Can we force landlord of neighbouring property to evict possible drug dealer?

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    Can we force landlord of neighbouring property to evict possible drug dealer?

    Hi,

    Please help! New to this board as we have only been letting for a year with no problems...until now.

    Our Letting Agency has contacted us to advise that our tenants wish to end their AST due to feeling unsafe in the flat due to actions of/caused by the tenant of the flat above. We used to live at the property ourselves and had often had cause to complain to the LL of the flat above due to noise and strange visitors at strange hours, but things had settled down.
    Our tenants had complained to the upstairs tenant themselves about noise over the last 10 months of their tenancy and he had been apologetic, but this weekend two separate people attempted to kick in the main door of the property shouting that they would 'kill' the tenant above unless he gave them their drugs.
    This has obviously upset our (very nice) tenants and they no longer feel safe - understandably. The Police were called at the time but were unable to attend.

    My questions:

    1) Is there any way that we can force the LL of the tenant above to evict his tenant who we suspect is dealing drugs from the flat and, if not, is causing distress to our tenants anyway?

    2) If not - is there any recourse we can take against the other LL in respect of lost earnings due to his tenant's behaviour?

    We feel we can't let our property while tne tenant above our property is living there and it's putting our (meagre) income in jeopardy - so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    The answer is no to both questions. Landlords are not responsible for their tenants behaviour.

    Your course of action must be via.....the police, your freeholder/ managing agents and your local council EH dept.

    You are letting yourself become to emotionally involve in what is your tenants problem.

    Comment


      #3
      Landlords ARE responsible for their tenants behaviour.

      Landlords should ensure their tenants are safe as much as possible.

      The landlord, his visitors, his guests, his sub-tenats are all governed by
      the covernants of the buildings lease ( headlease ) not to act in a way as to
      cause distress to anyone else.

      The freholder has an obligation to ensure the terms of the lease are
      adheard to. You may find that the freeholder is the same for both flats,
      and the managng company is the same for the 2 flats.

      Managing company, as opposed to Managing agent ( Agents are usualy
      estate agents looking after the property, on behalf of the managing company )

      Yes you have rights, but it's a hard fight you have getting hold of the freeholder
      or Managing company unless you are part of that managing company ( which
      you could be )

      If you don't know freeholder etc, then write to letting agent of above flat
      ( if you don't know then make lots of phone calls ) stating that the above flat
      is breaking the covernats of the head lease and you will be taking action
      to have the owner of the flat taken to court for breach of the headlease,
      and if the agents refuse to tell you who the owner is then you will sue them.

      But as we don't know the setup with the 2 flats
      ( same freeholder / management company ) - can only give basic advice,
      based on you having no information on the set up.

      R.a.M.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ram View Post
        Landlords ARE responsible for their tenants behaviour.

        Landlords should ensure their tenants are safe as much as possible.

        The landlord, his visitors, his guests, his sub-tenats are all governed by
        the covernants of the buildings lease ( headlease ) not to act in a way as to
        cause distress to anyone else.

        The freholder has an obligation to ensure the terms of the lease are
        adheard to. You may find that the freeholder is the same for both flats,
        and the managng company is the same for the 2 flats.

        Managing company, as opposed to Managing agent ( Agents are usualy
        estate agents looking after the property, on behalf of the managing company )

        Yes you have rights, but it's a hard fight you have getting hold of the freeholder
        or Managing company unless you are part of that managing company ( which
        you could be )

        If you don't know freeholder etc, then write to letting agent of above flat
        ( if you don't know then make lots of phone calls ) stating that the above flat
        is breaking the covernats of the head lease and you will be taking action
        to have the owner of the flat taken to court for breach of the headlease,
        and if the agents refuse to tell you who the owner is then you will sue them.

        But as we don't know the setup with the 2 flats
        ( same freeholder / management company ) - can only give basic advice,
        based on you having no information on the set up.

        R.a.M.
        As the OP is a leaseholder in the block, I suspect he will already know who the freeholder of the block is.
        My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by subjecttocontract View Post
          The answer is no to both questions. Landlords are not responsible for their tenants behaviour.

          Your course of action must be via.....the police, your freeholder/ managing agents and your local council EH dept.

          You are letting yourself become to emotionally involve in what is your tenants problem.
          What about the tort of nuisance?
          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by oaktree View Post
            As the OP is a leaseholder in the block, I suspect he
            will already know who the freeholder of the block is.
            Correct, but not all leasholders in blocks of flats know such things, as they just
            pay the "Agent service charges" and have no involvement nore are bothered.

            We have so called Directors here, who don't even have a copy of their lease. ! ! !
            ( I didn't know i breached the lease, as i dont have a copy, it's with my solicitors ! )
            ( I didn't know such and such, as i dont have a copy of my lease )

            So much for so called directors charged with looking after the place.
            Unfortunately, you cant get rid of Directors who don't have a clue.
            ( Oh no, you can't do that, he's a nice man, lets not be hasty, lets vote
            this imbecile in for another 12 months ) )

            So falls on me to be Mr. agressive, and keep them in check

            So yes, I have assumed the worst case.

            R.a.M.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ram View Post
              Landlords ARE responsible for their tenants behaviour.

              Landlords should ensure their tenants are safe as much as possible.

              The landlord, his visitors, his guests, his sub-tenats are all governed by
              the covernants of the buildings lease ( headlease ) not to act in a way as to
              cause distress to anyone else.

              The freholder has an obligation to ensure the terms of the lease are
              adheard to. You may find that the freeholder is the same for both flats,
              and the managng company is the same for the 2 flats.

              Managing company, as opposed to Managing agent ( Agents are usualy
              estate agents looking after the property, on behalf of the managing company )

              Yes you have rights, but it's a hard fight you have getting hold of the freeholder
              or Managing company unless you are part of that managing company ( which
              you could be )

              If you don't know freeholder etc, then write to letting agent of above flat
              ( if you don't know then make lots of phone calls ) stating that the above flat
              is breaking the covernats of the head lease and you will be taking action
              to have the owner of the flat taken to court for breach of the headlease,
              and if the agents refuse to tell you who the owner is then you will sue them.

              But as we don't know the setup with the 2 flats
              ( same freeholder / management company ) - can only give basic advice,
              based on you having no information on the set up.

              R.a.M.
              All,

              Thankyou for this information. In this instance the Freeholder is the owner of a third flat in the block, with ourselves and the landlord of the problem tenant as leaseholders on the other two flats; although I believe the LL with the problem tenant is a business partner of the freeholder.

              So, just to clarify, is it the freeholder who I have to contact or the LL with the prioblem tenant - we have discussed the issues with him, but he seems to only offer that he is giving his tenant "the benefit of the doubt" and that "people have to live their lives as they wish", which is incredibly frustrating!

              Again - many thanks for your replies, any further info would be greatly appreciated.

              Comment


                #8
                further info.

                Look at your lease, and find the items that say not to cause disturbance,
                not to play music after 11pm, and all those other terms which relate to
                behaving and not upseting anyone else in the block.
                As your lease and the problem landlords lease will be similar, if not
                identical, you can site the conditins you find, and "charge" the offending
                landlord with violating section xx of the lease.

                You first send your comp[laint to the owner of the flat.

                You send a copy to the freeholder and demand the freeholder ensures
                his lessee observes the covernants of the lease, but as those two could
                be one and the same, you could stil have problems, but you have the lease
                on your side.

                Items you are looking for in the lease something like this :-
                Not to do or permit or suffer to be done on the demised premises any
                act or thing which may be or become a nuisance annoyance or
                inconvenience to the Lessor or his tenents or the occupiers of the building
                or the owners lessees or occupiers of any adjoining or neighbouring flats
                or premises.

                You can say you will be applying to the courts for the landlord to observe the
                lease, and failing that, the freeholder ( or both ) as this situation is currently
                unaceptable.

                Take notes as to when everything happened, photos, even going to live
                in the property when your tenents vacate, as that's how you get proof,
                and if you ever watch Judge Judy, no proof, case dismissed.
                ( Although not allways the case with her)

                R.a.M.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ram View Post
                  Landlords ARE responsible for their tenants behaviour.
                  ONLY when the landlord is a leaseholder and the lease prohibits nuisance/anti-social behaviour etc. Otherwise, LL is not responsible for his tenants' behaviour.

                  Landlords should ensure their tenants are safe as much as possible.
                  ONLY in respect of gas and electrical safety, fire safety standards, HHSRS etc. LL has no duty to protect his tenants from neighbours.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jlborges75 View Post
                    All,

                    Thankyou for this information. In this instance the Freeholder is the owner of a third flat in the block, with ourselves and the landlord of the problem tenant as leaseholders on the other two flats; although I believe the LL with the problem tenant is a business partner of the freeholder.

                    So, just to clarify, is it the freeholder who I have to contact or the LL with the prioblem tenant - we have discussed the issues with him, but he seems to only offer that he is giving his tenant "the benefit of the doubt" and that "people have to live their lives as they wish", which is incredibly frustrating!

                    Again - many thanks for your replies, any further info would be greatly appreciated.
                    You need to ask this in the Long Leasehold section of the forum.

                    AFAIK, you have no contractual relationship with the other leaseholder so you cannot enforce the terms of the lease against him, only the freeholder can. But you might have an action in tort against the leaseholder.

                    If the freeholder won't enforce against the other leaseholder (not unlikely if they're business partners), I'm not sure, but it may depend on what it says in the lease as to whether you can force the freeholder to enforce against the other leaseholder.

                    But - as I said, post in the Long Leasehold section, as people who are knowledgeable in that area (which I'm not) may not read the residential letting section.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      There is normally a clause in long leases that requires the landlord to enforce covenants against other leaseholders, but it almost invariably requires the complainant lessee to pay or indemnify the freeholders costs in doing so.

                      So try to speak to the leaseholder of the flat with the bad tenants and gain their co-operation rather than going in with all guns blazing.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Tulula is correct.

                        The concern that you have is proving that there is a problem, and that in turn is serious enough to terminate the tenancy.

                        I am sure you are convinced, but think about this sort of question and prepare to answer them, as you may have to substantiate any accusations to an independent person, or a landlord who has his rent paid on time, the property is in good order, and has no reason to address your concerns. He does have to address facts....

                        The tenant works nights or odd shifts, or simply parties, so do his friends, so they come and go late at night. Do they make a noise or wake you up?

                        One person banged on the main door demanding drugs. Perhaps he was on drugs and was at the wrong property.
                        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                        Comment

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