Can I convert loft without first-floor tenant's consent?

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    Can I convert loft without first-floor tenant's consent?

    Hi everyone!

    Here's an interesting one for you

    I have planning for a loft conversion. However, the first floor is occupied by a sitting tennent. She is presently in a mental disability hospital for a short period of time due to her bipolar disorder.

    Two questions:

    Am i permitted to undertake the conversion in her absence? (I know before there was a noise issue with us doing the conversion - this is not an issue now as she's away)

    Do i have grounds to take back possesion of the property due to her disability? She has been there for 25 years, i'm looking at ways to gain back possesion of the property.

    Thank you for any assistance!!

    #2
    Some thoughts which might get you thinking:


    I guess she has a flat on the first floor of your house, you want to convert the loft - second floor? If you can get it done whilst she's away then you're probably OK; but if it's not finished by the time she gets back you may be on a sticky wicket. Think harrassment, illegal eviction and large amounts of compensation.


    No, these are probably not grounds. However, a condition of a Rent Act tenancy is that it has to be the individual's "home" or place of residence.

    If she starts to live in the hospital then yes you may well have grounds; however it sounds to me as though her absence is temporary. Who is paying the rent for her? Who is checking her post? If the answer to the latter is nobody then you might get away with serving a notice to quit on her, on the grounds that she has disappeared; then turn up at court and say she hasn't been seen in the property since you served the notice to quit, and then the courts may grant you possession. On the other hand, as you know she is ill, this might constitute harrassment = large amounts of compensation.

    A tenant cannot just leave a property vacant for a long period as the landlord's insurance probably will become invalid if the place is vacant.

    Comment


      #3
      sitting tenent loft

      thanks for the helpful response, sounds like i need to tread carefully!

      problem is i'm not sure when she'll be back!

      if i start the loft conversion (yes as you described it, above her floor), how can she get it stoped? and how can it be harrassment? i'm going to write her a letter informing her of the loft conversion, as she's away she may not read it, this shouldn't be my problem being the landlord surely

      would be nice to hear from other senior members on this aswell to have several opinions b4 i start taking the roof off!

      thanks again!!

      Comment


        #4
        Will you have to enter her flat to carry out the conversion, and will you be changing anything about her flat, such as having to pass through her current flat to reach the loft conversion?

        It does feel morally questionable to me to seek to evict someone because they are disabled, but my morals are not your problem.

        Comment


          #5
          sitting tenent loft

          no we can do the loft conversion from the outside, by climbing up a ladder to reach the roof and loft - but while she's not there we can go via inside the property

          alternative accomodation will be offered to her at ones of our other properties, the problem is the value of the property is a lot lower at the one she's at now, so when i try to sell it, i need to get the sitting tennent out

          does anyone have any other feedback on this delicate matter?

          thanks

          Comment


            #6
            sitting tenent

            i'd be interested to get an answer to this too

            i have sitting tenents occuying the ground floor in my house

            i also have tenents in the first floor

            can i convert the loft without the tenents approval?

            cheers

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by WarwickGrad View Post
              i'd be interested to get an answer to this too

              i have sitting tenents occuying the ground floor in my house

              i also have tenents in the first floor

              can i convert the loft without the tenents approval?

              cheers
              To avoid confusion, please start new thread.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AndyJohnson View Post
                no we can do the loft conversion from the outside, by climbing up a ladder to reach the roof and loft - but while she's not there we can go via inside the property

                alternative accomodation will be offered to her at ones of our other properties, the problem is the value of the property is a lot lower at the one she's at now, so when i try to sell it, i need to get the sitting tennent out

                does anyone have any other feedback on this delicate matter?

                thanks
                Could you just clarify your answer to imp's questions - I'm not totally clear on the layout here. To go via inside the property do you mean go inside via part of the property that is considered hers? Is the first floor partitioned in some way that you would need to go through a normally locked door into her flat or just onto an open landing but which is usually for her exclusive use?

                If you need to open a door which she normally has locked and go into her area of the property then I can't imagine this would be a good idea without the tenants express permission. Any type of building work is going to create loads of dust and dirt which will inevitably move from the 'traffic' area into the rest of her flat. Also presumably there would be security issues having this open access to builders. I can't help but think you are storing up a huge amount of trouble her if you do need enter her flat to get to the loft with claims (even if not proven) of harrassment. You've already said your tenant seems to be even more sensitive than a usual tenant to this type of disturbance.

                Also how would you enter it after the conversion is in place once she is back if you can only access internally when she is away?

                Comment

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