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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Tulisa’s trashed apartment shows X-actly why inventories are vital

If you want to know why inventories are vital for agents and landlords, look no further than the high-profile dispute over the condition of a London apartment rented by popstar and former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.

That’s the message from No Letting Go, the UK's largest provider of inventory services with over 65 offices across the country, and the company which played a central part in the controversy.

Former N-Dubz member Tulisa was recently ordered to pay over £70,000 to the landlord of the property, in the north London suburb of Enfield, after landlord Andrew Charalambous told a court that the luxury property had been “trashed” during her tenancy.

He said the three-bedroom flat, costing £3,466 per month to rent, was let in “tip-top condition” but was returned in an “appalling” and “unlettable” state. Damage carried out between September 2014 and July 2016 was reported to have included a smashed sink, cigarette burns, stains and doors ripped from hinges.

The star’s lawyer argued that the damage was not caused by her and that it was not above normal wear and tear. 

But Judge David Saunders ruled against her and she was ordered to pay compensation, interest and legal costs in excess of £70,000 to the landlord.

The inventory work on the property was carried out by Mitchell Walters, the owner of No Letting Go's Barnet and Enfield franchise, who deals with many high-end properties in the capital. The landlord in this high-profile case described the inventory work carried out at his property as “excellent.”

Walters says: "We were pleased to be able to contribute towards helping the landlord win compensation in his case against the former tenant as the property was treated very poorly and would have cost him thousands to renovate and repair. Our inventory reporting helped to demonstrate its pristine condition at the start of the tenancy.

"Hopefully the high-profile nature of this case will help to remind landlords and letting agents about the potential financial implications of property damage if they don't have professional and comprehensive measures in place.”

Nick Lyons, No Letting Go’s chief executive and founder, adds: “When serious disputes between landlords and tenants like this occur, being able to prove it through evidence becomes crucial if landlords want to recover costs for repairs and replacements.

"This case also shows that it doesn't matter whether a rental property is at the very top or bottom end of the market, landlords and letting agents need to follow the same procedures when it comes to documenting its condition before, during and after a tenancy if they want ensure they are protected against damage.”

  • Paul Singleton

    Surely this should have been picked up much earlier when they carried out inspections? It’s interesting that they’re talking about how great their inventory service is but a regular inspection would have nipped this in the bud much earlier.

    S l
    • S l
    • 17 October 2019 08:41 AM

    Even when it was picked up on regular inspection, there is nothing they can do to get the tenant to stop it. They cant even fix the problem until the tenancy ended because the tenant are supposed to be allowed to fix all damages till the end of tenancy. If landlord fix it, they cant claim from tenant as tenant were not given the chance to rectify the problem during the tenancy period

     
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    Hi Paul, we work on behalf of Letting Agents as an outsourced supplier. We offer a full suite of inventory management services, sometimes its a one off inventory or check out, or more extensive visits for the life cycle of the tenancy.

     
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    Hi Paul, I absolutely agree with you , we see so many trashed properties and this is just because landlirds/agents wont spend a minimal cost on a quarterly property visit, we exist to protect their assets but some of the just dont get it, in our property visits we make sure the properties are not being neglected or over occupied .
    I do request that they employ us to do this for them or at least do it themselves but frequently they don't.

     
  • icon

    You really do not want tenants fixing major and even minor damage. The risks of shoddy work and invalidating insurances is just too high. There is also the cost of temporary re-housing if you have to take the tenants out of the property.

    The best action is an instant section 21 notice. It is legally sound, and has predictable costs derived from the clan break of the tenancy. You could need an army`s worth of legal work from having a really bad tenant who stays in the property during renovation and continues in their rightful way of damaging everything.

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    We do advise tenants on how to deal with damp and condensation, And we even report issues such as leaks and conditions of sanitary ware and cooking appliances.

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