This is an interesting follow on from my previous post about Local Authorities being held liable for damage done by tenants recommended by them. This Blog Clinic question is from Elena (not her real name) about a tenant placed by an ALMO :
My friend is a home owner, the house next door is run by an ALMO who have put a tenant in who has trashed two social houses previously belonging to the same ALMO, this tenants behaviour has not changed, she and her children are causing mayhem and the language is foul.
My friend has approached the ALMO several times and asked them to control or move this person because they were aware of her attitude when they gave her the house, the patch manager has spoken to the bad nieghbour several times to no avail. The patch manager says nothing further can be done, is not the landlord at fault here for putting this trublesome person who they had full knowledge of into what was a peaceful and quiet area.
This is a very hard question and difficult situation. I don’t think my previous situation will apply here, as there the Local Authority was directly recommending a tenant to a landlord who then suffered physical damage to the house. Here the person suffering is a neighbour and there does not appear to be any actual damage to property.
It is quite true that landlords are not responsible for the actions of their tenants. This follows on from the general rule that one person cannot be held liable for the actions of another person.
But does this mean that social landlords can with impunity make the lives of neighbours into a misery by knowingly placing known nightmare tenants into properties in respectable neighbourhoods which they would never otherwise be able to live in? Do they not have some sort of obligation to act in a responsible manner when placing tenants, and to have some consideration for the neighbours?
But then what are they to do with these people? There is a temptation to say that tenants who act in a grossly anti social manner should be disqualified from having further help from social service organisations. But they have to live SOMEWHERE – where are they to go? I can’t see any real answer – certainly not in these straightened times when there are not the resources to give them proper support.
What do you think?