When landlords decide to rent property, they are unlikely to expect anti-social behaviour (ASB) from their tenants. Unfortunately, ASB can occur and landlords are responsible for dealing with this when it takes place in and around their properties. This article outlines steps landlords can take to address anti-social tenants.
Initial complaints of ASB will likely be received from neighbours. They may be made to you directly or your letting agent. Common examples include excessive noise, suspected drug use or dog fouling in common areas.
The first step is to discuss the reports of ASB with your tenant. Speak with the tenant and note their views. If you have concern the behaviour will continue, you should issue the tenant with a written warning. The warning should highlight the clause(s) in the tenancy agreement being breached, give details of the complaint and explain how it breaches their obligations under the agreement. You should make clear to the tenant that continued ASB may put their tenancy at risk.
It is important that you liaise with neighbours or other complainers and encourage them to report any ongoing issues to you. If incidents are sufficiently serious, you may also report matters to the local authority or police.
The importance of records
Keep records of each incident and the action you take in response, such as letters, meetings and telephone calls.
If matters do not improve, you may consider serving Notice to terminate the tenancy. If the tenant fails to vacate after the relevant notice period, you will require to make an application to the Tribunal for an eviction order.
If an application to the Tribunal seeking eviction is necessary, you will require to satisfy the Tribunal that ASB has occurred and, despite your efforts, your tenant has failed to modify this behaviour. The records you have retained from the start will be vitally important documents to refer to, in order to establish that the behaviour occurred and the actions you took in response. The Tribunal will require to be satisfied it is reasonable to evict as a result of ASB. Therefore, having neighbour or police witnesses who are willing to participate in Tribunal proceedings, and explain the impact of the tenant’s ASB, can help strengthen your case.
Landlords should be aware that failing to take action or address reports of ASB may put their Landlord Registration at risk.
For more information or advice, contact our team.