Most landlords are extremely wary when it comes to choosing which tenants live in their properties, mainly due to the fact that if the tenants fail to pay rent or damage the property they would have to rely on their landlord insurance in order to pay for damages or lost income. One landlord in Grimsby found this out the hard way after the tenants in one of his properties failed to pay him £1,200 in rent, and after they were evicted he found that they had left the property in what he termed a “disgusting” state.
Seventy-six year old Anthony Thomas has owned the property in Buller Street, Grimbsy, for the past eight years, and before these tenants moved in he said that he never had any problems. Unfortunately, in July 2011 he took on the new tenants and after they consistently failed to pay rent Mr Thomas he had no choice but to evict them. After they had left he went to look at the property and it was in such a bad state that he actually wrote to the Telegraph in order to warn other landlords. He said that he found used needles and a bottle of methadone in the house, and that a few days after the tenants had been evicted there was a break-in at the property.
Mr Thomas said: “The house was perfect when they moved in. Following the break-in, the police came round and had to hold their noses because the smell was so bad. There are bags of human excrement thrown all over the place and stuck in the drains. There is drug paraphernalia all over the house that needs disposing of. It would cost thousands to get the house back to a habitable state; I can’t afford it and I fear I don’t have a choice but to leave it in the state it is. I have taken up the stair carpet because it was covered in dog muck, but I just don’t have the heart to do it anymore. It is disgusting. I have considered selling the house, but no one will buy it like this.”
The National Landlords Association has warned landlords that there are precautions they should take before letting a property to tenants, with Chris Smith from the Association saying: “When taking on a new tenant the landlord is taking on a risk, so it is important to be satisfied that appropriate tenant checks have been carried out before granting a tenancy. Finding the right tenant is not an exact science, but a variety of tools are available, such as referencing, identity checks and credit checks, to help the landlord make an informed decision about prospective tenants.”