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Rogue Tenants Plague Local Rental Market

Fortunately, rogue tenants are uncommon but, like bad landlords, it only takes one to affect everyone's perception. This month we have seen 2 – one was jailed for the damage he caused and the other, just left the landlord with a huge mess to clear up and moved on to blight the life of another landlord and their new neighbours.

The Jailed Tenant 

Christopher Beddall was jailed for 6 months for the damage caused to PDPLA member David Manchester's house – see the video on the right -> 

David tends to focus on professional tenants for his HMO's but made an exception for Mr Beddall as he wanted to help those who had been homeless as the Covid crisis spread. Within months, Beddall's behaviour had caused the other tenants to leave – leaving David with no income from the property.

When David realised that his property was being damaged he called in the police, but sadly they were not interested. Apparently £42,000 worth of criminal damage to a property is a civil matter….

When Beddall then proceeded to harass the neighbours and caused thousands of pounds of damage to a neighbouring property, the police decided it was their business after all.

And when Beddall took a swing at a police officer, the local constabulary suddenly took a great interest in Mr Beddall to the extent that about a dozen of their number appeared, restrained him and whisked him off to the safety of HMP Winchester.

After 6 months on remand, he appeared in court, was found guilty and given a 6 month sentence which he had already served so he was immediately released. So if you have vacancies, do beware.

The good news is that David insures his properties with Boswell's and as a result, he was covered for 'malicious damage by tenants' unlike most landlord insurance policies and as such, much of the damage was paid for – though obviously not the loss of income, the hassle or the legal costs.

And The One That Got Away

Fellow member, Bev G has been less fortunate when her recent ex-tenants (names withheld as this moves through the court process) vacated her property. The maximum security deposit is 1 months rent and as you can see from the photos – clearing the rubbish and repairing the damage will cost considerably more than 1 months rent.
Sadly, these tenants can walk into any new tenancy without the new landlord having any knowledge of the damage they have caused or the lack of care they have displayed unless the prior landlord chases them through the courts and obtains a CCJ – which rogue tenants know is very unlikely to happen. Why bother when for the time, effort and expense involved it is highly unlikely that any recompense will be forthcoming.

What To Do?

As a landlord, make sure you have cover for malicious damage by tenants and also, consider rent guarantee insurance. Talk to Boswells, tell them you are a PDPLA member and you will get 5 star cover that protects against this type of problem and the money they save on marketing as we introduced you, is shared with us so we get some benefit too (so basically, you get it back as it pays for your seat at the Christmas party).

As a society, we need to make it as hard for the serial rogue tenant as we do for bad landlords. Lifetime deposits have been mooted by government for some time and whilst we generally resist these 'bright ideas' as they rarely are, a deposit that follows a tenant for life with a history of where they have lived and whether they have incurred any costs on moving would be a real boon to future landlords who will easily be able to identify the rogues and avoid them.

And if you are on the fence and have a low opinion of landlords, at least think of the neighbours – would you like to live next door to either of the tenants mentioned here? So do please help us by encouraging all local and national agencies and authorities to understand that bad tenants can be far worse and need more management and control than their landlord counterparts.

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