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Was I an evil landlord?

AlbeAlbe Posts: 123
edited December 2022 in The potting shed
"Accidental" landlord here. Bought a house intending to live there forever with family until life came in the way and we moved (abroad). We thought it was better to let it rather than selling it. So I've been a landlord for few years now.

Last tenants moved out. All good.

New applicants turned up, a couple and her sister. I got a report from the agent: two red flags: 1) their previous landlord would NOT relet to them, and 2) their previous agent says they left the place messy.
So I had to decide whether to let our property to them or not. Two ways of looking at it.

A. It could well be that the previous landlord was unreasonable. I know this sometimes happens, I went through an unreasonable landlord myself. Decent people should not be penalized because someone else is evil.

B. I must decide based on the information I have. Although this information is incomplete, and possibly not fully correct, this is ALL I have. If I ignore it, I should not have looked at it.

Ultimately point B carried more weight for me, so I answered "sorry, no". But I feel a little bad about it. 

Maybe they are great folks and I put them in difficulty?
Was I naughty?
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  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 2,594
    When in doubt, don't.  

    There must be a valid reason why the previous landlord wouldn't relet.  

    No, you are not naughty.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,542
    edited December 2022
    Not at all. A landlord/tenant relationship is a commercial contract and if your references turn up anything a bit suspect, you'd be extremely unwise not to act on that information.
    Letting to unsatisfactory tenants could a nightmare and involve you in lots of expense/time/trouble.

    Do hope you find better tenants soon.

    By the way, you do know that you can get landlord insurance against non-payment of rent, void periods and damage etc?  It's well worth the extra cost for peace of mind.
  • AlbeAlbe Posts: 123
    Lizzie27 said:
    By the way, you do know that you can get landlord insurance against non-payment of rent, void periods and damage etc?  It's well worth the extra cost for peace of mind.
    Yes I knew already, but I decided against it. I'm not a big fun of insurances, though I have some of course. Insurances are a good thing, but not at any price, and I think most insurances are overpriced. Thanks for mentioning it anyway.

  • Iv'e seen the programmes on tv where landlords have had all kinds of grief trying to get their property back from bad tenants, I'm not a landlord myself but if I had even the tiniest doubt then I wouldn't take a chance.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    edited December 2022
    You’re not there to meet the prospective tenants and try to assess their character and intentions for yourself  … therefore the wise thing to do is to be guided by the professionals you are paying good money to look after your property. To do otherwise would be foolish. 

    You’re obviously a kind well-principled person, but your first duty is to look after yourselves and your own assets.  If you suffered the loss of property because of a tenants’ bad behaviour, how then could you provide a home to others?

    You’ve done the right thing. Sleep easy. 👍 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • You've obviously given it a lot of thought and best to go with both the info you have ( or haven't ) and your instinct.
    As a landlord, you have to consider your own interests as well as that of your tenants.  If you chose the wrong tenants and they became a problem in some way, you would perhaps be less inclined to rent out the property again so there would be one less decent landlord and property available  :)  
  • Red mapleRed maple YorkshirePosts: 575
    Not at all. I think you are wise to follow your instincts. The last thing you need is a lot of mess and non payment of rent to deal with.
  • Albe said:
    "Accidental" landlord here. Bought a house intending to live there forever with family until life came in the way and we moved (abroad). We thought it was better to let it rather than selling it. So I've been a landlord for few years now.

    Last tenants moved out. All good.

    New applicants turned up, a couple and her sister. I got a report from the agent: two red flags: 1) their previous landlord would NOT relet to them, and 2) their previous agent says they left the place messy.
    So I had to decide whether to let our property to them or not. Two ways of looking at it.

    A. It could well be that the previous landlord was unreasonable. I know this sometimes happens, I went through an unreasonable landlord myself. Decent people should not be penalized because someone else is evil.

    B. I must decide based on the information I have. Although this information is incomplete, and possibly not fully correct, this is ALL I have. If I ignore it, I should not have looked at it.

    Ultimately point B carried more weight for me, so I answered "sorry, no". But I feel a little bad about it. 

    Maybe they are great folks and I put them in difficulty?
    Was I naughty?
    No..business is business ..you're not a charity.
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,561
    You are definitely not the bad guy.  In fact I would sell and get out of the landlord business altogether.  The son of a friend and his partner have been renting a property in the knowledge that the owner would be returning to the UK on a certain date and would want the property back.  They were given notice, as agreed, and went to the council to organise another property.  They do have 2 children, one of whom is diabetic, so should be priority.  The council told them that if they left the property voluntarily they would be classed as 'deliberately homeless' and would get no help in obtaining another property to rent.  They were told to stay put until the owner got a court order and evicted them.  Only then would they get help.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,473
    My brother had a tenant, who despite having a no pets rule, moved in a large Alsatian.  He then lost his job, and claimed the council would pay his rent. The council said they didn't pay until he was unemployed for three months.  Meanwhile he was in debt to over £1000. My brother took to turning up every Friday for the rent.  The tenant applied for a council house. When he started being approved for houses, the council rang up for a reference. When my brother told them he was in arrears, they said they would not consider him for a council house. The following Friday he cleared all the arrears in cash.  Three months after that he got a council house and moved out, and wondered if his cousin could take over the tenancy. The answer to that was No.
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