loft space & tenant access

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    loft space & tenant access

    Hi there

    I am a new an inexperienced landlord and for this reason I have used an agency to rent my property.

    It is a flat in a victorian house and on the top floor there is an hatch to access the loft. The loft is not suitable for storage, what you have up there is the timber frame with the insulation material, there are no floor boards. Unfortunately nobody at the agency asked me to put a lock on it.

    My tenants have moved in a week ago and because one of them is self employed they want to use the loft for storage and they are complaining that the loft is not suitable for it and they want me to do the work to make it suitable. Nowhere during the engagement process this came out.
    Clearly for safety reason I now want to lock the place and avoid them going up there and getting injured but they are threatening to go to the lawyers.

    Do you have any advise on the matter?

    I am quite annoyed with the agency that never pointed out this to me and unfortunately in the agreement there is no specific mentioning of the loft. The inventory guys did not inspect the loft either. But surely if that is not a livable area I am not obliged to grant access to it or am I wrong?

    Thanks for your help.

    #2
    Originally posted by skype56 View Post

    I am quite annoyed with the agency that never pointed out this to me and unfortunately in the agreement there is no specific mentioning of the loft. The inventory guys did not inspect the loft either. But surely if that is not a livable area I am not obliged to grant access to it or am I wrong?

    Thanks for your help.
    I wouldn't expect an agent to point this out to you, so your anger is unwarranted/misplaced.

    Write the tenant and tell them that the loft is not suitable for storage, and ask them not to use it as so.

    Serve a section 21 eviction notice, and get rid of them asap.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by skype56 View Post
      they are complaining that the loft is not suitable for it and they want me to do the work to make it suitable.
      Just Say, the loft is not for rent, and the tenancy is for the rooms described, and sounds like these tenants, if they are "insisting" you convert a loft space, then me thinks you are going to have touble with these people.

      get them out as son as legaly possible, and lock the hatch to the loft.
      you are not renting the loft to them, therefore you are within your right to go put a lock on it.

      Comment


        #4
        For some reason tenants always want to store stuff in roof spaces and not be content with what space they have rented.

        Like Saint says write and tell them that loft is not part of the agreement, secure it and they can either go or stay - up to you and them.

        Make sure in future that you always stipulate this rule about the loftspace at the start of any tenancy.

        Don't be too upset is all part of learning to be a landlord. Letting agent may have not noticed lotf access in first place but now you have sort it.



        Freedom at the point of zero............

        Comment


          #5
          As potential tenants, when viewing, often do not look in every cupboard or storage space it is usual for them not to inspect the loft either. Of course they would notice the absence of any locks and could reasonably assume that they had loft access and could therefore use it.
          But, as they failed to inspect it, they had no idea as to its condition and as to whether it was possible to use it for storage - you did not supply a ladder for loft access I'm sure. So their demand for you to upgrade the loft is unreasonable and they should have made appropriate enquiries about it when they viewed. They must therefore be informed of these facts and advised that they should find another property which is more suitable for their requirements. The advice to serve a section 21 notice and get rid of them as soon as possible, as given above is thus totally correct.

          P.P.
          Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by skype56 View Post
            Hi there

            I am a new an inexperienced landlord and for this reason I have used an agency to rent my property.

            It is a flat in a victorian house and on the top floor there is an hatch to access the loft. The loft is not suitable for storage, what you have up there is the timber frame with the insulation material, there are no floor boards. Unfortunately nobody at the agency asked me to put a lock on it.

            My tenants have moved in a week ago and because one of them is self employed they want to use the loft for storage and they are complaining that the loft is not suitable for it and they want me to do the work to make it suitable. Nowhere during the engagement process this came out.
            Clearly for safety reason I now want to lock the place and avoid them going up there and getting injured but they are threatening to go to the lawyers.

            Do you have any advise on the matter?

            I am quite annoyed with the agency that never pointed out this to me and unfortunately in the agreement there is no specific mentioning of the loft. The inventory guys did not inspect the loft either. But surely if that is not a livable area I am not obliged to grant access to it or am I wrong?

            Thanks for your help.
            Exactly how did the Letting Agreement define the premises? Was it clear that the loft was excluded (and how)?
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by skype56 View Post
              My tenants have moved in a week ago and because one of them is self employed they want to use the loft for storage and they are complaining that the loft is not suitable for it and they want me to do the work to make it suitable. Nowhere during the engagement process this came out.
              Clearly for safety reason I now want to lock the place and avoid them going up there and getting injured but they are threatening to go to the lawyers.
              If the loft was not specifically excluded in the tenancy contract, it is part of the rental property, however, that does not mean it must be suitable for storage.

              You have no obligation to make improvements. The T should have asked to inspect it and/or obtained written confirmation that the loft was suitable for storage; it so happens it is not, so bad luck. Advise them in writing (keep copy and proof of posting) that it is not suitable for storage and that, if they ignore this and use it for storage, and it causes damage, they are liable for the cost of repair (it may be advisable to get the inventory clerk back to document the current condition of the loft). I would also consult your insurer to ask about the safety hazard aspect; it's probably advisable to warn T that he enters at his own risk, but the insurer will hopefully tell you the best wording to use.

              Having said all that, it's quite possible the agent unwittingly misrepresented the loft during the viewing. T may have said "I see there's a loft" and A may have answered "Oh yes, plenty of storage in this house". However, if this did happen, I doubt the A will remember saying anything of the kind, and the T can't prove he did, so in the end it comes down to T's problem for failing to get it in writing.

              Comment

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