Drug use in a letted property, advice please!

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    Drug use in a letted property, advice please!

    I have a situation where within a property, there is a an on-going tenant who has just accepted another tenant on the premises for a short term unfurnished lease. No.2 tenant, has just discovered after signing the contract, that the original tenant is a habitual cannabis smoker. No.2 tenant, neither smokes tobacco, or takes drugs. No.2 tenant now wants to leave, as he feels that the original tenant is breaking the law and could implicate him in this law breaking activity, and anyway the property and his bedroom is infiltrated with cannabis smoke that he finds abhorrent. No.2 had no idea of this situation before moving in.

    My question: Is No.2 tenant obligated to complete tenancy duration, as he is claiming that No. 1 tenant should have disclosed his drug habits before acceptance? Could he claim any other reason for rescinding the tenancy agreement after only one week?

    Please could I have some advice? ... many thanks.

    #2
    How are the tenants contracted, both to you, to each other?
    What do any agreements say about smoking?
    Did tenant 2 view the property before signing?
    What part are you in this?
    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


      #3
      Hi JP


      The Contract is as Joint and Several Tenants, both individually and together through a letting agent.
      There is not a no-smoking clause.
      Tenant did view the property before signing, but did not notice anything untoward, all windows were opened as decorating was being carried out.
      Part property investor

      Many thanks for any advice, as you can imagine, my sympathies' lie with the No.2 tenant and I would like to find an amicable answer. But I do not know what effects that will have on the other parties.

      Comment


        #4
        Who has reported this unlawful drug use to the authorities & how ??
        re
        The Contract is as Joint and Several Tenants, both individually and together through a letting agent.
        I'm confused: Is it "joint & several" or individual??

        What did you get when you credit & reference checked both tenants??

        Which part of the property did you invest in??

        Are you named as a landlord on the tenancy agreement?
        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


          #5
          From the sound of it, there are two ways of looking at it.

          one - the tenants have a problem, they are jointly and severally liable for the rent etc. So they either need to work out how to live in the same property or work out how to handle one of them leaving. The landlord simply wants the rent to be paid and the property lived in.
          two - if the landlord wants to do them a favour, "he" could agree to let tenant 2 off their obligation and take the hit.

          I don't see much benefit in getting involved with the drug use issue, god knows what tenants get up to (or people believe they get up to) in the privacy of their own homes, if tenant 2 wants to tell the police, that's tenant 2's affair.
          Personally, I don't let people smoke in my properties. Many of them do.
          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


            #6
            To be clear, have both tenants signed a new fixed term joint tenancy agreement with another non-resident person as the landlord? i.e. one document with both their names on it as joint tenants?

            If so, then it really is a matter for the tenants, and possibly the police. T1 is committing an offence if he is in possession of illegal drugs. T2 would be committing an offence if he permitted illegal drug possession to take place as co-tenant (willful ignorance and non-reporting is included in this). Landlord would also be committing an offence if this was reported to him by T2 and he didn't act on it (i.e. inform the police). IMHO none of them are ever likely to get prosecuted unless there are other factors.

            Landlord would realistically need a conviction against T1 in order to have a chance of evicting the tenants because of illegal drug use.

            I don't see any reason for T2 to be able end the tenancy before the expiry of the fixed term.

            The decision is really with T2. He can either live with T1 as is til the end of the fixed term, or he can report T1 to police, and probably still have to live with him til the end of the fixed term although under somewhat more strained relations.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by elniinio View Post
              Landlord would also be committing an offence if this was reported to him by T2 and he didn't act on it (i.e. inform the police).
              What offence would the landlord be committing?
              It's not (currently) his property, and he has no duty to act on hearsay.
              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


                #8
                Section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
                A person commits an offence if, being the occupier or concerned in the
                management of any premises, he knowingly permits or suffers any of the
                following activities to take place on those premises that is to say
                (a) producing or attempting to produce a controlled drug
                (b) supplying or attempting to supply a controlled drug to another…or offering
                to supply a controlled drug to another;
                (c) preparing opium for smoking
                (d) smoking cannabis, cannabis resin or prepared opium


                A landlord is concerned in the management of the property, so if he is notified of possible illegal activity as above and he does nothing with the information then he is committing an offence.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Excellent - didn't know that, thanks.
                  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


                    #10
                    Tell your tenant to chill out.
                    Also, no landlord has ever been up before the beak because his tenant was smoking a couple of spliffs.

                    The police and C.P.S have better things to do with their time, and taxpayers money.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by elniinio View Post
                      Section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
                      A person commits an offence if, being the occupier or concerned in the
                      management of any premises, he knowingly permits or suffers any of the
                      following activities to take place on those premises that is to say
                      (a) producing or attempting to produce a controlled drug
                      (b) supplying or attempting to supply a controlled drug to another…or offering
                      to supply a controlled drug to another;
                      (c) preparing opium for smoking
                      (d) smoking cannabis, cannabis resin or prepared opium


                      A landlord is concerned in the management of the property, so if he is notified of possible illegal activity as above and he does nothing with the information then he is committing an offence.
                      the key word is "knowingly". Knowing requires more than a "suspicion" or "an idea that" . At this stage the LL is not "knowingly" doing anything, allowing anything, permitting anything etc.

                      What offence do you think is he committing if he does nothing about the allegation that has been made to him?

                      Agree with the saint, in that personal use inside private premises is low, in fact probably no, priority for the local authorities, but I would not want to be the first LL to be called to account. A call to Crimestoppers will relieve the LL of any concern in that regard.

                      pm
                      Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Suffers is also important.
                        Believes and does nothing is "suffers".
                        Which doesn't even require it to be true.
                        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


                          #13
                          Surely T2 would win any claim against L because the smoking wasn't apparent prior to actually moving in?

                          If T2 is clued up on his rights that is.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What would the tenant claim, misrepresentation?
                            Of something of which the LL wasn't aware?

                            The tenant signed a contract with a minimum term having had (as far as we know) adequate opportunity to check out the property.
                            If T1's Behaviour was deceptive, by hiding the extent of his "use", and that enticed the tenant, that might be a route, but quantifying the hardship for T2 might be an issue.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              Suffers is also important.
                              Believes and does nothing is "suffers".
                              Which doesn't even require it to be true.
                              Read the legislation again, "he knowingly permits or suffers" suffers" also requires knowing, in order to "suffer". How can you "suffer" something that is not true and not happening?

                              No matter. A call to Crimestoppers would be sufficient, and a letter to the T to that effect, might stop their shenanigans, and maybe get them to move on?

                              The T2 is at greater risk of allowing or suffering or permitting a s8 offence as they are on the premises and would find it hard to defend non-acton against illegal activity especially in light of the fact that they have complained to the LL about it with a view to getting out of the contract.

                              May seem harsh, but it appears to me that only T2 has evidence of the issue and it is their problem to report.

                              pm
                              Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                              Comment

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