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Landlord Insider
On the Landlord Insider blog, you’ll find some excellent resources for landlords of all sizes. From the latest landlord news, to professional advice, tips and guides for landlords, there’s something for everyone. Brought to you by the excellent team behind the Landlord Vision property management software.

Rogue Tenant Leaves Maggot-Infested Flat

A man making a disgusted face
Man looking disgusted

We hear a lot about rogue landlords in the press, but not so much about rogue tenants. Don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security! There are some shocking stories of rogue tenants out there, some of which are so stomach-churning that your breakfast could be in jeopardy…

An Essex landlord has been left with a large bill after her rogue tenant moved out, leaving abject squalor behind. The tenant was finally evicted after seven months, by which point the rent arrears had reached more than £6k. When the landlord gained access to the property, she was horrified to find it in a terrible state.

Maggots in the Fridge and Freezer

The fridge and freezer had been unplugged, which had caused the food inside to rot and fester. When they were opened, a colony of maggots exploded on to the floor. The rest of the two-bed home wasn’t much better either. Mountains of debt letters covered every surface in the kitchen and the landlord had to spend thousands cleaning and removing waste from the property.

The eviction process was handled by LegalforLandlords. Commenting after the tenant was finally evicted, they said:

“We’ve handled many cases where tenants have left properties in a state of squalor, but this is definitely one of the worst we’ve seen. Much of it was deliberate, with the intention of causing as much damage as possible, which made for a very frustrating wait for the landlord until the tenant could be evicted legally.”

No Compensation for Damages

Unfortunately, the landlord was unable to recoup any of the money she spent evicting the tenant and cleaning up their mess because the tenant was an EU national with no assets.

She was also very angry when she found out the tenant had been evicted from several other properties for similar issues. She questioned why none of this was flagged up when the letting agent had carried out reference checks.

After such a terrible experience, the landlord is reconsidering her future in the buy to let sector and will most likely sell up.

Is the Letting Agent Liable?

Of course, problems like this are relatively rare and most tenants respect their rented homes, but it’s worth pointing out the risks associated with inadequate reference checks. If you use a letting agent tenant finder package, they will carry out reference checks on your behalf. However, there is no guarantee these checks will be adequate. If checks fail to spot a rogue tenant, the landlord is left to pick up the bill. Their only recourse at that point is to pursue the letting agent via the small claims court if they won’t work with you to put things right.

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