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can anyone advise, pleeease?


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Hello,

 

I am new to the forum, but it seems to be a brilliant place to get some advice...I'd be really grateful for any suggestions! I know it's a long posting, but I'd be ever so grateful if you could advise me!

 

Six months ago we moved into a privately owned flat, the contract was done via a well-known agency of our area.

The landlord owns the flat and also runs an Italian restaurant.

 

We viewed the flat twice before moving in, and everything seemed to be fine and in good state of repair, relatively quiet and at a relatively fair rent for the area.

 

The flat is above a restaurant kitchen, which never is ideal, but we were assured that every effort was made to keep noise levels down, and there had never been any complaints from tenants.

 

There are 5(!) extractor fans and aircon units around the flat, but again, we were told by the agents that those were never on, or maybe only once or twice if there happened to be an extremely hot day.

 

Well, basically after moving in we had to discover that all of the aircon/extractor units are being turned on at 10.30am and turned off at 11.30pm. If we are lucky, they remember to switch them off when the restaurant has its break...between 3 and 6.

 

When we viewed the flat, we were only ever given appointments during restaurant break-time -now we know why.

 

All the equipment is ancient, and we have to deal with a continuous humming/buzzing noise day in, day out in front of our windows, at our back wall, in front of our door...extremely loud and really wearing us out.

 

Also, the door of the restaurant kitchen is being left open all day, plus some of the windows of the kitchen are broken (what about restaurant hygiene???)....so on top of the other noises we have to listen to the constant clattering of pots and pans, shouting of the cooks, hammering of meat etc.

 

Then there are the smells, of course, coming from that door and the broken windows.

 

My partner and I work from home, so we have that noise pollution all day.

 

Since moving in, we have also discovered that the flat we live in has been done up without planning permission from the council (it's a conversion of a house into two flats), and it's done up in a very superficial way (we don't know whether the electricity etc is safe at all, for example).

 

We have been trying to talk to the landlord several times, to the kitchen staff, but no avail. The only suggestion we get from him is to move out.

Well, great.

We have phoned the council, and they sent some noise people round, evaluating the noise levels. They stated that the noise within our premises is intolerable, that we were within our rights, that the landlord's equipment was ancient, causing public nuisance and that he will have to do something about it.

Well, up to now he seems to ignore the council as much as he is ignoring us.

 

At the moment, he is refurbishing yet another flat for letting out (presumably another one without planning permission)...building noise from 8am-6pm.

 

Today we got to know that the building in front of our flat is going to be demolished in a month's time, and that our flat will be uninhabitable for at least half a year because of noise, dust etc.

Our landlord had been informed by the authorities, but of course has failed to pass this info on to his tenants (surprise, surprise!) Would it have been his duty to inform us as future tenants about this planned building site (apparently a letter has been sent to him more than a year ago!)

 

I would be grateful for any advice on these matters, noise matters, the landlord's duties, and whether we'd be able to claim back any rent money in return for the six months of hell we have had in this flat/withhold rent payment until the noise situation is solved, and whether there is anything we can do to make our situation and the situation of future tenants here better?

We are completely worn out and desperate because of the noise, and because a crap landlord, and the agency, seem to be getting away and getting richer by continuously cheating people. It's just not fair.

 

Thanks a lot for making the effort to plough through this "novel" of mine!

Any publishers out there ;-)

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pepino,

 

Sorry to hear about the problems you have been having.

 

If that was myself, I would indeed move out. I know this isnt the ideal solution and you dont want to have to keep moving about, but with the upcoming works - can you cope with anymore noise?

 

With regards to the council and the noise complaints, ask them to serve a noise abatement notice to the restaurant (which would be your landlord) After receiving a noise abatement notice, the landlord will have to cut his noise down (espiecally after the council have stated it is intolerable)

If the landlord ignores the notice, he can then be taken to court and can be fined up to £5,000 in a magistrates court.

 

If you have concerns over the planning permission of the property, contact the council's planning department. It may be legal now as the planning rules have been relaxed.

 

Regarding your electrical issues - if you dont think its safe, get a sparky in to do a safety report. It costs around £100 but this can be reclaimed from your landlord (in the small claims courts if need be) - this report will show that the property is dangerous. This document should be shown to your council and they will HAVE to fix the work for the landlord and then charge him - either that or rehome you.

 

Hope this helps

 

Rich

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If this was a standard six month assured shorthold tenancy, then the landlord can now give you the two months notice to vacate under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, as you have been there more than 6 months already.

 

If so, bear in mind at all times that what you have is, in effect, a two months tenancy that can be ended by the landlord simply serving a notice on you at any time. You will then have to leave within the following 2 months.

 

If you have such an insecure tenancy, it might not be worth spending a lot of money, or a lot of time, on the problem; you may be better off moving out.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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