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Need to check Property- my rights


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Hello All

I have taken on a nightmare dss tenant...a somali woman with sevral kids who hasnt paid me any rent for over 2 months as she says her claim is being processed

I have just heard reports from the neighbours that they have dumped furniture in the garden and that there is an external pipe leaking water...i am mortified as I know she had lots of her own furniture and hope she hasnt dumped mine in the garden

Also I spent over £3000 on getting the roof relaid and the inside ceiling redone due to a previous outside leak and now fear that a leak has sprung again and the tenant doesnt want to let me in as she has probably done something with my furniture and doesnt want to face any questions re rent.

I desperatley want to do a quick eye inventory of my furniture in the house and see which beds and sofas are in the garden according the neighbours reports and check the leak.

What are my rights to enter regardless of her giving permission as i dont want the water to cause me £thousands of damage when this tenant hasnt even paid me a single penny of rent in 2 months and her deposit doesnt cover her her time there.

I keep getting text messages from her teenaged daughter saying 'you cant come today..i cant open the door for you etc'///...do they have a choice? Cant i just enter after giving notice with my own key (by the way they changed the locks as soon as they moved in...i insisted they give me a copy of the key but could have changed the locks again to keep me out.

Any helpful advice greatly appreciated.

desperate Heebs :rolleyes:

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Heebs.....you've been well and truly stuffed havn't you.

Don't mess about get in there and do an external visit to see if it is your goods getting wet on the lawn.

Start the process to get them evicted through non payment of rent and an immediete property access order to carry out emergency repairs etc. etc.

I'm sorry but people like this do not deserve a caring Landlord and should be made to live in the conditions they aspire to.


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Hi Heebs,

Definitely echo the above from Mel but if you really want to get in ask the local police to accompany you into the property as you expect a gas leak/drug dealing/child abuse/. If poss get house condemned for habitation over leaking pipe. Drastic but you need to gain control here and quickly.

Get on the the local DSS and ask for a worker to meet you at the property too ( don't do DSS myself but they must take some responsibility for these people.)

Let us know the outcome.


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Hi Melboy and Mortitia...

many thanks for your replies

The tenant is a dss woman who wants me to evict her as she said she will immediately get council housing as this is what she is aspiring to...she wants me to evict her as i will be left without a penny of rent for over 2 months and going to court would prob result in her saying she has no money..

I just received texts from her to say i have no right to come into the house and check anything until she leaves or i give her eviction...if i evict her before the council pays her rent i will be stuffed more than i am now.

Mortitia...how do i get the police to accompany me as i dont have evidence of any gas leak...child abuse...drugs etc...is there any other way the police will accompany me.

I really dont want to give her eviction as that is exactly what she wanted,...she is using me...she purposely sought out a nice house in a nice respectable area where she knew she could aggreviate me into giving her eviction notice...but i will be left with no rent for 2 months.

Please help...i have text her 2 days ago to say i will be coming at 12 on saturday over to check the pipes and house and will need to do it in the daytime as i need to see the pipes from the outside (garden side of house where neighbour saw it from her window facing our garden).

The tenant has refused and said come and stand outside as no one will let you in.

Any advice from landlords very experienced with dss tenants....also i suspect she is committing benefit fraud...she wouldnt allow me to have 3rd party right to enquire about the rent (unlike my other 3 tenants who gave it without hesistation)...i dont know on what basis she has applied for housing benefit as i am not sure what the criteria is but she has a husband who she refused to have named on the contract..as i heard her husband had a violent reputation i told her that if only she was on the contract then her husband would not have any right to deal with me regarding the property as he is not my tenant...now i feel she may have applied as a single mother as before signing she stated he was her fiance..then when i made a visit a month later to enquire about the rent she told me she was heavily pregnant and the chap was there being abusive as i was insisting on the keys (thwy changed the locks) and he was refusing saying i had no right to keys...i asked the tenant why the man was getting involved...i asked if he was her husband and she said yes but not officially....also he works nights and im sure is living there

I am in a catch 22 x 22 as if i report her thinking she may have tried to commit benefit fraud..the rent wont get paid...if i evict her the rent wont get paid...i am so stuck

update : 17 oct

i rang the local police and told them the situation and they said they would accompany me to the house to check it...later on a call centre person rang and said the police dont get involved in civil matters...i asked to speak to the police and a sergant told me that even if they hadnt paid rent the tenants had squatters rights and i had no right to enter the premises if they didnt want me to...he said that the contract isnt worth the paper its written on and he feels bad for my predicament but the law is on the side of tenants and they have a right to refuse entry.

I went to the house today..they were all in as the kids kept looking out the window when we rang the bell..but they didnt answer the door...i am really at my wits end..i went to the neighbour and she showed me that a whole section of pipe was missing..in really dont know why they haver removed it...and the agent who was with me said they are doing this on purpose to get evicted so they can get a council prop immediately..

Life is so unfair.

Any advice...please

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Hi again Heebs,

What a nightmare. Why on earth did you take on this tenant? - the alarm bells would have been ringing for me early on!

As much as you don't want to evict I think you are going to have to - get on with it. Who says she will get a council house anyway? - that is just heresay. Likewise about the benefit fraud - get in touch with the DSS and try to find out if they are going to pay your rent. If that is a 'no' then you need to evict and sooner you do the better. So she has a violent partner - so does 25% of the nation. The neighbours also seem to be winding you up with these tales.

Also I recommend you stop receiving and reacting to texts from this woman and her offspring. That is no way to do business and it is winding you up no end - and they know that. Ban her/their calls/texts.

You could have gone to the property, smelled a gas leak - (you may have a very keen, fictitious sense of smell) and called the police on 999 if necesary to get a response - if you give them time to think about anything at these call centres you get zero help. Are there any untaxed vehicles at the premises ?- this is more likely to get police help!

Really this is relying on their fear of the police and law and order to allow you access and establish some form of control. Does she have the 'right to remain' or whatever they call it - what is her status immigration wise? Has she given you a correct name, did you ask for her passport and take the details?

Try to find evidence (not just gossip) of any crime that may be being committed at the property or by persons in it and put this before the police.

One crumb of comfort may be that if they wreck the house too much it will be uninhabitable for them and the nights are getting colder and they are Africans - they will not put themselves in that much discomfort I would argue. I take it you have pics of the house before they went in?

I recommend you stay away from the property for a bit and let things cool (difficult I know). Get the legal stuff underway and accept you won't be getting the rent - but it and the damage is tax deductable.

The policeman you spoke to is right - they can refuse entry and if you force it you may end up in court with a fine.

Been there, done that but at least I got posession - BUT I am not saying you should do it!

Cheer up you still own it and they can't change that!


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Very kind words morticia...many thanks for all the helpful tips...i rang the council and although the chap couldnt divulge her details of benefit..when i told him i havent been paid a penny by her he told me to fax them how many weeks she owes and they could try and pay me direct...and also to put convey that she is asking for eviction to obtain a council house.

I will be sending off my long saga tomorrow.

My biggest mistake...paying the letting agents before getting any rent...please...learn from my mistakes...until you get rent..dont pay the agents a dime as they will suddendly become unavailable or ill all the time..or low on mobile battery etc...if they need your fee..they will chase the tenant until the first installment of rent comes through.

I am living and learning...

By the way..the council chap who was very helpful also told me that in future if i was to take on a dss tenant...not to take their word that they would give me 3rd party right to enquire re their housing claim and rent....but to make it part of the contract...or drafted by me and the tenant made to sign before giving them possession of the property.

I will defiantely do that in future...

some of you may think i am mad to consider taking on another dss..but to be fair i have another house which has a dss family for over 2 years..they are so co operative...polite..and always pay their rent before its due...so i cant let this bad experience colour my judgement but i will definatley cover my bases incase they turn out to be nightmare tenants.

Being a landlord...not easy...God help us.

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