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I live in a house that is my only residency. The house

I live in a house...
I live in a house that is my only residency.

The house is rented from a property developer landlord who is in dispute with my employers, a registered charity, because the local authority has advised the Charity that part of the house, built around 2008, has never been given a safety certificate and should not be used until one is issued.

Because this is a Company Let, I am worried that I can be locked out.

Please advise my situation and best course of action.

Thank you.
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Answered in 32 minutes by:
10/28/2013
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Verified

Joshua :

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

Joshua :

For the avoidance of doubt may I clarify that the tenant of the landlord is the charity you refer to please and you are the occupant of the propert?

Joshua :

When you refer to a safety certificate are we referring to a building regulation certificate please?

Joshua :

Is any part of the property considered actually dangerous?

Customer:

1) That is correct

Customer:

2) Yes

Joshua :

Thanks

Joshua :

Is any part of the property considered actually dangerous?


Customer:

3) We do not know - we await an inspection. It leaks a lot of water and I wouldn't feel safe in it. The local authority told us not to use it

Joshua :

Thanks. Could you kindly clarify what is leaking - is it pipes? If so is it more than one pipe or one specific pipe?

Customer:

Its the roof.

Customer:

I completely trust my employer who is a charity. What I desperately need to know is whether the landlord can simply lock me out, whether they can apply to court but without my knowledge - or whether I will be issued with a summons allowing me to have some notice.

Customer:

This is a Company Let. The Lease requires the Landlord to obtain a Possession Order from the County Court before re-entering the premises - do I get to know when this is happening? Will the tenant - the charity - get a chance to appear in Court?

Joshua :

Thanks. first of all, with your permission, I will clarify the position with regards XXXXX XXXXX regulations. all new properties and indeed many building works generally require a building regulation completion certificate on completion. Failure to obtain building regulation completion certificate can lead to enforcement action by the council to rectify work which has not been certified. the power to take enforcement action on the part of the council lasts for 12 months from completion of works. After that point, the council cannot take enforcement action unless they can show that a structure is dangerous. accordingly, unless the Council can demonstrate that your house or part of your house is actually dangerous, on the basis that the work in question is more than 12 months old, the council can no longer take enforcement action against it unless they can show it is dangerous

Joshua :

however, a leaking roof is not acceptable and is a breach of s11 Landlord and Tenant Act as well as likely a breach of contract in respect of the company lettings agreement. The charity can force the landlord to take action in respect of the roof to stop it leaking either in the County court by way of an injunction or by asking the council to assist by serving an improvement notice

Joshua :

the council nor the landlord can unilaterally force you to leave the property earlier than the expiry of the company let tenancy. The charity has a contract with the landlord for the rental of the property for a fixed period and that tenancy cannot be ended early unilaterally by the landlord.

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

This landlord, her own agent tells us confidentially, is trying to remove my employers to take advantage of a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development it obtained after the Charity started renting - to demolish the 2008 build and build something new. They have accused the Charity of running a business from the building despite the fact that the lease allows them to operate as a charity.

Customer:

The Charity cannot afford to pay for the property and replacement premises so does not ant to stay on. My question is entirely about how much notice my family and I will receive. The Landlord will issue proceedings tomorrow to avoid a local authority inspection

Customer:

Let me ask a more simple question which goes to the hub of my predicament.

Customer:

If someone's employer fails to pay rent, or is deemed to breach a major agreement or obligation, what does the law require to protect an individual. How much notice will they get, please?

Joshua :

Ah I see that changes the position. Has the charity missed a rent payment?

Joshua :

Is accomodation provided as part of your employment or do you pay rent to the charity?

Customer:

The accommodation is part of my reimbursement for work. To comply with the Company Let, the Charity has to pay rent a quarter in advance, but it cannot use 40% of the building as both the insurers and building regulations officers at the local authority and is currently paying the rent daily since the trustees believe paying anymore risks the donors' funds.

Customer:

Sorry - there is an error. That should read

Customer:

The accommodation is part of my reimbursement for work. To comply with the Company Let, the Charity has to pay rent a quarter in advance, but it cannot use 40% of the building as both the insurers and building regulations officers at the local authority have told them not to use part of the building with no certificate. It is currently paying the rent daily since the trustees believe paying anymore risks the donors' funds.

Customer:

I agree with this. The Charity cannot afford to lose funds to a rogue landlord who has rented accommodation without knowing it is safe.

Customer:

I just need to know how much notice my family will get. We worry we will be locked out without warning. We need time to find somewhere else

Joshua :

thank you. As above, the charity has substantive rights in respect of the landlord and would have a potential defence in respect of any eviction proceedings the landlord brought on the basis of lack of repair and so would do well to consider a counterclaim for damages against any rent the landlord seeks. your position is that you have no contract whatsoever with the owner of the property. Your agreement lies vis-a-vis the charity.

Joshua :

your tenancy status depends upon partly whether your wages are reduced on account of your accommodation or whether you live in the property entirely rent-free without deduction from your wages

Joshua :

in either event, you have a right to notice. If your wages reduced on account of your accommodation, then the minimum period of notice you are entitled to will be the greater of 28 days notice or such notice period as is provided for in your employment contract which may typically be longer. If you wages and not reduced on account of the accommodation, then you are entitled to a minimum of 28 days notice to vacate

Joshua :

if you refuse to do so, either your employer or the owner of the property would need to seek a court order to force you to leave. This process will take two months or more and so practice, the notice you receive can be significantly longer than the above 28 days. As a service occupier or excluded occupier, unfortunately, you have relatively little by way of security of tenure but you certainly cannot simply be locked out overnight by any means as above.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Thank you for this. I live in the house with the full knowledge of the Landlord - my name is XXXXX XXXXX lease. What does the Landlord have to do before she can lock me out? Is the Court

Customer:

Is the Court obliged to contact me - or the Charity before granting a possession order, please?

Joshua :

A pleasure. They would need to seek a court order from the county court and if you ignored the court order, they would need to go back to court for a warrant to evict you. This whole process takes about 2 months or so

Joshua :

Can I help you with anything else?

Customer:

Thank you so much, Joshua. I can go to bed now!

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Just checking - this is true even though it is a Company Let (the charity is a company limited by guarantee)

Joshua :

It makes no difference whether your employer is a person, a charity limited by guarantee, a ltd company or something else. The laws apply in the same way.

Customer:

Thank you. That answer does run contrary to one previously provided by another expert and is gratefully received

Joshua :

Although I do not know what my colleague said, it may not run contrary because whilst what I say is true if your landlord was a private individual rather than a charity he may have even more rights however regardless of what the entity is it has at least the above minimum rights.

Joshua :

I hope that above has been of some assistance. With your permission I am going to log off for the night. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.I will be very please to respond in the morning. Best wishes

Customer:

Thank you

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
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Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice

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