Landlord keeping half of garden and only parking space

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  • Landlord keeping half of garden and only parking space

    I was a letting agent for years until a couple of years ago and did my arla 1 - however my friends have just rented a 2 bed flat above a shop which is being converted into a gallery therefore the flat was refurbished before tthey moved in too. The flat comes with a large garden, garage at the bottom of the garden and their own private parking space. The letting agent confirmed that they had the garden, the garage and parking space but when they moved in the landlord (who manages the property) mentioned she would like to put some sculptures in the garden and bearing in mind her doors go onto the initial patio be able to use some of the garden during business hours.
    My friend agreed to this, although nothing was ever put in her tenancy agreement to exclude any of the garden etc, but now the landlord has stated that the tenants can have half of the garden - which is the bottom half (excluding the top patio) and that she will be using the parking space exclusively.
    They are understandably upset about this, I've said the landlord doesn't have a leg to stand on as the AST is standard, no clauses or reference to the actual property other than the address, there was also no inventory done on the property or check in when they moved in!
    Could people let me know their views on this and if I'm in the right in advising them to argue their point across, they are paying a premium price now for half a garden, no parking and a 2 bed flat above a shop!

  • #2
    The first thing to establish is what the land registry has recorded as the extent of the property. Click on 'find a property' at the top of the page https://www.landregistry.gov.uk, the fee is £4 and the service isn't available on Sundays!!!!!

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    • #3
      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply. Are you suggesting that the garden may be registered with the gallery downstairs rather than the flat above even though the property was advertised with a garden and a picture was included in the particulars?

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      • #4
        Yes, that is what I am suggesting. The key thing is not what was advertised, it is what is specified in the contract. It is perfectly possible for the 2 to legitimately differ (although I think the word legitimately may be a bit optimistic in this case). If the contract says "Flat 2, 123 High St", then that is what has been let. The easiest and most accurate way to acertain what 'Flat 2' comprises of is via the land registry.

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        • #5
          Okay I will advise them to do that then. Personally I would be asking for a reduction in the rent or would want a refund inc moving fees and move elsewhere - this wasn't in the contract, ie a stipulation or a non stipulation of parking and garden. The landlord owns both the shop and the flat, effectively what was agreed on initially prior to moving was that the garden and parking would be included as stated by the agent and shown around by.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JayJohnson View Post
            Hi,

            Thanks for your reply. Are you suggesting that the garden may be registered with the gallery downstairs rather than the flat above even though the property was advertised with a garden and a picture was included in the particulars?
            The garden and/or parking space will be demised to a particular flat, or possibly neither (and belong to the freeholder).

            The title plan on the land registry will show what goes with the address of your friend's flat. If the garden/parking is included, he has exclusive possession of those areas, and can tell the LL to keep off. If they're not included, but the property was advertised with them included, then your friend may have a misrepresentation claim - he is, as you say, paying a rent which reflects these additional amenities.

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            • #7
              Thanks for all of the advice - I think this could potentially be a grey area as after some digging I found that the land registry now has 2 properties under the same address - one is freehold and the other leasehold, it seems that they haven't been separated into flat and shop postcode wise either so it's going to be a bit difficult title registry wise seeing as she owns both.

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              • #8
                Call the Land Registry on Monday. There are sometimes glitches in the system which make it hard to find what you're looking for, but they are very helpful on the phone.

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                • #9
                  The flat comes with a large garden, garage at the bottom of the garden and their own private parking space.

                  If that's what it says in the rental agreement, or what it says in the
                  advert, or you were promised verbly, then that's what you are entitled
                  to.

                  If the advert / a.s.t does not say what you are renting, then you are
                  stuffed.
                  Don't waste your money on land registry, as landlord can CHOOSE
                  to include a garage / parking space, or not, as it is theirs to rent
                  or not, as part of the accommodation .

                  The land registry may say that 3 whole streets belong to the
                  landlord, but that does not entitle you to access every house in
                  that street.

                  What were you promised, and what are you not getting.
                  And put that to the agent, and confront them with falsifying
                  descriptions to "obtain money by deception".

                  But, if you want to be evicted the end of your tenancy, then
                  take it further.

                  R.a.M.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ram View Post
                    Don't waste your money on land registry, as landlord can CHOOSE
                    to include a garage / parking space, or not, as it is theirs to rent
                    or not, as part of the accommodation .
                    Yes, If the AST specifies it, this AST doesn't.

                    The land registry may say that 3 whole streets belong to the
                    landlord, but that does not entitle you to access every house in
                    that street.
                    The land registry will say who owns flat 2, 123 High Street, and what area of land etc Flat 2 comprises of. If you pay for a report of the neighbouring properties, it may say he owns them too, but thit is not relevant here. The only extra report that may be worth getting is the one for the shop below to see what area is demised to that to see if there is a conflict.


                    R.a.M.s final quote, whilst abruptly put, is a valid one. Winding up the landlord is likely to result in the tenancy agreement not being renewed on expiry. This may not be an issue to the tenant, but they should be made aware before they start rattling sabres.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      Yes,
                      If the AST specifies it
                      , this AST doesn't.

                      The land registry will say who owns flat 2, 123 High Street,
                      oops' of course it will,so disregard the post, except put it to the
                      agent, and confront them with falsifying descriptions to "obtain
                      money by deception".

                      but as stated - a section 21 is a "no defence" to get property
                      back.

                      R.a.M.

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                      • #12
                        Okay I appreciate that - the main point here is that they are paying quite a high rent considering they can now only have half of the garden and on street parking. My friend is heavily pregnant so I know she let a lot of things slide at the move in and what the landlord verbally said about dividing the garden as she cannot take anymore stress as the agents didn't organise a gas safety cert until the day after they moved in etc therefore they couldn't move in on the original day. They don't want to antagonist the landlord obviously but they feel ripped off now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JayJohnson View Post
                          They don't want to antagonist the landlord obviously but they feel ripped off now.
                          Tenants choice - so long as she realises that she only has a guarantee of being in the place for the length of the contract. If the landlord is so flakey then it may be she wants to find somewhere different at the end - but with a tiny baby I suspect not. Being slightly flippant - gardening is the last thing you have time for with a new addition!

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                          • #14
                            Hmm!! So after all of this it seems their hands are tied if they want to stay in the property and the landlord can change the goalposts without any repercussions if the tenant isn't in a situation to move again! Surely the landlord should have informed the agent as to what wasn't included etc at the beginning so the tenants could have made an informed choice?
                            Doesn't seem right that the tenants have been left exposed like this when they didn't know there was a boundary issue until they moved in! Not something you hear of so much in lettings, sales maybe!

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                            • #15
                              I understnd your fustration, but you, as a former letting agent, must surely realise that the tenants have only agreed to rent the place for X months. Beyond that they are out of contract and the landlord has the right to reclaim possession. Nothing in legal terms to stop a tenant signing on for a 10 year contract and the the landlod could not evict for 10 years - but not many tenants would be willing to commit for so long, and it has to be a 2-way thing to be fair to both sides.

                              Negotiation is the key. If the tenant approaches this in an emotional or confrontational manner, then that is going to wind up the landlord and may well lead to an eventual eviction. However, most landlords are human beings, and the landlord may not even know that he is doing anything wrong. He may think your friend is happy with his proposals.

                              Dear Mr Landlord

                              As you know, I rent the flat above "Lovely Gallery" and when I moved in the agents advised me that my lease included the area of garden . . . I have checked with the land registry and it appears that they were right.
                              I appreciate that that part of garden is now desired for the gallery, so I wondered if we can come to an arrangement to suit everyone? I have listed some possible solutions below, but would be interested to hear your suggestions too.

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