"In the occupation of one family"- meaning?

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  • "In the occupation of one family"- meaning?


    Would appreciate any practical advice on this one.

    The block I live in has 28 flats of which 10 are lessee occupied, the rest are let. There is a problem brewing with some of the the tenants concerning the lack of consideration to other residents within the block.

    The lease states the following:

    Not to use the Demised Premises nor permit the same to be used

    a) for any purpose whatsoever other than a single private dwelling in the occupation of one familiy only and as a high class residence only for letting on an assured shorthold basis or holiday letting.

    This clause appears to be (in my opinion) badly crafted. However, my question is - if there are several single people renting, is the lessee in breach of the lease? The problem is many residents are complaining about loud music at unreasable times apart from other problems such as car parking etc

  • #2
    I have had a similar circumstance where I own 2 flats in a block, and my tenants complained to me about unreasonable behaviour from another flat let to students. I agree the wording in your lease is laughable. I think though that they mentioned "one family" as opposed to "two or more families" in the same flat, not to object to a sole tenant. Do you not have a clause in the lease relating to anti social behaviour by occupiers? If so, you could write to the ground landlord, and/or the property management company if there is one, to express your concerns.
    When I had complaints of students screaming and shouting at 3am, running around naked, and climbing up to the balconies etc etc, I did the following:-
    1) wrote to the management company - no reply
    2) wrote to the owner of the flat ( got his details from the Land Registry website) - no reply
    3) wrote to the university - had a very helpful reply, stating that each of the students involved ( they found out who they were from just the address) had been sent a letter asking them to consider the affect of their behaviour on other occupiers, and they suggested that I call the police if the disturbances continued.
    As it happened, it was near the end of the academic year, and so the noise abated till the next intake of students.

    I suggest that you get together with all of the owner occupiers who are being disturbed, and all sign a letter of complaint and send it to one or more of the parties mentioned above. You never know, you may get a result!


    • #3
      Are you one of the resident lessees or have you let your flat out or both?

      I am not a solicitor but I interpret that clause to mean that sharers such as two friends would not be permitted and therefore constitute a breach. (I wait to be corrected if necessary.)

      Set that aside for a moment.

      Perhaps the lessees should come at this from another angle. Is there a clause forbidding noise heard outside the flat between certain hours? I think everyone’s quality of life will improve if clauses like this are adhered to. The resident lessees would surely be more inclined to turn a blind eye to the sharers if they behaved and blended in amicably.

      What’s the attitude of the freeholder?


      • #4
        The two Leases associated with my property are specifically different in that one states "for a single family" and the other "a single household".

        I understand this as the original purchaser of one of the flats wanted his daughter and partner to share therefore they were not a single family (until married) so single household it was.


        • #5

          If you and other residents are disturbed by excessive noise and loud music at night, check with your local Council which may have a "noise control" section to deal with this problem. I believe Harrow Council (NW London) have a weekend noise patrol to investigate noise complaints. Best if several flats in the block can call the section to make a complaint.

          Ask the Managing agent for the block serve a "notice" on all leaseholders to remind them on the conditions in the lease and abide by them. You can draft out the notice to cover the points which you consider are being ignored -

          1. Not to make a noise audible outside the flat between the hours from 11pm to 6 am.
          2. Not to hang washing outsde the windows of the flat

          3. "Not to let to single persons" or whatever is the wording in the lease


          • #6
            A belated thanks to Nora Kay for her response to my question.


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