Landlords may face several problems if a tenant commits an illegal act in their rental property. Damage to the property and even the possibility of a court case are examples of such risks.
We've compiled a list of illegal activities in rental properties for landlords to watch out for:
Threatening behaviour, playing music too loud at night, and vandalism and graffiti are all examples of antisocial behaviours.
Being reported by a landlord, the council, or the police for ‘persistent antisocial behaviour‘ can result in a punishment. A court may issue an individual a civil injunction or a Community Protection Notice (CPN). A Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) can be given to somebody already convicted of a crime. Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are no longer used in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. However, they are still issued in Scotland.
If there is a problem, even if you are unaware, a neighbour, the police, or the local council will probably contact you.
It's possible a tenant will seek to sublet your property without your permission. The tenant might do this if they want to split rent costs or even make a profit by overcharging the sub-tenant. Because of this, it’s critical to know who is living at your property.
Theft or attempted theft
Add items belonging to you to the inventory of your rental property if it has been furnished. The inventory list, which tenants sign after reading it, acts as proof should anything be missing during the tenancy. Further to this, having a detailed inventory can also come in handy if the property is burgled.
Drug farms in rental properties
Rental properties used for drug cultivation may not actually be inhabited by those who grow the drugs there. The landlord may have to deal with expensive repairs because of the tenant's lack of care for the property.
A property that is used for growing illegal substances like cannabis could have unauthorised modifications. For example, changes to lighting and the addition of irrigation systems. In the event of a police raid, doors, windows, and other furnishings might be damaged.
If you think your tenants may have a drug farm on your property, try to arrange an inspection. It may be a warning sign if they won't let you visit. Asking neighbours if they have noticed any suspicious behaviour is also worth considering.
You should report any illegal activity to the police, but if you are concerned that the tenant will find out, you can contact them anonymously.
Preventing illegal activity in rental properties
Checking on your property on a regular basis will allow you to stay on top of its condition. Having these inspections in advance and making sure new tenants are aware they will happen can serve as a deterrent to illegal activities during their tenancy.
Additionally, thorough background checks are imperative before a tenant is allowed to move in. For example, they allow you to check for past offences.
Protect your property with suitable insurance
It can be costly to deal with the losses or damage caused by these illegal activities. Such risks can, however, be covered by a comprehensive landlord insurance policy. It’s worth looking at the details of a policy to see if it provides suitable protection for your property.
At Arlington Park our letting specialists can offer guidance on what you feel is right for you with the knowledge that we will provide full professional referencing, periodic inspections and can offer insurance products to put your mind at ease.
We work with tenants and landlords to make sure any issues are dealt with swiftly and professionally. Contact us to find out more about our lettings services.