Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sarah (not her real name) who is a landlord.
The neighbour of my tenanted house is contacting me and my agents weekly to complain about my tenant.
Sometimes it is noise in the early hours; sometimes it is about them having a barbecue and not tidying away properly; sometimes he is accusing them of smoking or fighting in the property. He often attaches photographs that barely back up his point as the mess isn’t really anything at all.
The neighbour is demanding that I evict the tenant as he is ‘intimidating his wife and children’ but can offer no explanation for this.
He also complained constantly about my last tenants who were also Eastern European.
My agents have been to the property and there are no signs of smoking, and the house is in good order. My agents have spoken to the tenant who denies he is doing anything wrong and is accusing the neighbour of harassing him and being racist towards him.
I am at my wit’s end. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
This is a neighbour dispute and neighbour disputes are notoriously difficult to deal with.
First of all – the neighbour has no right to ask you to evict your tenants. Even if they were behaving badly (and obviously they are not) you cannot be held liable for their conduct unless, possibly, you actively encouraged some sort of bad behaviour.
But here the problem is not your tenants but the neighbour who sounds like an unpleasant person.
It’s difficult to know what to do and maybe readers can give some suggestions.
You could try telling the neighbour that he is guilty of harassment and that if he does not stop you will have to take action, although I doubt that would have much effect on him and there is probably in reality not much you can do.
The other suggestion is to maybe block the property off by growing high hedges in the garden so he can’t see, for example, when they have a barbeque.
But generally, there is not a lot you can do about difficult neighbours other than trying to ignore them as much as possible.
Do readers have any suggestions to help Sarah?