How liable is a landlord for the behaviour of his tenants?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by bernoulli, Sep 9, 2004.

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  1. The house next door to me has been let for the past 8 years, to a variety of tenants, 80% of whom have been a royal pain in the arrse.
    Without going into a long litany of their offences, (mainly relating to noise, and leaving old Jallopies to rot in the road), I believe that the problem stems from the letting policy of the landlord. Until recently, he was letting this small, 2 bed terrace as a three bed house :roll: , with the postage stamp-sized front room as the third "bedroom". He has also done the absolute minimum of maintenance to the place, even to the point that he will not replace the back door, which is so rotten that the chippys could not replace the lower pane of glass, and had to bond a sheet of plywood over it. And this is a place that is up for let.
    Can Landlords, or their letting agencys be held responsible for the conduct of their tenants? and does being a landlord hold you to minimum standards of maintenance beyond having a Gas certificate etc?

    Any pointers on this would be appreciated.
  2. a good place to start may be the Ctizen Advice office, or the local council offices, letting , landords/tenents subject is a bit sticky with lots of grey areas, sorry couldn't be more helpful
  3. Hi bernoulli,
    I don't know if you are still in the mob but if you are, you could see your welfare/families office and ask if they have a solicitor who gives free advice.
    I had a problem when i let out my house while I was based elsewhere. The tenants were right idiots and causing trouble all around.
    The letting agent was as useful as a chocolate fireguard and basically denied that there had been a prob.
    Anyway, I managed to get a free half hour with a visiting solictor who came to camp once every couple of weeks, and for a tenner I got a solicitors letter written for me to enable me to start the ball rolling to get the tossers out of my house.

    If you are a civvy, then the CAB is usually a good place to start. Top tip though. them up first to book an appt with someone who deals specifically with the type of prob you are having, other wise you'll be asked to go back at a later date cos there is no-one who can deal with it in the office.

    Also look in your local rag for solicitors who give free advice/ half hour sessions.

    Letting agents in my opinion aren't worth jot, they can only see the pound sign of their monthly commission and don't care how they get it. but then again, my opinion has been blighted somewhat by that lot who I had dealings with.

    Hope you get it sorted out
  4. The authorities can take an age but the best way by far in a knock on the door and the threat of a big right hand unless they behave. :D

    Either that or get off the welfare and buy a house where the neighbours can barely be seen or heard :D :D
  5. I was looking into letting my house when I go away, but have now decided to sell it.
    Looking through the stuff that i got from letting agents, it looks like the landlord hasn't got a very good agency, they may not even know what's happening at their property.
    It depends on the arrangement with the agency as to who is responsible though. If they had a full management contract the agency would be visiting every 3 months to check the condition of the house, and arrange repairs etc. Think you can assume this isn't the case!
    It looks like the only responsibilities the landlord has are for the safety of the tenants; furnishings, electricals etc. Nothing about the tenants' behaviour or the impact on neighbours.
    If you don't have any contact details for either the agent or the landlord to address your problems to them, I would agree with CC and go to the CAB.
    In the meantime, keep a diary, and any photographic evidence if you can.
  6. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    If there are children in the house (about whom you may be worried, natch), you may want to give Social Services a ring. Or, you may think there is a health concern that Environmental Health may need to be informed of....

    Have you been in touch with the landlord? If you were to hint at taking action because the value of your house is affected by his failure to maintain his property he may do something. If the property is mortgaged (you can check with the Land Registry), the bank or mortgage company may be interested - there's usually a clause about upkeep.
  7. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    If children are at risk call the Police they can take children into their protection for 72 hours and then something can be done about the situation.
  8. Tempting MDN, tempting. In my darkest hours, I have often thought of going in with a baseball bat, but figured it would probably complicate things.

    A couple of years ago I was thinking of emigrating to Nova Scotia, where 120 grand gets you 5 bed gaff in 40 acres, with private river frontage. One snag there is getting eaten by bears when you go to take your early morning p*ss off the porch.

    Cheers for all the advice folks, much appreciated.

    Could be worse, however. In a nearby street, it turned out that the tenants were running a whorehouse! :D .

    On the other hand, that doesn't sound so bad... :twisted:
  9. I was told, by more than one person (including a relative who worked part time for an estate agent / property letting firm) when I let out my house I could be liable for civil action by my tenants neighbours if they caused a nuisance. For the princely sum of 80quid a year (tax deductible) I have legal insurance to cover me against that.

    My mortgage company insisted on tenant good behaviour clauses in my letting contract so that I could turf them out if they caused agro / damaged the property.

    I would get in touch with the owner direct and give him an earful / threat of civil action.
  10. no offence intended, but going round to give it the big one, tends to complicate matters, or rather it did for me once :oops:
    more than one way to catch a chav monkey, best bet to go for civil action first, then if that goes pete tong, consider your options :twisted:
  11. Try for an Anti Social behaviour Order.

    Or petrol through the letterbox, followed by flaming Hexi....
  12. Try checking your house insurance. It may give you legal aid to chase this up - most lawyers give an initial free consultation anyway.

    My wife tripped on a poorly maintained pavement in the centre of town and did her back and shoulder in. We've been able to use the house insurance to fund the lawyers to sue the buggers.
  13. HLS

    HLS Old-Salt

    Only did a module on it at uni so I'm a bit shaky but both Landlord and Tenant have rights and obligations protected by statute.

    As for the conduct of the tenants with regards to the property they will be responsible for the general upkeep (wear and tear) and the Landlord for the maintenace of the structure. Whether either actually does is another story. :wink:

    Theres plenty of info out there which may help.
  14. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Oh the joy of s.56!
  15. Expat - As a MRICS I am supposed to be an expert on Landlord & Tenant, esp as I worked in the L&T unit of a big london practice a few years ago.

    Asa landlord you cannot be held responsible for the conduct of your tenants. A good conduct clause means bugger all. Define "good conduct". This is the stuff that lawyers get rich on.

    I'd ask for your 80 quid back.