Tenants Smoking in Non Smoking Flat – is it a breach?

by Readers Question

21:40 PM, 26th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Tenants Smoking in Non Smoking Flat – is it a breach?

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Tenants Smoking in Non Smoking Flat – is it a breach?

I am a new B2L landlord and after 18 months of trouble free letting I now have a troublesome tenant. Tenants Smoking in Non Smoking Flat

I will be applying to court for a possession order via the s21 route as their 6m tenancy ends soon. However, I saw them smoking in the flat despite them completing the application and telling me they don’t smoke.

On my website it says no smoking but I did not include it as a special condition or additional clause.

They are also anti-social to the neighbours who have complained to me but nervous about complaining to the Council or police because they fear reprisals.

Finally they are messing me about with the rent but have not gone more than 2 months in arrears????

All comments would be welcome?

Thanks

Joe



Comments

Sally T

22:26 PM, 26th May 2014
About 5 years ago

I read an article a while back and basically once a tenant takes on a property it becomes their home and you have no right telling someone they can't smoke in their own home. As you own the property you can apply for possession without giving a reason, definitely the safest route.

Adam Alexander

7:53 AM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Joe

Have you already served a section 21 (1b)?

If not you should do so now. You do not need to wait until the end of the fixed tenancy period.

I may also be able to help you to find another tenant and it will only cost you a fiver. Details via the link below.
.

Londoner 43

16:33 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

I think as the property owner I have the right to request that people do not smoke in my property. This clause is included as a standard in any tenancy agreement my tenants sign with me. (My flat is always advertised as a non-smoking flat, so that smokers know not to request to view it.) Also, the leading letting agents in London have this clause as standard in the tenancy agreements they use.

Doug Green

16:39 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

And of course make sure its in the tenancy agreement in future! This way, they will have breached the terms of the AST by smoking or allowing their visitors to smoke.

My view is that if they choose to, its impractical to prevent them, and do I want to lose an otherwise good tenant over it? If the carpet stinks when they move out, thats what the deposit is for.

Regards - Doug

Adrian Jones

16:42 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sally T" at "26/05/2014 - 22:26":

Can you remember whether the article said tenants could keep pets, sub-let, run a business etc ,regardless of the terms of the tenancy agreement?

Romain Garcin

17:08 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

If you haven't included a clause forbidding smoking in the tenancy, then they are not breaching anything by smoking.

The additional issue is that you will have problems deducting anything from their deposit in relation to that, I think.

Sally T

18:43 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adrian Jones" at "27/05/2014 - 16:42":

It was around 12 months ago so can't remember details, but the article was about someone smoking in a flat that was advertised as no-smoking. It basically came down to human rights and people been able to live comfortably in their home.

Michael Barnes

19:33 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Even if smoking were a breach of the agreement, I don't think it would be considered serious enough for a judge to grant posession.
I have a no smoking clause, but treat is as a ground for claiming cleaning/decorating costs from the deposit.

Being persistently late paying rent is a ground for seeking posession, but I don't know how the courts treat it.

For ASB you need the other tenants to testify, and probably keep accurate records.

Devon Landlord

19:36 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

If non smoking is not stated in the contract you are on a loser. My mantra is, if you are not happy about the tenant at a gut level, then move them on at the end of the contract. Get the contract right next time and have an independent inventory clerk conduct the 'In' Inventory and also the 'out'. They will pick up smoking residue on ceilings etc and make sure that you charge the tenant for the inventory. Then it is theirs and their responsibility.

Devon landlord

Romain Garcin

19:51 PM, 27th May 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "MdeB " at "27/05/2014 - 19:33":

"I have a no smoking clause, but treat is as a ground for claiming cleaning/decorating costs from the deposit."

But how can you claim such costs if smoking is allowed?
IMHO such clause is key to be able to make related claims, otherwise it seems like it is wear and tear.

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