Why landlords in Eastbourne - and elsewhere - set conditions
From: Christopher BuckinghamBeverington Close, Eastbourne
Regarding Jill Sayers letter in the Herald (April 16) regarding landlords’ demands.
The question Jill should be asking is why are landlords placing such stringent requirements rather than implying they are heartless and money-driven!
I can only relate to a personal experience as a landlord where my brother and I invested in a house of multiple occupation in 1986 and at the time were bedsits occupied by five or six elderly ladies and was in a bit of a mess with low rental income.
As the ladies moved on we redecorated each room and carried on letting on short hold tenancy agreements but to relatively younger people.
With time we sensed the need to convert the house into flats rather than bedsits and £30,000 was spent on fire protection works new electrical installation and sound proofing between the floors and walls. We had a young lady due to be married ask to rent a flat and agreed.
Things were fine for a few months then there were delays in paying the rent which gradually amounted to £1,150 .
Despite promises they would pay they offered one excuse after another.
Court action was finally decided upon so we paid £74 court fees and a judgement was issued for them to pay, pleading poverty, made at £10 per week.
Two payments were made before overnight they just disappeared leaving the flat in a filthy state.
We approached the court and were told we would need to locate them before they could act. Whilst working by chance I spotted the young lady, now with a baby, in the street and saw her enter a property, so went back to the court and asked what would be the procedure for recovery.
The response was use their bailiff to recover value of goods equal to the debt, the service to be £75 fee.
Discussing this with the bailiff he basically told me not to waste our money as he suggested you are unlikely to get goods equal to the fee let alone the outstanding £1,130.
So as she had a baby we did not pursue the matter, so basically they got away with it.
We still let the flats overseen by a management company, and recently it was found a tenant was sub letting and the flat was raided by the police and found a dealer with £28,000 of drugs.
A landlord has every right to place conditions as there is no valid legal protection and if it seems onerous then the tenants have only themselves to blame.