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Landlords require ‘more protection’ say couple left with £10k clean-up bill

Significantly more must be done to protect landlords from rogue tenants, according to a couple who were left with a £10,000 clean-up bill after tenants trashed their property in South Tyneside.

Sylvia and John Purcell decided to rent out their three-bedroom house in Mortimer Road, South Shields, after moving to a new property. 

But they say their investment plans turned sour when they had to take civil court action to regain possession of their house again and were left out of pocket because of rent arrears and repair bills, which they say amounted to £10,000.

Sylvia told The Shields Gazette that she and her husband had learned important lessons from their experience - but say the advice they received could have been better.

She said: “There was trouble from the first week. When we got the house back we were just stunned to see what it was like because it had been our home for eight years.

“I think there should be more protection for landlords, I think the court system is a joke. “If we were to do it again, we would do more vetting, we would do it differently.

“Yes, there should be help and protection for tenants, but it should be more balanced.”

Background checks

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.

Landlords’ insurance

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.

  • jeremy clarke

    Remove tenant fees, reduce the amount spent on background checking, increase claims on landlord insurance policies, increase costs of landlord policies, higher rents for tenants!
    Brilliant, who thought that one out then?

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    Does anyone in government understand BTL ? well no !
    Its not a level playing field for Landlords.
    Evictions when necessary should be a lot quicker (weeks)not months ! when a court order is granted,Landlords should be able to call the police if tenants dont go,so the police can order them to go.They should be considered squaters after a court order demands they go.
    Not more cost with high court costs.Councils . must stop telling tenants not to move out after a court order and told to wait for high court officials.Which is wrong information and borders on illegal.
    Agents must be able to make reasonable fees to take up references etc,ok perhaps the Landlord should accept the costs too,(but it will end up being added to the rent)
    Cost Landlords pay need to be costed into the rent,this includes insurance,motgage payments and maintenance. Anyone that thinks otherwise ie (this government) are living in cloud cookoo land.
    Then of course there is tax(we are taxed to death) we take risk,provide homes,suffer costs,damages,loss of rents etc etc our reward is Landlord bashing from almost everyone,we are offering a service and trying to run a business,we are not rapists,murderers,we are in business and should be treated as such ! as a good landlord I also believe the bad apple Landlords should be put out of business and the good boys cherished.

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    Its Ok I guess as we are all supposed to be rich landlords...

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