Amateur and novice landlords often have difficulty “getting their head around” one of the basic tenets of English property law: tenants have a right of quiet enjoyment.
The term is slightly confusing as it does not mean exactly what it implies; it does not apply just to noise, though noise would obviously be one of the issues, it applies to disturbance to the tenant’s enjoyment of the property in any way.
A tenancy under English Common Law gives a tenant a legal title in land; in effect “ownership” of the property for the period of the tenancy. It gives exclusive possession of the land and property and the right to exclude everyone, including the landlord.
When the lady who lets her own home says the my tenants are wrecking “my home”, technically she is wrong; it is their home that they’re wrecking and there’s not a great deal she can do about it in the short term, short of evicting the tenants when it’s legally valid to do so. Yes, they are in breach of their contract, but taking them to court over the damage will take weeks, so practically, she is stymied.
Likewise, the landlord who demands access to do viewings in the last month of the tenancy is powerless to do so legally without the tenant’s cooperation, even though the tenant has agreed to allow access in these circumstance by way of a clause in the agreement.
This book is a practical guide for property managers, landlords, tenants, property advisors and solicitors which sets out the rights of tenants in residential property to live undisturbed, and it also spells out the legal remedies should their peace be disturbed.
Written by three leading authorities – Andrew Arden QC, Robert Brown and Sam Madge-Wild, the book provides clear guidance on the current issues that arise around a tenant’s legal rights: harassment, illegal eviction, criminal trespass, deposit protection, licensing, banning orders, retaliatory eviction, energy efficiency, safety matters, civil and criminal proceedings.
The book has been written with the non-lawyer in mind, providing a practical and easy to navigate guide to the latest legislation on tenancy law for the professional and the layman alike.
Much of the recent legislation passing through Parliament has been aimed at the now statutorily recognised term, “rogue landlords” and the book addresses this concept in practical terms, setting out, particularly in chapter 7, the main duties and obligations on landlords and letting agents, safety concerns and other issues facing them when letting property.
The book references recent cases and case law, it gives examples of damages awarded for various offences, how to bring civil proceedings, and pulls out detailed extracts of the relevant Acts of Parliament.
For anyone remotely interested in the latest rules and regulations involved in letting residential property and especially for those involved in litigation or potentially involved, this 400 or so pages of a book is a concise and manageable guide to the law – a useful additional to any serious landlord’s or agent’s bookshelf.
Review by Tom Entwistle, Editor, LandlordZONE®
Book Review: Quiet Enjoyment – Protection from rogue landlords (Ed 8) Andrew Arden QC, et al Published by the Legal Action Group (LAG)