So that I can answer you fully, could you please confirm whether or not all your facilities (bathroom/toilet/kitchen) are within the premises/garage you rent or do you share any common facilities with your Landlord? eg communal kitchen.
I look forward to hearing form you.
Hi, and thanks.
The converted garage is basically self-sufficient in that we've got our own kitchen, bathroom (with shower and toilet). We don't share anything beyond having permission to use the land around the two buildings should we want to (eg. there's a beer garden and a basic gym), but we haven't actually used those and they aren't part of any payment.
The water and electric bills are covered by the bills for the main house (in the landlord's name) and the electric gets added onto our monthly invoice. We pay for LPG gas cylinders for the garage's small outside boiler.
[That might be more information than you really asked for, but I wanted to make sure I'd covered as much as possible!]
Thanks for your perfect reply- I just wanted to check that you do indeed have a Tenancy rather than a Licence (which would be the case if there were shared facilities).
Verbal tenancy agreements do still create legal tenancy agreements which is good news for you. They aren't recommended as the tenant and landlord can find problems occur, for instance with rent payments and deposits/repairs!Once a landlord has accepted rent from a tenant then a previous verbal agreement now becomes a legal agreement, so this is the legal background for you.
You do have therefore what is known as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and with this, comes various rights, including the right to live in the garage which is kept in good repair by the Landlord- so, if there are any major structural problems/leaks to the roof, the Landlord is under a duty to repair provided he has been given notice.
Your Landlord should have obtained Building Regulations approval for the conversion of the garage (as opposed to planning permission), which is basically consent from the Council that the works have been carried out, as they should be.
As a Tenant, you take the property "as you find it" so you have no comeback on your Landlord in this regard, and legally all he is required to do is to provide you with a Gas safety certificate every 12 months.
I hope this assists, but please feel free to ask further, if you require any clarification.
I attach general info on Assured Shorthold tenancies for you-
Thanks very much, that's certainly helpful, and it's good to know we've some kind of legal standing. The link cuts off part way through, could you let me have the end of it as well, please?
To clarify: am I right in thinking that any problems existing before we moved in are ones we can't do anything about, taking it on the 'as is' basis?
Further to the planning permission/building regulations question, I'm not convinced he's had any sort of permission to adapt the garage (and has been flatly denied permission for other alterations he's wanted to make to one or both buildings). If someone (say, the local Council) found out, do you think it likely they'd be able to evict or take some kind of action against the garage or landlord?
1. You are correct- if the problem was there when you moved in, it is tough luck I'm afraid, unless it is a structural problem/leaking roof etc.
2. I'm not sure how long ago the conversion took place, but the Council are unable to take any enforcement action under Building Regulations if such works were carried out over 12 months ago.
Hope this helps.
Thanks, that's what I thought.
I've just checked and it's only a few months since the garage was converted (it's been a garage for years). What sort of options would be likely to be open to a local authority etc?
And thanks for the full link - plenty of useful reading!
The Council could request that if any work that has been carries out does not comply with Building Regulations, that the appropriate work be carried out, and only once they are happy with any remedial work will they issue a B Regs Completion Certificate.