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Anti-social Tenants - What are the Landlords Duties?

Anti-Social Behaviour can be anything from playing loud music at unreasonable hours, parking i...

 

Anti-Social Behaviour can be anything from playing loud music at unreasonable hours, parking in someone else’s space, allowing the outside areas to fall into disrepair and hedges growing too high. Even smoking outside of one property blowing smoke into others is starting to be a problem.

So what can a landlord do?

Unless the property is licensed, Landlords don’t have a legal obligation to do anything (unless there is a Premise Closure Order).

However, one thing that is clear, a well looked after property with agreeable neighbours will bring in a better rent and be better long term investment for a landlord than one that has issues with nuisance tenants, disagreements and complaints.

How to start?

Firstly, of course, prevention is better than a cure, so thorough referencing plays a key part before accepting any tenant. Can you get references from previous landlords? Character reference as well as any credit checks are just as important when deciding on a new tenant.

Secondly – is your tenancy agreement clear on what is not acceptable whilst in the tenancy? There should be a specific clause prohibiting any noise, nuisance or illegal activities.

Your Letting Agent should be able to advise further on this and other clauses, as any clause that is inserted needs to have been properly negotiated to be enforceable.

You’ve done all that, but you’ve still had complaints

Where possible, it would be best to speak to the tenant, see if you can confirm that the behaviour has happened, that it isn’t a ‘one-off’ and that the complaint is justified.

Try to agree a solution with the tenant and set a timescale to comply by.

Follow all discussions with a written confirmation of what was agreed, time, date and who was present. In many cases, this is what a Letting Agent is doing on a regular basis, perhaps without the landlord even being aware.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, then repossession may be the only option left. Again your Letting Agent will be able to advise which is the best notice to serve, this can be a legal nightmare, serving the wrong notice will often be worse than serving no notice.

 

If you are a neighbour suffering from ASB you should contact the agent or landlord of the property, if you need further assistance, your local council will be able to help you, either with the Environment Health Dept, or the Tenancy Enforcement Team who can give advice to private landlords also, and of course in the Police.

 

For further information on this issue please contact Claire or Charlotte who would be happy to offer no obligation advice.

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