People who rent their homes can attest to the existence of disagreeable landlords. But, irritation can go both ways, and in some cases, far beyond a feeling of annoyance. Sometimes, tenants may do things or participate in activities that pose a threat to the safety of the home’s proprietors as well as their neighbouring tenants.
Sue Shontell, executive director of a low income-housing assistance organisation in Connecticut, USA, stresses the importance for property owners to penalize tenants who may be using the rented place to commit illegal activities. Shontell says that her agency has already been taking legal action against tenants they have found associated with recent gun- and drug-related incidents.
‘With drugs and guns, basically you’re out. There’s an admission and continuing occupancy policy, and in their lease, their obligations are stated. You have to be a good neighbour. If you endanger the safety of others, that’s not being a good neighbour’, Shontell says, referring to the importance of cracking down on criminal activity especially for areas with pervasive crime.
No One Place
Professionals from LHA London add that these ‘problem tenants’ exist regardless of a rented property’s perceived client base, as evidenced by the number of arrests made in high-rise, high-income properties across time. In Connecticut, authorities recently arrested six people for possession of 64 grams of heroin as well as multiple high-calibre weapons. The suspects engaged the police in a shootout inside a three-building, 124-unit compound.
Shontell said that the handling of tenants who engage in illegal activity are very sensitive, requiring involvement from other agencies in order to reach a resolution, with either penalty or eviction. These cases may range from pet neglect to child endangerment, and requires the full attention of property owners in order for them to resolve the issue promptly without affecting other tenants.
Immediately addressing ‘problem tenants’ is one of the many responsibilities of property owners who accept renters. More than conducting a business, making sure that all tenants are abiding to the law may be the most important aspect of the job, since any mishandling may result to the reputation ruined.