I went to inspect my flat recently and the tenant has filled it from floor to ceiling in the hall making it hard to enter, the boiler room obstructing the boiler and any air getting round it and the lounge. I told him I was shocked and not happy as the agreement was for him to live in the flat not use it also for storage. I said it isn’t safe and is blocking out light. He said he if I wanted he would give me notice that day and move out in a month. I said yes.
Now he is saying it will take maybe 2 months to find somewhere else.
I am concerned that the sheer volume of boxes especially round the boiler are causing a fire risk. Also when I opened a drawer to show him where the folder with maintenance leaflets are, it was crammed with snacks, upon looking further so we’re the other drawers. He also had a second fridge pulled in in the lounge which makes me suspect he is selling food from the property. He is a slim man so doesn’t need 2 fridges and drawers full for his consumption. I also think he may have another person living there as there were 2 pairs of slippers.
Does anyone know if I am liable or he is for the fire risk he is creating? And should I put in writing my concerns and that I wish him to leave within 2 months by a certain date?
He is on ASHT which expires November with break clause after 4 months instead of 6 which he requested.
I had in October said I needed to put the rent up and he then asked me to consider a lower increase for a few months which I did and when I then said I need to increase it fully now he has refused.
I suspect he wont ever serve you notice and you will have to serve notice on him. S21 would probably be the easiest. Expect to have to go to court for this so check youve done everything necessary.
Yes, you do have some responsibility for ensuring health and safety in the property, so you must write to him with evidence of posting telling him its a fire hazard and he must remove the clutter immediately.
Ok thank you for your advice
I’m doing letter and copying in his guarantor, problem is the sheer quantity of stuff - in the region of 30 huge boxes stacked up, it’s not mere clutter and not something he can just clear. It is a case of at the very least rehoming all the stuff blocking the boiler. But how can I enforce this?
Why are you copying his guarantor in if hes not in arrears. Sounds like a breach of confidentiality.
I assumed him breaking terms of the contract and using it for storage, creating a fire hazard and I suspect running a business from the flat was of concern to the guarantor as he signed the contract also.
However I don’t need to copy him in my concern is how to enforce him clearing the boxes that are blocking daylight and the boiler.
Blocking daylight is not a breach of any relevant legislation so is a red herring. Blocking access to the boiler is only an issue if the boxes cant be readily moved for maintenance. The key issues are fire hazard and breach of contract around use of the property. These are unlikely to be sufficient to win possession under the fault based s8 eviction proceedings, so you will need to use s21.
Ok thank you for your help
Many years ago I was giving evidence for a large Bristol Housing trust where a tenant had completely blocked access to the boiler , you couldn’t get to it to isolate the gas supply and as a gas engineer I deemed it dangerous and the judge agreed and the trust got possession.
The solicitor said a judge could not and would not over rule a gas engineer.
You must do a fire risk assessment tho
Hi Jason thank you for your feedback. The boiler is
Hi Jason thank you for your feedback. The boiler is electric. It’s in a small cupboard which the tenant has completely filled with boxes and things all stacked up in front of around and above the boiler.