The introduction of the so called retaliation eviction legislation in October 2015 may have opened up a way of allowing tenants to avoid being evicted according to a report on landlordzone.co.uk.
The recent research carried out by the online letting agent, PropertyLetByUs, indicates that 10% of tenants surveyed admitted to deliberately causing damage to a rented property in order to evade being evicted.
The article also states that statistics from The Deposit Scheme (TDS) shows damage to property now equates to 56 percent of all deposit disputes, up 17 percent from just 39 percent in 2010
Editor of LandlordZONE®, Mr Tom Entwhistle called the situation “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”. Adding that this could become “a major problem for landlords in the near future” and that “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.”
Managing director of PropertyLetByUs.com, Jane Morris, said that “While in principle the legislation is a good move, ensuring that landlords don’t evict tenants because of a genuine disrepair issue, it is open to dishonest tenants bending the law to avoid eviction” She went on to remind landlords that they “need to ensure that they make regular checks on their properties and handle tenant’s complaints about damage, quickly and efficiently. If landlords are suspicious that the damage is intentional to avoid eviction, they should consult legal advice.”
Before any tenants move in it is advisable to always undertake rigorous tenant reference checks and a full inventory of your property. Check out our inventory information in our landlords tips and guides section and read our earlier blog about the shortfalls of digital inventories. Click4quote.com can also include malicious damage by tenants plus legal expenses, rent recovery and rent guarantee with its landlords insurance so why not get a quote online today. #WhyTakesRisks