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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6438
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We entered a 3 year lease agreement in September last year.

Resolved Question:

We entered a 3 year lease agreement in September last year. We have just been told by a neighbour that work is about to commence on excavating the land backing onto our property. We are informed that all neighbours knew about this, however, especially as we have a small baby we would not have taken the lease had we known that for 2/3rds of the term we would be living next to a building site with all of the noise and risk to our child this brings. Simple question: can we get out of the lease on the basis that we were not given full information at the time of signing?
Submitted: 3 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


Did you make any enquiries of the landlord prior to entering in to the Lease? Either directly or indirectly (eg. any nuisances or disturbances).


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Tom,

No, we did not. The property is in a well established estate where the last building work was completed many years ago (from memory of conversation with landlord), and we had no reason to suspect otherwise. We discussed the level of disturbance from the rear of the house (as it back onto the 15th hole / 16th tee of the golf course), but that discussion on "disturbances" was all.

It turns out that what we were told was our neighbour's plot of land is actually 2 plots, one of which is her son's - and he has decided to build now.
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

 

Can you expand a bit more on the nature of disturbances that you discussed and what was said to you by the landlord in this regard please.


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We were invited to look around the property, and sat for a coffee. During this we noticed that there were golfers on the tee and they were chatting, waved and said hello etc. We questioned whether there were a lot of incidences where golf balls / golfers entered the property, but were told that there was no problem in this respect. During our discussion they emphasised the peace and quiet of the countryside location, which was a major (if not, THE major) reason for taking on the lease.

Thinking about further, there is a LOT of animosity between our landlord and the lady whose son is building. The lady was (as we are now) taken by surprise when our landlord built the property about 7 years ago - there has been no building since then - and there was a lot of police and legal involvement surrounding this. Our landlord quite freely shared this with us during the conversation at the same time. We were told to expect "trouble" from the old lady...who is actually not that bad as far as we are concerned...but our landlord warned us to expect complaints for minor indiscretions e.g. bushes growing into her "territory" etc.

I hope this helps clarify...
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

The landlord is not under a duty to volunteer the fact that he knew about the development (if he did), but if asked about it then he would have to tell the truth. A direct question ("are you aware of plans to develop") might enable you to terminate, or an indirect one ("should we anticipate any disturbances from neighbours or surrounding areas") might also catch him.

 

The distrubances conversation in the above form would not quite get him on the hook in my view. You would also have to prove that he knew the property would be developed.

 

If you could prove this misrepresentation then you could terminate on the basis of this (repudiatory) breach of contract. If you do this now he would no doubt dispute, sue you for the rent and you would have to litigate on shaky grounds. This presumably would not be in the best interests of your young famiy.


This is not to say you cannot try and get out of it informally in corresponding with the landlord. It costs nothing to sabre-rattle and there is no harm in overplaying your position. See how that goies and if he knows that you are bound and confident he did not misrepresent himself then you will have to see what you can negoaitate with the landlord if the development starts. Perhaps a reduced rent or surrender (where you agree with him that the lease should be mutually termianted) where you pay him a sum of money to give up the lease.

 

Landlords are under a general duty not to refuse a reasonable repacement tenant and you should also focus on finding one to take over the tenancy. www.gumtree.co.uk is quite good for this.

 

Sorry it could not be better news.

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up qusetions.


Kind regards,


Tom

 

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6438
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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