Indicated NO SMOKERS to Agent, now I have a smoker in a newly decorated flat

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    Indicated NO SMOKERS to Agent, now I have a smoker in a newly decorated flat

    I've just had a new tenant move in to a newly refurbished rental flat through an agent I pay a finders fee for. Now it has only been a few days and after meeting the tenant at the property I have discovered that he SMOKES, there are quite a few cigarette butts on the floor outside the kitchen window, and I'm 99% certain I've smelt smoke inside even though I havent seen him physically smoking.

    I wondered how I could have possibly overlooked this although checking the agreement I signed with the agent I have clearly indicated that I do not want SMOKERS, PETS, etc...

    So either the tenant is under the impression he can smoke from the agent or hes just going for it anyway. Now as mentioned the whole property has just been refurbished and painted.

    Where do I stand with this, do I go back and complain to the agent or direct to the tenant? He could potentially be long term however if hes there for only a year and leaves me with yellow walls and a smoky smell that isn't good at all?

    #2
    Well the agent cant be responsible if the tenants suddenly started smoking.
    You can try and evict them via section 8 but chances are slim.

    Unless the smoke is seriously damaging the property then just let them be. You can deduct cleaning cost after theyve left.

    Comment


      #3
      This is one of the reasons I always insist on meeting the tenants once my agent has found them. Most of their staff can smell a smoker just like me and I bet your agent could too - but they wanted the commission

      I can smell fag smoke at 10 paces on a person and that would alert me enough to not let to that applicant.

      Once we had someone work in our office who would smoke 1 fag in the working day kneeling down by the cracked open back door (it was winter) and I could smell it as soon as I came in the front. My staff could not smell it and thought I was mad. Maybe some of us have superior senses of smell.

      Currently I have a long term tenant who smokes in the courtyard outside his bedroom and stuffs the dog ends in a large plastic soft drink bottle - disgusting but I cannot smell smoke in the flat and he is a very pleasant and good paying tenant.

      Matthew_1000 I suggest you visit the premises and point out again that smoking in the property is not allowed and dropping the ends in the garden is also not allowed - dog ends are virtually indestructable by nature. Be vigilant and don't renew his contract if the smell is in the premises or he does not obey your instruction. Also complain to the agent and see what response you get.



      Freedom at the point of zero............

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        #4
        It's just possible that he started smoking after renting the place. But likely just said he was a non-smoker.

        As said, meet him and reiterate there is no smoking in the flat and that any lingering smells or stains or damage will need to be paid for.

        If there is no mention of smoking in the AST make sure there is for next time.
        IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

        Comment


          #5
          nigh on impossible to enforce the 'no smoking' ban except by ensuring the tenancy is as short as possible by issuing a S21 and seeking possession as soon as the date expires. It's also possible that he does only smoke outside. There are a lot of folks who smoke but don't do it in the house. My own wife is a smoker of many years and, not once, has ever smoked inside the house since we've been together. If he has been throwing butts on the ground, tell him to get a bin.
          If he has been smoking inside, charge for a deep clean and redecoration. Not unreasonable.
          I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

          Comment


            #6
            I've got the same problem. The T is in a HMO and has No Smoking signs everywhere! He smokes in the yard and throws some of the dogends in the green bin, some in the lawn, on the path and, very disgustingly, has a glass jar with some dogends in and the jar has rainwater in it so it looks like stewed tea.

            I gagged when I saw it and had to ask him to clear it up. He then blamed a T who has just left who also smoked but never left any sign that he did.

            I hate clearing up after smokers. It's almost as bad as having to pick up disgarded socks and undies and snotty tissues. I'm just going to be sick now.

            Comment


              #7
              Before I started this thread, I would have asked the agent whether he knew the tenant smoked.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Difficult to believe this I know but there are some wicked persons who will tell agents - or even landlords!! - that they are non-smokers when they ain't just so's they get a home.

                Hard to credit eh!
                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...

                Comment


                  #9
                  A no smoking clause is hard to enforce unless you include it under a "Special Tenancy Conditions" section which means it is enforceable, but doesn't usually solve the problem until the tenant leaves. No court is likely to uphold a S.8 Notice on this point.

                  At least by doing this in advance the tenant is very aware of the restriction, which incidentally, I would never leave an agent to do on their own; I would want to see the clause in the AST first, and some form of evidence from the applicant they had agreed to it.
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Matthew_1000 View Post
                    I wondered how I could have possibly overlooked this although checking the agreement I signed with the agent I have clearly indicated that I do not want SMOKERS, PETS, etc...
                    The important thing now is whether the tenancy agreement signed by the tenant includes anything about not smoking.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I had a tenant move in last month who was a non smoker and then I saw her smoking at the school gates no less! Very disappointing to see a gang of young mums smoking at the school gate and next time I saw tenant she was telling me how there are some butts outside property from her friends and she doesn't smoke etc. These days I don't believe a word I hear but will be checking for smoke smells in the property at each visit.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would be telling her that you know! You could take a piccy on your mobile next time you're at the school for future evidence perhaps?
                        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you for the good advice people.

                          Checked the contract signed by the tenant where it clearly says 'NO SMOKING in the property. So im guessing the tenant has just lied. Yes I can also smell smoke a mile away so its obvious to me. Funny thing was just 48 hours after they moved in it wasn't just smoke I could smell but muarjana.

                          Seems a little cagey when I first met them.

                          I will advise agent and also the tenant, best to nip it all in the bud now.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Matthew_1000 View Post
                            Checked the contract signed by the tenant where it clearly says 'NO SMOKING in the property.
                            It depends how it was worded but a straight "no smoking" or "smoking is prohibited" might be considered an unfair term as it deprives the tenant of going about his normal pleasurable activities. Just because something might be in upper case doesn't alter its meaning.

                            As I said it would be better to be a negotiated term prior to the tenant taking up occupation. Agents don't really know how to implement this so as to protect the landlord, and for it to be subsequently enforceable.
                            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              One option is to make it clear in your tenancy agreement (and with the agent if you have any relationship with them) that you are OK about smokers but require an additional amount of deposit/increased rent to ensure that the place can be properly cleaned at the end of tenancy if the tenant doesn't.

                              It costs more if you have to to paint the ceilings instead of just cleaning them, or replace smelly carpets and furniture.
                              It's hard for smokers to tell that things smell of smoke and very hard to show a smell (or lack of same) in an inventory check,
                              so best to make it explicit.
                              Same with pets - charge a small supplement or increased deposit.

                              It encourages people to be honest and sorts it our up front - people know they smoke or have a dog.
                              And that it costs to clean up after it.
                              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).

                              Comment

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