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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Can you please point me to the legislation that will allow

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Can you please point me to the legislation that will allow me to break my lease early due to living in threat of our safety ? due to previous break in, mail being stolen from the letter box (in particular ? credit cards and bank statements), and a manic depressant neighbour who has been reported to the council for excessive noise (extreme religious chanting).



Is this a residential tenancy?


Did you ask the landlord/agent about the neigbours prior to moving in?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi, yes this is a residential tenancy.


No, I dont recall asking the agent explicitly about this tenant. This is a terrace, conversion? 4 stories, we are the basement, he is on the floor directly above. I recall asking the agent about the neighbours in general, but not explicitly the neighbour above. He was not alerted to me that is was a known problem.


The landlord coincidently owns both ours, and his flat, managed by the same agent.




It's quite important. Do you recall asking generally about noise/nuisance/disturbance and, if so, what did they say?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I did say during the inspection - what are the neighours like? I would confirm we would have asked, as a basement flat, obviliously we would be naturally concerned about the neighbours, as any noise above would travel down.


I am actually thinking now, that his apartment may not have been tenanted when we moved in, and it had been vacant for some time. I will find out if you like?



Hi Heath,


The key issue is whether the man lived above at the time you took out the tenancy and whether he had started making these noises. Please confirm.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Tom,


I can confirm, the tenant moved in before us. He was known to other tenants inthe building almost instantly from his complaining himself. The neighbours above (flat 3) him have lived there for 5 years (they are owner occupiers) and have never had any trouble, until he moved in. I cannot confirm, and would find it hard to confim today (might over night by speaking to flat 3, whether they complained to the agent themselves, if that will help any?






The landlord is not under a duty to volunteer the fact that he knew about the noisy tenant, but if asked about it then he would have to tell the truth. A direct question ("are the neighbours noisy") might enable you to terminate, or an indirect one ("are there any nuisances") might also catch him.


If you could prove this misrepresentation then you could terminate on the basis of this (repudiatory) breach of contract


If you asked "what are the neighbours like" and he did not say then this could conceivably be a breach by him. The practical problems for you is 1) they may dispute this and take it to court for a judge to decide if it was a breach and 2) there is no documented record of their saying it, so they could lie and deny saying it.


If you had in in writing from him that there were no noisy neighbours then I would say that you have a fair chance of terminating on the basis of this without giving them a case to sue you.


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 and demanding to be released from the tenancy. This would have to be in the form of the surrender.


You may choose to attempt to get out of the tenancy by finding a replacement tenant.

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. 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,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Tom, I was hoping there was a angle to break the contract based on safety, more than noise. My fiancee has asked me not to intervene when he goes on his hours on hours rants, in fear he will retaliate when I am not there, that she does not feel safe in the flat on her own. I dont feel safe that he is there above us. He is a very unpleasant neighbour, I have been in verbal altecations with him, as have flat 3.


I thought I saw or was shown a section of the tenancy legislation here, that if the safey of the tenant was at risk, they can break the lease and give 4 weeks notice.


Is that your understanding also?






I am not aware any law like that. I am extremely doubtful however, on the basis that if there were such a law which affords a tenant a right to terminate on the grounds that the fear for their personal some element which is in the landlord's control then it would not make sense for 4 weeks notice to be given - presumably 4 weeks would be more than enough time for to harm that perons safety.

There is nothing in the housing act legislation (which governs tenancy agreements).


Trust this clarifies, if so please click accept.

Kind regards,


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