sum to correct the issue. As usual I've been ringing quite a few and found that these people just never phone back or when they say they will, or even that they'll call the tenant, they still don't. So far 4 weeks down the line I've managed to get 1 contractor to take a look and I still haven't got his quote yet.

Next, we get mice. Not many but at least 6 or so of them. She goes hysterical over it and her mother calls me shouting down the phone asking what the landlord is going to do about it. I stated that a mouse problem isn't necessarily a landlord issue considering she's been at the house now for over 4 months to which I received a barrage of foul abusive language. I mentioned that it may or may not be a building issue and could also be a result of leaving doors open etc. Turns out next door has chickens which doesn't help. The mother slams the phone down before I get to reply so I call her back and she doesn't answer. I sent her a text stating that I'll get a pest controller to visit and that she shouldn't do it herself otherwise she may be liable for full payment etc. She took no notice of my text allegedly and had 3 controllers quote 500, 150 and 39. She chose the 150 man. A couple of friends are ex-council pest controllers and had quoted me 60 for 2 visits etc.

In the meantime, the tenant starts looking on Google about mice and starts to rant about where they've come from and how its the landlords fault and that she wants her 150 back. She has just held her rent back for the first time and still hasn't paid it 7 days later and all the time texting me demands and blaming the garden bark and semi-flooded/dried out garden. I conveyed my friends request and asked her to pay the rent in full. Last week she was mostly blaming the neighbours with the chickens. The rent hasn't been paid as of this evening and my friend has stated that if she doesn't pay the rent in full by 4pm tomorrow then he wants me to serve her notice and that he'll sell it.

This is the bit I've never done before as I always do the usual 6 month minimum AST and normally go periodic or no more than another 6 month AST at a time. Apart from my long story to paint the picture and the reason why she hasn't paid her rent, would any of you like to offer any advice of the best way forward? My friend won't stand for being dictated to and to be very honest, she's turned out to be a pain in the ass over a couple of other unrelated issues. I get the impression sometimes that I'm supposed to wait on her hand and foot sometimes!!
06/04/2016 22:36

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