Anti-social behaviour directed to new tenants – please help!

by Readers Question

11:35 AM, 7th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Anti-social behaviour directed to new tenants – please help!

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Anti-social behaviour directed to new tenants – please help!

We evicted a long term housing benefit tenant who consistently failed to pay her rent and who became seriously in arrears. When she moved out, it cost us £7,500 to repair the damage to the property.

While the repairs were being done, paint was thrown on the exterior on more than one occasion, the fencing was flattened and rubbish strewn over the garden.

Our new tenants have been subjected to endless abuse, noise and the neighbour’s children climbing over the newly erected fence. The neighbour is very friendly with my former tenant and their early teenage daughters are best friends. This has obviously exacerbated the problem.

I wrote to the council and the Anti-Social Behaviour team is investigating. Needless to say, the neighbour is alleging that my tenant is smoking cannabis, threatening her children etc. A classic case of tit for tat. The neighbour and her children have been reported before for anti-social behaviour.

My problem is what do I do should my tenant move out? Will I have to advise new tenants of the neighbours? If so, I won’t easily find a tenant if at all. What action can I take to get compensation?

Many thanks

Maureen



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:40 AM, 7th July 2014
About 4 years ago

What a nightmare situation Maureen.

Have the police been involved yet?

This may sound extreme, but have you considered selling the property for your own piece of mind?

Mark Alexander

14:28 PM, 7th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Yikes!

I haven't come across a problem like this before so don't know what to suggest. I hope others will be able to comment.
.

Jonathan Clarke

16:44 PM, 7th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Ouch - Very difficult situation. I feel sorry for you. I recommend that you should contact the police as well to get the crimes formally recorded and they will investigate. They should liaise with the ASB Council team but positive action is needed and they have more powers.

The authorities will no doubt be aware of the history of your ex tenant and the neighbours so it wont be seen as tit for tat ( assuming your tenant doesnt smoke cannabis etc !) they will hear both sides but it should be clear after a short time who the victim is. Then you should get the support you deserve.

I would advise your existing tenants to keep a log of each incident however minor ie time/.date/ what happens . Its vital to build up a history to demonstrates a course of action by the offenders. Consider installation of cameras front and back and also easy access to recording devices for your tenants if there are verbal altercations .

The police could up their patrols take witness statements from other independent neighbours and let the local PCSO pay a visit to reassure etc. Consider civil action and injunctions as well - a solicitor should advise. You could as a last resort call in private detectives but that is an expensive option

But with the family next door being the ex tenants friends this has all the signs of an ongoing neighbourly feud and they are difficult to manage in all honesty

As Neil said selling maybe the best option if the problem doesn`t look like going away. The neighbourly dispute will have to be disclosed though to the proposed buyer now that its been reported formally. That may put them off of course so expect a hit on the price.

But people like this need to be stood up to and sometimes aggressors resolve is weakened when they have the police and council officials on their doorstep every other night. They may back off when the going gets tougher for them

Good Luck

Mick Roberts

17:18 PM, 7th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Yes,

I’ve had this a few times. I’m sure Jonathon has as well.

Horrible as it may sound, if you have any tenants on your waiting list, choose one that can give a bit back. Yes, all ‘posher’ landlords strike me down, but either choose one that will enjoy the bantering with him & take it loving it.
Choose one that won’t take no crap & put them in their place.

Or should u not want to go down that route which I understand, whoever u choose next, tell them from the outset of the problems next door.
I’ve had it several times & always tell my new tenant that next door is such & such. Half the time, they ain’t bthered & just turn their stereo up louder. Not nice I know, but you’re left with a sticky situation where u have no choice.

Being honest with new tenant does work wonders. Sometimes if they’re good as pie, they might stick it for a year. And next one a year cause you’ve already forewarned ‘em. And sometimes, even quite often, trouble neighbour tenant has moved out by then or been evicted.

It is horrible for u & I feel sorry for u. Or as Jonathon as said before-Not me honest ha ha-Take a good big bouncer mate to have a gentle word.

Tom Thumb

10:54 AM, 8th July 2014
About 4 years ago

By their very nature, these sorts of situations are never quick to sort out - but that's not to say that they cannot be sorted.

As said above, inform the police immediately and start to build up a file of incidences. Hopefully your existing tenant is doing just that; a precise, detailed, timed, dated, impartial and unemotive record of EVERYTHING that takes place, even if it's a SINGLE shout, swear or item thrown.

I know that it is possible to sue for loss of value due to something like an anti-social neighbour should you decide to sell the house, but it's not something that's pursued very often (more's the pity - can you imagine the delight of being able to land a court order on your neighbour's mat for a, say, £20k devalue of your property? Followed up by the Sheriff's action to recoup these losses via seized goods? Now, I'd stay to watch that one...)

What is happening here is clearly 'harassment', and that is a pretty serious criminal offence. I think that should be made clear to the police when they investigate - it IS a serious matter.

Maureen Bassill

12:03 PM, 8th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Thank you all of your advice. I have contacted the local ASB Team who have been very quick to react. They have contacted the police.

The troublesome tenants are housed by the Council and everyone over 10 in the household is having to sign an agreement to stop the behaviour to face eviction by the Council.

My tenant, a teaching assistant, is to be investigated for using cannabis on the allegation of someone known to the police for anti-social behaviour. She could lose her job.

She is logging all incidents and has spoken to the other neighbours to ask them to report the neighbours should they have had similar experiences. Quite a few have.

My real query is what recourse do I have if this Council tenant is responsible for my tenant moving out? I will suffer financial loss by having a vacant property which will most probably be vandalised again. Must I just shrug this off as yet another burden to be borne by a 'greedy landlord'?

Jonathan Clarke

12:25 PM, 8th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Maureen Bassill" at "08/07/2014 - 12:03":

I`m afraid that is part and parcel of the industry we are in. If demand is high though it should be filled within a week. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of the areas you invest in.
I chose estates which sound similar to your one and you have to take the rough with the smooth. The figures work well in spite of some extra management costs so I try to focus on that . You could try a civil suit but it wont get off the starting blocks I would suggest. Why did you invest in this property can I ask ? Are these goings on an anomaly in this area or is it symptomatic perhaps of the general mix and type of people and their behaviour patterns?


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