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AIBU to think that one of our tenants' sons...

(34 Posts)
itsveryyou Mon 05-Jan-15 19:55:42

...should not be bringing marijuana into the house his mum rents from us (he lives there with her), and posting photos of this on his publicly available social media accounts, and making reference to being high and having spliffs? I thought landlords could be held liable if they don't do anything about 'controlled substances' on their property, so I have reported it to the management agency and am awaiting advice. This is not about moral judgments, I don't care what he does in his spare time, but I DO care about him putting us (and his mum) in a potentially difficult position. We don't want to lose his mum as a tenant as she's great, and we will be returning to the property in the next year or so. Son is already on a warning (police caution) for doing something very silly whilst living there, so our patience is wearing a little thin, to be honest. WWYD?

thecatneuterer Mon 05-Jan-15 19:59:43

I'm a landlord. I've never heard of landlords being liable for their tenants smoking spliffs. What would I do? Ignore it. As long as they're not growing it I wouldn't see it as any of my business.

ProcrastIWillFinishThisLater Mon 05-Jan-15 19:59:50

He sounds like a stupid teenager. As his mum is the tenant and she's fine, and as he's not dealing it, only smoking it, I wouldn't do anything tbh.

nooka Mon 05-Jan-15 20:03:36

Why are you looking at his social media accounts? Obviously he shouldn't have his settings wide open, but it seems a bit of an odd (and intrusive) thing to do. If he was running a meth lab or pot farm I could totally understand your concern, but smoking a joint?

hoppus Mon 05-Jan-15 20:03:36

Why are you looking at your tenants sons social media profile?

itsveryyou Mon 05-Jan-15 20:10:36

He's aware his accounts are occasionally being looked at, and he has given his permission for this to happen. I don't care about him smoking the odd spliff, that's not the issue - it is whether we as landlords are potentially liable for what happens in the property. If we're not, then all is good. If we are, then his actions have to change.

maddy68 Mon 05-Jan-15 20:16:32

Alandlord is not liable for illegal activities of others living in their property.

Normal teenagery behaviour. Just delete him from your facebook then you're non the wiser
(I might mention in passing next time you see the mum that perhaps he should be a bit more discreet as you wouldn't want anyone else to report him!)

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 05-Jan-15 20:18:42

There was a Scottish case where the landlord was charged and I think convicted even although she knew nothing about it. I vaguely recall it from criminal law lectures in 1977 but aside from thinking it was HMA v Sweet I can't find it and can't remember if it still stands as law.

You may be liable under antisocial behaviour legislation ( assuming there is an English equivalent ) if his behaviour is affecting neighbours but that's for failing to control antisocial behaviour not necessarily for failing to stop his using.

Why on earth are you looking at tenant's son's Facebook page?

FightOrFlight Mon 05-Jan-15 20:20:34

You reported it to the management agency? What if someone from there decides to report it to the Police and he gets arrested again. Don't think your tenant is going to want to stay with a landlord who dobbed her son in for smoking a spliff.

I'd also like to know why you are looking through his social media accounts. Nosy much?

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 05-Jan-15 20:22:08

The comment about landlord not being liable for tenants' behaviour is not strictly true, certainly in Scotland. If any of my tenants were engaged in antisocial behaviour at or near the houses and I fail to take steps to deal with it I can face civil and criminal penalties.

Smoking a joint isn't necessarily antisocial behaviour.

fredfredgeorgejnr Mon 05-Jan-15 20:23:44

You are crazy, stop looking at their facebook accounts, apologise and inform them that you were utterly mistaken in even asking or suggesting that you should be checking them out.

It sounds an awful lot like harassment to me, suggesting you'll just make things extremely difficult in ending the tenancy should you wish to.

itsveryyou Mon 05-Jan-15 20:26:11

He's not a teenager, he's older, but that's not relevant. Unfortunately his previous actions (theft from the property/deception/fraud) have led to us mistrusting him and yes, perhaps I shouldn't be looking at his publicly available, unlocked social media accounts, but he is aware of this fact and still choose to be less than discreet with what he shares.
This is solely to do with whether we are potentially responsible for the actions of tenants - if we're not, then all is good.

Toughasoldboots Mon 05-Jan-15 20:31:06

I think that you should not be looking at his social media accounts. I rent out a house and would not dream of even looking at what the tenants too.

I can't get worked up about that anyway.

FightOrFlight Mon 05-Jan-15 20:32:04

OP, it may have been a wiser choice to speak anonymously to an organisation such as Shelter who are experienced in Tenancy laws.

Even if the management agency don't take it further there's the risk that someone will mention to a friend (who mentions to a friend etc.). Before you know it half the town could know he's a spliffhead. He might even get people knocking at the door asking if he's got any to sell!

fredfredgeorgejnr Mon 05-Jan-15 20:36:17

You cannot get involved with tracking what your tenants are up to in their private lives, they have the right to not be harassed, stop it.

Forget about the other stuff, and I'd suggest sell the property and get a better business that you actually understand the law on.

itsveryyou Mon 05-Jan-15 20:39:09

It wouldn't even have crossed my mind to have checked out his online presence, had he not given good reason to mistrust him in the first place, over the theft/fraud issue, but that opened a whole Pandora's Box - which I will close now, as long as we won't be held liable for his actions. However, those of you condemning me looking at his social media stuff, you're not telling me that you've never checked someone's profiles out of interest/curiosity?!

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 05-Jan-15 20:45:38

I don't check anyone's social media. I have no interest in it. I don't have a Facebook or a twitter account.

FightOrFlight Mon 05-Jan-15 20:48:22

"However, those of you condemning me looking at his social media stuff, you're not telling me that you've never checked someone's profiles out of interest/curiosity?!"

As a one-off, yes but I don't keep going back to look at it. I also don't then report what I see to a management agency, potentially getting them into trouble.

If you distrust him to that extent then serve him with an eviction notice. His mother can decide to stay by herself or leave; if she leaves you can get in a different tenant.

DeeCayed Mon 05-Jan-15 20:59:01

I'd be annoyed that he was smoking in my property rather than being held liable for his actions.

YANBU, I'd have had a look at his facebook page as well.

itsveryyou Mon 05-Jan-15 21:01:28

I don't check it often - twice in the past six months. This is not, as suggested, a campaign of harassment. I couldn't give a fig about what they get up to, as long as I am not going to be held responsible (which, according to some suggestions above, I could). Surely landlords can take appropriate measures to protect themselves against potential prosecution?

NeedABumChange Mon 05-Jan-15 21:03:45

I'd report him if you thought he was dealing. Can't fucking stand stoners, worse than junkies in my eyes!

NeedABumChange Mon 05-Jan-15 21:04:14

Is smoking allowed in your property?

FightOrFlight Mon 05-Jan-15 21:05:44

OP, have a chat with Shelter (or similar organisation) and explain your concerns. They should be able to advise you on your legal rights and put your mind at rest one way or the other.

If it turns out there could be some legal comeback on you then you need to make a decision re: eviction. Now you've informed the management company you can't claim you didn't know it was going on as a defence.

fredfredgeorgejnr Mon 05-Jan-15 21:08:13

No, of course I wouldn't be dumb enough to harass a tenant the courts don't like it, I'd be risking thousands of pounds of money and lots of time and stress for no useful reason at all.

Your tenants have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of the property - which means you leave them alone, you don't stalk them online, however easy it might be.

What if the tenants, knowing you watch has decided they'd quite like a few months of free rent and are willing to accept the cost to them that will go with it when you eventually can evict them and are doing it to wind you up...

If you don't want them as tenants, serve notice, do not do anything that could in any way be construed as not giving them peaceful enjoyment.

That you do not know the law of the business you have chosen to do show's you as pretty dumb. Seek professional advice.

Toughasoldboots Mon 05-Jan-15 21:15:44

Do you really think that you will be charged and prosecuted if your tenant is found with cannabis?

You won't.

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