What Are Your Rights If a Tenant Damages the Property?
Running a property rental business has plenty of positives. Still, it also comes with its share of negatives, and this is what puts plenty of potential landlords off the idea of renting properties. However, those that do follow their property management dream (or nightmare) should understand their rights, and there is nothing more dubious than your rights after a tenant has damaged the property.
Is It Wear and Tear?
Wear and tear versus damage is the very first thing you must consider when it comes to damage to the property. This will be based on several things, including the age of the property, and the number of occupants.
As everything has a certain shelflife, it’s worth considering how this wear and tear happened. You can ask the tenant, and they might tell you the truth, but landlords can typically tell whether or not their tenant is honest. Often, there is little you can do in the way of wear and tear. It’s just something that comes with property management.
Tenants don’t like losing their deposit, and this is usually the way that moderate to severe damages are dealt with. However, the tenant can also claim they are not responsible for such problems, generally claiming that it was always like this. Even if you know it’s false, it can be challenging to prove.
The only way around this is to look into the tenancy deposit scheme and the policies around using the deposit to repair damages. If you have inventories regarding the condition of the property beforehand, these can come in handy for cementing your case.
No landlord wants to evict their tenant. It causes problems for them, and it causes problems for you. However, sometimes it has to be done, whether because of excessive damage and disrespect, noise complaints, or a combination of all the bad things you might encounter with a Tenant from Hell.
Eviction isn’t as easy as posting a letter through their door, though. You need to follow the correct procedures, such as bringing bailiffs and local locksmiths to change the locks and prevent future entry. It is an extreme option, but often one that is the only possibility when a tenant’s residency becomes untenable.
If the tenant still refuses to pay you, then there is the option to go through the small claims court. However, you should be aware that this is not always successful, and you may end up paying a lot of money, including court fees and even bailiff costs all for nothing.
With small claims, you and the tenant will be required to produce a statement and appear at the magistrates to explain the situation. From there, the official will make a decision. If they rule in your favour, the tenant will have fourteen days to pay from the date of the ruling.
Knowing Where You Stand
No landlord wants to deal with bad tenants, and most of the time, this won’t be an issue. However, there will always be bad apples, especially in the property management business, so it’s vital to know your rights before getting involved in the industry, so you know you’re prepared.