Eagle-eyed landlords, tenants, lawyers and others in the know will have spotted the faux-pas in my rant yesterday:
We cannot and will not be clearing anything out out from the property – because we do not have possession or right of access. We will have to get a court order for possession before being able to do anything.
Phone calls to both the NLA and Landlord Action confirmed that actually, right now, we can do naff-all. The contents of the house – yeah, all the pots, ducting and associated stuff – are the property of the tenant. With the AST contract in place, we can’t clear anything out, touch it, or do anything to start reinstating the property to a decent state. If we did, the tenant could, of course, sue us. It has, apparently, been known to happen. The tenant is in receipt of housing benefit, and the local authority will protect the tenant’s rights,
Forgive me for being just a tad … well, p*****d off … at this situation. We could of course sue for damages but all in all – what’s the point? Where would that get us? Most likely nowhere.
Is it just me, or does it seem that both the housing benefit and legal system, in this sort of case, seem to be in support of the illegal activity? Answers on a postcard please … or at the end of this post.
Of course we are not the first to be subject to such an experience, and won’t be the last. Two reports of cannabis farms being discovered in Carmarthen made local headlines over the weekend, and we heard yesterday that one of the empty, large high street units has suffered the same fate. An exchange with a friend in Swansea revealed that the tenanted property next door to her was being cleared of such paraphenalia over the last few days.
The majority of landlords are doing their best to provide decent housing. And seem to get little in the way of support for doing so.
** Picture credit: http://the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/newzbin2-some-reflections.html