Owing a rental property in London allures everyone as it is an additional income, but maintaining the property is not a simple task. As a landlord, you will be always concerned with taking care of your property. Finding good tenants is also a task, who takes care of the property as their own. But, what if you got bad tenants who destroy your rental property.
Rentals London properties are governed by the Assured Short hold Tenancy. Here are the rights and duties of tenants and what landlords can do if the damage is done to the property.
It is the duty of tenant to keep landlord updated about the status of the property. Tenants should report landlord about any damage done to furniture or fixtures. The tenancy agreement should have all information about how to entertain such damages regarding repairs and payment. The agreement may specify certain repairs to be done by the tenant and some may not. Both parties have to follow the agreement in order to claim a breach.
Still, many times tenants refuse to make payments; even they do not update about any damage to the landlord. In fact, tenants destroy the property. No landlord wants any damage done to the property. It is the biggest nightmare for any landlord to get to know that his property has been damaged by the tenant. The Landlord can deduct the amount from the security deposit, can sue the tenant, and can evict the property, depending upon case to case and tenancy agreement.
Firstly, it is important to understand the nature of the damage. Is it done by the tenant or is it just due to normal wear and tear. For example, wall paint may fade away as the time passes; floor carpet may start looking shabby; leakage in taps or pipes, in these cases you can deduct amount from the security deposit or cannot force the tenant to pay for such damages. Landlords are responsible in case of any urgent repair is needed in the property without which tenant cannot live in the property. Such as, gas leak, serious flooding, dangerous electric short circuit or any other instance which makes home unsafe to live.
But, on the other hand if the damage has been done intentionally to the property or due to usage of any item then the landlord has a right to take compensation from the tenant. You can deduct the amount of the damage from the security deposit. Further, if the amount of damage caused is larger and cannot be corrected with the security deposit amount, then you can file a claim.
Destruction of the rental property is the criminal act for which landlord can call police. In case of serious damage, as a landlord, you have a right to evict the tenant for breach of contract but you should take legal advice before doing so. Eviction may proceed after receiving court order. The Court issues the order for eviction after scrutinizing all the proofs submitted by the landlord such as rent receipts showing rent not paid, pictures or videos of destruction done to the property.
Before starting any court proceedings, it is always good to consult a lawyer. Take legal advice regarding damage or destruction done to the property. Lawyers are best to represent civil cases and can prepare all related documents to present in the court.
There are certain precautionary steps which you can take in order to avoid these types of issues in the future. Right from the start of tenancy, keep records of everything. Make a note of all inventories along with its status in front of the tenant. It may contain all items names, number of items, and their current condition and so on. Clearly specify all clauses, rights and duties related to the tenancy in the tenancy agreement and get it signed by the tenant too.
To minimize the chances of going to court for the destruction of the property, make things clear in the agreement regarding damage done to the property as to who will pay for it, when a claim needs to be filed, or when amount needs to be deducted from the security deposit.