Giving notice to allow major works

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    Giving notice to allow major works

    I have a property which is let to a local council (my tenant) via their housing unit, and they sub-let to a large family. We have recently learned that the house needs a complete rewire which is frankly impossible to carry out with a family of fourteen and all their effects in-situ. The council will shortly hold us in default and carry out the work themselves, though it will be an enormous upheaval and very disruptive, not to say extremely expensive. Half of the electricians we had around preferred not to quote in those circumstances and the rest have added a considerable premium. The expected cost for the twelve-room house is around £8-9k. I'm quite happy to have the family as sub-tenants(?) but the council insists I pay for their accommodation elsewhere if they have to move out - again, enormous costs.
    So, the question is, can I reasonably give one month's notice to the council?

    #2
    Originally posted by noopin View Post
    I have a property which is let to a local council (my tenant) via their housing unit, and they sub-let to a large family. We have recently learned that the house needs a complete rewire which is frankly impossible to carry out with a family of fourteen and all their effects in-situ. The council will shortly hold us in default and carry out the work themselves, though it will be an enormous upheaval and very disruptive, not to say extremely expensive. Half of the electricians we had around preferred not to quote in those circumstances and the rest have added a considerable premium. The expected cost for the twelve-room house is around £8-9k. I'm quite happy to have the family as sub-tenants(?) but the council insists I pay for their accommodation elsewhere if they have to move out - again, enormous costs.
    So, the question is, can I reasonably give one month's notice to the council?
    "Default" allegation may depend on exact wording of Lease which you granted to Local Authority. For instance, lessee (the LA) should have covenanted to maintain, comply with statutory Notices served re property, etc.- in which case LA is responsible and you're not.

    Lease could be terminated by you but only if fxed term expires, or LA is in breach, or lease so contemplates. Take legal advice before acting.
    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).

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      #3
      Thanks Jeffrey, actually I realise that the six months was up a week ago so, presuming that it's reverted to a month to month periodic tenancy, I've given two months notice.
      Normally, I'll deal with repairs outside of external decorating etc. - I've had the roof repaired and a new velux installed - so, while I accept responsibility for the rewire, it's the practical impossibility of carrying it out with the family in place, and my reluctance to rehouse them temporarily that's brought this about. I know it'll be damned hard for the council to find somewhere to move them all to, but I can't believe they'll refuse to move them out (albeit 3 weeks before christmas) and wait for legal action. No-one wants them living in a potentially dangerous house, but the LA will enforce default if I don't get the work done asap.
      I think we're in for a spot of brinksmanship over the coming days, now that they've had notice.

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        #4
        You have taken the only sensible action under the circumstances. I had tenants complain about damp in one room of one of my properties. The reward for their efforts was the receipt of an S21 notice and the job was done as soon as they had moved out. The work required made the house uninhabitable for several weeks. New tenant now in place and all it cost me, apart from the building work, was two months rent.

        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.

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          #5
          Well, the council have accepted the situation, though their tenants aren't happy. What the council has done is remove our landlord accreditation because of this, even though this house didn't come under the scheme, as it wasn't directly let. Just spite, if you ask me.

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