Not informed about major construction works before signing lease

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    Not informed about major construction works before signing lease

    Hiya,

    I've recently rented a two bedroom flat (moved in middle of Feb). About two weeks ago they started major construction works on the flat. When I viewed the flat, I wasn't informed by the estate agent that any of this was going to take place.

    The actual construction work itself doesn't have much impact on me as it usually takes place whilst I'm at work, however the issue is with the scaffolding. The apartment is on the ground floor, and it has a little garden area. However due to the work the garden area is basically unusable as it's just covered in scaffolding. Also on top of that, they have set up white covering which completely blocks all natural light on one side of the flat. I've spoken to the construction company and the works will be ongoing until November, which is the majority of the tenancy agreement.

    I'm going to speak to both the landlord and estate agent about these issues, as had I been informed about this prior to signing the lease I probably would have looked elsewhere. Please could someone advice me how to best approach the situation, as it's the first time I've had to deal with something like that.

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    Can you confirm that the garden area is for exclusive use by your flat and that the sub-lease (your tenancy agreement) gives you that exclusive use?

    In that case, your landlord would have had to be given reasonable notice of the works, (although only a few weeks). Your lanldord's lease would, typically, require him to permit access. If your tenancy agreement doesn't have a similar clause, your landlord has been negligent in drafting it, or if notice wasn't given, they have not complied with it, in which case, in theory, you could sue him, although no t for much, for the reduction in value of the tenancy to you. Doing so will probably result in a section 21 eviction at the earliest opportunity.

    If the tenancy agreement does allow such access on notice, it is still quite likely that notice would not have been given to your landlord in time to avoid your entering into the agreement.

    Comment


      #3
      Not telling you about something that would have influenced your decision is a misleading omission and the landlord/agent should be aware that that's a prohibited activity in consumer law.

      Threaten them with trading standards if they put up a fight.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        I think you still need to be aware that the the typical absentee landlord in a block of flats is unlikely to be aware of this sort of work more than two to three weeks in advance of its happening. If it amounts to more than £250 per leaseholder, they should have known it was coming for two to three months, but may well have not paid attention to the likely impact on their flat.

        If it is under £250 per leaseholder, or emergency work, they, themselves, would have to give access for it with no more than about 3 weeks notice (less for emergency work).

        I suspect that a lot of landlords, sub-letting flats, fail to realise that their tenancy agreements need to reflect the terms of their own lease, and if they have failed to do so, they may have created a situation where the OP can claim against the landlord, but the landlord would be in breach for failing to allow the scaffolding. Whilst you might win such a case, you are likely to annoy the landlord sufficiently that you get an early, "no fault", eviction.

        Landlords do not have the ability to clear the full six months' fixed period of works by the freeholder, or even works by other leaseholders.

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