Gransnet forums

Coronavirus

Too much or fair.

(27 Posts)
felice Wed 13-Jan-21 12:07:14

I have mentioned on here a few times that masks must be worn at all times in Belgium.
SIL received a letter from the local Commune yesterday which seems a bit much.
It appears one of the students who rent the top floor apartment were putting out their bin bags last Sunday evening when a Police car passed, an officer shouted to the young man to put on a mask, or else.
He was standing on the front step while another lad was handing the bags out the front door.
They are a nice bunch 4 post-graduate students.
So SIL gets a letter as their landlord informing him his tenants were breaking the law and he must ensure they understand the rules.
Nope, they are adults and his responsibility is to the building not to them personally.
It takes long enough to remind tenants which days each bag goes out without policing them too. The youngest is 22.
Too much or correct??

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 13-Jan-21 12:10:22

Correct, as a landlord your son appears to be responsible for his tenants and if the rule is to wear a mask outdoors then that is what they will have to do.

felice Wed 13-Jan-21 12:10:37

They are all Belgians.

felice Wed 13-Jan-21 12:14:27

My SIL rents out 4 apartments including one to me, he is not responsible for his paying tenants, are local councils in the UK being threatened everytime one of their tenants is fined.
We have checked and under the law they are over 18 not living at home therefore responsible for themselves. I can imagine the reaction of private landlords in the UK if that was the case.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 13-Jan-21 12:16:54

Well it appears from what the Police said that he is responsible, it might be an idea for him to clarify his position as a Landlord with the authorities.

Belgium isn’t the U.K. and the rules appear to be different.

M0nica Wed 13-Jan-21 12:20:43

This rule certainly does not apply in the UK. To begin with we do not have to wear masks outdoors, only if we are under cover in a public space. - supermarkets etc.

You say your son receied a letter saying So SIL gets a letter as their landlord informing him his tenants were breaking the law and he must ensure they understand the rules. This doesn't make him responsible for their behaviour. I would have thought it merely meant, perhaps, a letter sent to each individually containing any public service leaflets on the subject and a reminder that these rules must be obeyed.

I reckon you just suffered from a jobsworth policeman. They are to be found in every country and I sometimes think we have more than our fairshare of them!

felice Wed 13-Jan-21 12:20:59

The rules are very different and very strict but we are not expected to police others, he has checked and sent a very strong email to the commune. No other landlord on the site they have has received such a missive.

felice Wed 13-Jan-21 12:27:11

You can't turn a corner here without bumping into a Policeman at the moment, 4 cars went past me very slowly in the 8 minute walk to go and collect DGS from school yesterday.
I am going with DGS to read the gas meter and check the post at Church this afternoon the last twice I have been questioned as to why and 'how' I am entering the building!!!!!
Yes I did say 'with a key' to the last one.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:53:39

I saw a policeman last week, actually In Our Village!!

Or maybe I imagined it? I doubt that it will happen again.

Jaxjacky Wed 13-Jan-21 19:25:19

I would just have informed the tenants and maybe put a notice on the inside of the front door as a reminder. The police may have been over keen, but at least they’re taking it seriously and have plenty of officers. On the front line, at risk, probably a bit jumpy and worried too.

Grannytwoshoes Thu 14-Jan-21 10:02:43

I would say responsible .....but at the moment every little bit we can do might help stem the flow of this ghastly epidemic. Maybe a kindly word ., they sound nice people... and as suggested some leaflets. Landlord doing their bit to help. Initially it’s aggravating but on reflection it’s a pity we didn’t do more instead of moaning about our rights in the UK! It’s a pity we have a government who change their mind every five minutes. And then leave us in a state of terror!

Coco51 Thu 14-Jan-21 10:32:43

Trouble with ’jobsworth’ police is that when there is a real crime to investigate, they can’t be bothered!

NotSpaghetti Thu 14-Jan-21 11:00:37

I think it's reasonable for your son to "remind" them. They are his tenants and if they were littering outside the building for example, or leaving the bin in the wrong place, their actions would impact on the local community. I'm not saying he's responsible.

Over here, when I worked in social housing, we had a responsibility to all tenants to be living somewhere safe - and also obligations to inform them about local rules and regulations. You could argue that other tenants are at risk if one is breathing all over communal hallways, handles and so on.

I haven't kept up with housing law but there was also a clause in the standard contract about not letting your premises be used for illegal purposes (think cannabis growing, or as a brothel) because this technically had implications for the landlord, not just the neighbours or the tenants themselves.
Maybe someone here knows more about this than I do.

Anyway, if they are behaving technically illegally by being outside without a mask, they may be in breach of their housing contract so your son may be a good person to remind them of their obligations to the community.

I can't believe he would be responsible for them or nobody would ever let a property to anyone!

Nannan2 Thu 14-Jan-21 11:08:07

Yes i would have thought that meant just a poster or something near the entrance to 'Remind' them of the rules then after that its entirely up to them-he's their landlord not their carer- they are all adults! Maybe the police officer thought they were under 18 or something?

Nannapat1 Thu 14-Jan-21 11:10:06

I can't imagine that a landlord would be responsible for the behaviour of tenants, although, if you knowingly let them carry on an illegal activity in your property (eg cannabis farm) you could end up on the wrong side of the law. I don't think mask wearing, or rather failing to wear one, would fall into this category!

Jillybird Thu 14-Jan-21 11:59:07

Hmmm... if I were the landlord, I'd put a notice on the front of the door, not just the back. That way, you can point out to any future jobsworth police that you have indeed taken your role seriously.

In truth I wish we in the UK actually had enough police. I've lived in my area 7 years now and probably seen a lone policeman twice in that time... and he was only a PCSO...

I completely understand that saying about wishing to live in a country where the chefs were French and the police were British (how does the rest go?) but there are times, especially now, when I actually wish our police were a tad more officious.

BusterTank Thu 14-Jan-21 12:11:49

I'm afraid rules are put in place for a reason .

KathrynP Thu 14-Jan-21 12:19:01

I’ve put a notice on inside of our front door just to remind myself and my husband ..... ‘Remember mask and sanitiser!’. Works for me!

grandtanteJE65 Thu 14-Jan-21 12:59:47

I think the police are justified in taking the matter up with the landlord, but in his place I would ask the police to clarify if he is responsible.

If he is renting the property out and not living there himself, I would have assumed he has no responsiblity.

On the other hand, if he resides in the house, he can be seen as the householder or head of the family and in that case responsible for making sure that his household obeys the law.

Are the students in question so mature that a passing policeman would have seen that they were over 18?

If not he may naturally have assumed the young men to be teenagers living at home.

Their disregard of the restrictions rather bears that assumption out. It is hardly adult responsible behaviour, is it?

GagaJo Thu 14-Jan-21 13:05:19

I think it sounds like a culture that takes the virus very seriously and uses every avenue to enforce compliance.

Your son has some limited authority with tenants. He could tell them that they are required as part of their tenancy to follow legal requirements (such as wearing a mask in the vicinity of the apartment). If they totally refused to comply, he could put them on a tenancy warning of some sort.

It only affects your son if it happens near the apartment. If they do the same thing on the street while shopping or near their place of employment, nothing to do with him of course.

CBT61 Thu 14-Jan-21 13:25:54

I am a landlord. We have foreign students in a flat in our village. I am NOT responsible for them as they are all adults. The exception to this is antisocial behaviour in and around the property. So if they were making a noise outside the flat in the middle of the night etc. I’m definitely not responsible if they don’t wear a mask in the local supermarket. I do give them as much information as possible about how to live harmoniously in our country and village. And when they arrived this year I did a shopping delivery for them to prevent them trying to go out when they should have been isolating. But my responsibility is pretty much tied to the use of the property.

4allweknow Thu 14-Jan-21 15:15:12

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have enough police to bother stopping for an incident where a person was appearing to be breaking the law. As the post refers to Belgium sorry don't know the law on the subject. Does seem a bit harsh to be on your doorstep and need to wear a mask. Haven't seen a police officer in my area for goodness knows how long whether walking or in a vehicle. Think they are fully occupied breaking up parties, dealing with vandalism and drug users/sellers.

Aepgirl Thu 14-Jan-21 15:22:54

If they must wear masks, that is the rule - no excuses.

Aepgirl Thu 14-Jan-21 15:24:19

A friend had a visit from the police at 9pm a couple of nights ago because somebody had reported that she had too many visitors. So our police in England are responding.

felice Fri 15-Jan-21 12:15:42

As I said the youngest is 22 and the only under 18 in the building is DGS which the commune would know as he is registered there, you have to register with your local commune withing 4 weeks to get a new ID card, by law.
SIL got an apology from the commune by email and we are now wondering if it was an ethnicity problem by the policeman, they are notoriously racist here, and proud of it.
He was also told it was not required to wear a mask at your front door if it is open.
We have had lots of stuff through our letterboxes about the rules, DGS even got his own masks and info geared towards children so no need for landlords to do anything other within their own families.
Every time the rules are updated we get a mail drop.
They are country wide so no faffing about with areas and tiers.