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Hi all

Having read all the horror stories of properties being turned into cannabis factories etc, I performed a check on my BTL and whilst there was no factory, it seems that as well as the tenant there are:

1. At least two teenage children (could be three) - one of which may be over 18 (she looked it to me)

2. A three month old puppy

3. An infestation of mice!

I don't mind that there are children, however, surely the tenant should have mentioned this? If any of the children are over 18, must they be on the tenancy agreement by law? or is it fine that there mum is the only names tenant?

A pet is against the Tenancy Agreement (now outside 6 month fixed) - And mice????? Well, not specifically covered in the tenancy, but obviously unwelcome!!

Seems that my tenants are quite messy. The carpets have been ruined (they were getting a bit old though but would have lasted another couple of years had they not been destroyed by the inhabitants - welcome or not!) by 'stains' - possibly due to the three month old puppy, and also stolen in the corners for bedding by mice. Having checked under the sink which is the obvious gap (due to the piped etc going under the house) and having pulled out lots of carrier bags I found loads of droppings. The tenant mentioned that they had seen mice a few times for a little while (they had never mentioned this to me!) and that they had been keeping bags of store goods (rice etc) under the sink until they found that something had been eating it and now just keep carrier bags there. However, the other bottom cupboards are still filled with crisps and sweets!!

Additionally the yard is full of bits of broken furniture and an old mattress.

What is my responsibility? There have been mice previously because the last tenants were extremely untidy and this had obviously encouraged mice (I ought to point out that I live there for three years and never had a problem), but I got rid of them at that time will traps/poison... but now thay are back with a vengence!

I think maybe an exterminator, rather than traps and poison may be better. Do I have to pay for the exterminator even though they caused the mice? I am thinking I should pay, but then what if they cause them again? And the other flat is lived in by students (upstairs) - what is the point me doing the downstairs if the upstairs isnt done? If I do pay for an exterminator and mice happen again, can I ask that they pay? I dont think they would pay though.

incidentally, does anyone know how much an exterminator costs? Do the council send one for free is you ask?

Dog. Like I say, against the tenancy agreement, but to be honest, they have ruined all the carpets anyway so I am not sure what more damage a dog will do. When they do eventually leave I will need to recarpet throughout, paint, etc etc so I would rather not evict them as if I can put that cost off a bit longer I would rather this.

So, should I just accept that they have a dog? Should I say its fine if they sign another 6 month agreement and say an additional bond? how much should I ask?

The tenant is always ALWAYS late with the rent. It is due on the first of each month, and is generally late, but is paid. I am still waiting for this months. Part of me could do without the hassle, but to evict is difficult, could lead to loss of rent completely if the tenant doesnt pay, damage etc, so I want to minimise how much I annoy this tenant through concern that they could maliciously damage my property.

This said, the fact that there are kids and now a small puppy may suggest that they are settled and therefore, whilst they are paying the rent, maybe I should just live with it? I need to avoid vacant periods if I can, and I can see me having to spend a fair bit to get it rentable again if they do leave - costs I would rather delay if possible.

What about the stuff outside? My tenant denies it is hers. I have my suspicions it is hers, but with various students coming and going in the flat upstairs I cannot be sure and cannot prove it. Can I ask the council to take it as a health hazzard? do they charge to do this?

Finally, if the tenants ever do leave, like I say I will need to replace all of the carpets due to stains, and mouse thieving!! Would this be covered under contents insurance (which I havent got around to cancelling yet)?

Any opinions on what I should or should do would be appreciated

Many thanks


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She broken the tenancy agreement and doesn't seem to care much about the property. If kicking her out gets you a chance to use the deposit and some cash and then add 10-15% to the rent then would kick her out.

Dog will still probably piss and ###### everywhere and place will smell of it even after they leave and you will need to clean it up and hope the smell and dog hair doesn't linger. If child is 18 plus then B/f will no doubt soon be in and that will add to problems. Course evicting here probably jumps her up housing list with council.

Getting rid of the mice now doesn't clear the problem up as they will still get in so best bet is to find out where and block it up.

The stuff in the back is best done by picking up local paper and getting someone to remove but maybe evicting here would then be chance to do it along with the carpets.

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I agree with odecar here.

You are obviously having problems with this tenant so if you are happy to let it ride for a while until you are in a better financial position I wouldn't bother issuing a new TA at all and just let it roll on. At least in this case you can give 2 months notice and won't have to wait the full length of the tenancy to get them out.

With regard to the children I think you are within your rights to at least 'ask' how old the children are and if there are any over 18's then I'm sure they should be on the TA agreement aswell.

The stuff in the back garden will be collected by the council free of charge if you call them and they'll give you a date for pick up. Personally i'd be at the property to get rid of it just in case the tenant decides they have other pressing issues to attend to. Alternatively you could take them to the tip yourself if you have a vehicle that's big enough. Take note here though if you get a van most council tips will charge you for dumping stuff unless you phone the council 1st and they come out and issue you a pass to do so free of charge.

With regard the mice I'd just put some traps down and ask the tenant to keep an eye on them for you and keep them stocked up. (shame it wasn't a cat they had instead of a puppy)

Which leads me onto that issue, they have broken their tenancy agreement as you said. You must decide which you want to go with this, it sounds as though you have resigned yourself to the fact at least for the time being anyway.

Anyway, good luck with it all, keep us informed how it's going.


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Hi all,

Why would the council take it away for free?

I have always been charged for things to be taken away by the council, last time £50 for 10 small items.

They usually work out very expensive, once they quoted me £25 to remove a freezer.

How can you get it free?



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Well maybe it's the areas people live in but this morning my sister in law had a settee removed and a fridge freezer for nothing at all.

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Hi Mat

As long as T phones and NOT LL then cardiff cc will remove bulky items for free - settees, beds, fridges, tvs, wrobes chests etc For free

If i have a lot to get rid of then i just spread it around my portfolio and get them to do multiple pickups !

What really Xisses me off is that they will do this for free for res premisis with 0 CT(student prem) yet i pay £7000 in business rates and they wont even take a toffee wrapper from my bus prem!- Still it is amazing how much rubbish you can stuff into a divan bed base or old sofa !


For Plym

- If your Ast is any good then i would imagine that you have quite a few breaches here-

Rubbish - request amicably & verbally that it is removed and garden area restored to a reasonable original condition within 7/10/14/28 days etc Do upstairs tenants have acces to garden area ? Do you own upstairs as well ? Who is responsible for garden area ?

Dog Not acceptable without a 50% increase in bond also extra line confirming that all soft furnishing are professionally cleaned on departure

Get a new lease signed with late penalty clause included also charge for recovery and admin charges

Put rent up on new lease to cover - not potential - but problems you are already experiencing

Most councils will send pest control out for free (as long as T calls NOT LL)

I think you will find that the " hole" they come and go thru(fabric of blding)will be your problem but the actual mouse " problem" will be theirs - but as a goodwill gesture send them a bar of chocolate and a bag of wotsits(both far more effective than cheese)and some traps (5 for a pound on ebay !!)Have goodlook at the droppings as if they are triangular pellets as opposed to much smaller sausage shape -then you have Rats not mice - at this time of year i find far more rats than mice!

If youare going to put poison down for either - wait around 10 -14 days b4 you block up their "run" as you will trap them in the prop where they will rot and stink - and i mean STINK! This is because most poisons make them thirsty and they will try to get out for water - so let them get out first!

Late rent - This only happens if you allow it - if you set a very clear strong precedent from day 1 enforcing punctuality by late payment fees most people will comply - but we all have one ..............

Lastly every time you get a new problem - first find the solution then get a new line in your lease to prevent it happening again!

I agree that eviction is pain in the Axxx and if damage is already done then and they are settled then Milk the cash cow for now - but tidy it up a bit (paper work)


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if your tenant says it not hers, tell them it has been flytipped, they have a duty to pickup,

or if you see a council worker in a rubbish van tell him you have some stuff to pick up, most of them are eager to help if there is a bit of extra for them, i have my own "personal" collector, £10 a van load!


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or alternatively, throw it in the neighbours garden when they're out!!! haha

(I didn't say that, I read it in Simon's book) lol

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I was actually talking about 'pine' furniture. lol

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thanks for all the advice. I think I need to digest all of this and have a think about my next step

thanks again


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The funny thing was that I was a tenant when I wanted the freezer removed and whenever I need help from the council it always costs an arm and a leg, £100 for removal of rubbish, £40 fine for their council tax error, court summons, £600 for HMO Licence, the list goes on- I say avoid the council at all costs!

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Well Matthew I can see where you are with all of these things but disposal of rubbish is included in your Council Tax payments, regardless of what it is as far as I'm concerned. If I phoned them to pick up an old mattress lets say and they said I needed to pay for it I'd dump it outside their offices.

I pay £2376/year in my area and if they can't pick up a little rubbish i'd be mega p**ed off.

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It does sound as though you would be better off evicting them. They really seem to be taking the ****.

If you have time to do the place up you would be best off doing it sooner rather than later. If you don't, then serve a s21, leave the tenancy as periodic, leave the yard a mess, take the money and let them know the mice are their problem - they encouraged them, fed them, and left them when they were discovered.

If however they are a worry to you, our local council environmental health does a good deal. If your place is in Plymouth then I've no doubt they will do a similar deal.

If the people upstairs complain then you have the perfect excuse to action the s21: "sorry, but I've received complaints, happy to give a reference (don't say good), but there is a lot to be done and it can't proceed with you in residence".

When you next advertize try using the net - I've got some of my best people from there. Without being classist (can you be?) people who use the net to find a place seem to be more switched on.

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