Tenant will die

by Robert Mellors

8:06 AM, 13th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Tenant will die

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Tenant will die

I have a resident in one of my HMO properties who is causing a problem to other residents. He is a nice person when sober, but is very verbally abusive when he is drunk. He is a chronic alcoholic, so has long bouts of drinking, i.e. he may be sober for a month but then getting drunk each day for two months.Robert-Mellors

Normally, if someone’s drinking behaviour is affecting other residents, and cannot be controlled, then I would seek to move them elsewhere or evict them, however, in this case the person is 68 years old in poor health and has already exhausted other options (council, social services, supported housing, hostels, etc), and I believe that if I evict him he will resume rough sleeping and will be found dead this winter (if not before). I do not want to evict him and contribute to his death, but I do have other residents I need to protect.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to deal with this situation?

Robert



Comments

Robert Mellors

13:41 PM, 13th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rosamund Evans" at "13/06/2014 - 10:58":

Tried Social Service, got passed around different departments then passed back to the access team I rang in the first instance. He is well known to Social Services, but they said he does not meet their criteria as he is not sufficiently physically or mentally disabled.

I tried the national rough sleepers helpline, they would simply refer him to the organisation that referred him to me anyway.

Spoke to the Council's "Enhanced Housing Options" team, they also knew him very well and had tried working with him several times, they said to ring Housing Options who would go through his "options" with him, but when I pressed further about what these "options" may be, they were just the things he had already had and lost and was no longer available as an option, indeed, they said they work the same as the agency that referred him to me in the first place (but were simply doing the same work but under the banner of a local authority rather than a homelessness charity).

Therefore, in effect, all options have been tried in the past and apparently I'm the "end of the road" for him, if I evict him he will have nowhere to go except sleeping (and dying?) on the streets.

What a sad state of affairs!

Rosamund Evans

15:55 PM, 13th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "13/06/2014 - 13:41":

In these sorts of cases unfortunately a huge amount of effort is often required and it is easy to get pushed from one department to another. You've obviously spent a lot of time already perhaps it's time to get some professional help involved. Care eligibility assessments are often incorrect and often need to be challenged but that should not have to be your role.

Rob Crawford

10:21 AM, 14th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Robert, I have to ask the question, how did you end up with such a tenant? Judging by what you have said this man must have had some significant history of problems that you would have known about before signing him up as a tenant. Either that or the Council have spent some significant effort in hiding these problems from you. The reason I mention this is that if the council had any influence in you taking this person under your roof and they did not reveal his problems to you there could be a legal angle here that could influence the authorities to become more involved. This needs exploring. The other point is that you are running a business. If his situation starts to impact your business (including the safety of your tenants) then hard decisions have to made. I sense that you are too emotionally attached, there is nothing wrong with that but it could influence the wrong business decision. The consequences of any such decision that leads to his eviction should not be yours to ponder. OK so that the hard line approach! We are all human with emotions. So I would suggest you sit down and put together a plan of how he could be helped, put it on paper with a time line, ask the tenants to help, get his commitment and include in your plan the early involvement of a charity like Alcoholics Concern. The last line of the plan should relate to his success. If he responds positively he stays, if he fails he is evicted). If the later you will know that you have done all you can possibly do before his final eviction and that you have made the right decision. Good luck.

Jeremy Smith

11:32 AM, 14th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Robert,
I, too, have had experience of this.
They can only be helped if they want to be helped.
One angle I tried was to give them some responsibility, perhaps looking after the garden and cutting the grass, then they feel some ownership for their surroundings.
The other tenants then see them as positively contributing, instead of just being a pain.

More money is not a good thing:
One of my tenants was on £70pw, he got his weekly shopping for £30 then blew the rest down the pub and was pissed for two days.... just manageable..
We didn't give this a thought when we filled in the forms to get him on the higher disability rate:
His benefit went from £70 to £170...
He still did his £30 weekly shop, but then had £140 left over....you've guess it !!!
The only only person to benefit was the local pub landlord, who sent him home drunk EVERY day of the week.
..He then started being sick on the carpets, we had to put a plastic sheet on the bed to stop the wee going through and into the ceiling below...
..he was now in such a state we had to go in and cook his meals every day, otherwise he would be a fire risk....

...no-one was interested, his mum wouldn't let him back into her house, and the only reply I got from "officialdom" was that they would rehome him only if I evicted him, since he was adequately housed.

....so off to court I went...
...and down the pub he went, to tell everyone what a bad landlord I was, since I was chucking him out ...but this time the neighbours had started to complain about the smell coming through/under the walls from the house.

The council eventually housed him in some empty barracks in a small village, and he quickly got banned from the one and only local pub.
...perhaps that what he needed.

IMO the true victim here was me!!, I now have a street of neighbours who don't talk to me, since this was not the only homeless person I had tried to help, and local pubs I can't go in because people refuse to listen to the other side of the story.

I've certainly learnt my lesson, never any more DSS claimants, I tell you !!!!.. they can F..... !!!!followed by words that I mustn't actually spell out in full !!

Paul Shears

16:42 PM, 14th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Just a brief slightly off topic observation based on my own limited dealings with the alcoholics anonymous support group for family members. (I note, by the way that this is reinforced by a previous post here.)
NEVER EVER GIVE AN ALCOHOLIC MONEY.
Paul

Neil Robb

19:22 PM, 14th June 2014
About 5 years ago

Hi Robert

Sometimes you have to make tough decision and that happens in all walks of life. People on this forum have gave you replies, then you have defended your tenant. So you don't want to ask him to leave. Then he has to comply to the rules of his tenancy if he is be rude and his behaviour is causing offence to others then it needs dealt with for the sake of the other tenants.

behaviour breeds behaviour so if other tenants started to act in the same way you will have a bigger problem that will just get bigger.

If you don't deal with an unruly child their behaviour gets worse.

Would you live in the house with him if not why expect others to.

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