Help! Tenant on my land has caused loads of damage - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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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!
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 06:53 AM
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You don't need opinion, you need cold, hard facts and that means you need to consult a lawyer familiar with laws in your area and licensed to practice.


Obviously, your tenant is not heeding your communications, doesn't care and right about now also is not going to "right the wrongs" without legal proceedings demanding it of her.
Take off the nice gloves, get a lawyer/attorney and go after her.
If she ups and walks away...you as property owner are held liable for her mess.
It is you the property owner ultimately responsible so best to get some legal advice to protect you and how to make sure you are reimbursed for $$ spent because of said tenant...


A public forum...sorry, to me that just doesn't cut it nor give you enough protection from legal against you!!
Best of luck.

...
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 07:19 AM
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You must evict her now and sue her for damages. Sounds awful, sorry this happened to you.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 08:21 AM
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Like @horselovinguy said, it could help to get a lawyer (barriester or soliciter, I forget which is which, but I guess the kind that doesn't go to court). However, as you said she's on benefits and would be unable to pay any settlement, maybe there isn't even any point. If she can't pay to fix the things she's done, I don't see the point of trying to be nice to her either. I mean, what would the advantage to you be? It sounds like, practically speaking, you probably have to accept that you have lost this money, and evict her before she can do any more damage. You've already given her a deadline that she ignored. You need to get the law involved now.

It's possible that a lawyer who is familiar with this area of the law (landlord tenant? land usage? violation of council ordinances?) might be able to point you to a solution you haven't thought of.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much everyone. Yeah the trouble with taking it down the legal route to recuperate the costs is that because she's on benefits and has nothing the bailiffs could take anywhere near the value I need, I won't get anywhere going down that route (learnt this the hard way last year with a customer at work - I'm self employed, did a job for someone, invoiced and they never paid - cost me £120 to take it to court only to be awarded £1/pcm reimbursement as she claims she can't afford any more. What a farce. So with my tenant now essentially oweing me so much money to put it all right, it'd absolutely not be worth even trying that. Though am wondering about criminal damages 🤔 I'll have a Google re solicitor who may be able to advise.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymousmouse View Post
Yeah the trouble with taking it down the legal route to recuperate the costs is that because she's on benefits and has nothing the bailiffs could take anywhere near the value I need.

See...you do have resources... that can be tapped

She has livestock...she has money, period.
Her livestock is worth something...
If that is her assets, then so be it the court of law takes assets and makes rulings to pay off a debt.
Her animals can be auctioned so you can compensated...
But, but you never tip the hand if you really want be compensated cause she will take, run and hide those animals leaving you no option but pay all legal damages from your pocket.
You need to get a cold-heart sometimes when because of someone else actions you pay dearly financially is not fair.
Fair is she fixes what she did, and fair is if she can't financially hand you the funds then the courts have every legal right to liquidate luxury items to pay the outstanding debt she made against you happen.
That is how the law sees it...black and white, no emotional heartstrings attached.
...
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
See...you do have resources... that can be tapped

She has livestock...she has money, period.
Her livestock is worth something...
If that is her assets, then so be it the court of law takes assets and makes rulings to pay off a debt.
Her animals can be auctioned so you can compensated...
But, but you never tip the hand if you really want be compensated cause she will take, run and hide those animals leaving you no option but pay all legal damages from your pocket.
You need to get a cold-heart sometimes when because of someone else actions you pay dearly financially is not fair.
Fair is she fixes what she did, and fair is if she can't financially hand you the funds then the courts have every legal right to liquidate luxury items to pay the outstanding debt she made against you happen.
That is how the law sees it...black and white, no emotional heartstrings attached.
...
I can't imagine this person's horses are worth that much. Selling them may punish her but will not fully compensate the OP. And if I were the OP, I'd be thinking about where horses sold at a low-end auction would end up. That may just be me, though.

I was just thinking, though, where did she get the money to have the foundation laid? Maybe she has some money that you are not aware of?
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 10:05 AM
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I'm thinking that this situation falls into what I call "To win, sometimes you have to lose.". Lose the tennant, lose her animals and fix it all up yourself. Sometimes piece of mind is worth more than the money you lose.

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Ooo can they make her sell her horses though I wonder? I know we have horse bailiffs in the UK but I was under the impression they're for situations like where horses have been abandoned somewhere and the land owner needs them gone? I will definitely look into this. To be fair, they're probably worth £1000 each (ish) so would cover my repair bill nicely.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-15-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Oh also forgot to say that apparently the money to do the work she's had done was from a "lump sum she came into" but that's now all gone... In theory!
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