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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    HMO tenant has left

    Hi advice urgently needed...

    I have an hmo in croydon... 6 rooms fully licensed.

    One of my female tenants has been having major issues with a male tenant who is quite agressive, the police have attended a couple of times... and now she has moved out and is refusing to move back or pay her rent for this month and the remaining 3 months of her agreement.

    What are my obligations... regarding the tenants arguing etc? Should i pursue her for the debt or is feeling unsafe an acceptable reason to leave without paying out the contract

    Thanks in advance

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    I don't know the legal position here for certain but I would think that she is legally required to pay her rent [although you may take a sympathetic position]. The issue is between her and the previous tenant (not between her and you) and she needs to deal with it through the correct channels (i.e. the police, etc).

    With regards to the other tenant, I would be seeking removal of them as soon as possible after being aware of any inappropriate/aggressive behaviour.

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    Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor. Experienced in estate management, residential investments, planning and development and rights for utility apparatus. All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    My friend had a similar situation where his son felt unsafe in an HMO. He moved out but had to keep paying.

    I think you need legal advice as opposed to othet landlords thoughts.

    Good luck Derek

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    Thanks guys

    I wondered if there was a harrassment argument she could use. I know a landlord who got quite a substantial fine for harrassing a non paying tenant and not allowing her to enjoy her right to live in the property harrassment free or something like that

    But dont know if that argument works as i havent harrassed her, its the other tenant.

    Removing him is something i would love to do... but again i cant seem to find anything saying that hos adverse behaviour gives me the right to do so.


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    I think it depends on if loosing that rent is a significant financial hit for you or not and how quickly you can re let the room. If the money is not a major concern and you can re let the room quickly I would probably let her walk away. It must have been quite a bad situation for her to move out so maybe a little compassion?

    Either way, before you posted on here I hope you started the ball rolling on getting the male tenant out. If it happened once, it will happen again. Getting him out should be your main concern now.

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    If she's moved out, I would cut my losses and rent it to someone else, I can't believe you are making more than £800 per month from her rent. You could use legal means to pursue her, but can't believe its worth the time and you might lose anyway. And if you think her issues were justified, serve notice on the male tenants (you don't want him driving away other tenants).

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    unless she has given the LL proper notice to quit, the room should not be re-let, even if the female has physically moved out within the dates on her current AST. Well, LL can re-let, but not without risking a substantial fine from the courts...

    Serve a notice on the aggressive male asap, and be sympathetic to the female if she is a victim, is my advice.

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    *(Moderator note: Comment removed*).

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    Hi Alex

    I agree with what others have said - it's not worth pursuing her for owed rent. Just get her to sign an agreement to end the tenancy early in case of any come backs, then get another tenant to replace her.

    As for the aggressive guy, it would be better to have given him a written warning first, but in any event, he isn't 'acting in a tenant like manner' so you have the grounds to ask him to leave. Negotiation here is key, the  courts always being your very last resort. Have a male colleague accompany you if you feel threatened and tell him from your point of view the tenancy just isn't working, ie other tenants complaining, causing disruption, and his behaviour is simply not acceptable. You could help him move by agreeing to return his full deposit or even pay him to move! Yes, that's not as bonkers as it sounds if it's the nudge to move him on. It's far preferable to the hassle of going to court and much quicker.

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    Legally she is not entitled to leave early and is obliged to pay. Landlords are not liable for the behaviour of one tenant to another unless they have encouraged the behaviour

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.