Female tenants and accusations of sexual assault

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Hi all- my husband and I are both landlords although I am part time and my husband is full time. He is a very caring man and if anything a bit too soft with his tenants.

He recently had a case where a young lady lost her job and rather than terminating her contract he allowed her to stay in the house (its a HMO) until she found another job. During this period she stacked up a lot of unpaid rent. She did get another job but was left owing a lot of money.

Another tenant (who has best friends with the female involved) only paid in cash and had an arrangement with my husband that he could enter the room to collect the cash he left for him in a drawer. One evening when he did this, unknown to him there was what appeared to be an unconscious body in the bed which he touched to check if whoever was alive. Howevr in retrospect it now appears this was the girl from downstairs hiding from my husband in her friends room because she was avoiding paying him rent.

She later did a moonlight flit, after stealing quite a few things and causing lots of damage. She now claims she was naked in bed and my husband sexually assualted her - which of course is a very serious accusation. My husband is very protective to his female tenants, but he has left himself in a tricky position.

Yes he has no right to enter a room without permission, but he was collected rent from the room and he had no idea a naked woman was in the bed. This could be a really tricky situation for male landlords and we wondered if anyone else had any advise.

I guess she is the one who looks to be in the wrong. We have reported the thefts to the police and she is hitting back - but it is a tricky area.

22/12/2010 00:00

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