Nightmare Neighbours! 1st Jun 2016

31% of us in the UK admit to disagreeing with our neighbours with noise, broken fences and untidy gardens being the most common reasons for arguments (Rattan Direct survey). If this is the case, then there is the chance that your tenants and their neighbours may not see eye to eye. Noise complaints (especially when we are in our gardens) were at the top of the list, followed by broken fences or walls, untidy gardens, and annoying children and pets.

59% of homeowners / tenants are annoyed by having to keep the garden tidy, most notably cutting the grass, weeding , or maintaining a large hedge or a fence. Whilst garden maintenance is written into the lease, and The Key Place will ensure the garden is well kept by tenants, landlords may want to consider whether it is worth employing an occasional gardener for larger gardens to cut back hedges etc and provide general maintenance.

Of course there is a difference between neighbour disputes due to relatively minor causes and antisocial behaviour. Private landlords are expected to take responsibility for tenants who are causing problems, and are also expected to take responsibility for antisocial behaviour around the property they rent out.

The landlord should undertake certain measures to try and resolve any conflict. If neighbours are the problem, ask tenants to keep a diary of the disturbances – what and when; consider talking to the neighbours and addressing the problem calmly; if needs be report the problem to the council; contact the police if necessary.

If the person behaving badly happens to be your tenant, you have a responsibility for dealing with this. If your tenants are acting in any way that is likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone living near the rental property, the landlord must take action. Measures include investigating the problem; speaking to the tenants; writing to the tenants; giving advice on noise reduction; contacting the council regarding antisocial behaviour; contacting the police; going to court to get an interdict to prevent the tenants behaving in a certain way; serving Notice to Quit to evict the tenants.

If the landlord does not deal with the issue, the local authority has the power to make sure the landlord cannot collect rent for the property (by issuing a rent payable order); or the council can take control of the property (by issuing a management control order) so the council can manage the antisocial behaviour.

All of these problems take up A LOT of time which landlords often do not have. Dealing with them also requires expertise. The Key Place is experienced in dealing with all of these problems.

Letting agents act as an intermediary between tenant and landlord, helping to resolve any disputes before they get out of hand. Landlords who use a letting agent can sit back and relax, knowing that the letting agent is dealing with all of this for them. The Key Place is one of Scotland’s leading letting agencies, managing properties throughout Edinburgh & the Lothian’s, Central Scotland and the Scottish Borders. Please contact us if you would like any advice on your rental property.