Nick Saunders, 35, has been left with a £10,000 clean-up bill after tenants from hell trashed his rental property in Plymouth, Devon, leaving it smelling of urine.
The tenants, who had two young children, three dogs and two rats, were eventually evicted after a year-long dispute.
Describing the appalling state of the property, Saunders said: “You literally couldn't breathe when you went in to the house because the smell was so bad.
“The dogs were allowed to urinate on the floors, they had taken all the carpets up and when we finally got rid of them, we found two rats in the boiler.
“They said they had one dog, which I was fine with, but they actually had three and there was excrement everywhere.
“It was extremely stressful and disrespectful. They really were the tenants from hell.
He added: “Between the unpaid rent, legal costs and the refurbishment of the house, I'd say I'm £10,000 out of pocket.
“I have a mortgage and family of my own to provide for. They have no possessions or income so I'll probably never get it back.”
This unfortunate tenancy highlights why it is so important that landlords properly vet prospective tenants by carrying out background checks on the people they let homes to by referencing tenants, as this is when many potential problems can be identified and ultimately avoided.
Tenant referencing provides all the background information on prospective tenants, helping landlords and agents make an educated choice about who they let properties to and importantly their ability to pay the rent on time each month.
But while measures such as credit checks and tenant referencing can minimise the chances of letting a property to bad tenants, there are no guarantees that what may appear to be a perfect occupant turns out to be a tenant from hell, and that is why the importance of landlord’s insurance should also not be underestimated.
Insurers offer a wide range of different property-related policies and so it is certainly not a case of one size fits all. But the only way landlords can properly protect themselves and their investment property against bad tenants is to take out appropriate landlords’ insurance that differs from standard home insurance.
Landlords’ insurance is a policy that covers a property owner from financial losses connected with rental properties. The policy generally covers the building, with the option of insuring any contents that belong to the landlord that are inside.
The policy will normally cover standard perils such as fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, storm, floods, escape of water and oil, subsidence, theft and sometimes malicious damage by the tenant. Additional coverage might include accidental damage, terrorism, alternative accommodation costs, contents insurance, public, or landlord's liability cover, offering legal protection if tenants are injured, and crucially, rent guarantee and legal protection insurance.
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