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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi our landlord wants to do some work on the flat while we

Customer Question

Hi our landlord wants to do some work on the flat while we are still there. This will firstly disrupt our studies as both myself and my room mate have exams next month. Also he said this work has to happen for the future tenants so it has nothing to do with us. My concerns are our studies and also our bills especially our electricty bill as they will be drilling etc. Do we have rites to say no. He also said if we are not home to give him permission and he will come as he has a spare key. We do not want that as we have loads of our belongings and are worried. Please help our landlord is being so manipulative.
Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Do you know what kind of work is proposed please?

Joshua :

Presumably I am correct in my understanding that this is a property you rent? If so, do you know how long is left on your tenancy fixed period?

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

Hi Joshua

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

Our tenancy finishes end of June

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

He wants to re do the bathrooms and toilet

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

He actually told my room mate that its for the future tenants nothing to do with us

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

Please help us as we do want this as it will really mess up our studies for our exams

Joshua :

Thanks for the above - by apologies for the delay in reverting to you - I have been in a meeting with a client.

Joshua :

In terms of the landlord entering the property to carry out works if there is a provision in your tenancy agreement that states he can enter on notice then this is a useful provision for him because he can give you notice and if you do not object he can then rely on the provision to enter.

Joshua :

However if he enters against your permission (i.e. you object) the position is very different. He may be guilty inter alia of a breach of contract under common law, an offence under both the Protection Against Eviction Act and the protection from Harassment Act (the latter if he repeatedly enters against your permission).

Joshua :

The OFT also advise that they would consider a term giving the landlord a right to enter against the tenants permission to be unfair under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts - see below:

Joshua :

3.32 We would object to a provision giving the landlord an excessive right to enter the rented property. Under any kind of lease or tenancy, a landlord is required by common law to allow his tenants ‘exclusive possession’ and ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the premises during the tenancy. In other words, tenants must be free from unwarranted intrusion by anyone, including the landlord. Landlords are unfairly disregarding that basic obligation if they reserve a right to enter the property without giving reasonable notice or getting the tenant’s consent, except for good reason.

Joshua :

the landlord would be entitled to enter the property without notice in order to carry out essential works for example, if the were a gas leak or some imminent danger such as a supporting wall falling and the like. however the works the landlord proposes a cosmetic and he has no right to carry these out without your consent during the period of your tenancy. He will have to wait until you either give him consent or you move out.

Joshua :

obviously the reason he is pushing his is purely economic. if he carries out the works whilst you are in occupation he will be able to re-let the property without any gap (rent void). However he overestimates his legal position if he believes he has a right to do so. you may wish to negotiate a rent reduction and allow him to carry out the works or alternatively you can simply refuse access altogether. It would be sensible to consider refusing him access in writing so that he cannot claim that you did not object advising that if he does enter without your permission, you will consider this to be a breach of the protection against eviction act and the protection from harassment act and will involve the local authorities Housing Officer and if consider a claim for damages against him.

Joshua :

if he does enter without your permission, you are legally entitled to change the lock in addition to the above

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

He is coming tomorrow to look at everything so in your words i should tell him no we are not happy and its our ligal rites to rufuse the works being done until after we leave

Joshua :

That is your common law right and he cannot override that by refererence to any term in the tenancy agreement.

Joshua :

If he threatens you or is persistent in any way you are not happy with you can consider advising him that you would be quite happy to involve the local authority's housing officer is he is unclear on his position in any way.

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

JACUSTOMER-gty3sh3s- :

I think so im just worried as he is very sly and manipulative. I hope he takes all this into account. I will not be able to message you again tomorrow after i speak to him is that correct?

Joshua :

however manipulative he may be, this does not change the legal right which is enshrined in common law and is typically restated in tenancy agreements the it does not matter if it is not whereby you have an absolute right to quiet enjoyment of the property. The landlord cannot override this by pointing to any condition he may have slipped into the tenancy agreement or otherwise. In fact landlords have found themselves on the receiving end of there is significant awards of damages to tenants where they have been found guilty of harassment or breaches of the protection against eviction act and he would be an extremely thin ground if he tried to proceed against your wishes. Typically local authority housing offices will be supportive though they can vary and effectiveness from local authority to local authority. as above, if he doesn't against your wishes, notwithstanding all of the above, you can suddenly change the locks in the immediate term to prevent any further entry without your consent

Joshua :

you are welcome to revert to me should you have any further queries following a meeting. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. This will also save the thread to your account whereby you can return to it at a later date you wish to

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Joshua :

I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today.

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