tenancy dispute (i'm the landlord) - advice needed

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.
Post Reply
User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

tenancy dispute (i'm the landlord) - advice needed

Post by taxico » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 9:47 pm

okay, i'm at my wit's end and before i take further action, i am seeking some opinions here first. i've been known to do stranger things...

my tenant moves into a newly renovated apartment (he's the first person in since a full renovation). Singapore PR. he's the only person on the authorized list of person on contract. we rented it to him below market rate because he's an asian bachelor with a "professional" job.

before he moved in he said his parents would visit occasionally and i said that's okay, because i knew how it felt to be working alone in a different country. he said his girlfriend working in jakarta would come visit sometimes too. i said that isn't a big problem (i mean, since she works, how long can she stay for?).

i told him i spent $800 (on professional cleaners) cleaning the new unit up before he moved in, so i want it cleaned before he returns it to me. he said YUP no problemo!

his girlfriend of very chinese origin came with him the day he moved in. his parents also stayed with him very regularly because his parents takes regular trips to singapore. his girlfriend, which he said works in jakarta, speaks not one word of indonesian (i can speak basic bahasa indonesian). she appeared to me, about as china chinese as it gets.

i do not know her visa status at this point.

when we were still on good terms, he told me he refused to pay his property agent because he thinks it's too much money for too little work. he suckered the realtor into paying the stamp duty on his behhalf also, and of course his realtor was not reimbursed.

my wife wants him out because there are too many people living in one small apartment and at a price that was way below market rate. i don't really care because to me, rental income is rental income. but for my wife's sake, i served him an eviction notice. he and i met the following day and he pointed out to me (he has an external law degree), sentence by sentence, why my eviction notice is useless/invalid.

so i told him why my wife was displeased with him and that's the reason why we wanted him out, and then i said "okay, since the notice is not valid then don't worry about it and continue living here and i'll take care of my wife." it's only 10 more months and we'll NOT renew his lease.

he also explained that he wants to make his girlfriend a permanent part of his life, and that his parents are in singapore 3/4 of the year as they have a business here too... so i told him he should think about how to explain the regular presence of 3 people in his place (ie, throw more money in??!)

anyhow, so i went on my merry way, thinking he'll probably throw in a few hundred dollars and my wife will then stop fretting about 4 people living in a 2 bedroom apartment. problem solved! NOT!

his next rent payment was late by 7 days, and he leaves me a pro-rated cheque and a text message saying he's moving out in accordance with my notice because his father is forcing him to move - in 10 days' time!

i asked him (this conversation takes place through a logged messenger service) why did he not tell me earlier he was moving out and why did he make me go through the whole process of placating my wife when he KNEW much earlier that he was going to move?

he said it couldn't be helped - he didn't want to move but he's forced to. so he is moving with such short notice...

on the day he moved out, there was a lot of tension between my wife and his mother and his girlfriend, so i told him "let's sort it out between us." i took the meter readings (util accounts are in my name) and told him to be on his way first. then i took pictures of the whole unit and told him what needs to be done (cleaning, replacement of moldy curtains, etc).

he wanted his deposit back, but i told him if he cleans the place and fixes the problem, i'll give him his deposit back in cash and in full. if i did it, it will end up costing him more and it will not be fair to him.

i waited. no news. i also asked him out in hopes that we can sort it out between us men, every weekend, for 3 weeks (including the weekend he moved out), and he would agree to meet and then be uncontactable each time.

exactly 2 weeks later, he came around yelling and screaming asking to meet him with his deposit... so i told him NO GO. fix the problems and i'll give it to you immediately. we went through what i wanted fixing and he said he'll take care of it. before he left, i told him when he comes back to pick up his deposit, i'd like him to sign a receipt cum agreement that there will be no future claims from either party for any compensation, etc.

i gave him a copy of it (my folly). he said he'll look through it and promised to sort things out asap. he disappeared and did not respond to my text messages but sent instead his parents to harangue me the following week for the deposit back. NO DICE! fix the faults and you'll get it back!

they said i was unreasonable to expect the unit in brand spanking new condition - i told them the amount of wear in a span of 3 months is unacceptable, but what i wanted was a CLEAN unit, not a BRAND NEW unit. and i wanted 2 sets of ikea curtains (window blinds actually) replaced as they had left the window opened and mold set in. and i'll deduct the utils and return them the rest of their deposit. i took a brush and some soap and scrubbed the bathroom to show them that the grot and dirt left behind CAN come out.

so they left without their money, hissing and snarling. i made it clear to them i don't have a problem with the wear and tear. the unit was dirty and there were some damaged items which cost less than $150 to replace. clean it! change it! get your deposit back!

the unit was left vacant for 1 month while i waited for him to return with people to fix it up. then it took another week or 2 to fix (at my expense first), before a new tenant was found another week or 2 later.

2 weeks after the meeting with his parents, the tenant's lawyer sent me a letter demanding tens of thousands of dollars as compensation (rent x 9 months + all sorts of costs) for "evicting him."

my lawyer friend advised me to just return the deposit, minus whatever he owes me (to invclude proof like receipts) and consider the matter closed.

the deposit was $3,600 - cleaning and repair and what not came up to nearly $700 (most of the money was spent on the cleaning - and i did not charge my tenant the full sum i've spent rectifying the apartment).

so i returned $2900'ish to him via my lawyer friend. some weeks later, a reply came along with my original cheque for $2,900'ish, saying that the unit was returned to me the same exact condition the tenant received it so no amount is to be deducted from his deposit, and if i wanted to settle this matter, all i have to do is to pay them a sum of $6,000 to compensate him for: his relocation fees, 2 property agents' commission + 2 stamp duties (my place and his new place).

i was really annoyed. even if i were to pay him, i should only be paying for ONE agent and ONE stamp duty. and he didn't even pay his previous agent! (i confirmed this just yesterday) my calculations for his move and one set of agent + stamp duty came up to a sum of a little over $4,500.

my lawyer friend has absolved himself from this case as he's a corporate lawyer and not versed with such trivial disputes. he thinks i should pay and consider a matter resolved - if i hired a lawyer it will cost me more than $6,000. but he does not believe it will reach any court.

this lawyer friend also thinks he can probably counter with a much lower offer (low end of $3k) and that the other party will, in all likelihood, accept it. but i was so annoyed at the situation that i inadvertently pissed him off (the lawyer friend) so he no longer wants to get involved with this matter.

my parents had the same advice for me. just pay him and get on with life. $6,000 is sum that i can afford but my angry wife asks me why we should pay him a single dime when we were not at fault?

i have an appointment with another lawyer on monday morning - he's a colleague of ANOTHER lawyer friend of mine. this consultation and his advice is free. he will however charge me if i want him to pursue the case on my behalf.

we spoke over the phone today and he thinks that for $6,000 he can PROBABLY get the situation resolved with some change to spare (him or me?).

before that happens, i wanted to know if anyone here has any good advice for me. this is the first time i'm in the position of a landlord in singapore and he is my first tenant.

the lawyer i will be seeing on monday thinks that the tenant has breached the contract by bringing his girlfriend into the apartment. and that if the tenant has done nothing wrong, why did he move?

however i DID give verbal consent that he can let his girlfriend live there when she visits BUT i did not know it was on a permanent/semi-permanent basis (during the 3 months he lived there, she was there 95-98% of the time - it didn't appear to me she had any job in jakarta).

further, the only proof that my tenant did not want to move out (ie, i did not evict him) remains in my cell phone's text and messenger logs. the latest lawyer, until he sees it, is unable to answer me over the phone about how substantial such "proof" is in such a situation that will very unlikely reach the courts.

what my tenant has in his possession is an eviction notice from me which, although i have verbally withdrawn, seems to be their trump card.

my father says to throw the money at them and take it as a lesson learned. my first lawyer friend feels the same.

i've been mulling over this for 2 days and today i wonder if i should instead claim compensation from them, since i truly do not feel that i have evicted them or acted dishonorably in any way.

but i don't believe in punishing people in this manner - i think he will get his just deserts elsewhere. it shouldn't be at the expense of my time or money...

so what should i do on monday?

right now, i'm thinking of showing the lawyer all the documentary proof i have (i'm gonna have to print it out) and paperwork. if he thinks i have a case, i don't want any money - his law firm can have it all.

note: i may delete this post (the stuff written above) after some time, so please don't quote my post. just do a normal reply. thank you!
Last edited by taxico on Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

Singapore Property Search

 

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:15 pm

i'll have to at least censor out some identifying details (country, job, amount of money, etc)... how's that for a compromise?

i would hate for people to be able identify the character involved - it's not right, whether or not he's a jerk.
Last edited by taxico on Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9856
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:24 pm

I understand that your lawyers (so far) think you were at fault serving him eviction notice. What do they say about the notice itself? Do they share the opinion of your tenant (that it was invalid)? Why he thought it was invalid? For some formal reasons or because he did not breach the contract?

If the lawyers are going to cost you more than 6k then they will cost him likely the same and he is the active party so he needs to sue you first and pay first. Another scenario for him is to go to SCT (and save on the lawyers) but then you can also do the same.

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:37 pm

in a written reply to them, my first lawyer friend did not think i was at fault, merely that i was willing to settle for the costs deducted from his deposit as full and final settlement as opposed to me paying him $50k.

my tenant has an external law degree (UOL) and works in the legal field but he is unable to practice law in singapore. so he is using his ex-employer (a one man law firm) to represent him.

i'm not sure what arrangements he's made with his lawyer (his ex-employer), but i'm sure it's something that's beneficial for both parties.

given the nature of this tenant, he will not be pursuing this through SCT and will be using his ex-employer for sure.

at what point will my tenant's ex-employer drop this case, i'm not sure.

my first lawyer friend felt when he first "took on" my case was that my tenant merely wanted his deposit back. thus it was not relevant (at the time) whether or not my eviction notice was valid or not. both my lawyer and i wanted a speedy resolution.

this i accepted, and i also made it clear that at no time did i intend to hold onto my tenant's deposit - my tenant was uncontactable! thus i promptly wrote a cheque and my lawyer friend's firm sent it out the following day.

as such, i still have at my disposal, legal recourse for seeking more money as compensation - but this is money that i do not want.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9856
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:50 pm

You did not answer some questions... but if your lawyers think you were not at fault and he is going to use SCT you should be on a safe side.
His degree in law is IMHO something that may very well work against him as either he should have recognized that the note is invalid and not move out or he was in breach so he has no case anyway.

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:58 pm

x9200 wrote:You did not answer some questions... but if your lawyers think you were not at fault and he is going to use SCT you should be on a safe side.
His degree in law is IMHO something that may very well work against him as either he should have recognized that the note is invalid and not move out or he was in breach so he has no case anyway.
i have tried to reply all your questions below. he is NOT going to use SCT. but both my lawyers are in the opinion that this matter will NEVER reach a judge's bench.
x9200 wrote:I understand that your lawyers (so far) think you were at fault serving him eviction notice. What do they say about the notice itself? Do they share the opinion of your tenant (that it was invalid)? Why he thought it was invalid? For some formal reasons or because he did not breach the contract?

If the lawyers are going to cost you more than 6k then they will cost him likely the same and he is the active party so he needs to sue you first and pay first. Another scenario for him is to go to SCT (and save on the lawyers) but then you can also do the same.
no. both my lawyers do not think i am at fault for serving him the eviction notice, not especially since his girlfriend was not on the authorized list of persons staying in the unit. the second lawyer goes further to note that if the tenant was not at fault, he should not have moved out.

they have not commented on my eviction notice - the first one did not comment on it because it was not relevant at the time. the second one has not seen it yet. they do not know the opinion my tenant had about the eviction notice, because i wasn't paying attention to the tenant myself.

but what i remembered was basically every reason i gave for evicting him was refuted or dismissed AND that he was not in breach of the contract because although his girlfriend was not on the authorized list, he had allegedly told his realtor that his girlfriend was moving but it was not conveyed to us.

his realtor told me over the phone today, however, that if the realtor had known such a fact then it was the realtor's duty to fill out the contract accordingly or it would be in breach of the realtor's duty. therefore, the realtor did not know.

it is important to note that there is no detail of his girlfriend filled in on the contract which i signed.

my tenant does not have money to pay and sue first. this i am absolutely sure of as i know he is in financial difficulty, but i also know he will not use SCT given his close association with the lawyer that is representing him at the moment.

however i am unsure whether or not his lawyer knows my side of the story, and if so, whether or not his lawyer will drop the case.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9856
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:36 pm

So basically everybody says you have not done anything wrong (for all the facts you can prove), plus it is very unlikely it will go to the court but at the same time that everybody advises you to pay? :shock:
Why don't you just wait for his next move or come with a counter claim as you also lost some rental?
Sorry for the SCT, I missed "not".

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 1:51 am

Calm down and relax, man!
I have been in a dispute with an errand subtenant before and can tell you, it is difficult but important not to become emotional. Here is what else I learned:
- It is expensive to sue in Singapore and normally not worth it (i.e. the legal fees will cost more than the amount sued for), unless you are talking tens of thousands. For cases that CAN be brought to the SCT, it makes NO sense not to!
- The system actively discourages small, revengeful lawsuits like this and it would most likely be discarded rather than decided against you.
- Time is on your side. Just wait for the other party's moves and don't rush into any agreement other than returning his part of the deposit as you have already offered. The whole thing will fizzle out after a few months!
- Then go for a beer or wine with your lawyer friends and everybody who advised you, and start laughing about the story (this might be the most difficult part!).
- Don't forget: For every such bad tenant, there are hundred good ones! (The same applies to landlords, apparently.)

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by ksl » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 4:13 am

If you can prove the apartment had never been lived in before ever, you have the right to redecorate the property to its former glory, has they had been unreasonable in dirtying the place in such a short period of time. With 3 extra people living there it would get dirty.

One can see what is reasonable wear and tear, even on painted walls, so I wouldn't worry about that. If things are splashed on a walls, that is not wear and tear, that is neglect and damage.

Dirt around light switches should be cleaned, it's nothing to do with fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear would can be seen very clearly and is easy to distinguish between damage. Holes in walls, must be filled in and patch painting is not good enough.

It must be left has it was, when they moved in, even the same colour and quality of paint must be used. Otherwise you have the right to deduct from the deposit, it is that simple. The arbitration will probably use HDB guidelines for checkins and check outs and I cannot see HDB bearing the cost of people that neglect there new properties.

The cost of repainting is probably standard procedure, which is deducted from any deposit paid or it is taken as is, were a deposit may not be paid..

If there is only one persons name on the contract, no other person has the right of residence at these premises a stay of over 183 days breaks the rules. along with other laws broken in regards to their ID cards.

A check on their Fin cards ID cards, will help prove the case. If they have changed to your address, this is just another law they have broken. Has they must have the landlords authority to reside there, only after you have checked their visas and such.

Sit tight and don't waiver, you had every right to submit an eviction order, though again you must prove the people were living in the apartment, rather than having a 30 day holiday. For parents to stay 6 months of the year, they will be issued with a visit pass and address of residence.

Residence claims must be over 183 days if i'm not wrong, so if his parents have been there that length of time, then it is without the landlords permission so you are in your right to evict them.

They don't stand a bloody chance, you should initiate the small claims without fail...Giving them money back was a mistake, and may go against you. Tell them now you have decided that you are claiming for the full decoration of the apartment has they broke the contract by having people reside there illegally.

The utility bills should give a rough idea if people have been living there on a permanent basis. The SCT is good, and they will support landlords in ridiculous situations, they will apply commonsense and look at the evidence laid out. So you need those utility bills to see how often people have showered and such. It's not so difficult to find witnesses that will vouch they have been living there a while.

If they have been living there illegally, has there ID passes will show, then they are in deep shit, and you did right to serve an eviction order. Any fool can see they have taken advantage of the situation. You should also ask for compensation for all the hassle and loss of opportunity cost. If the place is still empty. Has you can use this case has your reason for not renting out until the case was solved.

If you want me to provide an excellent check in and check out list, I can do that, and it will stand up in any court of law has reasonable. The problem with tenants when they think they are clean, can easily be made to look unhygienic and dirty especially in Asia, no offence, but until you have been through a military house move in Singapore.

No burnt food of any around the edge of the gas cooker rings for example is not fair wear and tear, it's unclean and unhygienic, and it would be cleaned by specialists or renewed.

So if you want me to pop over and rip the place apart with my check list I can...it will take 1 hr at most and you will have a 3rd party check list of how your apartment was left.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: tenancy dispute (i'm the landlord) - advice needed

Post by JR8 » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 7:18 am

taxico wrote:okay, i'm at my wit's end and before i take further action, i am seeking some opinions here first. i've been known to do stranger things...


Hi Taxico. I'll give you an opiniopn, but can you boil it down to the facts, and depersonalise it. Such that it is possible to read right through your post? For example...


my tenant moves into a newly renovated apartment (he's the first person in since a full renovation).
Irrelevent, catered for by the inventory.

Singapore PR. he's the only person on the authorized list of person on contract. we rented it to him below market rate because he's an asian bachelor with a "professional" job.

before he moved in he said his parents would visit occasionally and i said that's okay, because i knew how it felt to be working alone in a different country. he said his girlfriend working in jakarta would come visit sometimes too. i said that isn't a big problem (i mean, since she works, how long can she stay for?).

None of this impacts your contract

i told him i spent $800 (on professional cleaners) cleaning the new unit up before he moved in, so i want it cleaned before he returns it to me. he said YUP no problemo!

That's the contract. Why state it here?

his girlfriend of very chinese origin


er, ok.


came with him the day he moved in. his parents also stayed with him very regularly because his parents takes regular trips to singapore.

It matters not a jot, unless your contract precludes this.


Do yourself a favour and get to the bones of the issue.

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3232
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Existential dilemma!

Post by taxico » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 3:12 pm

well, i rented a place to a dude. he moved out after the third month.

he had 3 more people living there on an almost permanent basis during those 3 months. 2 people were his parents (i had no big problem with this) and the third person was his girlfriend (which i had a problem with because i don't know what she does).

i sent him an eviction notice with a few reasons, the most important point being that he had a girl in the place and she was not authorized to live there. he said all my points were not valid.

i said okay, then forget about it - continue living there but be prepared to pay more for rent since 2 people will be there on a semi-permanent basis, and 1 person will be there on a permanent basis.

(the place was rented out to him cheap as he was a bachelor and my wife and i thought it would be easier to handle a bachelor than a family)

a 7-day late rent cheque came (as late as it can get), and he told me through messenger it's pro-rated because he's moving out. i asked him why, he said he's moving out in about 10 days because his father wants him to. he should have told me earlier but didn't.

he wants his deposit back, so i told him if the place is clean and everything is a-ok, he'll get it back in full and in cash and on the spot.

the kitchen walls were splashed with sauce. the bathrooms were extremely dirty. 2 window blinds were moldy because he forgot to shut the windows and it rained. damage to the stove, living and bedrooms' walls i didn't really care about but cleanliness is the issue.

i tried to resolve this with him but to no avail. he was uncontactable for the most part.

i waited for a month and commenced work on the place by hiring people. i charged him $700 for the work (all receipts available) although i spent closer to $1k doing everything back. half the total amount was on cleaning services.

soon after i got a letter from his lawyer, asking for $50k. my lawyer told me to ignore it and just give him back his deposit, minus whatever amount i wanted to charge him. he noted this case will never go to court.

so i made a cheque of $2,900+ out to him and my lawyer sent it out shortly after.

my lawyer states that i will settle the matter for $700 (paid to me by way of deduction from his deposit). everything else is still fair game.

this cheque was rejected and returned. his lawyer now asks for $6k to settle the matter.

my lawyer thinks they may settle for $3,200 but drops my case as he feels he would not be able to serve me properly given the circumstance.

my next lawyer wants to look through all the paperwork and cellphone logs before advising what i should do next. he says the tenant should not have moved out if the tenant feels he did nothing wrong.

whether my cell phone logs are a match for the eviction notice the tenant has is up for debate at the moment.

both lawyers are not out to make a bundle from me - they have advised me that litigation will only benefit the lawyers, thus it's better to settle for the sake of money, time and effort.

the second lawyer said that some people have been known to spend way more than the sum in question just to get justice. it's my call.

i don't want to turn this issue into a big thing, but i don't want it hanging over my head either as i feel i honestly did no wrong thing. whatever i do on monday, i have been forced into.

my wife does not think we should pay him a cent more than the $2,900+ as we did nothing wrong. in fact, we should be holding onto his deposit and a month's rent for the time we waited for him to fix the place up, as well as our next agent's commission.

i'm sorry i can't get more brief - this is personal so it's a little difficult to distill it.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Sat, 18 Jun 2011 11:11 pm

I'm still with you and I agree with your wife.
You should again offer what you have offered before (deposit minus expenses), not because he deserves it but because taking back an offer in anger is bad style - and you should stay true to yourself!
If they refuse that again, just wait and see. Time is on your side.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16516
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 2:50 am

Eviction (under UK law, which historically SG law mirrors to quite an extent) is an area that needs to followed precisely in order that notices served are valid. One wrong document or missed field, and the whole process is invalid. This simply reflects how seriously courts consider denying someone (the tenant) of their home. So with that in mind and not having seen your lease agreement I’m not going to pretend I can give better advice that your various lawyers, but here are my 2 cents for what they are worth.

In a case like this which is somewhat complicated it pays to always ‘revert back to the lease agreement’. I.e. forget about ‘he said/she said’... rather, what does it say in the lease? So for example the fact the tenant claims to have told his realtor that he wanted his GF to move in is irrelevant as she was not named on the lease that he signed.

So do not be distracted by smoke and mirrors like that. The tenant, from all that you say, sounds like a prize one anyway. Proud to have not paid his realtor, proud to get the realtor to pay his stamp duty (did he consider how this would make him look in your eyes?) proud to have got 4 people into this flat let to one person no doubt, and now he’s trying to get one over on you after going. I’ve met people like this before and they are a bloody nuisance to deal with.

The issue of the girlfriend who ‘will stay occasionally to one that is permanently resident is that short of installing CCTV outside the apartment it is pretty hard to establish. You could try and bluff him and say you have witness statements from neighbours. (In future you might consider using a registered key for the front door, and if there is one person of the lease, then one key is issued.)


The issue of cleaning should be covered by the lease and the inventory. there is no reason to be discussing your needs with the tenant outside of that.

Doesn’t matter what the GFs nationally is, or visa status, as she is not even legally resident in the unit.

You served eviction notice, the tenant says it was invalid. Tenant then said he moved out as his father made him. So surely tenant has a weak or no case for unfair eviction?

Sounds to me that perhaps the tenant realised he was not going to be able to continue having 4 people living in the flat, and that is why he left.

Doesn’t matter if tenant’s parents turn up and yell. They were not on the contract, so they are as good as strangers, ignore them.

Don’t know why utility a/cs are still in your name unless it is an illegal sub-let.

It doesn’t matter that tenant ‘wants his deposit back’. What he gets back is determined by the lease.

All these meetings that were planned but did not happen. I hope that you have a good written record of these. From prior experience I have learned that the moment you sense you might be ending up in court, ensure everything is documented and diarised.

You say it was folly giving the tenant a copy of the full and final settlement document. Not so, under UK law a person is required to have reasonable time to consider what they are signing and take legal advice is appropriate. In fact by disallowing them this opportunity it can invalidate the document, so you did the right thing!

This is getting too long sorry...

This is a really bad experience that you’ve had as a first time landlord. Believe me, landlording it not usually such a nightmare. Look on the bright side, a neighbour of mine in London let her flat to a Brazilian lady of ‘independent means’ (i.e. no job reference), who was blue eyed and raven haired, fantastic knockers, and prone to dress in black spandex. And within 3 months she had shacked up with 3 other birds there, humping and pumping all night long as high-end hookers. That was my neighbours first ever let as well...

I’d suggest returning the refund cheque again. Itemise the deductions and hence the net amount. Explain the situation (clearly and succinctly) to the tenant's lawyer. As you suggest, sometimes lawyers have not been given an accurate or whole story (I’ve been on the receiving end of such a course of action where the lawyer seemed to have something of a ‘Alice in Wonderland’ version of what had happened, that only the tenant could have told him. So his opening letter was a full-on assault (as lawyer’s opening letters usually are). I simply ignored it. They followed up a month+ later, and I replied and calmly laid out for the lawyer precisely what their client had done to receive deductions from their deposit, it was interesting to write as the lawyer apparently had not one single idea what a lying charlatan their client was! So I knew when they read it they were gonna be like ‘Ok <whistling>, well that changes things just a bit lol! I never heard another word.)

Good luck.

p.s. there is a case for settling actions, as even if you win legal actions it is a total PITA to have to take or defend them, even if you win, and life is too short.

So as others have suggested, sit back and wait and see where it goes. In the meanwhile as mentioned trying to return the net deposit (a second time) with a list of deductions would win your position major brownie-points with a judge if it ever did come to court.

x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9856
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009 4:06 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by x9200 » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 10:25 am

I believe the whole strict procedure about eviction is regarding the eviction itself so enforced removal of the tenants property. This has not happened in this case. What we have IMO here is just a note (we can call it whatever we want) given by the LL. If this note was valid as per formal requirements the LL could have proceeded with the actual eviction (giving sufficient time and fulfilling some other requirements). If it was invalid the tenant could have just ignored this. The only case I could see here if the tenant felt threatened by the note or had reasons to believe it is was valid but as this guy has a legal background this is not the case.

I would do what beppi suggested with the exception I would not resend the cheque but include the information where it can be collected.

User avatar
QRM
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 5:23 pm
Location: Nassim hill

Post by QRM » Sun, 19 Jun 2011 11:20 am

JR8 wrote:‘independent means’ (i.e. no job reference), who was blue eyed and raven haired, fantastic knockers, and prone to dress in black spandex. And within 3 months she had shacked up with 3 other birds there, humping and pumping all night long as high-end hookers. That was my neighbours first ever let as well...
LOL we had the same in London a Russian lady with huge knockers, she converted every room into a bedroom, the big plus was that we never had any problems getting maintenance workers to go in to check the place.

She also left the house in the evening, so the washing machines, fridge etc were all untouched. After a while she stopped paying rent and took almost six months to get her out, she changed all the locks etc. even a phone call to her was classed as Landlord harassment.

Taxico, never let it get personal its just a business transaction. Sometime its worth just biting the bullet, you have to look at the long term cost.

Like everyone says the GF nationality and what she does is irrelevant (Unless you have proof its illegal.)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests