Although the vast majority of student tenants are quiet, respectful and follow the rules, there will always be one or two who push the boundaries. Add in loud music, alcohol, and drugs, and your tenants could soon be causing anti-social behaviour. Though it’s ultimately your tenants’ responsibility to behave sensibly and appropriately, as a landlord, you have a duty of care to the local community and university - fail to act, and you’ll develop a bad reputation.
Below, we’ve put together everything you need to know about dealing with student tenants.
What constitutes antisocial behaviour?
Although it’s natural for students to want to have a couple of drinks and let their hair down, it is important that they’re mindful of their neighbours and the wider community. Understanding what does and does not constitute as anti-social behaviour can be tough, but it includes:
- Holding loud parties that go on until the early hours of the morning
- Playing musical instruments at inappropriate times of the day
- Congregating in the street late at night, shouting, singing, drinking, and being noisy
- Dealing drugs from the property
- Playing loud music late at night, causing neighbours distress
- Discarding rubbish in the garden of the property or on the street
- Writing graffiti on the walls of the property/surrounding area
- Using communal areas to entertain guests late at night, or without permission
- Having an animal that causes lots of noise, mess, or disruption
- Misusing fireworks or setting fireworks off at inappropriate hours
There are many things that don’t constitute antisocial behaviour, including shouting during the day, cooking smells coming from the property, and inviting guests over for a party during the day. The best way for these issues to be resolved is to calmly discuss them with tenants.
How to combat antisocial behaviour
As a landlord, it can be difficult to police your student tenants and prevent all incidents of antisocial behaviour, but there are things that you can do to stop problems from arising:
- Have a clear anti-social behaviour policy in place and remind tenants of their responsibilities. Set ground rules from day one so everyone’s on the same page
- Avoid buying investment properties in quiet residential areas and letting to students. Choose streets close to campus/near other student accommodation
- Put an antisocial behaviour clause in your tenancy and be clear that repeat violations will lead to eviction/termination of your contract. It’s best to be strict
- Respond to complaints from neighbours or other tenants as soon as they arise and then issue a formal warning if you’re confident that they were in the wrong
- Give advice on noise reduction. Remember that some tenants have never lived away from home before, and so a gentle reminder can give them food for thought
- Ask the local council to apply for a Criminal Behaviour Order for tenants who fail to comply with antisocial behaviour policies to encourage them to change their ways
- In a worst-case scenario, you could go to court to get an injunction to prevent tenants from behaving in an antisocial manner; but this can be time-consuming
As a landlord, it’s natural to have concerns about letting a property to students, particularly if you have had a bad experience in the past. But provided that you’re firm with your rules and show both tenants and neighbours respect, you shouldn’t have any issues. Check the Billing Better blog soon for more tips and tricks on being a good landlord, and find out more about our bills management service for tenants, designed to save time and increase your revenue.