Troublesome Tenant accusations of theft of electricity
Where do I begin...
My wife joined this site a couple of days ago on my behalf and posted an enquiry, however there is some information she has omitted from the enquiry.
The situation is this...
We have a 3-4 bedroom property. Myself and my wife with our children moved to away to study at University. Rather than leave the property empty we made the decision to rent out the property to a friend of ours, everything was fine for nearly 7 months however the relationship broke down and we asked them to leave. They left.
We then thought it might be an idea to rent out the property to someone we don't know and did not have a personal relationship as friends with, instead keep it more formal and professional. After all it is not worth the property being sat empty.
So we rented out the property after advertising it on online we sourced a tenancy agreement from the internet and did a fair bit of research at the time to ensure there were no unfair terms in the agreement.
The tenancy was fine, the tenants worked and they looked after their obligations until they moved out, we then went back to online and rented out again, these tenants started off absolutely fine, both worked, and the neighbours informed us that even though there were a few initial complaints with their children climbing trees and going into their gardens after being told that wasn't acceptable they apologised and everything went great for the best part of a year and a half, we then started getting irregular rent payments, it would be late a couple of days, or sometimes up to 2 weeks late, we were then asked one month to use the deposit as a rent payment to help them out as one of them had lost their job, we were happy with the tenants and we didn't know better so we duly obliged used the deposit as rent (non protected this was in 2014).
We then were told via text message a few weeks later that they were leaving the house and have found somewhere else to live, we were disappointed as up until that point they were seen to be, at least from our stand point "good tenants", but we told them that we wished them good luck with their new home and we'd be at the property to hand over keys etc on a given date. (can't remember what the date was now)
The tenants had contacted someone they knew through Facebook who was interested in renting out the property which we thought, great! we don't have to advertise etc....
When we arrived at the property to do somewhat of an exit inspection and to see if there was anything that needed doing etc... it was a Saturday and the "new tenant" (our current tenant) was due to move in on the Monday.
It became clear that upon entering the property that the exiting tenants had done somewhat of a moonlight flit, they had left rubbish in cupboards, dog foul in drawers, and cupboards, broken furniture in rooms, mouldy food on cupboards.... the place was a tip.
I said to my wife there is NO WAY the new tenant can move in with the property in this condition... So my wife contacted the new tenant and said that there would be an issue and the previous tenants had left the place a real mess, so the new tenant offered to come and look at the place.
We proceeded to clean and clear, and by the end of the first day the place was again tidy , but not near clean enough in my opinion however the new tenant said it was absolutely fine and it wasn't our fault the previous tenant had done this to the property and that they would be creating mess anyway whilst moving in so it is fine and they would move in as planned on the Monday.
Whilst we were there we also tested all the fire alarms, put fire extinguishers upstairs and down stairs, installed a fire blanket in the kitchen, and CO2 detector in the living room where the multifuel stove was.
We were made aware of these requirements from our current landlord for the property we were renting in where we were living, a lovely man and very friendly, could talk for hours bless him. So we wanted to make sure that these things were taken care of. (Oct 2015)