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galibarp
01-02-2010, 16:58 PM
Dear members,

Please advise on the following situation:

My landlord started repairing works without notifying me in advance. He only told another tenant before we moved in, but I was completely unaware of that. And about a week ago I woke from my window being open by the builders - had a very stressful morning.

Do I have a right to break the contract in this case? He keeps reminding me of the contract and that I need to pay all months if I move out.

Additionally, living conditions are not great, crack in the wall (being repaired), stinky carpet, mold everywhere - which cannot be fixed without disturbing me.

Thanks.

tom999
01-02-2010, 17:30 PM
Is the tenancy an AST in England or Wales?
If so, is it a joint tenancy, and you share the property with other tenant's?
Do you share the property with the landlord?

galibarp
01-02-2010, 17:33 PM
Wales, sharing the house with other tenants and it is a joint contract. No, landlord does not live in the house

tom999
01-02-2010, 17:58 PM
Ideally, the landlord should have informed all tenant's about scheduled repair works. The fact that he didn't, does not give you the right to end your tenancy. If tenancy was a joint AST, then it's likely that all tenant's will be jointly liable for rent for the fixed term.

If you wish to leave the tenancy, discuss this with the landlord (phone + letter). Two possible options could be:

Find a suitable replacement tenant yourself.
Pay for any re-letting fees.

galibarp
01-02-2010, 18:06 PM
Does an authorized entrance to my room, i.e. a window opened by a builder, give me a right to break the contract?

"Every residential tenant in England & Wales has the right to:

* Peaceable and quiet enjoyment of the accommodation, free from demands for access without notice and/or interference with utilities or other supplies to the property. "

is this statement somehow implemented in laws or it is just a piece of nonsense?

GJMSurrey
01-02-2010, 18:13 PM
I guess the living conditions existed before you signed the agreement. I understand your complaint about the living conditions and thankfully these are now being improved, teh works areto your benefit.

However, you might want to ask the Landlord to inform you about a works schedule, and try to come to some arrangement so thet the works will not disrupt you too much (i.e. not to tsrat before 9am and finish by 6pm so you get your evenings). Get the builders to knock/call before arrival. Whatever is reasonable and makes your life easier but not change the fact that teh works need doing.

galibarp
01-02-2010, 18:21 PM
I guess the living conditions existed before you signed the agreement. I understand your complaint about the living conditions and thankfully these are now being improved, teh works areto your benefit.

However, you might want to ask the Landlord to inform you about a works schedule, and try to come to some arrangement so thet the works will not disrupt you too much (i.e. not to tsrat before 9am and finish by 6pm so you get your evenings). Get the builders to knock/call before arrival. Whatever is reasonable and makes your life easier but not change the fact that teh works need doing.

this is a secondary thing. Just don't want to be suffering even more discomfort by carpet replacement, etc.

Primarily, I had a very irritating morning when someone opened my window while I was in bed (NO PERMISSION/NO NOTIFICATION).

tom999
01-02-2010, 18:27 PM
is this statement somehow implemented in laws or it is just a piece of nonsense?There is an implied covenant that a tenant should have the right to quiet enjoyment. However, the landlord may say that as you have a shared tenancy, at least one of you was informed of the scheduled works. As stated above, this does not give you the right to break your tenancy agreement. Try to come to a compromise with the landlord about any future scheduled works.

galibarp
01-02-2010, 18:32 PM
There is an implied covenant that a tenant should have the right to quiet enjoyment. However, the landlord may say that as you have a shared tenancy, at least one of you was informed of the scheduled works. As stated above, this does not give you the right to break your tenancy agreement.

Just to make clear. I got the part about absence of notification - thanks, very helpful.

Second reason - unauthorized access to my room by an external person and violation of my privacy.

GJMSurrey
01-02-2010, 20:42 PM
It is unclear whether the builder alone assumed allowable access to all parts, he might not have even known it was a bedroom. Maybe the Landlord simply does not know about your rights or expectations and needs prompting.

No builder or landlord would open your window or access your room on purpose knowing that you were in bed, without knocking. I suspect the builder was apologetic? A mistake has been made it appears.

I would write a letter politely stating what had happened and suggest how you would ask contact to me made in future to gain access to your room. Also, perhaps suggest ways which may help keep disruption to a minimum and come to an arangement with the Landlord.

I would not follow the route of breaking the tenancy as there is not eough reason to do so, andthis will only make communicationsadversarial which won't help you negotiate schedules for works...

galibarp
01-02-2010, 23:23 PM
I am speaking on someone else's behalf, so I would not know small details whether he said I am sorry or not, but the fact is that the builders kept doing whatever they needed to do even though it caused a major inconvenience for the tenant. I assume all the repairing works are authorized by the landlord - which makes him responsible. The entire renting experience turned into a stressful situation (ongoing repairs, small conflicts, possible further repairs - carpet, walls, etc) - the tenant simply wishes to pursue his studies, prepare for exams in a quiet environment with something close to normal living conditions, which was offered by his friends.

So the question is whether the aforementioned fact is legally strong to break the agreement or not? (Which was already broken by the landlord and/or people hired by him, in my opinion, but I am far from an expert in the British legislation).

mind the gap
02-02-2010, 02:34 AM
OK, so the tenant in this case is not you, but someone you know?

I am sorry to hear your friend has been inconvenienced. However, a builder opening the window to your room to do some repair work, when you are part of a joint tenancy where at least one of the tenants has been notified that work will be carried out, is not grounds to terminate the tenancy early. It would have been a good idea for the tenant who was informed by the LL about the building work to make sure his housemates knew too, but in shared houses communication is not always what it might be. That is not really the LL's fault.

Perhaps you can help your friend keep this in perspective. One could take the view that at least the LL is taking his repairing obligations seriously and that the repairs, whilst temporarily inconvenient, will presumably benefit the tenants when completed. If the renovations include new carpets (which take no more than a day to put down), that has to be a bonus, surely? Also, given that mould is very often caused or exacerbated by the tenants' lifestyle (drying clothes indoors, not using extractor fans, rarely opening windows), it may be that the LL is being generous in having it removed at his own expense. (I take it the Ts are not being asked to pay for the mould treatment?)

Tenants come on these forums asking for advice about getting out of tenancies early when their circumstances are far more alarming than this - e.g. when ceilings have collapsed, floors are unsafe, the heating fails for months on end, they are at risk from exposed live electricity cables or predatory agents/LLs - yet even in those dire circumstances, it is very hard for a tenant legally to exit the contract. Indeed, I would be interested to her of any country where it would be possible legally to break a tenancy contract on the grounds that a workman unexpectedly opened your window to carry out repairs.

As your friend is a student, he no doubt has access to a Library on campus where he can study in peace until the builders have finished.

On the other hand, it may be that the work in progress is major/long-term/only in the LL's interests, and not in theirs. Or it may be simply cosmetic and the Ts do not want it. In either case, and if the Ts are worried that it will significantly affect their lives over the next few months (rather than weeks), then that would be a rather different scenario and they can in the end withold their consent for access. The LL would then have to apply for a court order to enforce any access clause in the contract; this takes weeks/months to obtain, by which time the Ts would probably have left anyway.

I woud advise your friend to let the LL know what happened (so he can have a word with the builder about knocking before entering), but to keep a sense of proportion nonetheless. I hope the situation soon resolves itself for your friend.

p_cas
02-02-2010, 06:39 AM
Not sure why someone would complain, for instance, about the 'stinky carpet' but then complain that it was going to be replaced?

There's possibly slightly more to this than has been said here. It seems that the tenant is perhaps just looking for an excuse to get out? Most tenants I think would put up with the inconvenience if the property was being improved, or, at worst, ask for a rent reduction while it was happening.

galibarp
02-02-2010, 10:57 AM
Ok, let me summarize:

the tenant has no rights. (Probably I should have not expected anything else from the 'landlordZone')

And I'd say in many countries unauthorized access to your property of any kind is a trespass. Look up on the web. And this one led to a shock and stress, which may result in complications of health problems (my opinion, not tenant's).

The conditions weren't good before the tenant came to the country and only saw pictures taken by a person interested in renting this place, however, he had to pay the first rent without really seeing the room, which automatically made the AST effective. And the stress caused by bad living conditions now turned into window opening and very inconvenient ongoing repairing works - the reason the tenant wants to move out, not previous state of the room/house.


Thank you for your opinions.

Case closed.

mind the gap
02-02-2010, 11:42 AM
Ok, let me summarize:

the tenant has no rights. (Probably I should have not expected anything else from the 'landlordZone')

That is not true, and a rather churlish comment, if I may say so. We have explained that the tenant in this case does not have the right to break his contract early because he was disturbed by a builder, once. Nobody has said that the tenant has no rights; in fact if you read what I wrote you will see that I did actually explain that the tenant has the right to refuse access without a court order.


And I'd say in many countries unauthorized access of to your property of any kind is a trespass. Look up on the web. And this one led to a shock and stress, which may result in complications of health problems (my opinion, not tenant's). Please do not tell me to 'look things up on the web'. I was interested to know which country you had in mind, since the grounds for trying to get out of the tenancy are apparently so specious in your friend's case.



The conditions weren't good before the tenant came to the country and only saw pictures taken by a person interested in renting this place, however, he had to pay the first rent without really seeing the room, which automatically made the AST effective. And the stress caused by bad living conditions now turned into window opening and very inconvenient ongoing repairing works - the reason the tenant wants to move out, not previous state of the room/house. It is the tenant's responsiblity to view the property before signing or to ask someone he trusts to do so on his behalf. If he does not do so, he must accept that the re is a risk of the property being unsuitable for him, but that is not the LL's fault. Once he has moved in (as explained before) he does have rights and I have suggested some solutions to the problems he has with the builders and the lack of opportunity to study.



Thank you for your opinions.

Case closed.

I am sorry we were unable to tell you what you wanted to hear.

galibarp
02-02-2010, 13:22 PM
I am sorry if it sounded personal or alike. What I meant was that all comments so far were: - don't break the lease, you have no grounds as it only happened once. Problems happen just once in most of the cases. The landlord is very experienced - 8 years +. He must know the basic rules and take measures to prevent such incidents. In fact he does not live in the same area and obviously not in control of what builders are doing.

In this particular case the conditions weren't great from the start, I do understand it's tenant's fault not to see the house before, but that was impossible to do, and there was no argue about that, rent was paid on time, etc. However, later, (without notification) the repairing works started causing many inconveniences - sand from the ceiling everywhere - hair, clothes, documents, etc., thumping on the roof, etc. And all that ended up in the morning incident. Obviously, there is no consideration of tenant's comfort and mental well-being from the landlord's side. I am sure this tenant is crying (a girl) about living in such stressful conditions and not being able to do a single thing about that.

Simple example: You buy a rotten apple (from inside), you tell the seller about that - he takes a dirty tissue and starts to wipe it for several hours in front of you leading to nothing. Constantly reminding that you need to pay for this apple. Comments suggest - this happened only once, forgive the seller and pay the money. Hope this illustration gives my view on this situation.

Regarding the law, here is an example for the UK, it may be different, but gives the idea, and I was hoping someone could point to the applicable one: ww w. trespasslaw. co. uk (remove spaces)

I appreciate the comments.

P.S. Clarification: the wish to break the lease appeared not due to the bad conditions, but a sequence of events.

jeffrey
03-02-2010, 10:32 AM
I am sorry if it sounded personal or alike. What I meant was that all comments so far were: - don't break the lease, you have no grounds as it only happened once. Problems happen just once in most of the cases. The landlord is very experienced - 8 years +. He must know the basic rules and take measures to prevent such incidents. In fact he does not live in the same area and obviously not in control of what builders are doing.

In this particular case the conditions weren't great from the start, I do understand it's tenant's fault not to see the house before, but that was impossible to do, and there was no argue about that, rent was paid on time, etc. However, later, (without notification) the repairing works started causing many inconveniences - sand from the ceiling everywhere - hair, clothes, documents, etc., thumping on the roof, etc. And all that ended up in the morning incident. Obviously, there is no consideration of tenant's comfort and mental well-being from the landlord's side. I am sure this tenant is crying (a girl) about living in such stressful conditions and not being able to do a single thing about that.

Simple example: You buy a rotten apple (from inside), you tell the seller about that - he takes a dirty tissue and starts to wipe it for several hours in front of you leading to nothing. Constantly reminding that you need to pay for this apple. Comments suggest - this happened only once, forgive the seller and pay the money. Hope this illustration gives my view on this situation.

Regarding the law, here is an example for the UK, it may be different, but gives the idea, and I was hoping someone could point to the applicable one: ww w. trespasslaw. co. uk (remove spaces)

I appreciate the comments.

P.S. Clarification: the wish to break the lease appeared not due to the bad conditions, but a sequence of events.

You keep referring to the UK. Please note that there are three legal systems (domiciles) within it. Whilst company/tax law is the same throughout, all land law and personal law (contract/tort) varies between England/Wales (one unit), Scotland (another unit), and Northern Ireland (another unit).