Waterlooville Landlords - Do you have a duty of care to the neighbours?
As a landlords your main responsibility is to your tenants but do landlords have a duty of care to the neighbours?
The answer is, Yes and No.
It’s extremely difficult to hold a landlord responsible for the tenants actions unless the landlords is specifically encoring the tenants anti-social behaviour.
Neighbour disputes are never good for a landlords reputation on the street. Unfortunately some (thankfully a small percentage) neighbours hate the property next to the one they own is rented and look down at the tenants when in reality the tenants are probably paying more in rent to live their than they do on their mortgage. It’s sad that some neighbours constantly try to cause trouble for the tenants when in reality they don’t know what it’s really like to live next door to ‘bad neighbours’.
The most general neighbourly complaints are:
Late night DIY
children playing in the communal areas
inconsiderate behaviour for example:
parking in someone else space
leaving on a bright light
invasion of privacy
Landlords often find themselves being dragged into neighbourly disputes without either party having spoken about the situation. The landlord is often in the firing line because it’s easy to moan at the innocent landlord without the possibility of confrontation if they were to go direct to the tenant with the issue. This is the worst first step a neighbour can take, hearing the neighbour has made a complaint about you makes the tenant feel as though they are being told off, whereas if the neighbour was to go to the tenant first to address the problem they wouldn’t build up all those defences straight away and most of the time apologies not realise the nuisance they have caused. Landlords can’t be blamed for tenants actions, one human being can’t be blamed for the actions of another human being!
When is a landlord liable for tenant negligence?
Only, when the landlord encourages the tenants antisocial behaviour or if the landlord was previously away the tenant received complaints previously but decided to turn a blind eye to it.
How to deal with a noise complaint
This is the most common reason neighbours complain.
If a landlord receives several complaints about the same tenant for the same reason they need to be seen to be taking action to remedy this issue to prevent future complaints and stop the anti-social behaviour. This can be done with a few or all the steps below:
Ensure the neighbours have your contact details
Talk to the tenants
Quote clauses within the tenancy agreement to the tenants which they signed to adhere to
Inspect the property regularly
Keep an open communication with the neighbours
Arrange a meeting with yourself, tenant and neighbours to try and get the anti-social behaviour to stop
Take further serious action such as:
Report the tenants to the council who can fine/prosecute repeat offenders
Call the police
Serve notice for them to vacate due to the antisocial behaviour
If you have any property related questions please don't hesitate to contact me.