Tenant using illegal drugs

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    Tenant using illegal drugs

    Hi

    There is a house with 4 bedrooms and 4 separate AST's (renting a room each) and sharing the lounge, kitchen, etc.

    I have been told that the newest tenant is smoking cannabis in the house and the other tenants are not impressed (the house is striuctly non-smoking as stated on their signed AST's)

    They have only been there 1 month but is this grounds to evict them and gain possession early either as:

    - Causing an annoyance to other tenants

    - Taking illegal drugs

    - Breaking the 'non-smoking' rule?

    I fear the other 3 tenants will leave now due to this 1 bad tenant.

    Any help or similar expreriences on this subject appreciated.

    Cheers

    Bobby

    #2
    Forgot to mention they are on a 6 month AST, so 5 months now remain.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes you can if he's breaching his tenancy
      Please note i may be in pumpkin mode, the light might be on but i may not be here

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by cillitbanger View Post
        Yes you can if he's breaching his tenancy
        But don't forget you will be going to a court of law. You will have no chance of success without evidence, and gathering this (i.e. statements from other residents (which may be hard to get) police visits, etc) will take time.
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by bobbyd View Post
          Hi

          There is a house with 4 bedrooms and 4 separate AST's (renting a room each) and sharing the lounge, kitchen, etc.
          A HMO, then? Is it licensed?

          I have been told that the newest tenant is smoking cannabis in the house and the other tenants are not impressed (the house is striuctly non-smoking as stated on their signed AST's)

          They have only been there 1 month but is this grounds to evict them and gain possession early either as:

          - Causing an annoyance to other tenants
          Could be a little difficult to evict on this basis. "Causing annoyance" is rather a woolly term and means different things to different people.

          - Taking illegal drugs
          Again, could be a little tricky. Unless the contract states that T will not take illegal drugs in the property....anyway, what's the legal status of cannabis these days? I can't remember. I know it's still illegal but I don't think it's as illegal as it was...

          - Breaking the 'non-smoking' rule?
          This is probably your best bet. However I would think it unlikely that you will be able to evict on this basis alone --- firstly because he could argue that "smoking" usually means tobacco and not cannabis, and that is what he understood when he agreed not to smoke. Secondly he could argue that he should be allowed to smoke cannabis in his own home and it is an invasion of his privacy that you should know about it.

          In any case, suppose he has broken the agreement --- it'll still take months before you have the court order to evict him, and probably the agreement will have reached it's end before you get to that stage.

          Another question --- presumably you've protected his deposit? If not you can't evict under S21 until the deposit is protected. I assume this still applies to HMO lettings, someone will correct me if not.

          I fear the other 3 tenants will leave now due to this 1 bad tenant.
          It seems odd that they would leave just because he's smoking cannabis. How about offering them all a small discount to stay?

          The other option is to speak with the "bad tenant". Let him know that you are aware that he is smoking in the house and that you are prepared to evict if he continues. That may be enough to stop him, or it may not.

          Peter

          Comment


            #6
            Will other tenants make witness statements against this tenant or turn up to court to give evidence?

            Why dont they tell this tenant to smoke pot elsewhere or they call the old bill?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
              Another question --- presumably you've protected his deposit? If not you can't evict under S21 until the deposit is protected. I assume this still applies to HMO lettings, someone will correct me if not.
              Section 21 is irrelevant. Use section 8 Notice and cite disretionary grounds 11 [breach of non-rent obligation] and 14 [guilty of conduct causing nuisance/annoyance- not necessarily convicted in criminal court].
              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.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                Section 21 is irrelevant. Use section 8 Notice and cite disretionary grounds 11 [breach of non-rent obligation] and 14 [guilty of conduct causing nuisance/annoyance- not necessarily convicted in criminal court].
                Yes, but I was dubious that such a notice would be successful if "all" that T is doing is smoking cannabis.

                Peter

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                  Yes, but I was dubious that such a notice would be successful if "all" that T is doing is smoking cannabis.

                  Peter
                  Cannabis is illegal, or had you not heard?
                  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.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Isn't "smoking" illegal in HMO's buy virtue of new smoking laws ?
                    maybe okay in room but not if affecting other t

                    Simon
                    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                    W.Churchill

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      Cannabis is illegal, or had you not heard?
                      But you implied that T should be evicted for breaching the non-smoking rule and annoying other tenants, not for taking illegal drugs.

                      Using a TV without a license is also illegal. Could you evict a tenant for that?

                      Peter

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                        But you implied that T should be evicted for breaching the non-smoking rule and annoying other tenants, not for taking illegal drugs.

                        Using a TV without a license is also illegal. Could you evict a tenant for that?

                        Peter
                        1. No. I did not imply that (even though you inferred it).
                        2. No. Lack of TV licence is not "conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or anoyance" in terms of tenancy rights and quiet enjoyment (but, yes, it is annoying whenever there are freeloaders!)
                        3. Yes. If the miscreant is convicted of the criminal offence of unlicensed TV use, g14 might apply- but only if the offence is arrestable: see paragraph (b) of g14. I doubt that a court would order possession, however!
                        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.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          1. No. I did not imply that (even though you inferred it).
                          I hate to be pedantic (ok, I admit it, I actually enjoy being pedantic) but...

                          Originally posted by jeffrey
                          Section 21 is irrelevant. Use section 8 Notice and cite disretionary grounds 11 [breach of non-rent obligation] and 14 [guilty of conduct causing nuisance/annoyance- not necessarily convicted in criminal court].
                          ...implies that T is being evicted for "breach of non-rent obligation" and "conduct causing nuisance/annoyance". Neither of these seem to me to have anything to do with whether cannabis is illegal or not --- so your ever-so-slightly-patronising comment/question that "Cannabis is illegal, or had you not heard?" isn't really relevant.

                          2. No. Lack of TV licence is not "conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or anoyance" in terms of tenancy rights and quiet enjoyment (but, yes, it is annoying whenever there are freeloaders!)
                          So are you now saying that T can be evicted for "causing a nuisance or annoyance"? Again, doesn't this mean that the fact that cannabis is illegal is irrelevant?

                          3. Yes. If the miscreant is convicted of the criminal offence of unlicensed TV use, g14 might apply- but only if the offence is arrestable: see paragraph (b) of g14.
                          Ok, but...

                          I doubt that a court would order possession, however!
                          So just because tenant is committing an illegal act in the property does not always lead to automatic eviction? Isn't that what I was trying to say?

                          Peter

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                            So are you now saying that T can be evicted for "causing a nuisance or annoyance"? Again, doesn't this mean that the fact that cannabis is illegal is irrelevant?
                            Most ASTs prohibit illegal activity. Besides any criminality as such, the prohibition clause imposes contractual liability. Breach of clause is ground for s.8 Notice (g12).
                            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.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              Use section 8 Notice and cite disretionary grounds 11 [breach of non-rent obligation] and 14 [guilty of conduct causing nuisance/annoyance- not necessarily convicted in criminal court].
                              Sorry for error: it's g12, not g11, that covers non-rent type of beach.
                              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.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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