Tenant on his eighth life

I have a tenant in his mid twenties who essentially has become too much of a liability. Originally it was joint tenancy with his girlfriend and things were fine but since she moved out things have gone downhill.

Its a one bed maisonette so not exactely alot to be taken care of, but among other things he never cleans it, doesn’t cut the lawn, doesn’t have gas on so no effective heating and theres mould growth, doesn’t report issues ie the cistern was faulty so rather than reporting it used a bucket of water to flush, doesn’t fix damage ie broken bathroom cabinet glass and a few what are most likely fist holes in walls.

The worse part is the lack of communication, failure to respond to emails, letters or texts for anything other than rent related. It makes inspections hard.

The rent is always paid which is why I’ve accommodated him. (sometimes a few days late). He works long hours so I’ve given him some leeway. His ex-girlfriend has told me he just buries his head and doesn’t face things. Suggestions of getting a cleaner or gardener falls on deaf ears. I know he has built up debt ie council tax.

My current main concern is being unable to carry out a gas safe cert due to having no gas on. Essentially he didn’t pay his gas bill so they fitted a pre payment meter. This is never credited so I can’t conduct a gas safe test. I have sent him a statement for him to sign declaring that gas has not been on since July/August last year but as yet he hasn’t signed it. Can I credit the meter myself to conduct the test? Would I be expected to? I can’t be sure that the gas is never used, but it is never credited when I have looked. He says he doesn’t use it but I don’t have this in writing at all.

Ideally i would like to cover the meter to prevent access so it can’t be used until it has a safe cert but I don’t expect this would be legal.

So… I am half tempted to give him notice, I would expect him to stop paying rent and no guarantee of moving out causing more headache. There would be maybe £1000+ costs to fix up the place when he’s gone (damages/painting/carpet), he would lose £500 deposit, or… I just put up with the agro and keep taking the rent and take care of repairs when he does eventually leave. Been there around 2.5 years.

Thoughts anyone?

this age group is the worst for liability in my experience . Young men on their own, are the untidiest as a general group, I dont know about the gas .I would suggest getting the advice of the local housing office.r Being on your own is a lonely job… You only can decide what to do. Does he have any relatives nearby who may be able to help in a practical way? I have a tenant whose sister collects the rent for me ,tidies his place up for him and cleans it. I go in to check he is o k . He has been with me for about 25 years.

I do recognise that generally speaking we want our property to always be in a good condition, so it is heart breaking if we see that it is not and damage is occurring. However, if you perceive major damage is likely, such as wood rot or structural failure, then you need to get him out. If it is a meter, then put money in it, or ask the gas safety person to do so and refund them, then you can have some peace of mind regarding that aspect of the tenancy. You may need to do the above if you are in a landlord licensed area, otherwise your licence may get revoked: you can always tell him that and the consequence will be that he will be kicked out at the direction of the council as you have no other choice, and that will occur, tell him that!

He may not know the rules, so when you feel up to it you can give him 24hours notice or more for an inspection and for having tradesmen in to fix things afterwards and to carry out safety checks, and he may not object because he knows no better.

On the other hand, if you think he may ‘never leave’ so to speak, remind him that it is his obligation to keep the place in a good state, or it must end up in a good state, and that he is responsible for safety checks (assuming he knows no better), but you will pay for them as you are concerned for his safety, and let the place become a real dump if that is how he wants to live. Pragmatically, if you think he will be there long enough, and he is a regular payer, you can save up the rent he pays and eventually when he leaves you can afford to do the place up - but that requires you to save for that event. If he is there for long enough, you may still make a profit. After all, if that is the way he wants to live, let him be.

As Colin3 said: it is your choice, live with it and stop worrying, or get him out!

Good luck!