Scottish Landlords Fined for Tenants' Partying

landlord lawLandlords in Edinburgh, Scotland can now be hit with fines if they pull an "ASBO" violation by allowing wild "stag and hen" parties to get out of hand, reports the U.K.-based site Residental Landlord.

Wait. What? Let's translate.

"ASBO" is shorthand for the anti-social behavior ordinance put in place by Scots. The ordinance covers bad behavior ranging from theft to graffiti to pushing old ladies. Some of the worst offenders? Late-night parties, mostly of young, single men and women (aka, "stags and hens") and the checked-out landlords who turn a blind eye.

Landlords that allow semi-permanent party-pads that disturb the peace are being targeted.

Would something like this be good to adopt in the U.S.? It quickly gets complicated, no matter if you're the hard-charging all-nighter or the neighbor who has to work the next day.

How do you determine what kinds of noisy party people are in a particular rental? They could be short-term vacationers (likely to never return), weekend renters (who return on a regular basis) or full-time residents. Should the punishment fit the duration that the loud and noisy party people stay there?

Is it right to hold the landlord accountable for the behavior of others? That might be tricky. Perhaps landlords would become more zealous in their background checks, for instance.

"Just last week I spoke to constituents who had been kept up all night by horrendous screaming from a property in their block," said Scottish Parliament member Sarah Boyack, who represents Edinburgh's Central district. In her comments to Residental Landlord, she added that the police and ambulances were required in this particular party disturbance, too.

No one is arguing that persistent, loud parties are a major drawback if you live nearby.

Scottish landlords, naturally, are resistant to increasing pressure by lawmakers. They claim a few bad apple landlords who don't care for their properties or the people in them are making it more difficult for legitimate landlords. Perhaps. But, maybe the added incentives provided by a fine will keep the landlords motivated to keep their properties, and the people who inhabit them, in line.

So long as the landlords don't start acting like parents!
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