Problem with drunk and threatening tenant

by Readers Question

11:03 AM, 16th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Problem with drunk and threatening tenant

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Problem with drunk and threatening tenant

We have a problem with a new tenant in an HMO house who has come in drunk and used threatening behaviour and verbal abuse against a couple also living in the house.rab

Does anyone have any suggestions on our best course of action as I understand that if he refuses to go we will have to wait until the end of his tenancy before issuing a section 21?

Thank you

Stuart



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:05 AM, 16th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Stuart,

Have the other couple reported this to the Police or Council yet?

HMOLandlady

11:58 AM, 16th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Stuart. Have you spoken directly to the tenant to find out what happened and why he felt the need to behave in this way? Once you have the stories from both parties, you need to take the decision on how urgent this matter is. If it was a falling out over something minor, it might be forgotten in time and a friendly warning should be issued. If this is a regular occurrence, you may want to consider negotiating him out of the property as quickly as possible through giving him back his deposit and/or an extra amount to smooth the path. It just depends how much it's worth to you for an easy life to get the room back and relet again to someone who doesn't think it's OK to abuse housemates.

Not a great situation, but if it's well handled it'll all blow over and you'll be armed with experience to deal with it again. P.S. One guy in an HMO punched another tenant last week and dislocated his shoulder - both drunk so we've relocated the perpetrator as the circumstances showed blame on both sides

Mark Hula

12:13 PM, 16th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hey!

I've been here a good few times before.
If your personal 'judgement' of him is he is ok i.e. it's a one off; give written warning mentioning you will go for eviction if it happens again. Tell the threatened couple if it happens again to report to police and then you will evict him. It's getting to the point where I am quite tempted to wear one of those camera's on the body that police have to record and video all communications with 'tricky' tenants.
If he's unlikely to play ball then sometimes paying them to leave can work (yeah I know!; but sometimes it's the path of least resistance though expensive ).
I'm not sure how you credit/referenced checked your tenants. I always (from now!) get a professional one that is backed by a landlord rent guarantee insurance . So *in theory* I should never be out of pocket if things do go wrong.

At this point in time I have 2 disputes with the DPS, 1 CCJ in action and 2 high court writs on the go. HMO's require TONS more work in terms of social 'people' dealings!

Best of luck!. My motto here would be 'don't be a mug twice...'

Jonathan Clarke

7:16 AM, 17th December 2016
About 2 years ago

I would ..... Talk to tenant first - see what they want. Was it a one off relatively low key incident which they can and in fact want to brush off . Or was it a vile aggressive act likely to be repeated and they want something positive done about it . You have control but plan your action with them in mind and keep them informed . They have to live in the same house so you need them on board. Get them to start a log .Then do something along the lines of this. Vary to suit.....

1st time Speak to him - That may be enough to calm him down - warn him repetition may mean written warning and his tenancy is at risk

2nd time Write to him and speak to him - That may be enough - warn him repetition may mean police involvement and eviction -

3rd time Tell him you tried your best but he just wont listen - Evict but say you will tell the police but wont pursue formal action or sue him etc if and only if he goes quickly, quietly and without fuss so he wont get a ccj , criminal record , lose his job etc etc

4th time - Tell police - pursue charges and consider civil action to run alongside that .

Start soft as you can always go in harder and upgrade action. Warn him at each stage of what will happen if repetition occurs so he cant say he hasnt had a chance. Have a witness who can back you up at each stage. Give him clear timescales. Communication is key with all parties and keep them all informed and on board as you need their support and them to act as witnesses

Mandy Thomson

14:53 PM, 17th December 2016
About 2 years ago

If the harassment is happening regularly and/or threats have been made the other tenants might be able to seek an injunction against the abusive tenant; they will obviously need evidence, document of incidents and police reports.

Stuart Baker

11:19 AM, 20th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Thank you for all your comments, we have finally managed to talk with the tenant who had an issue with the couple playing music loudly whilst he was trying to sleep (shift worker) and this grievance mixed with alcohol was responsible for his unreasonable behaviour!
We have asked him to leave and offered to refund this months rent and his deposit, to which he has agreed and fingers crossed will be leaving Thursday/Friday.
We have taken this action to restore calm in the property but will ensure that all tenants are spoken to with regard to the behaviour necessary to live harmoniously under one roof!
We vet all tenants via the NLA credit reference service and try to ascertain when meeting them if they will fit, however, experience clearly shows that you can't get right all of the time!

Jonathan Clarke

16:05 PM, 20th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stuart Baker" at "20/12/2016 - 11:19":

Well negotiated. Glad that it now looks as if its been resolved satisfactorily so you and the other tenants can rest easy this Christmas. Make sure he signs a surrender document. Paying someone to leave is often an intelligent option. Money talks


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