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Tenant arrested


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I think I already know the answer but here goes anyway...

I have a flat let our room by room - 4 tenants altogether.

A new tenant has just come in. Two weeks no problem.

He has just been arrested for being caught red handed trying to steal from a hostel. The other tenants were awoken at 4am by the Police wanting to search his room - where they found credit cards and other items (laptops) that didnt seen to belong to him..Additionally, he has previously been caught for the same thing.

He is still in a Police cell and will not doubt be released later this morning. The tenants do not want him back in the flat.

I have told them I just cannot deny him him entry and will have to evict him legally or failing that appeal to his good nature (!).. Otherwise leave myself open for trespass. (Am i right?)

I would like to tell him to go asap - pay him back his rent and his deposit as he has used the property for storing stolen goods and being raided by the Police is 4am is unacceptable.

But I fear I will have to go through the legal route and thus not lead to an immediate eviction..

Your views / help etc.. are welcomed,



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I suspect 'being arrested' is not in breach of your tenancy agreement with him. Even if he is charged with the theft he is not 'convicted' until he either pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial. In any event a conviction is not going to be forthcoming for at least a week (assuming he pleads guilty straight away), or possibly a few months (if it goes to trial).

It's a difficult situation because I suspect you fear the other tenants moving out if he stays in the property. The best approach is going to be trying to find a practical solution to keep everyone happy. The first thing I would do is speak to your tenant as soon as he is released by the police and see if you can come to some kind of agreement to move him on more quickly. It's probably sensible to give him a sympathic ear in relation to the arrest as a confrontational approach could make the situation a lot worse. The other thing to do is to ensure that your other tenants are happy with the security in the house. Maybe offer to provide additional locks for the rooms etc.

Of course, if the theft was from you or one of your other tenants then you would be in a much stronger position. The police can place bail conditions on him not to return to the property to avoid the risks of 'commission of further offences', or 'interfering with witnesses'. If you suspect, or any of your tenants suspect that they are the victims of the theft, make sure you speak to the police and they can ensure that conditions are considered to stop him from returning (or at least only returning to get his property with a police escort). Police and court bail conditions preventing him from returning to the property override any tenancy agreement that may be in place.

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He will be bailed anyway his crimes are not that serious enough to keep him in jail in today's Britain and he will want to return to his room /flat. You can't stop him either and yes, it's all the way down the legal route to get him out and I think I am right in saying it's a devil of a job to get him out if he is actually in prison awaiting trial.

Welcome to 21st Century landlording.

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Surely with your rent guarantee insurance & or your home owning guarantor it doesn't matter if he is in jail.......

1. You'll get paid anyway from the insurance or the guarantor.

2. The other tenants will be OK as he won't be there.

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He won't go to jail for this crime unless he has real serious previous form. PC Plod and the Crown Prosecution service will look upon this as no more than shop lifting.

You have to do something really serious now to get a jail sentence like........failing to pay your TV licence. :D

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