My young tenants, though seeming to be nice people, are causing some disturbance that the next door neighbour has complained about. After 3 incidents within one week of their moving in I wrote them a letter reminding them of the terms of their contract and listing the complaints, telling them they had breached their contract and asking them not to continue to do so. The neighbour has made two further complaints since, of playing ball in the street (which I don't have a problem with) and of noise disturbance in the garden until 3:30 am. The tenants are at the start of a 12 month contract. The neighbour is threatening legal action against me if I don't throw them out. I do not wish to throw them out just because of the neighbours complaints. I know that they are and should be protected by the Housing Act and the law. I want to do everything in my power to protect them, but don't want to have a legal problem with my neighbour who is trying to force my hand. Is there anything I should be aware of that my neighbour can do to me? Should I send another letter to the tenants to be sure of being able to prove that I have taken her complaints seriously? I have advised her twice now to call the police in future if they cause a disturbance but she prefers to text me to complain and threaten me.
Province/Country relating to question : Bedfordshire, UK
Texting tenants regarding complaints when they occur. Writing breach of contract letter to tenants. Personal visits to tenants and neighbour to mediate. Advice to neighbour to call police. Advising tenants police could be called.
Welcome to JustAnswer! If you've any queries once you've read my answer do ask. When satisfied, kindly click the Green ACCEPT button.What is the tenants position on this please?
The tenants are upset with the neighbour's complaints. They have a 12 month AST with me that started on 25th April 2011. I am not sure what you mean by 'the tenants position' however. Please explain and I will try to answer.
Thanks. As a landlord the neighbour can hold you vicariously liable for nuisance caused by your tenant. However the neighbour must have a legitimate complaint. As a landlord you will only be able to evict them if you show that they are n breach of one or more covenants and it will not be successful most likely in the first instance as judges are keen to keep tenants in the property unless they are serious breaches. I would therefore tell the neighbour that you are happy to work with the if there is genuine cause for complaint and that you have spoken to the tenants about the matter and you can put their version of events across to the neighbour. Advise the neighbour that they do have security of tenure and you will need substantive evidence to take further action. The neighbour will need to produce this - they could for example contact the police, or the environmental services at the council to obtain sound measuring equipment etc. Also the neighbour should keep a diary. This is the sort of evidence that will be required if you are to successfully hope to evict the tenants - I appreciate you don't particularly want to - and hopefully th neighbour will consider his position. You may wish to follow up any discussion in writing so you can show that you have taken action in response to the neighbours complaints.
LL.B (Hons), Prof Dip Law & Practice. 9 years experience in private practice in England
Thank you. I think I had better write to the tenants again notifying them the details of further complaints and breaches of contract. I will also write to the neighbour, which I have not previously done, so that she can see that I am taking her seriously. I have already asked her verbally to keep a diary and to call the police if she needs to but will now put this in writing.
I think that would be the way forward. You need to walk a tight rope between ensuring you can show the neighbour that you are taking her seriously and not harassing your tenants (the latter of which is a criminal offence) so do not overly bombard them with correspondence on the matter. It is easy to accidentally "harrass" your tenants without meaning to. They can use the land reasonably but cannot cause a nuisance to neighbours. Generally we know what is ok and what is not. Noise in the garden is to be expected in the day but frequent late night parties is going to be an issue as is loud music etc.
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