Unfortunately, from time to time, people experience a dispute of some type with their neighbours. However, as an HMO landlord in Chelmsford, problems between your tenants and the people living in the surrounding properties can prove highly problematic.
As a landlord, do you have to consider duty of care to your tenants’ neighbours?
Can you be held legally responsible for any negative behaviours your tenants display?
In this helpful HMO landlord’s guide to neighbour disputes, we give you our expert advice and useful tips.
Some Common Disputes That Arise Between Neighbours
As the landlord of an HMO in Chelmsford, it’s statistically more likely that you’ll face more neighbour complaints than a single tenancy landlord.
When multiple people live in a single property, there’s more potential for noise, which is, of course, a primary area of complaint.
The more tenants you have in a single property, the more likely it is that one or more of them will display inconsiderate behaviour from time to time.
For example, if there is a lack of available parking in the area and multiple tenants have cars, they may park across neighbours’ drives or block in their vehicles.
Of course, there’s also always the possibility that if you make the error of failing to vet your tenants properly, the neighbours could end up as the victims of aggressive or intimidating behaviour at the hands of those living in your HMO.
What Are My Responsibilities As An HMO Landlord?
While landlords of HMO properties in Chelmsford, are often first in the firing line if problems arise between their tenants and their neighbours, taking legal action against you is very difficult.
The only exception to this is if you have directly or actively encouraged or authorised their negative behaviour even though you know it would cause disruption.
Nevertheless, even if you aren’t going to be held liable legally for your tenants’ behaviour, you should still be prepared to mediate between all parties.
Failing to do this could end up not only with fraught neighbourly relations but also with the tenants ending the lease early, which, of course, will cost you money.
Top Tips For Managing Disputes
Here are our tips to help you manage neighbour disputes involving your HMO tenants:
- Give your contact information to the neighbours so they can get in touch with you straight away if any problems arise with the tenants.
- Let your tenants know from the beginning of their tenancy what kind of behaviour is expected of them.
- Be prepared to communicate with your tenants. You need to listen to what they have to say if you receive complaints from neighbours and be prepared to take their side if their neighbours are being unreasonable.
- Make tenancy agreements very clear regarding expectations of tenants’ behaviour. This includes any particular requirements regarding activities and noise which may affect neighbours.
- Carry out regular property inspections to show both neighbours and tenants that you take any issues seriously.
Taking Further Action
If every other option has been exhausted, it may be necessary to take a more serious course of action to rectify the issues. You may need to consider contacting Chelmsford council, taking legal advice, enlisting the help of a civil mediator, or beginning eviction proceedings by serving a Section 21 Notice on your tenants. Clearly, these courses of action are only advised in extreme circumstances.
How Can I Avoid Neighbour Disputes As An HMO Landlord In Chelmsford
The best thing to do to avoid neighbour disputes between your HMO tenants and their neighbours is to choose reliable tenants in the first place!
While it isn’t always possible to determine which tenants could cause problems in the future, by doing due diligence and carrying out appropriate checks, you can help reduce your chances of renting to bad tenants.
Simplifying The Process Of Handling HMO Neighbour Disputes
Resolving tenant/neighbour disputes is a challenging element of renting out an HMO property. It can be time-consuming to deal with, but it could also end up costing you money in the long run.
Using a property management service like Chelmsford is the simplest solution.
We can handle every aspect of managing your HMO property in Chelmsford, from vetting prospective tenants to ensure any potential problems can be minimised to addressing and handling any issues that arise.
To find out more, get in touch with our friendly and professional team today on 01245 835859, or send us an email at email@example.com