Lease law: Definition of 'one family only' / 'single private dwelling'?

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    #61
    Just been going through the lease and can quote the following:

    (8) Not to do or suffer to be done on the demised premises or any part thereof any act thing whatsoever which may be or tend to be an annoyance nuisance damage or disturbance to the owners tenants lessees or occupiers of any adjoining or neighbouring property or of the other flats in the said property and to use the demised premises as a private residence and for no other purpose.
    (9) Not to make structural alterations or additions to the demised premises or any part thereof withouth the previour consent in writing of the lessor...
    (10) Within twenty one days after every assignment transfer underlease charge or mortgage of the demised premises or any part thereof or any devoloution of the interest of the leassee therein to give notice in wriing to the lessors solicitors specifying the name address and description of the person or persons to whom or in whose favour the assignment transfer underlease charge mortgage deposition.... etc etc..

    3.(2) That the lessor will require every person to whom he shall hereafter grant or transfer a lease of the other flats in the said property to enter into covenants in terms similar to the covenants herein entered into by the lessee in caluse 2 hereof subject only to such reasonable modifications as the lesor shall in the circumstances deem necessary and that until such transfer of or grant of a lease of the other flats the lessor (so far as applicable) shall observe and perform the covenants in terms similar to those contained in clause 2 hereof.

    (3) That (if so required by the lessee) he will enforce the covenants similar to those contained in clause 2 hereof entered into or to be entered into by the lessees of the other flats insofar as the breach or non-observance of such covenants affects the lessee.

    Later it says

    (5) in this lease where the context so admits

    (a) the words importing the singular number include the plural and vice versa

    (1) Will not use the flat or permit the same to be used for any purpose whatsoever other than as a single private dwelling in the occupation of one family only nor permit the flat to be user for any illegal immoral or disreputable purpose
    (3) Will not so as to cause annoyance or inconvenience to the lessor the owners lessees and occupiers of the other flats play or use or permit to be played or used any piano pianola gramaphone television wireless louspeaker or mechanical or other musical instrument of any kind or permit any singing to be practived in the demised premisis so as to be audible outside the demised premisis between the hous of 11pm and 8am and not at any time to cause a nuisance of annoyance to the lessees or occupiers of any of the other flats in the said property.

    ...Ive looked into the planning permission aspect and youre only in breach of that if you convert your flat - which they have not done (at least I dont think they have). Ive looked into the insurance and although Im sure were there to be any claim the insurance company would argue there is a breach of some kind - the managing agent insists the building is still ensured even with two families up there...

    The lease doesnt appear to strictly prevent underletting sharing or subletting which is strange... although I suspect this is covered under the clause a single private dwelling and one family only covenant...

    The only covenants I have in my favour are the 'family' clause combined with the ongoing nuisance factor caused by two couples (families) up there.. and perhaps the private residence and single private dwelling clauses... I honestly cant think of anything else... Guess im screwed then.

    Comment


      #62
      This covenant interest me...

      (10) Within twenty one days after every assignment transfer underlease charge or mortgage of the demised premises or any part thereof or any devoloution of the interest of the leassee therein to give notice in wriing to the lessors solicitors specifying the name address and description of the person or persons to whom or in whose favour the assignment transfer underlease charge mortgage deposition.... etc etc..

      Can anyone elaborate on the meaning of the covenant?

      Comment


        #63
        Originally posted by derekunderwood01 View Post
        Guess im screwed then.
        Well no, you need as suggested to do the research. The primary breach is the noise nuisance and the secondary breach the occupation, which in this case is intertwined
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #64
          Originally posted by derekunderwood01 View Post
          This covenant interest me...

          (10) Within twenty one days after every of the demised premises or any part thereof or any devoloution of the interest of the lessee therein to give notice in wriing to the lessors solicitors specifying the name address and description of the person or persons to whom or in whose favour the assignment transfer underlease charge mortgage deposition.... etc etc..

          Can anyone elaborate on the meaning of the covenant?
          Within 21 days of "assignment transfer underlease charge or mortgage" they must give notice. Failure to give notice is a breach but is not one which help you in this case.
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

          Comment


            #65
            I've just been looking at this line again:

            Will not use the flat or permit the same to be used for any purpose whatsoever other than as a single private dwelling in the occupation of one family only nor permit the flat to be user for any illegal immoral or disreputable purpose

            Where it stipulates not to be used for 'any purpose whatsoever' ...wouldn't that cover lodgering/sharing or subletting?

            Asides from that 'a single private dwelling' to my mind would mean you can't have lodgers - as it is then being used for purposes other than a single private dwelling... Especially if you are taking rent...

            Any thoughts?

            Comment


              #66
              That whole clause still hangs on the definition of 'one family', if you successfully argue they are not 'one family' then it could be argued that it is not a single private dwelling house. But otherwise it is still a single private dwelling.

              Now if it was a crack den or a brothel, maybe that explains all the coming and going?

              Comment


                #67
                Where it stipulates not to be used for 'any purpose whatsoever' ...wouldn't that cover lodgering/sharing or subletting?
                No. It is a user clause. Subletting etc needs to be dealt with explicitly.

                Asides from that 'a single private dwelling' to my mind would mean you can't have lodgers - as it is then being used for purposes other than a single private dwelling... Especially if you are taking rent...
                This is really the same as asking if there is more than one family. However, as I said in my first post, the fact that rent is being charged may be a significant factor in determining if all the occupants constitute one family.

                Comment


                  #68
                  Its funny you know, Im writing to you now at a turning point where I either decide to sell my home or stay.. and it all hinges on this silly definition of the term 'family'. Funny the things life throws at you... family, household, dwelling, brothel... whats the difference anymore if two unrelated couples living together and paying rent can be defined as 'family'... is this even a forum?

                  The sad thing is everyone Ive asked (and thats a lot of people) are adament about the fact that family does not mean friends - however close, the oxford english dictionary says it, the census both for the year the lease was written - as well as todays cencus says it... the government website says it... and we all know it. Yet here I am lying awake at night waiting for a verdict on whether or not I have to sell up shop all because some arsehole lawyer can argue that anything means anything... I even saw one blog where the the lawyer was arguing that the definition of the term family should be given its latin meaning. He must have had a very rich client. ...Funny world where lodgers have more protection than owners - bad as bloody burglars I say - they can screw you in your own home but you cant touch them.

                  The fact I now stand to be forced out of the home I own by an inconsiderate owners friends, purely on an issue of 'twisted terminology' makes me sick to the stomach... indeed, some days I find myself in an idle daze, the words family, family, family spinning round in my head.. what does it mean, what does anything mean... whats the point anymore...... clearly I know nothing about anything. Things like this really have you questioning your very own existence...

                  So I guess if counsel comes back to me and declares all is lost, the first thing I should do is call up all my friends and welcome them into the 'family'... hey ho. If only shakespeare was still around to answer this mind-boggling conundrum for us all... family or not family, that is the question... and, as it would seem, the definition on which my life and my home now depends...

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Originally posted by derekunderwood01 View Post
                    ... and it all hinges on this silly definition of the term 'family'.
                    No! No! No!

                    You seem determined to latch onto that. It is not the case.

                    So.

                    Let's assume the law is not such an ass as you think it is. It goes to court and the court orders the friends to leave. They leave. The noise problem continues. What are you going to do then?

                    Assuming you are unwilling (as you seem to be) to involve Environmental Health, you will have to rely on clause (8). If you want to go to court go with clause (8) now! Bring in other clauses as a back up by all means. When there is a clear path why take the route through a tangle of brambles?

                    You cannot take action yourself because the leaseholder's covenants is with the landlord not with you*. However clause 3(3) gives you the right to require the landlord to take action. Require him to take action!

                    But you may be able to avoid court action if you contact Environmental Health. You have nothing to lose by trying them. Get on to them today.

                    *Some leases provide that in respect of certain covenants the tenant covenants not only with the landlord but also with all the other tenants. If your lease so provides then you can take action yourself.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      You have lost perspective my friend- I have directed you to where you can get an answer and as explained earlier the real problem in noise nuisance not the letting, thought that in turn wil help the case. Ecven if we say it won't, there is still the real problem, noise nuisance.

                      I cannot recommend this but will tell you about a friend of mine where a couple moved in above, fitted wooden floors, and their bedroom activities were lets say animalsitic in fervour and vocally. Sadly the activites were not confined to the bedroom. Faced with the usual dithering of the managing agent/freeholder, he decided that he would record the activities and tramping around, and borrowed a guitar amp from me and replayed the noise to them, at great volume.

                      They came down very soon and he explained that this was a recording of them to prove what they refused to accept. They carpeted and avoided him in the hallways for months.
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #71
                        As far as the noise nuisance continuing - it's only the sun tenants that are the problem in this respect, the owners don't engage in that sort of behaviour.... The trouble is because they only have a room up there there's little space for them, people need space so these subtenants are constantly using the stairwell to go outside and are out and in sometime 7 times an hour for hours on end every night night after night...

                        How exactly do you prove noise nuisance in court? ...it's not always the volume (so not easily recordable) but the mere frequency of it that drives you crazy.... Will constant coming and going even stand up as a nuisance in court?

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Also - How much weight do you think a tribunal will give to the fact these guys moved in together... And may (for all I know) have got permission to bring in friends? Would it outweigh any breaches of lease in respect of not being 'one family', or ongoing noise nuisance?

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Originally posted by derekunderwood01 View Post
                            Id also like to mention at this stage that an environmental health officer at the council is also involved in proceedings.
                            You mention the EHO in post 26, What did they say or are doing? I know generally they view household noise (moving around/coming and going) as not a statutory nuisance, but they can offer advice. You do have to persevere with authorities though and keep chasing them.

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                              No! No! No!

                              You seem determined to latch onto that. It is not the case.............Assuming you are unwilling (as you seem to be) to involve Environmental Health, you will have to rely on clause (8). If you want to go to court go with clause (8) now! Bring in other clauses as a back up by all means. When there is a clear path why take the route through a tangle of brambles?

                              You cannot take action yourself because the leaseholder's covenants is with the landlord not with you*. However clause 3(3) gives you the right to require the landlord to take action. Require him to take action!.
                              As i explained earlier derek is using this as the stick to beat them with, and you say above and I earlier, its not so simple.

                              Of course he a can also takea private prosecution in the magistrates court for noise nuisance.
                              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Derek I am about to give up you aregoing through the Pooh effect, intent on finding honey in a jar you know to be empty and getting your head stuck.

                                Your options have been explained, now you need to do the research as suggested on noise nuisance claims and "family" as it is there to find, and assuming that the freeholder is required to take action under the lease at your request, start that process.

                                To stretch the "Pooh effect", open some new jars of honey.
                                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                                Comment

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