Glass Of Wine/Beer Required.-The Final Chapter
The moment you have all been waiting for with baited breathe!
As some of you are aware I had really stupidly went into this letting minefield with my eyes wide open and presumed that like me, that everyone one as one agenda and that is too have a roof over your head and negotiate and work out any problems as all adults should do?
A private tenant with a son moved into my investment property! and she made it her home. She regularly made her payment for her rent more or less on time and we were both satisfied with the situation.
She then got back together with the father of her child, who had no job and so she got pregnant and went onto benefits. He of course was not living there, when politely asked but somehow appeared on the electoral role as residing there?
I waited for the benefit money to come through and received my usual monies until the discretionary grant payment stopped and so did my top up payment.
She started asking for a council house.
My/her house then ended up full of clothes, toys, cardboard boxes and god knows what else in every room, shoved against the walls, under the stairs and in cupboards. There was constant washing up/food debris in the kitchen. Trust me on this you did not have a cup of tea/coffee there.
She got behind with her rent and so I issued her with a section 21 for the whole of one month (as directed to do so by Dave) and so she went to the local LAW CENTRE for the unemployed. (Those of you that do not know, my admin skills were ropey to say the least and I was being held over a barrel for my mistakes.)
They said they would not contest the section 21, as this would help them with their case for a council house.
However guess what? They did .As he wanted ‘his day in court’ and to make an example of me. (Really nice man!)
They then sent me numerous letters over the state of repairs to the property which where minor. New bathroom flooring, cupboard doors falling off, but the boiler was playing up.
I asked a local plumber to investigate and he said that it was all running well when he left but if a) she did not put the heating on b) she kept running out of gas then it would affected the boilers efficiency.
She tidied the house up and got the Environmental Health involved saying that it had rising damp? (I wonder who advised her to do this?)
I went and got a local lawyer.
I also went down to speak to the environmental health officer and explained all that had gone on and explained about the boxes that had
been situated next to the offending wall for a year.
He agreed and told me he would keep me informed.
He went to the property and said that in his opinion it did have rising damp as it had a tidemark, but the rest was condensation. Although he did not take his water meter.He said that she really wnated a council house and I asked why was she contesting the section 21 notice then.( His jaw hit the ground.)
I employed a damp specialist that gave me a report saying that this was not true and that it was mostly due to condensation but the offending wall could be damp because next doors chimney flashing was missing. He also gave quick fixes for the condensation issues.
In the meantime I had spoken to my lawyer and told her that they knew she could not afford the house as the bailiffs had been round and the council were taking her to court due to her not paying her rates.
I asked could we do mediation around the table as they had me jumping through hoops and to put the ball in their court as to what they wanted us to do. I said I would give her a new tenancy for six months if that were what they were after.
They knew this would put her back down the housing list and so they declined and we agreed for a two month tenancy with me then giving her another section 21 which would be valid and agreed by both parties.
She was then given a council house and gave me two weeks notice. I received a letter from the council saying that my money would be stopped on the 7th of that month.
I received an additional cheque and so I put it in my bank account as I thought it was my months notice money. (The council are allowed to pay it for them.)
When I went for my top up money I was greeted by three people asking for money back as I had received a cheque, which should have been theirs? They needed the money for decorating and carpeting for their new house as their child could not go into a home unless this was completed.
She had managed to claim for the top up money that she gave me and it was backdated till April hence the extra cheque, but as she was in arrears the money came straight to me. (Her lawyer had not seen that one coming!)
I went to the benefits and they told me it was my money and that she had signed for a house and that they should actually be in that house not in mine. It was the 16th of the month by then. They had her sign an agreement that said she would be out in three days.
I toughened up and went round and asked who was going to pay my rent whilst she was still in it and I also asked for a date (not that kind) that they would be moving out I had to ask five times.
I explained that I wanted vacant tenancy including all people out, any goods left behind I could dispose of and that all goods left behind where hers and a sum of money that I was prepared to give her to get shut. I mentioned that the vacant possession clause was part of an agreement with the lawyers.
She asked could she have the deposit in cash.
The father of her children, that did not live there, then asked for the deposit back that night, as they needed to buy carpets and their child was poorly and so they could not move in the house without it and so there could be a potential problem.
Nothing in that house had been packed as they were decorating the new place.
I said I was sorry, but I could not do this .I would give cash when the house was empty.
The father stormed off and was pacing up and down the back.
I asked my tenant was there going to be a problem as we had respected one another and we did not used to have any problem sorting out any issue’s that occurred.
She signed an agreement saying that she would go and I tagged on to the agreement the comments of her partner and she signed for the leaving date and time.
We agreed to late evening as she had an awful lot of work to do.
I rang Dave and my lawyer. They both said do not expect her to leave yet.
How can she get benefits on both houses? Guess who was going to lose out again or worse she could move out and leave you know whom behind.
On the allotted time, I drove to my ‘investment property ‘ with cash in hand.
Yep - she had moved most of her stuff out and was just waiting for a taxi to take the last of her things away. He was nowhere insight .She gave me a bottle of wine a hug and a kiss and off she went.
I gave her the cash and changed the locks.
Thanks Dave for your advice I would have been lost without it. For the people that moan about the RLA and the advise given. Wait until you need them!
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