Tenancy terminated: smoking, late rent and a bad attitude are the final straw for the accidental landlord

A student tenant of mine is a week late with her rent — again. And just like before, when I text her to remind her that it is time to pay up, she replies, rather nonchalantly in my opinion: “I haven’t got the money.”

What a cheek. I’ve had enough of this girl. It isn’t just because her rent is often late. I understand that, like many students, she is working part time to fund her degree so I am prepared to wait occasionally. But it’s her general bad attitude that has worn me down.

She lives in a multi-let flat with three other tenants and they are always complaining about her. She never cleans the bathroom, she always leaves her dirty dishes in the sink, she won’t take out the bin, blah blah blah. She never buys loo roll but pinches everyone else’s, she has friends who call round late and she plays loud music late at night. Basically, she is very hard work.

My big problem with her is that she smokes in the flat, including in the kitchen. I think it is disgusting and a health and safety hazard. As a landlord, I can’t allow it to continue. No smoking is allowed in communal areas of houses in multiple occupation like mine, so that rather puts an end to any arguments about it. The flatmates say it is not just nicotine that she’s smoking, if you get my drift. They asked me not to tell her that they had snitched, though, because they are afraid of her temper.

When I called round at the property a few days ago to clear a blockage in the bathroom sink, I spotted the ashtray full of fag ends. There didn’t seem to be anyone home but while I was in the bathroom I heard someone creeping down the stairs. I quickly popped out and caught her running back up the stairs with the ashtray in her hand.

I sent her a warning text to which she replied that she had only smoked outside. That was the final straw and with the late rent payment, too, that’s definitely it. I am giving her two months’ notice. She can take her bad habits and her filthy temper somewhere else. Her flat “mates” will no doubt be glad to hear she is on her way.

Victoria Whitlock lets four properties in south London. To contact Victoria with your ideas or views, tweet @vicwhitlock.

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