I have the misfortune of being taken to court by nightmare tenant in small HMO?

I have the misfortune of being taken to court by nightmare tenant in small HMO?

15:11 PM, 25th February 2021, About 8 months ago 15

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Hi all 118ters, I have had the misfortune of being taken to court by a nightmare tenant who rents a room in a small HMO. The tenant in themselves is not too bad but her boyfriend who has moved in with her (not in accordance with her tenancy agreement) is a foul-smelling weed head.

My reputation in my area is the landlord who is zero tolerant to drugs as such I have tenants in my HMO’s for over ten years.

I have been telling the weed head he does not belong there and that he is stinking the place out with his weed. The smell is overpowering. I have knocked on their door on numerous occasion when I visit and berated them over the awful smell. I have other tenants in there who are really unhappy with the smell but who fear repercussions from the weed heads if they get involved.

They are cocky and warned me they would seek action against me if I continued to berate them over the weed.

Went to court on Monday the judge had read the particulars of their claim and I must admit whoever put the story together paints me as this bullying landlord with some very creative wordplay.

During the hearing, the judge expressed he did not want to hear any evidence and “let’s try and sort it amicably”. They naturally played the victims and I got the impression he had already prejudged me and tended to side with them. Despite me telling him drug use was illegal and that I had an independent witness who could confirm he was selling the drugs in my property.

He wouldn’t allow me to rebuke any of their wild untruths with hard actual evidence, instead chose to threaten me with an injunction if I continued to knock on their door over the weed. I have to appear again in mid-March because they told him they would be moving out by April (highly unlikely)

So the judge forbids me from trying to stop illegal activity in my HMO, total disregard for the decent tenants who don’t smoke weed and who knows on my next appearance award them the 200 quid they are seeking for loss of the quiet enjoyment. …..you couldn’t make it up !!!

Am I from a different planet or am I wrong to feel hard done by?

Paul



Comments

by mccabeproperties

18:30 PM, 26th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by psquared at 26/02/2021 - 12:23
I have about 35 tenants some have been with me over ten years in the hmo's. they like my robust approach to drugs and antisocial behaviour. so much so lets include weedhead and his girl and say i have 36 tenants. 34 of my tenants would quite happily make statements to support me or even stand as witnesses for me.
The Jeremy Kyler's crowd will never listen to reason. If they were reasonable they wouldn't continue to do what they do.
Its there view of complete self entitlement and everybody else will just have to put up or shut up.
A landlord of over 30years and never been dragged to court before.......must be doing something right!!!

by psquared

18:46 PM, 26th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by mccabeproperties at 26/02/2021 - 18:30
I know nothing about you and whilst I have kno reason to doubt the veracity of what you say there are always more thsn one side in argument. . What i do know is that berating my tenants Would be unlikely to achieve a satisfactory result.

I totally agree you are in difficult situation but I feel you are slightly naive saying you take a zero tolerance to drugs... what does that mean in practice?

I certainly dont approve of drugs in any way but I am not able to control what my tenants do behind closed doors.....weed is fairly easy to detect but how do you operate a zero tolerance... do you search their rooms? Confiscate contraband? Carry out strip body searches? Police their visitors?

I’m genuinely interested to know how you manage to run drug free tenancies.

I treat my tenants with respect... I chat to them and if something goes wrong I will have an honest conversation, explain the problem and seek agreement how to move forward.....i would never berate them or repeatedly knock on the door ( you are leaving yourself open to the serious charge of tenant harrasment).

by Tom Kirkwood

8:25 AM, 27th February 2021, About 8 months ago

If it were me I’d go straight to a section 21 notice. Weed smokers are a pain and due to the police and societal indifference it’s impossible to get any meaningful action. Section 21! Problem gone! May take time but worth being rid of them.

by Paul Shears

12:06 PM, 27th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by psquared at 26/02/2021 - 18:46
"you are slightly naive saying you take a zero tolerance to drugs... what does that mean in practice?"
It means that the first thing that you do is to contact the police and inform them that believe that there re drugs associated with the property.
Then contact you local councillors.
Then neighbourhood watch.
Then, if you have one, the agent.
All this happened with a HMO opposite my house.
Except that there was no agent.
The landlord hired an agent on the understanding that he would deal with the problem tenant.
The agent spoke to the tenant twice. The second time was to firmly point out to him that the situation was unacceptable to all parties and he should leave.
The tenant left within two weeks.
Yes I know there will be all sorts of outraged comments here from readers pointing out the obvious (Finance, legality etc ad-infinitum) .
But that is what happened and it worked.
It also sets a precedent for future tenants as the story will be shared.

by Tom Kirkwood

14:55 PM, 27th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 27/02/2021 - 12:06
What I think a zero tolerance approach is. When drugs become an issue it gets addressed. Most drug taking goes unnoticed because the person or persons cause no problems for others. And a tenant with any sense goes into the garden or outside to smoke weed. I rent over 75 rooms in Luton and have lots of air crew who get regularly drug tested and cannot afford a second hand smoke positive drug test. So when I come across weed smokers I make sure they understand why they’re causing problems. We also sell our rooms on the back of being proactive to ensure “within reason” a drug free environment. They’re paying big money for a room and want to house to be “drug free”. Personally I don’t have a view either way whether drugs are good or bad.


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