Legal experts have called for greater protection for landlords after a tenant trashed a rental property and left owing £30,000 in rent.
Buy-to-let landlord David Wright was forced to issue his tenant with a notice to vacate after she missed several rent payments.
Wright is unlikely to recoup any of the unpaid rent, which he let accumulate over several months as he “felt sorry” for his tenant. He was also saddled with a £2,000 clean up bill after the tenant left the property in a “terrible state”, including piles of rubbish, ruined carpets and a filthy shower.
Wright said the experience had put him off being a landlord and he would be selling the house once the repairs were completed.
“The house has been left in a terrible state – I allowed her [the tenant] to rent the property because I felt a bit sorry for her.” Wright said.
“I knew that her rent was in arrears, but I didn’t realise how much money was outstanding.
“In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t waited too long to do something about it – I won’t be renting again after this, once the repairs are completed, I’ll be selling it.”
According to Sim Sekhon, managing director of LegalforLandlords, Wright’s experience is “not unusual” and called for a “robust legal mechanism to protect landlords’ rights” so landlords can seek a resolution to rent arrears quickly.
He said:”We regularly see cases where landlords have failed to act quickly enough when rent arrears start to mount, but it’s a huge red flag and may not be the only thing to be concerned about.
“It’s very sad that this has been the outcome, but I’m pleased that we have been able to help David to regain control of the property and begin to remedy the damage.”