Help! Tenant on my land has caused loads of damage
Hi everyone, hoping someone may be able to shed some help on an unusual problem! I'm in the UK. Sorry for the long post!
I rent some land out to a person with three horses and a goat. She's recently got me into trouble with the council as, unbeknown to me, (I live a long way away from my land) she's had a quarter of an acre dug up and levelled and put essentially foundations in for a ménage... Naturally without planning permission!
In a nut shell, we started amicable and this was now 6 weeks ago as I tried to keep friendly as ultimately I want her to put it right. It has to be put back to the natural slope. Quotes are in the region of £2500. She's also damaged multiple fences and has used my land to essentially flytip on too as it's *a mess* (rubbish and rubble everywhere).
I gave her a deadline of today to get the work commenced on obviously groundwork repairs, fence repairs, clearing all her rubbish etc and guess what - nothing has been done! As of last night I messaged her again demanding a date by the deadline today to which work would commence. She read the message and didn't reply.
A few contractors are suggesting I change the padlock and proceed to get the police involved and get her done for criminal damage while keeping control of the situation (as I'm certain she's just going to disappear soon, taking her horses and goat, leaving me with £2500+ worth of repairs and rubbish removal to deal with).
Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this?
If I did change the padlock and demand the money say within 28 days or whatever and she proceeded to cut the lock or suchlikes I'd have even greater grounds for criminal damage but ultimately I'd still not get any money off her.
There is no point going down the small claims route as she's on benefits and nothing worth anything that the bailiffs could take 😭 help!