Auctioneer Maria Clifford gives her expert knowledge on some property-related questions in our latest Property Q and A blog…
Dear Liberty Blue,
This may seem silly to you but I am afraid of one of my tenants! I have a house that has been split into flats and I rent out to two families and a couple. To be honest I just about cover my mortgage – I have been thinking about putting the rent up for the last couple of years but have not had the heart to do it.
Anyway, one of the tenants – a man who is living with his partner and a small child in the top floor apartment has started to be threatening to me over the last few months. He has refused to pay full rent, claiming that there are things broken in the flat that have to be replaced. He won’t let me in to check the appliances for myself – he stands in the way of the door and uses horrible language to me – and insists that new things are needed.
I feel like he is just making excuses to not pay the rent. When I try to talk things out on the phone he is actually quite upsetting in the way he talks to me. What can I do? They have been there for 2 and a half years but this craic just started a few months ago.
Any help is appreciated.
I’m so sorry to hear this has happened to you. I can assure you in our experience the majority of tenants are reasonable and fair to deal with.
Firstly, if you are ever in fear of your safety you should notify the gardai – look up the phone number of your local Garda station and put it into your phone https://www.garda.ie/en/contact-us/station-directory/. In an emergency, phone 999.
Assuming the tenancy is registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), you should write a 14-day notice letter regarding the arrears to your tenants and send it to them.
If the arrears are not cleared within 14 days you can then send them a letter giving them 28 days notice to quit (leave the property).
If the tenant still does not move out of your property, you need to contact the RTB immediately RTB and request a hearing.
It’s really important to put everything in writing rather than verbally – you may need to show evidence of the communication you’ve had with your tenants.
If the rent is fully paid within 14 days but you still can’t get access to inspect the alleged broken or defective items, speak to the RTB about their mediation service. I am assuming your lease stipulates that the landlord can have access to view and inspect the property with reasonable notice.
For more info visit https://www.rtb.ie/dispute-resolution
If or when the tenant vacates, I would advise you to hire a local agent with a track record and lots of experience to find you new tenants and manage the tenancies going forward. This should work very well for you and give you peace of mind.
Dear Liberty Blue,
I am planning to move to the UK at the end of October with my job. I would like to sell my house before I go but what are the chances of getting everything wrapped up before I go? Would I need to sell all the furniture etc. and remove it from the house so that the hoped-for new buyer can move in their own furniture or leave it here and try to deal with it from London after the sale is agreed?
Is there anyone in Waterford who would be able to help me and act on my behalf after I move?
The market is seriously heated at the moment. in most cases, properties are sale agreed – subject to contract – within 14 days. Once you go to market at the correct price and present your property well, you should get lots of interest.
Engage your solicitor now and get all the paperwork arranged so when you agree on a price with a buyer, the solicitor will be able to issue contracts immediately. Being organised in this regard may reduce the time to close the sale by 4 to 6 weeks. At the moment if a buyer is mortgaging a property the average time to close a sale seems to be 12 weeks.
In relation to your furniture, some buyers may be happy to use the furniture and even pay a fee for it. But if they don’t require it, there are lots of charity shops who will arrange to collect it once it is in good condition.