Helpful Tips Tenancy Management

Forum Spotlight: What to do about tenants complaining about each other

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

When two tenants in a HMO don’t get on, it can leave a landlord feeling like they are stuck in the middle, and in a dilemma about how to deal with the problem.

This was the situation that a landlord that posted on our forum recently was faced with.

They had recently purchased two flats, which were in a converted house. The tenant in one of these flats has been making several noise complaints about the other tenant in the other flat.

The first time this happened, the tenant that was making the noise apologized to the first tenant, and all was well.

However, the problem came up again a few weeks later, with the same tenant complaining about the noise the tenant next door was making through a series of angry text messages that were sent to the landlord in the early hours of the morning.

As soon as the landlord picked these messages up, they got in touch with the tenant making the noises, and informed them that by playing very loud music during the night, they are in fact breaching the tenancy agreement.

However,, the tenant denied even being at the property when the first claimed to have heard the loud music, and was adamant that the would have been no music coming from his flat. He said that the likely cause of all the noise was the nightclub that was close by, which can easily be heard from the flats.

The first tenant claimed that this was a lie.

Understandably, the landlord wanted to know what to do next, and asked our Forum users to share their advice and any expeirences they might havehad on this issue.

Don’t interfere in arguments between tenants

The first landlord to offer their advice said that ideally the landlord should leave the two tenants to sort out their issues amongst themselves. They said that its not a landlords place to get involve in arguments like this, unless the problem has escalated and there is no alternative.

Check out licensing conditions

Another Forum user suggested that the landlord should, if they are in an area of selective licensing, check out the conditions of the license. This is because some licensing conditions require landlords to take steps when a complaint about antisocial behavior is received.

The same member also advised the landlord to write a letter to the tenants advising them of their obligations to not ‘make a noise’ within the prohibitive hours. A tenant is also able to complain about the noise that is being made to the local environmental health department about the noise.

Only act when you can be sure

Another member said that this landlord should act with caution, and make sure that he knows the second tenant is to blame for the noise.

They suggested letting the noisy tenant know he is being recorded, and that all evidence will be documented and passed across to the local council’s environmental department.

Doing this will mean that if the tenant is guilty of making the noise and is a sensible person, then the problem should cease.

The landlord should aim to be firm with the tenants but also fair, and should always make sure they keep safe if confronting a tenant, possibly taking a witness with them.

What happened in the end 

The original forum poster thanked the landlords for sharing their experiences and offering advice on what the next best steps might be.

What happened next was that tenant one got in touch with the council, so it looks as if the situation is on its way to being resolved. The landlord shared that they plan to write to the other tenant involved, making the position clear, but they agreed with what other landlords on our Forum said- that they didn’t want to get too involved in disputes between two of their tenants.

Find out more
  • £10 antisocial behaviour course-Thursday 1st March is the last day for people to use up their old ten pound notes. To coincide with this, for one day only the RLA is offering landlords the chance to purchase the antisocial behaviour course for just £10.
  • The RLA also have several guides available to members about dealing with antisocial behaviour. Have a read of these here. 
  • Read the original Forum Post here

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.