A landlord is celebrating finally getting her flat back after waiting for more than a year to evict her errant tenant.

Lilyanna Markova, who works in a cosmetic clinic, built up losses totalling more than £35,000 in back rent and legal costs after the tenant refused to pay rent or move out – and was then caught up in the courts backlog. She’s extremely glad to have the flat back.

“I feel very happy,” Lilyanna tells LandlordZONE. “It’s been so much stress and I’m glad it’s finally over.”

However, her victory is bitter-sweet as she estimates it will cost at least £50,000 to carry out all the necessary repairs after the tenant left it in an appalling state.

She adds: “I had thought about moving into the property but I just want to sell it now as there are too many bad memories.”

Erratic payments

Lilyanna first rented out her two-bedroom flat to the tenant and her three children near London city airport in September 2017 and rent payments were erratic or non-existent from the start.

When she tried unsuccessfully to serve a Section 21 notice in 2018, the tenant countered with a compensation demand for problems caused by damp.

Since then, court hearings have been constantly delayed and she’s had a particularly difficult time during the pandemic after being herself evicted from her rented central London flat last September when the landlord needed it back.

She’s been living in an Airbnb for months and relying on friends’ help to pay bills ever since.

Her story was featured on BBC London News as part of an investigation into rent arrears and evictions, alongside Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina who helped with the evictions process.

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