Refurbishments / Unhappy Tenant

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    Refurbishments / Unhappy Tenant

    Hello,

    We live in a two bedroom property in London. I moved in early next year and my housemate moved in shortly after. The landlord said the kitchen would be updated by September, however due to the pandemic and financial reasons, she pushed it back to January 2021. The kitchen and bathroom haven't been updated in 26 years. The work is replacing the entire kitchen, gutting it out, and replacing part of the bathroom (the sink and taps), as well as fixing the flooring at the front door and the light at the front door.

    My housemates' bedroom is under the kitchen. We both work from home. The noise definitely affects me occasionally, however, my housemate is working at a friends' house because the noise is too loud and his room shakes.

    When the kitchen workers started, the builders realised the plastering was not professional so they had to remove the plastering and now has added more time to the project. This could take weeks. They started on 19 Jan and the plastering aspect is not complete. The boiler is also being removed to a new location in the kitchen and we will be without heating or hot water for 2-3 days. The kitchen has been completely gutted and there is no use of the washing machine. We are washing our clothes in the bath. Our landlord has offered for us to use their washing machine, but neither of us drive.

    I am quite easy going and I have a pretty good relationship with our landlord. I'm not a fan of confrontation. But my housemate wants me to ask the landlord about a rent reduction.

    Is there means to ask the landlord this? I don't want to break down our relationship. Should they have it in their budget to accept less rent from tenants during this period? Or is this situation completely fair and we need to accept it - e.g. it's not the landlords fault that more issues have arised with the kitchen project.

    It would be great to get advice. We are great tenants. Just looking for some professional advice from landlords and even tenants.

    Thank you!

    #2
    Landlords can't win sometimes. So you have a kitchen not updated for 26 years, and now it is being updated you are not happy with the noise.

    Ask for a reduction to reflect the extra costs involved in having to eat take outs, but you might expect a rent rise as a consequence and to reflect the lovely new kitchen you are getting.

    Comment


      #3
      I always try to avoid renovating mid-tenancy, for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

      Comment


        #4
        Bit late I know but you could simply have told them to do the refurb late. Repairs should be done promptly, improvements (eg new kitchen) a tenant does not have to agree.
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          We had similar a couple of years ago, flooring joists needed replacing in the bathroom which is above the kitchen.
          Along with replastering, retiling, etc., everything had to come out and then be refitted/replaced.

          The noisy stuff ripping it all out and taking the old plaster/tiles off last about a week, which is all it has been for you so it should quieten down now.

          We just lived around it for the couple of weeks it took. (Same as you would if it was your own property).
          Didn't even think about asking for a rent reduction knowing that things would be greatly improved once the work was done.

          PS. Almost everybody used to wash their clothes in the bath/sink until about 50 years ago when these new-fangled automatic washing machines made the job easier.
          Only a bit 'toungue in cheek' - one of these should help: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TOPBATHY-Wa..._id=5496211031

          Comment


            #6
            Unfortunately, you were told when the works would start and that anyone would know that there would be disruption with noise and dust when the works are being carried out. You just need to live with it until it is finished and then enjoy the new kitchen in peace and quiet.

            There is no harm in asking (after all if you don't ask you don't get), but if the LL has just put in a new kitchen, the last thing they will want is a price reduction, and if there was then it would then go up shortly after.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nukecad View Post
              Only a bit 'toungue in cheek' - one of these should help: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TOPBATHY-Wa..._id=5496211031
              Did you notice that is in the 'musical instruments' section of Amazon, Nukecad?

              Maybe o/p can learn to play it while his Mrs is at the launderette.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by nukecad View Post

                PS. Almost everybody used to wash their clothes in the bath/sink until about 50 years ago when these new-fangled automatic washing machines made the job easier.
                Only a bit 'toungue in cheek' - one of these should help: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TOPBATHY-Wa..._id=5496211031
                I can't believe this is plastic. You can't play on a plastic washboard 🤔

                Comment


                  #9
                  You can't play on a plastic washboard
                  I'm sure you could manage with a few metal sewing thimbles. (Use rubber ones for quiet passages?)
                  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thimbles-Al...819351&sr=8-13

                  It's amazing what you can find on Amazon, some of it's even useful.
                  (They don't seem to have any 'Poss sticks' for bigger washes though).

                  There's also a range of mini-washing machines, hand operated or electric. Meant for caravans and small flats.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree that you should have foreseen the level of disruption and refused permission for the duration of your tenancy. However, the landlord has a responsibility there too. It is not reasonable for any landlord to impose such a major amount of work on their tenants. I think it would be reasonable for you to ask for a rent reduction, although it sounds like the money isn't the issue, its the disruption.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by london91 View Post
                      We live in a two bedroom property in London. I moved in early next year and my housemate moved in shortly after.
                      I'd use that time machine.

                      If you had agreed to the work being done in September, it's only a matter of it happening at a different time.
                      When you moved in, neither you nor the landlord could have anticipated being at home pretty much all the time.

                      I'd suggest living with it and seeing what the place looks like when its been done up.
                      If the new kitchen and bathroom are worth the pain, fine, otherwise ask for compensation.

                      If you owned the house, you'd have the same inconvenience and you'd be paying for the work as well.

                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                        I'm sure you could manage with a few metal sewing thimbles. (Use rubber ones for quiet passages?)
                        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thimbles-Al...819351&sr=8-13

                        It's amazing what you can find on Amazon, some of it's even useful.
                        (They don't seem to have any 'Poss sticks' for bigger washes though).

                        There's also a range of mini-washing machines, hand operated or electric. Meant for caravans and small flats.
                        I think we have too much time on our hands . . ..

                        The washing machine thing though, we have a yacht without a washing machine and it's easy to handwash, particularly with modern detergents. Just throw the stuff in the sink with water and detergent, wait half an hour, rinse and hang. Easy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jon66 View Post

                          I think we have too much time on our hands . . ..

                          The washing machine thing though, we have a yacht without a washing machine and it's easy to handwash, particularly with modern detergents. Just throw the stuff in the sink with water and detergent, wait half an hour, rinse and hang. Easy.
                          Buy stuff from Primart - wear it once - bin it. Grrr.
                          But who remembers brinylon? It was like wearing a plastic bag!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                            I think we have too much time on our hands . . ..
                            Too true, blame lockdown.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi all,

                              Thank you for your responses, especially useful from a landlord and tenant POV. My housemate wants the reduction. I agree, and so does the landlord, that the refurbishment is taking too long. But my housemate still wants a reduction in rent. I believe the landlord will up the rent if rent deduction occurs.

                              What measures would you put in place?
                              How long would a entire kitchen refurbishment take?

                              Refurbishment started in Jan 19.
                              Without heating or hot water for 4.25 days
                              No access to washing machine
                              Kitchen may take a month or more to complete

                              Comment

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