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Landlord subdividing rented space AFTER signing tenancy agreement!


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Hi all,

 

Have hit a roadblack trying to find a legal standing on this so am turning to this forum for help before seeking costly and time-consuming legal advice.

 

Long story short, we had been living in a property which was owned by an adjoining law firm in front of our premises. This firm was then taken over by another bigger law firm and in the process assumed ownership of our property along with other assets.

 

In this changeover we signed a new assured shorthold tenancy with the respective new owners and as far as we were aware everything would continue as it had done, albeit with a new 6-month break clause should either party wish to terminate the agreement. Sidenote: No signed inventory was undertaken but a mandatory electrical and gas safety inspection was, which resulted in a new boiler and repairs to electrical fuses.

 

Now a couple of months into this new agreement we notice building work happening on the adjoining properties, apart from the noise we had no real qualms with this. However, we then come home one day to find a temporary walled partition in our patio space (reducing our patio to half its size) which also happens to adjoin the neighbouring property (which they own) and are now continuing to build and refurbish on space initially considered ours for private use (mind you no official property "blueprints" were available its was just assumed as our bedroom doors opened out to this space!!!). From what we could see, they were digging up the patio space now on their side of the "partition" and creating a back entrance to their neighbouring property WTF :eek:!!! All this occurred without any communication from the landlord or acting agents and from the amount of building work now evident it was obvious that they knew full well this was all in the pipeline before making us re-sign the tenancy back when.

 

After reading through the tenancy agreement there isn't anything obvious which states anything about the landlord refurbishing the property at his/her whim, only sections and clauses which mention them giving sufficient notice before entering the property (obviously not adhered to) and something about the landlord allowing us to use the property quietly and without interuption during the term of the tenancy (you can make your own mind up about this one! :confused:).

 

I guess my question is where do we stand technically given all of the above? I am in the process of writing a letter to the landlords but am unsure of the legal context in which to write it...grrr!

 

Any help appreciated.

 

Another frustrated and fed up tenant :(

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Thanks Aequitas, of course this is what I thought too. I guess in a legal context (the landlords are lawyers!) and in light of the clauses in the tenancy agreement, how do i pen a reply to state exactly what they are in breach of without sounding extremely layman? :-|

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Dear Sirs;

 

You have, without our consent, entered onto part of the patio which is part of the premises comprised in our tenancy and erected a wall on it preventing our access to it. Further, it appears that you are in the process of constructing on the land buildings that will permanently deprive us of part of the patio. This is clearly a breach of your covenant for quiet enjoyment and/or a derogation from grant.

 

We therefore request that the wall be dismounted forthwith and the patio restored to its former condition, failing which we shall apply to the court (a) for an injunction requiring you to carry out the necessary work to restore the status quo and to refrain from entering onto any part of the property included in the tenancy, and (b) damages. Further, since the breach of covenant/derogation is flagrant, we shall ask the court for costs on the full indemnity basis, which, having regard to the fact that you are solicitors and therefore ought to be fully conversant with the relevant law, we are confident the court will award.

 

Your faithfully,

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Aequitas,

 

Thanks so much, that hit the nail on the head. It's such a ridiculous situation that I can't actually believe they had the tenacity to try and pull it off - thinking we "hopefully wouldn't notice a 2m metre wall fencing off half of their patio". It makes sense now with the new 6 month break clause they amended in the tenancy—they want us out sooner rather than later to continue with this new building work, and they don't even have the decency or courage to forewarn or even communicate their plans.

 

Sickens me that their are still landlords out there who feel they can p*ss on people as they see fit.

 

Thanks again for your advice, will report back on any replies and developments for the benefit of others should they fall into the same situation (God forbid).

 

:rolleyes:

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They are in fact tresspassing and you coould call the police to remove them. Tell the builders to go and remove everything.

 

I doubt the police would be interested. They would certainly think twice about getting into arguments about trespass with a firm of lawyers!

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Just a thought; has the OP been illegally evicted?

 

That is a thought. Technically there may be some sort of an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, but again I think the "powers that be" are unlikely to be interested. Might be worth mentioning to the landlord though.

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I was thinking more about the civil offence. It could be that some damages may be payable. The powers that be almost certainly won't be interested, the police will wrongly claim that its only a civil matter. The council may be more understanding but I doubt it as no-one has lost their home

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Reading this post with intrest.

 

If the landlord subdividing rented space, building walls and so on,wouldn't they need planning permission ? and have they got the right permission from local planning office.

 

MARTIN

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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If the landlord subdividing rented space, building walls and so on,wouldn't they need planning permission ? and have they got the right permission from local planning office.

 

Whether they need PP depends on what they are doing.

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