This week our landlord advice team dealt with a call from one of our members who was experiencing some trouble at their property.
They had received a complaint from the resident of a neighbouring property about their tenant having parties late into the night, playing loud music and smoking drugs, and our member wanted to know what steps they should take and if they are required to do so.
We were able to clear this situation up for our member.
As a good landlord you should take the complaint seriously, and investigate to see what you believe to be happening.
We advised this landlord that as a first step, they should arrange to have a chat with the tenant in question to explain that they have received the complaint. It’s a good idea to hear what your tenant and neighbour has to say first and listen in a non-judgmental way to get the facts straight, before deciding what to do next.
If the tenants are indeed causing a nuisance to the area, then its a good idea to advise them that this behaviour needs to change, and they should be more considerate to those around them.
It is also important to manage the expectations of the neighbour who made the complaint. They may be expecting you to go around to the property and evict these tenants immediately due to their inconvenience, however, it is not that simple.
You can inform them that you will be taking action as you are able to, but that gaining possession of the property is neither immediately necessary nor is it always possible in a timely fashion, if at all.
Non-legal remedies for antisocial behaviour-mediation
To learn how to deal with anti-social behavior (ASB), take a look at the RLA’s Anti-social behaviour eLearning course, which includes information on and How to identify ASB including legal definitions and the law, and non-legal remedies for dealing with ASB including negotiation, mediation and gathering evidence.
This tenancy was in a fixed term still, and had 6 more months left to go, and so section 21 would be unable to be served until a point where the notice period would expire outside of the fixed term.
If the landlord were to take any action at this point it would need to be under section 8 ground 14, which is the most applicable ground for anti-social behaviour. This is a discretionary ground. We advise that if landlords wish to go down this route, they first gather as much evidence as possible such as witness statements and police reports.
Whilst this ground only has a 24-hour notice period, you are then waiting on a court hearing date which can take 2 months or more in some areas.
At a court hearing, the judge must consider both sides of the story. Whilst the judge will be understanding that the tenant may be causing a nuisance, they must also consider if the tenant shows remorse for their actions. Due to this, this ground is notoriously difficult to get an eviction on, and there have been cases with much more serious instances of anti-social behaviour than partying where an eviction has still not been granted under this ground.
Rupinder Aujla, LAT Team Manager, said “We often help our members with situations like this, and it is one of those circumstances where tenant management plays more of a role than court action. The landlord in this case is at risk of spending their money and time to go to court and not get their desired outcome. In that sense, managing your tenants and either resolving the issue or waiting for an alternative method of regaining possession is how we would advise our members.”
Looking for advice on how to deal with anti-social behavior?
If you’re an RLA member you can give our advice team a call on
03330 142 998 and press option 1 to speak to a landlord advisor. Not a member? For unlimited one to one advice, join us today!
Read the RLA’s guidance on How to deal with anti-social behaviour here.