Specified at the start of each tenancy you should serve two codes of conduct. One is mandatory for HMO management as part of the licence terms you have with the council. The other is to reduce the potential problems you may face during a tenancy.
A Zero Drugs Policy:
Its important prior to the start of the tenancy you are aware of this and the problems it can create.
Taking a tenant on with a drug problem you are at risk of the following
- Tenant having mood swings when drugs are un – available . This is all drugs not just hard drugs, Especially weed. Tenants become a nightmare to live with and will cause trouble with your other tenants.
- Weed stinks and will put off new tenants from living in your HMO. As soon as you open the door you can smell it. It is also not nice for others living in the property.
- All drugs are illegal and a breach of the AST terms –
- If house mates are on weed 99% are lazy and their rooms become a mess
- Other drugs bring a whole load of issues and you can imagine it being very messy.
How to avoid this !
Its hard to avoid if i am honest. Especially with weed because a lot of people smoke it! You can do some investigation work. Smell your potential tenants on viewings . ( i dont mean sniff at them like sniffer dogs but weed smokers do have a distintive pong about them. Even when not carrying fresh weed – i can smell the fact they smoke it.
Have a conversation with the potential tenant. You learn lots from making conversation with potential tenants. Just general conversation that you can keep them engaged in. Watch the way they come across.
People on drugs have traits that you can spot and notice.
Check their social media – even a locked profile may have a profile pic of the classic weed symbol or Bob Marley.
I check their close circles for classic signs of no good.
When sending over everything to book the room – make sure the Zero Drugs Policy is highlighted and get them to sign it with everything else.
Anti Social Behavior Policy
As part of licensing requirement you must have a anti social behavior policy in place. This is methods to identify anti social behavior , deal with anti social behavior . Warnings and strikes and how you will act if the tenant continues to breach the policy in place.
This was brought in to help end the poor managed HMO properties where communties were plagued with bad tenants and landlords that didnt care.
This together with the anti social behavior policy will scare off anyone who may have slipped through your initial radar .
Its a firm and fair approach and will help reduce any problems.
Over the years i have managed HMO with a whole load of different circumstances and it can be an absolute nightmare when you end up with a no good tenant.
Check out – How to deal with nightmare tenants !