Supporting tenants with drug or alcohol addictions
Most tenancy agreements will have clauses that directly relate to drugs or can be applied to drugs and drug use. These will explain to tenants what is and what is not acceptable. They also give the landlord the grounds on which they would seek possession.
There are serious legal implications for landlords when tenants are found to be using or dealing drugs in their property. It is your responsibility to take appropriate action and the ultimate penalty is a custodial sentence for the landlord/property manager.
If you have suspicions that your tenant is using or dealing drugs, contact Bromley Police on the 101 number to report the issue. It is important to do this at an early stage to prevent any blame falling on you for allowing the situation to continue.
Tenants with drug or alcohol problems may fall into arrears or damage may be caused to the property if it is raided by the police who suspect drug dealing is taking place.
As such, it is in your interests to recognise the signs early on and prevent a problem from occurring. Wherever possible, we would encourage you to attempt to address the problem by working with support agencies rather than seeking eviction immediately.
Why support tenants in or towards drugs recovery?
Tenants with drug and alcohol dependency may require support to manage their finances, maintain the property and sustain their tenancy. Identifying where tenants need extra help, and referring to local services, is part of an ‘invest to save’ approach and can provide significant long term savings for landlords alongside helping vulnerable tenants sustain independent living. Sustaining a tenancy in the long term can reduce the level of tenant and former arrears, tenancy abandonment and high void costs.
Where properties are abandoned due to the rent arrears, repairs costs and void loss are likely to be higher due to:
- Increased time lost whilst verifying that the property is abandoned
- Increased repairs required and
- Longer void periods whilst repairs are completed
How to support tenants in drugs recovery
Landlords can have a positive role in identifying existing tenants who want to address their substance misuse problems, and can help by supporting them to get the appropriate help. This may be a requirement for tenants to avoid losing their tenancy by tackling the causes of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).
There is also a role for landlords to support people in drugs recovery looking for secure accommodation away from previous locations, to minimise risks from previous associations. In both cases, there are some important steps for landlord to take to ensure that people are given the best chance to succeed in maintaining their recovery and their home.
Further information on the topic here.
Bromley Drug and Alcohol Service (BDAS) offers a range of treatment and support services for adults aged 18+ who have concerns about their drug or alcohol use and are residents in the borough of Bromley.