Three Types of Illegal Tenant Activity to Watch Out For

We constantly hear on the news about the issue of rogue landlords, which has become more prevalent recently due to the fact that so many people have now entered the industry.

However, an increase in demand for private rental accommodation also means that there are now more tenants – and not all of them are going to be as upstanding as others.

This means that there is now more of a risk of one of your tenants partaking in illegal activity, which is why you need to have a plan for when issues arise.

Theft or attempted theft

Properties are more expensive than ever, which is one of the reasons so many people are now currently struggling to afford a deposit for a mortgage.

This also means that your properties are now worth more, so if a tenant tries to steal from your property, you could lose a substantial amount of money.

We have already seen cases in the news of tenants ransacking properties and stealing items such as furniture, copper wiring and even boilers, which is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous.

Furthermore, these tenants can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, especially if they rip wires out of the walls or floorboards.

Normally, tenants steal from properties before they leave, so if you do have a tenant leaving in the near future it is wise to keep an eye on your property, especially if they are doing so under bad circumstances.

If you are really concerned, then it is imperative that you inspect the property right after your tenants have left, that way if there is anything missing you can deal with it straight away.

Three Types of Illegal Tenant Activity to Watch Out For

Three Types of Illegal Tenant Activity to Watch Out For

Drug farms

Tenants that create drug farms in private rental properties are often quite crafty, which means it’s difficult to catch them before it’s too late. However, there are some signs that you can look out for, such as if they are not from the area originally or if they don’t seem to ask too many questions during the viewing.

Most drug farmers don’t actually live in the properties they rent out, which means that they aren’t concerned with things such as the upkeep of the property and any maintenance work that needs to be done.

Additionally, this means that they will keep odd hours, so if you are concerned you could always ask neighbours if they have seen anything strange.

Drug farms are extremely dangerous, as in order to set them up, your tenants will have to install irrigation systems and specialist lighting which will all cost a huge amount of money to fix.

Furthermore, if the police find out about the farm before you do, then they could raid the building and cause even more damage. This is why if you do think your tenants are growing illegal substances, you should call the police immediately and try and explain your concerns.

You can also protect yourself against this by ensuring your landlord insurance covers unauthorised alteration.

Disappearing acts

Letting out a property is a business transaction, and with the help of your tenancy agreement, it becomes legally binding.

As most landlords know, if they don’t run their businesses properly, then they can face fines, legal action and even jail. However, the same consequences apply to tenants as well. If your tenant repeatedly fails to pay you rent, they are not adhering to their part of the agreement, which means technically they are breaking the law.

Unfortunately, things can get even worse if a tenant who owes you money then disappears, as it leaves you with few options.

Naturally, rent guarantee insurance can help cover the cost of the lost rent; however there are other problems that you will face if your tenant disappears.

Firstly, you will have to go to the courts and apply for a possession order for your property, as you will not be able to let it out until your original tenancy agreement has been nullified.

After this, you will have to alert the police of your tenant’s behaviour, especially as you don’t want them doing the same to another landlord.

As a landlord, you will find that most of your tenants are harmless, however, it only takes one to cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and legal issues for your business.

So make sure you know what to do in case you are ever faced with an issue, and don’t forget you can always talk to your local authority or the police if you are concerned.

©2017 Just Landlords

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