In previous posts we have the discussed the landlords responsibility to protect their tenants from criminal activities. However, what should a landlord due if the tenant is the one conducting the criminal activities?
Landlords can actually face liability it is found that their tenants are performing illegal activity on the landlord’s property. For example if a tenant deals drugs from their rental unit a landlord can face multiple fines, the landlord can be sued by another tenant or community member claiming that the property is a public nuisance or danger to the community, law enforcement can impose criminal liability if they believe the landlord knowingly allowed the tenants to deal drugs from the rental property, and in extreme case the government can seize the rental property (source).
Even if the landlord isn’t in danger of facing liability, having a tenant that deals drugs or conducts other illegal activities from their rental property will likely lower the value of the property and attract other criminal elements.
According to Lawfirm.com “If there is any kind of illegal activity on the property, the landlord must take action immediately either by evicting the person committing the illegal activity and/or calling the police. If the tenant advises the landlord that there is illegal activity nearby the landlord should take reasonable measures to try and report it to the proper person or authority to protect his tenants“.
Landlords can also be proactive in ensuring that illegal activities doesn’t take place on their rental property by taking several steps
Landlords should carefully screen tenants before any lease is signed
Landlords should not take any tenants that pay cash only
Landlords should make it clear that they do not tolerate such activity and will evict tenants that violate these laws (source)
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.