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Thomas
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Category: UK Property Law
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Major construction work is going on in the flat adjacent to

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Major construction work is going on in the flat adjacent to the one we rent (shared entrance and adjacent walls). We were not notified and are now told it will take 6 months. This is a severe nuisance and a disruption to our lives due to the noise and dust in the building and dust that enters our flat on a daily basis. What can we do? We have a fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy.
Submitted: 2 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

It sounds like the work is quite major and would have required planning permission. There is a consultation period prior to each such permission being granted and the applicant is required to display a notice visible to members of the public confirming that they have applied for planning permission.

I would contact the local authority’s planning department to find out when the permission was granted and when the consultation period commenced/expired. If they did not display the notice then they have breached planning policy and there might be something you can do about it by contacting the authority and making them aware of your complaint.

More likely is that the permission was granted prior to your tenancy and they are only carrying out the work now.

You would only be able to withdraw from the tenancy on the basis that the landlord misrepresented something about the tenancy. They are not under the duty to disclose such matters, but must answer honestly to your question. If they don’t answer honestly then it’s misrepresentation and this is a breach of contract. Depending on the seriousness of the breach you would be able to terminate the tenancy, but only if the consequences of the breach went to the root of the contract so as to deny the whole (or substantially the whole) of the benefit of the contract to you /

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Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The owner of the flat has planning permission and that was never in question. I need to know what we can do as the construction is affecting our day to day lives. We took the flat thinking that it would be a quiet lovely haven as I was 8 months pregnant and about to go on maternity leave. Now we are stuck in a situation where we can't even prepare food for our baby in the kitchen because it's so covered in building dust.


Do we not have any rights in this matter?

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

You have the right to enforce any misrepresentation against the landlord if there was any. This may extend to terminating the tenancy safely without giving the landlord a realistic chance of suing you for the remaining rent.

You have the right to enforce a breach of any of the conditions of the planning permission. The permission will contain conditions about managing the construction of the site, including the management of dust. You should contact the local authority to ask for a copy of the permission and check the conditions for the relavent clause. Document the dust and then refer it to them as a matter of urgency. If they accept that there is a breach of the conditions then they will enforce it against the owner, which may include a stop notice (stopping construction) until such time as the dust issue is satisfactorily resolved.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6650
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
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