Drug use

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  • Drug use

    I have allowed a tenant to sublet as she left university for a year due to illness. The new tenant does not hold a contract and sublets from the girl mentioned before- who I hold a contract with. Yesterday I caught the subletting tenant smoking cannabis in the house. It has made the entire house smell and we have a zero tolerance drug policy. I have a few questions on the situation...

    1) If a tenant breaks the contract by using drugs should I report them to the police?
    2) Do I need to give a written warning and a second chance?
    3) in regards to my particular situation with the subletting tenant being the problem can I remove him from the house immediately as he doesn't technically hold a contract or do I need to provide a written warning/ section 8 etc.

    TIA

  • #2
    Is the "new tenant" sole occupant or do they live there with other, original, tenants.

    Me, I'd either report my suspicions (with respect you can't be 100% sure) to Police or via Crimewatch. Yes, done that before.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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    • #3
      1) Unless he is growing or dealing cannabis the police won't be very interested.

      The maximum penalty for possession of a class B Drug is "Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both."
      In practice:
      Cannabis remains a Class B Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
      If you are caught in possession of it for the first time, the police can confiscate it and give you a cannabis warning notice.
      For a second offence they can issue you an on-the-spot fine of £90, which you must pay within 14 days, known as a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND).
      If you are caught with cannabis for a third time, then you can be arrested and prosecuted, and if found guilty in court, sentenced to 28 days in prison.

      2) You can write what you want, he can ignore what he wants.

      3) You can't evict the subtenant, he is not your tenant.
      You can evict your tenant, (if you have grounds), only she can evict her subtenant.

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      • #4
        You have no relationship with the occupant at all.
        So you can't evict them or remove them without court action (which would be difficult).

        You can tell the police (who are unlikely to do anything).
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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        • #5
          Thank you both for your advice, in this case can I hold my tenant responsible for the fact drugs are being smoked in her room by her tenant?

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          • #6
            You would have to ask your tenant to deal with it

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            • #7
              As you are aware of it, if the police subsequently become aware of it and know that you were aware of it and did not report it, you could be in hot water. You don't want to be in a situation where the subletter says, "But the landlord knew I was doing it and didn't say anything to the police."

              If you want to honour your zero tolerance on drugs and to cover yourself, you really don't have much choice but to report it. It may screw up your relationship to your actual tenant though.

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              • #8
                Ask your tenant to deal with it.
                Your tenant is breaking the tenancy agreement by allowing her tenant to do this.

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