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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We own a ground floor flat in a small purpose built residential

Resolved Question:

We own a ground floor flat in a small purpose built residential block. The average age of the residents is 67, with a few very elderly people. I have had a complaint from the management company reporting for the resident's ass. that my tenant and his partner are making excessive noise on Fri and Sat nights. My tenant: a professional man in his mid thirties is claiming that he is being harrassed and victimised by elderly residents. The property does not comprise sheltered accommodation but the elderly cohort expect extreme levels of peace and quiet. The residents ass. is seeking legal advice. Where do we stand as landlords
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

How long have your tenants been in situ please and how long is left on their tenancy agreement term if any?

Joshua :

Does the lease allow for sub letting?

Customer:

The tenant has been in situ for just over 1 year and , as a relative of ours, has no official length of tenancy. Yes the lease does allow for sub letting

Joshua :

Thanks. Does he pay rent and have exclusive occupation of the property?

Customer:

He doesn't pay rent but pays utility bills and maintains the property. He lives in the property with his girlfriend, who has no tenancy rights but lives there by our agreement. The property for us is a potential retirement home for old age (no irony intended)

Joshua :

Thanks. Does the lease allow for sub letting? If so are there any conditions to your knowledge?

Customer:

The lease does allow for sub letting. The lease requires minimum noise levels after 11.00 pm

Joshua :

Thanks. Your tenants legal position based on the above is that he is an excluded occupier if he pays no rent and is therefore only entitled to minimum notice to leave.

Joshua :

You are vicariously liable to you landlord under the lease for your tenants actions and so it would be unwise to ignore the notice you have received from the management company. Ideally you will contact your relative and seek a written response from him so you can pass this on to the management company expressing your concern and requesting specific examples of the issues they raise.

Customer:

I have no wish for the tenant - who is my son - to leave, rather the opposite! If the residents' association take action can we take counter action, on the basis of harassment

Joshua :

Notwithstanding any specific provisions in the lease that deal with noise, the common law provides with regards XXXXX XXXXX from noise as follows. The House of Lords decided in 1999 in the case of London Borough of Southwark v Mills and Baxter v London Borough of Camden that one cannot be liable to a tenant who is disturbed by the ordinary and reasonable activities of a neighbouring tenant because of inadequate sound insulation between the properties. Under the common law it is principally a question of balance. If the noise is sufficiently continuous so as to significantly impact on neighbours enjoyment of their property it could be that they could claim a statutory nuisance. It is not possible to claim nuisance for ordinary day to day activities as above.

Joshua :

I quite understand your position. You will wish to be mindful of the fact that you would ideally wish to avoid any unnecessary confrontation, legal or otherwise with the landlord if possible but if they are adopting an aggressive stand and legal action is in your view inevitable you will need to familiarise yourself with any provisions from the lease that could be employed by them and attempt to seek a statement from your son that he is complying with the same and rather the noise neighbours complain of is simply his day to day activities in the flat and is a result of inadequate noise insulation rather than nuisance caused by your son.

Joshua :

Wherever possible such matters are better dealt with however by diffusing rather than escalating to legal action but this is not always possible.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Yes, we would definitely wish to diffuse the situation and avoid legal action. My son has experienced threatening notes being passed through the door at various times of the day and night. The management agent is aware of one prolific complainer who has caused problems for other tenants. As both tenants are at work all week and often abroad on business (just recently returned from a 3 month business trip to Shanghai) thenoise events complained of must be random and spurious

Customer:

I would appreciate a transcript of the information you have given

Joshua :

Thanks. Threatening notes and behaviour may amount to harassment which is any a criminal offence and can give rise to civil damages. Harassment can be any behavour which is know or ought to be known to cause harassment to another. Your son may consider contacting the police if he is concerned.

Joshua :

I can ask customer services to email you a transcript of the above if you would like?

Customer:

Yes a transcript would be useful thank you. Thanks for your help

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 4 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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