The coalition government abolished the original ASBO in 2015. However, the idea has not gone away. Antisocial behaviour is still a problem for which people can receive banning orders, fines, and more. You might think antisocial behaviour in your student tenants isn’t your problem. Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
Are Landlords Responsible for Tenant Behaviour?
The short answer is no. You cannot be held legally liable for your student tenants’ actions.
However, as their landlord, you have a duty of care towards your tenants. You must ensure tenants are not disruptive. While residents might complain about a particular group of students, as the property owner, you are the one constant. You are the one that they will complain about in local council meetings.
The local authority will then keep an eye on you, even after those student tenants have moved out. You will become noteworthy as a landlord who doesn’t pay due care and attention to who is permitted to rent the property. It doesn’t matter that the residents don’t know who you are because the council will.
The Social Media Problem
HMOs are the most reported property types for antisocial behaviour. Unfortunately, students are among the most complained about demographic.
Once the local community is aware of you, your property, and your tenants, they will pay you more attention. Complaints become more likely, even when a new group moves in. The law might not hold you responsible, but the local community will, and they will spread the word through community discussion pages on social media.
What Can / Should You Do?
The most common complaints to local authorities include loud music and other excess noise, parties, and litter / dumped rubbish. The first couple are the most common complaints about students. Less so are excessive car engine revving and consistent bad parking.
Talk to the student tenants: Take the complaints seriously. This isn’t just about you and your business; it could impact future student tenants. This also serves the purpose of letting the student tenants know that you are aware of what goes on in and around the property.
Don’t ignore it: This is the worst thing you could possibly do. Repeated problems could mean the local authority opens a Premises Closure Order which will see your property emptied for 3 months, but these are used in extreme cases.
When Do I Give Written Eviction Warning?
Hopefully, it will never get this far. Let them know that you won’t tolerate it and may consider evictions. They are a messy affair but, in most cases, the mere threat of an eviction is enough to encourage better behaviour. It’s best to use a written notice after several attempts to encourage better behaviour.