'No smoking' clause in Letting Agreements- enforcement

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  • 'No smoking' clause in Letting Agreements- enforcement

    I refer to my post Moved in - immediately dragging feet on rent.
    It's around page 7 somewhere dated 17 March.
    Maybe be better to read that first before replying to this question, as this is an update.

    Have couple: The rent did eventually arrive in my account when she said it would.
    We are actively responding to his constant complaints about the shower. We are just awaitng for a part, which is out of our control.
    They are lodgers. We have deposit etc. but nothing in writing at the mo.

    Whilst she was away on holiday, me and my husband, sat him down to address some 'issues'. This was not meant to gang up on him in any way. Me and my husband needed to have a little chat with him regarding the deterioration in the relationship between him and my husband (caused by his constant complaining).

    It was also because I smelled, smoking coming from the room, but of the type which gets you stoned basically. Being discreet I did not accuse him outright but in a 'and by the way you know there is no smoking in the house'. Type way.

    Going back to when they moved in, they did say they were non-smokers.

    Does non-smoking mean 'gange' as well?

    I've been in their room when it is empty and have found evidence of smoking (a pack of cigarettes in the bin) The smell of the 'very herbal kind' lingering in the room. Also some tobacco which you use with roll ups. I could not find any other equipment associated with making joints, just the tobacco that one would mix the herb in with.

    She is due back off holiday tomorrow where we've agreed we will all sit down together to go over everything. I was going to give them their contract (which has all that stuff about keeping clean and non smoking). But I'm not sure now.

    So the dilemma is do I still give them the contract or shall I just give them a list of Do's and Dont's? As they are lodgers, I want to monitor the situation and not get tied in. I want to be in a position whereas, I'll give them another month - then if relations do not improve with him and my husband. Continued smoking of spliffs, we can then just get rid of them.

    I am also worried because those kind of cigarettes are illegal.
    I live with my husband and 2 children and our aupair.

    My aupair was out late last night and he had chained the door and she could not get in. I did not even hear her myself. He (lodgef) came down and let her in. She said he looked so stoned it was almost funny (but not if you know what I mean)

    What is the best way to broach this delicate subject with him and her when she gets back from holiday Friday? Today! I've lost track of time! I hope this is not due to passive smoking and my brain cells are going.

  • #2
    It doesn't matter what they are smoking...smoking is smoking; just tell them you don't want them doing it in the house. It's your house and they're just lodgers.

    If you do want to give them a chance, a contract would be a good idea in this case because it will contain your list of Do's and Dont's. If you're worried about wanting proof, just fit a smoke alarm. To be honest, i'm not sure why you don't just give them the boot, or at least a written warning.

    Comment


    • #3
      Excellent about fitting a smoke alarm in their room. We have them all over the house and one is located in the landing outside their room, but it's not sensitive enough in it's location.

      Also can you get one's that cannot be tampered with. Also ones that only pick up Cigarette smoke.

      Things like a little incence stick I don't mind. Or a little tea light.

      Could they make a big thing about me entering the room whilst they were out as well.

      D x

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      • #4
        To be honest, i'm not sure if you can get smoke alarms that only pick up cigarette smoke but you can get 10 year sealed units, such as this one:

        http://www.safelincs.co.uk/product.p...0d30e2f98cd847

        Which means the lodgers won't be able to open them and if they do, you know they're up to no good. Consult with them and tell them that you're going to fit a smoke alarm because it's a requirement of your insurance and it'll be tested once a week/month. That way you can keep an eye on what's going on in their room at the same time.

        If you don't mention that you've been in their room, how would they know? Another suggestion is to say you know they've been smoking because you've had friends round (who smoke) and they've commented on the smell.

        Finally, if they're reasonable, just say that you don't mind them smoking it outside the house but you don't want your family (particularly your children) exposed to it.

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        • #5
          No-smoking let; one objects that others keep smoking!

          I seek your advice in regard to me as a tenant. I am a student in a 5 bed student house, I signed the agreement in september after 1 viewing as i NEEDED somewhere to live when moving to university. I am 26year old male and living with four 20 year old girls who all smoke tabaco and marajauna in the house, although it is a non-smoking house as stated in the agreement. I have asked them to use the garden but they dont and the house stinks, it ios also a health prob as i am a rugby player and it is affecting my breathing. Also two of the girls also have boyfriends almost permanantly living in the house. i really hate it here and want to move out. I recently went to the letting agent and asked if they could do something about the smoking as it is really annoying me, but she said she couldn't stop them and i should just ask them to not smoke when i am there! to me this is not good enough. My real aim is to move out as i really dispise it here!
          So my question is, "do you see a way of me breaking contract legally? and thereore able to move from the property?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by non-smoker View Post
            I seek your advice in regard to me as a tenant. I am a student in a 5 bed student house, I signed the agreement in september after 1 viewing as i NEEDED somewhere to live when moving to university. I am 26year old male and living with four 20 year old girls who all smoke tabaco and marajauna in the house, although it is a non-smoking house as stated in the agreement. I have asked them to use the garden but they dont and the house stinks, it ios also a health prob as i am a rugby player and it is affecting my breathing. Also two of the girls also have boyfriends almost permanantly living in the house. i really hate it here and want to move out. I recently went to the letting agent and asked if they could do something about the smoking as it is really annoying me, but she said she couldn't stop them and i should just ask them to not smoke when i am there! to me this is not good enough. My real aim is to move out as i really dispise it here!
            So my question is, "do you see a way of me breaking contract legally? and thereore able to move from the property?"
            Is your tenancy agreement a joint AST, or do you all have separate ones?
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              You could tell the agent that unless he does something about it or release you from the contract you will demand the l/l address as your legal right and inform him that the agent is not looking after his property which is maybe being trashed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by non-smoker View Post
                . I am 26year old male and living with four 20 year old girls
                ....and the problem is?

                Seriously though, if it is a joint tenancy, then unless the landlord/letting agent enforce the "no smoking" terms, you are pretty much stuck with it for the duration unless you can persuade the letting agent/landlord to release you from your tenancy, though they will probably only allow this if you find another tenant (who the girls would doubtless also need to meet and/or vet). The LL/LA would (if they are competent) probably want to reference the tenant, and then grant a new tenancy to the new person + the 4 girls. They would probably charge you the admin fees associated with this.
                Health Warning


                I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                  ....and the problem is?

                  Seriously though, if it is a joint tenancy, then unless the landlord/letting agent enforce the "no smoking" terms, you are pretty much stuck with it for the duration unless you can persuade the letting agent/landlord to release you from your tenancy, though they will probably only allow this if you find another tenant (who the girls would doubtless also need to meet and/or vet). The LL/LA would (if they are competent) probably want to reference the tenant, and then grant a new tenancy to the new person + the 4 girls. They would probably charge you the admin fees associated with this.
                  I was just thinking...if OP is the fifth tenant named on the TA, and therefore not pursuable for debts (the first four would be, but not him), couldn't he just leave on the grounds that their behaviour had made life unbearable for him? If they didn't like paying his share of the rent and bills they could find another Fag Ash Lil to join them.

                  Morally he has a strong case; perhaps not, legally?
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                    I was just thinking...if OP is the fifth tenant named on the TA, and therefore not pursuable for debts (the first four would be, but not him), ?
                    If that is the case, although he would only have an equitable interest rather than a legal estate, he is still contractually liable for the performance of the obligations under the tenancy agreement.
                    Health Warning


                    I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                    All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                      If that is the case, although he would only have an equitable interest rather than a legal estate, he is still contractually liable for the performance of the obligations under the tenancy agreement.
                      Doh!

                      So it sounds as if he'll have to negotiate with them (about his moving out and finding a replacement), although might not be as difficult as he anticipates. Presumably they would rather have someone else living there (another smoking friend, perhaps) than someone who is forever asking them not to smoke when they have no intention of complying.

                      This is the eternal problem, isn't it, of signing up for a house on a joint AST with strangers. If they turn out to be slobs, you cannot fall back on your friendship to exert any pressure on them to change their behaviour.

                      Good luck, non-smoker.
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is my view that other posters have not given sufficient importance to the breach of contract issues here and the costs involved to the original poster in trying to resolve this situation.

                        It may be worthwhile seeking input from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) on this matter.

                        I could not see any answer to this problem on their website

                        Action on Smoking and Health

                        Maybe worthwhile summarising the facts and sending them by email to:-

                        enquiries@ash.org.uk
                        Vic - wicked landlord
                        Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                        Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Worldlife View Post
                          It is my view that other posters have not given sufficient importance to the breach of contract issues here and the costs involved to the original poster in trying to resolve this situation.

                          It may be worthwhile seeking input from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) on this matter.

                          I could not see any answer to this problem on their website

                          Action on Smoking and Health

                          Maybe worthwhile summarising the facts and sending them by email to:-

                          enquiries@ash.org.uk
                          Good point, although I'm not any mechanism exists by which the LL can be legally required to enforce a non-smoking rule in a private property with a joint AST. There was even some debate on this forum earlier this year about whether there is any point including a no-smoking clause in a TA, for that very reason. I thin the conclusion reached was that it would be unenforceable and it could only work by joint agreement and self-regulation on the part of the tenants. A test case would be really useful, wouldn't it?

                          I suppose one of the assumptions of a joint AST is that the tenants are functioning as one household in some ways... which pre-supposes that they know each other and can agree on important issues. (It would be naive to think this always happens in practice, of course, as the rows and sulks which break out in student houses demonstrate).

                          I think we are still a long way from the time when smoking in private homes will be regarded with universal disgust (more's the pity!).

                          However...on re-reading OP, I wonder whether the fact that the girls are smoking pot (a banned substance), as well as cigarettes, might be a way for non-smoker to force LL either to let him leave without penalty, or to take action against the girls? Presumably the TA includes a clause prohibiting illegal activity on the premises and although the police might not be very interested, it could be a bargaining tool. This house is presumably an HMO and LL could in theory lose his licence if he allows illegal activity. I would use this a lever.
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            tenants

                            I would of thought that, between the 4 of them, they will know a girl who would want to move in with them, and if you give them enough grief, they will be glad to see the back of you, it would save the agent looking for someone if you ask them, mention the pot smoking and see if that will be enough for a new agreement without costs to you.

                            When I read this forum, i often wonder what could be going on in my property, but think its better not to know Lol, well until its time for them to go

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Malevolent suggestion: tell Police that this house is used as drug den?
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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