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Unlucky Accidental Landlord Suffers £20k Damage from First Tenant

There are plenty of accidental landlords who rent their former homes out to make some extra money. Most of the time, things go according to plan and there is nothing to worry about, but occasionally landlords can run into problems. This is precisely what happened to one unfortunate landlady.

Accidental Landlord

The landlady in question decided to let her former home when she moved in with a new partner. She knew the tenant’s mum, so she had no qualms about letting the tenant move in, with his mother acting as guarantor. In the beginning, everything was OK, but she soon began to receive complaints from the neighbours.

“Then things started to escalate. Neighbours told me about all sorts of things going on in the house – drugs, fighting, cars always coming and going, people going in and out at all hours,” she said.

“There were police raids as well as loud music, banging, shouting and screaming inside the property.”

The landlady sought help from the police, but they directed her back to the local authority’s housing department, saying antisocial behaviour was a civil problem.

Neighbours Continued to Complain

Meanwhile, the neighbours continued to struggle with the tenant.

“It was an absolute nightmare,” said one. “I virtually had a nervous breakdown. He absolutely wreaked havoc.”

The neighbours called the police multiple times to report drug misuse, but although the tenant was arrested on more than one occasion, problems continued unabated.

Eviction Proceedings

The landlady started court proceedings in an attempt to evict the tenant, but it took her six months and several thousand pounds to obtain possession. Once she was able to access the property it became evident that the tenant had caused a lot of damage.

Walls and doors were broken and had holes in them. There was graffiti on the living room wall, along with crude drawings. There was abandoned drug paraphernalia and the whole place was filthy and damp.

It has cost the landlady £20k to put the house back together. “I will still be paying the loan off when I retire,” she said.

Not Enough Help from the Police and Local Authority Housing Department

She blames the police and council for not helping her evict the tenant sooner. “Why was he allowed to flout the law? I gave the police all the information, but nothing was done.”

The police claim they did all they could but when they raided the house, they didn’t find enough evidence to secure a conviction. The council said they provided support to the landlady and discussed the various options with her.

A Lack of Support for Landlords

Nevertheless, the landlady remains disappointed at the lack of support for landlords dealing with a problem tenant.

“The system needs to be shaken up. People always talk about nightmare landlords, but it needs to be highlighted that this is what can happen to good landlords.”

Has anything like this happened to you? Have you had issues with a problem tenant? Tell us more below or reach out on social media.

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