Landlord right to whole redecorate property while habitated?

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    Landlord right to whole redecorate property while habitated?

    Hi All

    As the title says, i will begin explain the dilemma.

    I currently renting a two bedroom flat from my letting agent. The second room is used by my friend. We have handed in our notice on the property due to noise issues from the road and local night clubs.

    Since I have lived in the flat there has been a number of issues in the property regarding leaks from the roof and blocked gutters (Which my friend cleared!). The result was damp patches in the property on the walls and ceilings in all room minus the hallway. The ceiling was that sodden in the second bedroom that the ceiling feel down in one corner, resulting in a mess of dirt and building material.

    The leaks stopped after the gutter was clear, but the damp took a while to dry. The first leak was reported 6 months ago and 3 months ago.

    The landlord now wants to access the property to paint all the walls and ceilings. This is in fact an insurance claim, even though half the leaks were caused through the landlord not maintaining the property.

    I do not have an issue with allowing access to the property for work to be carried out that is necessary. However, in my view and as per the agreement we are allowed to "quietly and peaceably possess and enjoy said premises".

    I have spoken to the letting agent and they think that it will be ok to put everything in the middle of the room while the work is carried out. However, this is not going to be a quick job and is going to take around 3 to 5 days to complete. Also, I am not happy leaving my belongings in the property and allowing the tradesmen access to everything.

    From my understand of the Landlord and tenant act 1985: 11.1B
    Nothing in subsection (1A) shall be construed as requiring the lessor to carry out any works or repairs unless the disrepair (or failure to maintain in working order) is such as to affect the lessee’s enjoyment of the dwelling-house or of any common parts, as defined in section 60(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act M11987, which the lessee, as such, is entitled to use.]
    As we are leaving we are happy and have inhabited the property in its present condition for the past 3 months.

    The agents has also threaten to take money from our deposit is with withdraw access as the tradesmen have traveled from London to Dorset. Are they allowed to do this?

    Any advice is greatly appropriated.

    #2
    Section 11 (1A) refers to the situation where you have a flat forming part of a building. If the building needs repairing the landlord must repair it. However, that obligation is qualified by section 11(1B) which provides that there is no obligation if failure to carry out the repair does not affect the tenant. An example would be if the building had three floors, the flat was on the ground floor and the roof was in disrepair. The disrepair does not affect the tenant of the ground floor flat. However, if there was a tenant in the second floor flat and the rain was coming in or likely to come in if the roof were not repaired the landlord would be under an obligation to the second floor tenant to carry out the repair. In your case the damage is inside the flat itself and accordingly section 11(1A) is not relevant.

    It would seem that the landlord is only getting down to sorting the repairs out because you have given notice. He knows he will have difficulty letting the flat in its present condition and is trying to avoid a void. Annoying as it may be, neither that nor the fact that you will be leaving soon and now do not mind if the work is not carried out justify denying access for the work to be carried out. A partially collapsed ceiling is sufficiently serious to warrant immediate attention, even if it has been left longer than it should have been. In a nutshell, the fact you are leaving is irrelevant.

    Whilst appreciating your concern about leaving the workmen alone, I think the way to look at it is to ask yourself what you would do if you owned the flat. You would either trust the workers or get someone to sit in.

    Comment


      #3
      'Quiet enjoyment of the premises' can hardly be got with a partially collapsed ceiling.

      Take any valuables to another location if you are worried about security but most 'insurance' claim workers are used to working in peoples occupied homes.

      The agent could not just on 'take' your deposit money if you disagreed with the workers coming in. You could argue that threats were being made to you. If the deposit is correctly placed in a protection scheme then you would have every right to challenge and go to arbitration on this matter. Where is your deposit kept and have you been given the 'prescribed information' necessary by law now? Check your paperwork.



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

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your responses.

        Thanks for detailing the legislation is easier terms.

        In response to your questions and answer. The partial collapse was repaired by their tradesman at the time ( 3 months ago), which was fine as it took a few hours only. And disruption was a minimum. All work that is being carried out now is in regards to staining only.

        In regards to the tradesmen, I have developed properties in the past, when I leave tradesmen they are ones which I have chosen and trust. The issue here is that there a foreign nationals, that do not speak English.

        The possibility to remove items is not possible due the fact the I am studying a masters and family are hours away. Also in my view if I am having to remove and dismantle my belongings I am there no longer "quietly enjoying" the property. And from doing this type of work myself I know that it will take 6-16 hours for the stain block to dry. Then the two coats of paint on ceilings and walls. Of course if this was my own property the situation would be different as I would want the work done.

        Along with this we are paying full rent for a property that will not be 100% liveable. And while the work is done where are we meant to sleep? Our rooms will be habitable for 1-2 days while painting is completed! As the letting agents have not put anything in writing regarding access or the time that it will take to complete. Also, the work also spreads into a weekend!

        In regards to the insurance work. The claim is actually due to the landlords negligence. They do not manage the property ie gutters. Which caused the leak.

        Where do I stand? If I was to refuse and they got a court order what would happen then!

        Comment


          #5
          I misunderstood the position.

          If the work is work that the landlord is obliged to do then, in the absence of a specific provision in the agreement, the landlord has an implied right to enter to carry out the work.

          If the work is work that the landlord is not obliged to do then, in the absence of a specific provision in the agreement, the landlord cannot enter to do it.

          If you are required to allow entry and do not do so, the landlord can claim damages for any reasonably foreseeable loss he incurs.

          Comment

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