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Category: UK Property Law
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I own a small garden flat, which is part of a larger 4 storey

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I own a small garden flat, which is part of a larger 4 storey property in London. I share the freehold with another party on the total property, but own only my demise. The property is split into 2 seperate dwellings.

I have let my flat on a shorthold tenency agreement - all very run-of-the-mill. However, new owners of the dwelling ( and my new co-freeholders ) are planning extensive 3-4 months worth of building work. This will mean massive irritation and intrusion for my tenant. It will also mean scaffolding being placed all around the property, and in areas owned by me ( namely the back garden, a flat roof extension and the front of the property )

The tenant is understandably extremely worried about this. I am trying to understand what rights he has and what I can do. Can for instance, he ask for reasonable compensation from the neighbours during the course of the building work.

Many Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Did the tenant ask about disturbances before moving in?

Were you aware of the works before they executed the tenancy?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom,


 


The tenant did not specifically ask about disturbances, other than "is it a quiet area" that kind of thing.


 


My co-freeholders are new owners, who were moving in almost exactly when I moved out of the property ( in May ), and when I started to let out my property. The new owners did tell me of their plans to do some work to the property, but not in any officially capacity or in written form. But at that time I had no idea of the scope of works or how long it would last. There were no plans at that point to look at for instance.


 


thanks


 


MArtin

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Did you tell the tenant of the vague proposal to carry out works?

What did you say in reply to their 'quiet area, questions?

I am just leaving for work now. I will be able to answer at9

Kind regards

Tonr
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom,

 

frankly I can't remember if I mentioned it to the tenant or not, as there were no concrete plans at all at that point, and the potential new owners had not even completed at that point, or in fact moved in.

 

In terms of the "quiet area" question, I answered that it was. Because usually it is very quiet.

 

 

The main concern my tenant has is with the scaffolding being erected in his demise for what could be a 4 month period. In general terms is there a point when the amount of time scaffolding is erected for stops being 'reasonable'? And therefore can there be a case for compensating from the party undertaking the work?

 

thanks

 

Martin

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi Martin

Thanks for your patience.

Basically, if the works are completely outside of your control then the only action that the tenant would have against you is if you misrepresented the situation to them at the outset.

You are not under a duty to volunteer such information, but if the tenant asks about such matters you must answer honestly.

So, the tenant would have an action against you if you knew there was a possibility that these works would be carried out but did not tell them when they asked a relevant question. “Is the area quiet” is probably a question which should include the answer “yes, but it’s possible that there may be new owners who might move in and carry out works).

If you did not tell the tenants about the potential for works then they may potentially have an action against you for misrepresentation if they complain that the scaffolding and works breaches the right to quiet enjoyment in the tenancy agreement.

You will have to keep a watching brief on it. It may be extremely difficult for them to actually prove that you knew anything about the works, so there action may be a non-starter frankly.

If they were able to prove then they could probably unilaterally terminate the tenancy on the basis of the misrepresentation and (potentially) sue for damages) but the issue would very much be proof.

Wait and see how things develop, do not make statements to the tenants about what you did or didn’t know prior to the tenancy.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom,


thanks for the answer. I have one detail I need to outline. There is no suggestion that my tenant is suggesting I misrepresented the situation - I didn't at all.


 


He is talking about asking for compensation from the new owners who are undertaking the work - for unnecessary irritation and disturbance - mainly due to the scaffolding and the duration it will be up for - but also the accompanying noise etc etc. Do we have a case for this? does he have any rights as regards XXXXX XXXXX affects of building work which is not under our control?


 


thanks


 


Martin

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi Martin,

If the works undertaken are authorised from a planning and building regulation perspective then the only action they would be able to take would be in resecpt of any excessive noise in the normal way (local authority).

However, there may be clauses in his lease which state to the freeholder (he and you) that he should not cause a nuisance to you/other occupiers. You need to check. If there is then you could potentially do something but, remember, you are going to have a relationship with the other freeholder for a long time so it may not be worth rocking the boat.

You should draw your lines carefully here. I would advise him that any action he takes or attempts to take against the other owner is a matter for him and him alone.

PLease remember to rate my answer.

Tom
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Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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