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My tenants, having been in arrears and failing after many requests and with lots of different stories to clear masses of their rubbish out of the front garden, are now not communicating with me at all. I have requested to view the inside of the property (the firm who did a recent gas-check were appalled at the state, cats' pee etc). An irate text from tenants has, however, told me that I can only communicate with them by Recorded Delivery mail - however, I assume they can always ignore the postman's knock!

I have delivered by hand a request, with 48 hrs notice, to inspect the property (they have been in longer than 6 months) and today arrived at the time specified, to find as usual no reply to my knock, all blinds down, a video camera rigged up at the window, and the Yale lock deadlocked from the inside. In other words they are in, but refusing my entry.

I have been told that as a landlord I am "too soft" - do not require a deposit, and can be very flexible with arrears if tenants are upfront, honest and communicate with me. These people seem to be behaving in a different spirit, to have no respect for me as landlord or for my property, and to be both paranoid and litigious.

My priority is to have them leave, at this point, on almost any terms (though I wouldn't tell them that) so that I can get in some decent new tenants, of which there is no lack in my area.

My plan at present is to leave them be for a week or so in order to let sanity prevail if it will - and then to look for and offer some form of arbitration. At present we have no dialogue and they have "shut up shop", after warning me against "harrassment".

Suggestions please?

14/07/2008 00:00

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