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AndrewEH1

Original Poster:

1,309 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Right, my father rents out a flat.

The flat above have made a 'complaint' about a smell of smoke coming up into their flat. They also have a small child (0-2 years).

My dad has gone into panic/retard mode and thinks that the flat above will sue us/claim on our insurance/I have no idea what goes on inside his head.

The contract, or tenacy agreement, states that this is a non-smoking flat along with no pets etc. They are obviously in breach of this agreement.

My dad tried to get in touch with the tenants but no contact yet.

Basically can the people above to anything apart from complaining to us?

Personally, I think they were just letting us know so we can stop it. Whereas my father believes they are going to take all of our money...

As far as I am aware from a search is that his tenants are not doing anything criminal but are in breach of contract.

Thoughts? Links would be helpful!

Edited by AndrewEH1 on Friday 5th October 11:35

northwest monkey

3,270 posts

75 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
The tenants may have broken a term of the tenancy, but not broken the law so tell your Dad not to worry - there's not a lot they can do!

There may be rules in the block regarding smoking in public places (some of my rentals are like this), but I would be incredibly surprised if there was any rule regarding what goes on inside the flat as long as it's legal which smoking cigs still is (just!).

The agreement your Dad has with the tenant is just that - an agreement. My bet is that your tenants are smoking out of the window & the smoke is drifting up & going in to the upstairs flat through an open window.

What will probably happen now is your Dad will write to the tenant reminding them of the "no smoking" rule & your tenant will then moan about how much noise the people upstairs are making & the baby cries all night etc. If you want my advice, don't get involved. It will consume far too much of your time & you won't achieve anything. Tell the moaner from upstairs that you've spoken to your tenant about it & the matter is dealt with.

To be honest, I don't enforce the "no smoking" rule as it's not realistically possible to do so. Loud music is one thing, but someone having a Silk Cut in the comfort of their own home is their business.

Unless of course they have turned the flat into a 24 hour crack den & in which case you need a solicitor!

p.s there is always a "small child" or an "asthmatic" living upstairs - I think its a rule.....

geeks

856 posts

25 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Get your father to carry out an inspection, following the rules of course (I believe a landlord must give 24 hours notice) and check to see if it smells/looks like it has been smoked in. Its possible the smell might not be your tenants!

AndrewEH1

Original Poster:

1,309 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
northwest monkey said:
The tenants may have broken a term of the tenancy, but not broken the law so tell your Dad not to worry - there's not a lot they can do!

There may be rules in the block regarding smoking in public places (some of my rentals are like this), but I would be incredibly surprised if there was any rule regarding what goes on inside the flat as long as it's legal which smoking cigs still is (just!).

The agreement your Dad has with the tenant is just that - an agreement. My bet is that your tenants are smoking out of the window & the smoke is drifting up & going in to the upstairs flat through an open window.

What will probably happen now is your Dad will write to the tenant reminding them of the "no smoking" rule & your tenant will then moan about how much noise the people upstairs are making & the baby cries all night etc. If you want my advice, don't get involved. It will consume far too much of your time & you won't achieve anything. Tell the moaner from upstairs that you've spoken to your tenant about it & the matter is dealt with.

To be honest, I don't enforce the "no smoking" rule as it's not realistically possible to do so. Loud music is one thing, but someone having a Silk Cut in the comfort of their own home is their business.

Unless of course they have turned the flat into a 24 hour crack den & in which case you need a solicitor!

p.s there is always a "small child" or an "asthmatic" living upstairs - I think its a rule.....
My dad can get very paranoid/panicked, I tried to tell him over the phone but then he went on about insurance and those no-win no-fee people...

There are no 'public places' inbetween the two flats so this is not relevent to this situation.

We have had situations where tenants have smoked despite the agreement but this is the first time a complaint has been made. I'd agree that a letter to our tenants would be the short term solution.

The only real issue is cleaning up after they leave...

GoneAnon

1,153 posts

38 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Being a 20 year non smoker I hate the smell of cigarettes when I stay in a hotel, so I can understand the upstairs neighbour being upset about the smell in his own home.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do except remind the tenant that your rental agreement stipulates no smoking in the property.

For the next agreement, maybe it is worth giving it some teeth and stipulating a charge for deep cleaning and airing, as well as loss of income while this is going on. Watchdog covered hotels that do this and their charges seem to stand up ok.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/features/...
Advertisement

Breadvan72

19,239 posts

49 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Enforce the lease if need be. Do not worry about liability to the neighbours.

BigBob

1,365 posts

111 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
GoneAnon said:
Being a 20 year non smoker I hate the smell of cigarettes when I stay in a hotel, so I can understand the upstairs neighbour being upset about the smell in his own home.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do except remind the tenant that your rental agreement stipulates no smoking in the property.

For the next agreement, maybe it is worth giving it some teeth and stipulating a charge for deep cleaning and airing, as well as loss of income while this is going on. Watchdog covered hotels that do this and their charges seem to stand up ok.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/features/...
Having recently stayed in one of this groups 'hotels' I can only assume they haven't caught anyone smoking in the room I had for some time - it certainly hadn't been deep-cleaned for an age. Mould on the grouting and along the bottom of the shower curtain, broken taps, toilet seat falling off...........

Won't be using that chain in future.

BB

Wings

4,468 posts

101 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
If your father took out a non smoking tenancy with the tenant/s, then it is for your father to write to the tenant/s reminding them of the same.

Your father must be seen to be doing something, thereby writing to the tenant/s on the smoking issue. Whilst your father could issue the tenant/s Notice under clause 12 of a Section 8 Notice, in reality I do not believe any court would grant eviction, based upon a tenant breaching a non smoking clause in their tenancy agreement. Like wise I also feel that any reasonable court, person or authority would hardly hold a LL accountable for tenant/s smoking in their flat.

So to conclude, your father needs to be seen addressing the smoking issue, so a letter to the tenant/s will support your father's position.

AndrewEH1

Original Poster:

1,309 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Wings said:
If your father took out a non smoking tenancy with the tenant/s, then it is for your father to write to the tenant/s reminding them of the same.

Your father must be seen to be doing something, thereby writing to the tenant/s on the smoking issue. Whilst your father could issue the tenant/s Notice under clause 12 of a Section 8 Notice, in reality I do not believe any court would grant eviction, based upon a tenant breaching a non smoking clause in their tenancy agreement. Like wise I also feel that any reasonable court, person or authority would hardly hold a LL accountable for tenant/s smoking in their flat.

So to conclude, your father needs to be seen addressing the smoking issue, so a letter to the tenant/s will support your father's position.
Cheers for that, my father acts the LL for me, my sister and himself.

We wouldn't be looking to evict over this - unless it's turned into a crack den!

No doubt we'll fire a letter their way after he speaks to them on the phone.

Pickled Piper

5,573 posts

121 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Wings said:
If your father took out a non smoking tenancy with the tenant/s, then it is for your father to write to the tenant/s reminding them of the same.

Your father must be seen to be doing something, thereby writing to the tenant/s on the smoking issue. Whilst your father could issue the tenant/s Notice under clause 12 of a Section 8 Notice, in reality I do not believe any court would grant eviction, based upon a tenant breaching a non smoking clause in their tenancy agreement. Like wise I also feel that any reasonable court, person or authority would hardly hold a LL accountable for tenant/s smoking in their flat.

So to conclude, your father needs to be seen addressing the smoking issue, so a letter to the tenant/s will support your father's position.
This. Remind the tenant in writing. I have also found that a Landlord visit is very usefull in moderating any misbehaviour. Give 24hrs notice, keep to the rules. It will be very obvious if tenant has been smoking. Like misbehaving kids, they usually start following the rules when they realise that someone is going to check up on them.

pp

AndrewEH1

Original Poster:

1,309 posts

39 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Yeah, they are students so you can't be surprised really!

My dad was just, unnecessarily, worried about any ramifications.

Cheers for all the posts so far, should hopefully put him at ease.

Gareth1974

236 posts

25 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
If you have smokers in the property, your biggest worry is the damage the smoke causes - I naively agreed to a tenant who smoked the first time I let my flat, never again, ended up spending days up a stepladder sponging off brown gunk off the ceilings before having to totally redecorate the place.

Breadvan72

19,239 posts

49 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
A letter and a visit, with reasonable notice given of the visit, are good ideas. The studes may not take the lease seriously, and need to be politely but firmly reminded that the bit that says do not smoke is a legal promise. The cost of clean up after tenancy will come from the deposit, so appeal to their wallets in that way.

I agree that a court would be unlikely to sanction eviction on this basis, but there is no harm in reminding the tenants of their obligations.
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