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Ex-tenant traced and gets surprise visit

Back in August, I got a telephone call from my lettings assistant telling me that one of our tenants has done a runner. She in turn had got the alert from one of our other tenants on the same street, who happened to have walked past the property in question and noticed the curtains were gone, looked through the window and saw that the furniture had gone.

It is good to know that our tenants are also on the lookout for us  :-)

On taking possession of the property, what we found was a house that had been left in state unfit for human habitation.

This tenant had spent her first two months of housing benefit, claiming she’d used it for her mother’s funeral.

She’d been shown mercy and allowed to stay whilst paying off the arrears in instalments.

She regularly violated the agreement, always with a story or another, and when court action was started, pleaded and pleaded that she be allowed to stay to avoid disruption to her son.

She even tried the routine of reporting alleged disrepair to the Council, as her reason for being in arrears. Eventually, she obviously ran out of excuses, and decided to run.

The garden was full of old toys and black rubbish bin bags.

The brick shed attached to the house was overflowing with more rubbish. The place stank. How could anyone live like that with a young child in the property.

I had already applied for and was receiving third party deductions from her income support. As expected, this stopped after she moved out and changed her address. But as usual, the DWP refused to tell me where she’d gone to. But I already had information on which city she’d moved to (thank you facebook!). I was eventually able to find out the exact address she had moved to, and decided to pay her a visit.

So, today, I took with me a bag containing three coats she’d left behind, and knocked on her door.

She opened the door and, I said hello and dropped the bag on the threshold in the house. Oooh…. her face was a picture. You can imagine the questions … “What’s that?” (at the bag), “why are you here?”, “how did you find out my address?”, “you can’t blame me for doing a runner, considering the state of the house”, (now you’ve seen the pictures, who’s fault was that?).

I told her, she owed money which she would have to repay, and that she could run, but couldn’t hide. My final words were “you will hear from me shortly”. And I calmly walked away, leaving her wondering what had hit her…..

Now, that, is what I call a good start to the week.

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    Posted in Property, Rent Arrears, Tenant Behaviour.

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    One Response

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    1. Gill Osborne says

      I applaud you and your actions! In 9 years this particular scenario is something I have missed out on, although I have experienced much else!

      Yes a good start to the week indeed.

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