A Wavertree landlord has called for more action to protect good landlords from problem tenants after a ‘trail of destruction’ was left in his rental property.
Steve Parry had purchased two properties in Wavertree in the hope of rental income funding a comfortable retirement as he did not have a large pension. Instead he claimed to have ‘not made a bean’ after being subjected to a ‘living nightmare’ by a recent tenant.
The tenants had refused to leave for months, losing Mr Parry over £2,000 in unpaid rent, as well as £1,500 in court fees and at least £6,000 of damage to the home. Photos of the property show doors smashed in, piles of rubbish in the sink, and cupboards torn off. There was also a collapsed ceiling following a flood in the bathroom that the landlord believed to be deliberate. Despite the tenancy agreement not allowing pets, the family also had a large dog.
He opted to evict the tenant and their children in 2015 after claims that she’d fallen behind on rent. He also wanted to renovate the property.
Mr Parry explained: ‘The house was wrecked – it’s shocking. She had failed to sort the rent out despite numerous promises, so I gave her two months’ notice to quit. I was then forced to serve two notices on her, which cost £200 each and she ignored. I had to get an order for possession in court, which I only got in the November. She was supposed to vacate by December 13, but despite everything I let her remain on agreement she would leave after the New Year. But she refused to move – saying she was looking for a new house. I had no choice but to pay for court bailiffs. She was finally removed this April.’
It was when the tenants finally left that he discovered his property had been ruined.
Mr Parry claimed that the entire experience has put him off taking on tenants who rely on benefits to pay rent, although he acknowledges that this is unfair on the majority of decent tenants. He argued that several other landlords were also turning down such tenants after welfare reforms put tenants in charge of their own money management.
He added: ‘Most people are good people, but you get a few rotten apples. I can see it causing problems for 99 per cent of people who aren’t like that. People assume you’re loaded as a landlord, but I haven’t made a bean I’ve had that many problems. All I’m hoping is the house values will be more than I bought them for.’