Landlord tells of ‘expensive’ and ‘horrific’ conditions left behind by ‘rogue tenants’
PUBLISHED: 15:59 28 June 2018
A Weston landlord believes ‘rogue tenants’ should be held to account, ahead of new fines for home-owners whose rented accommodation is not kept up to standard.
The Mercury has previously reported on a new system which would give on-the-spot fines of up to £30,000 to landlords whose property is deemed to be ‘non-decent’.
However one landlord who has worked in the town for 20 years says it is not just the landlords to be wary of, but ‘rogue tenants’.
Martin Haynes moved to Weston in the 1990s after the death of his wife. He took on four properties in central Weston and has had a number of tenants over the years, with a small minority ‘completely trashing’ the flats.
Mr Haynes said: “There is support from various agencies and the well-meaning public for the homeless but I assure you there are some people who do know how to play the system and, once in a property, they can wreak havoc.
“The clear up costs after the drawn out legal process can be why fewer landlords are prepared to rent to the minority.”
Mr Haynes accepts benefit renters but the number of people willing to do this has dropped after universal credit was introduced for fear they would not be paid rent.
He added: “One thing I do like is seeing the successes of some of my tenants when they have been able to turn themselves around but there are some we still have to put up with.”
Mr Haynes had to take a handful of his tenants to court after they failed to pay their rent in what he described as a ‘very expensive and onerous task’.
He said: “When they don’t pay their rent, I have to serve them with a letter giving them a month to move out and sometimes they refuse to do so.
“You then have to take them to court and then I may need to pay for a bailiff to evict them.
“The whole process could take months to complete during which time I would have to cover the council tax, bills and other costs.”
It is not just the lengthy eviction notices Mr Haynes has faced but also ‘horrific’ clean up jobs after tenants had vacated.
He added: “I have had doors broken in half and flats completely trashed but one of the worst cases I had was a tenant who peed in bottles and left them under the bed.
“The cost of a deep clean is excessive and trying to remove the smells left behind is a lengthy process meaning I can lose money as I cannot rent it out.”