Beware Tenants Deliberately Damaging Property

A ban on evictions when there are repair issues which was introduced 1 October 2015, is subject to abuse when tenants deliberately damage a property in order to avoid being evicted.

Recent research* highlighted that one in ten tenants admitted to causing over £500 worth of damage to their rented property. Further stats from the TDS highlight that damage to property now accounts for 56% of deposit disputes, up 17% over the last five years (2010 -39%).

Landlords are strongly encouraged to make regular checks on their rental properties and handle tenant’s complaints regarding maintenance or damage, quickly and efficiently. If there is ever any suspicion that the damage is intentional to avoid eviction, the landlord should seek legal advice.

The new legislation, which came into force on the 1 October 2015, means that landlords who have failed to assess a legitimate repairs request will not be able to use the Section 21 procedure to regain possession of their property.

Asked to comment on the issue, Tom Entwistle editor of LandlordZONE® said: “We saw this coming some time ago when this legislation was passing. Several industry experts warned the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP of... the dangers in this, but to no avail. I see this becoming a major problem for landlords in the near future.

“I’m calling this, the reverse side of the coin to retaliatory eviction,“retaliatory dominion” – a reaction from non-paying tenants to calls for overdue rent payments, which in effect says, “This is my domain and I’m staying put – never mind the fact I don’t pay rent”.

“Dealing with the problem could be a nightmarish issue as proving how damage was caused will be extremely difficult if not impossible, and getting repairs done with an unwilling and uncooperative occupant could be even worse."


Article courtesy of LandlordZONE

* research


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