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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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.I have a query regarding a rental house I occupy. It

Resolved Question:

Hello.
I have a query regarding a rental house I occupy. It is a 3 bedroom semi detached on a corner with large gardens to side and rear. When I viewed this house 18 months ago I was informed by the Estate Agents that the Landlord proposed to build another house in the excess garden to its free side still leaving me with a small front garden and generous rear garden. I was aware because of this proposed build I would be subject to for the duration of its build considerable noise associated with its build and was prepared to accept this disruption.
I had a visit from my Landlord in Nov. 2014 informing the build would commence in December and that the Builder would be tapping into my water and electricity supplies but I would be compensated for this usage by the Builder which was fine by me. However my first cause for concern arose just before Christmas with the arrival of 3 builder to view the plot they would be building on. To the free side of this house was an outside secure front and back passage I used for storage. This passage had two doors which were screwed fast and gave access to a brick storage room, the other to a toilet which were not for my use. I was at this time approached by one of the builders telling he needed me to clear my passage of my belongings as the 2 outbuildings and my passageway was coming down. Not being aware of this I asked him why and he told me a through cover way would be reinstated. It was during this conversation I was told that that the new build was being pinned to the side of this property a fact I was never made aware of by the Landlord or the Estate Agents when letting to me. I did ask the Estate Agents if they had been aware of this when letting to me and they said they had not though the Landlord must have been aware of this as plans would have to be drawn up between him and builder. I did contact the Letting Agency asking if they would contact the Landlord as to a reduction in my monthly rent payments for the duration of the build but this was received with disdain by him.
From believing I would just be having to put up with noise disturbance from an adjacent build I know find that noise disturbance impacting on me in a direct way with constant drilling hammering into my side wall daily. My side wall has a largish window downstairs in the hall and a further window on the top landing both of which let in loads of light and sunshine and both are being lost to me as they are being blocked in.The bottom window is already blocked making for a very dim and dismal hall as will happen to the landing when blocked.
I apologise if this long winded I am just trying to explain the situation as best as I can. Had I been made aware that a build would be made onto this house directly, I would not have agreed to the Tenancy when viewing.
What I basically wish to know, do I have any redress on the Landlord what so ever for misrepresentation ?
Kind regards.
Ian.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 1 year ago.
Matt Jones :

HI I will try and help.

Matt Jones :

Can you clarify what type of building you were expecting to see next to your property, and why?

Customer:

Hi and thank you for your reply.

Customer:

The property I rent is a semi on a corner plot with a very large garden to its free side and rear. Part of that corner plot had been fenced of to accommodate another build by my landlord. When viewing the house I now rent the letting agency told me a new build would be taking place and I assumed it would be a detached property and at no time was it mentioned it was being attached to this property either by the agents or my landlord. The letting agency have also told me they were not informed any new build would be attached to this house though obviously the landlord would have been aware of that.

Matt Jones :

is there notice of planning permission up near to the property (on a lamp post for example)?

Customer:

I am not aware of any as I am housebound through bad health.

Matt Jones :

OK. Well it would be useful to find this out. I suspect that there would be such a notice and also it is likely this would be something the Landlord would point to in his Defense if it mentioned erect of an attached property. When it comes to arguing misrepresentation, there are a number of different aspects to this. Generally a person would have a cause for a claim in misrepresentation where they relied on a false statement that induced them into entering into a contract.....

Matt Jones :

In this case there was no statement, but possibly an omission. You would have to try and claim there was a negligent omission that induced you to enter into the contract...

Matt Jones :

This would be easy if you were not made aware that a property was being built at all. The problem with this matter however is that you were aware that a property was being built, and assumed it would be detached.

Matt Jones :

Either a property attached or detached is going to create come level of disturbance (indeed you have said you were willing to accept this to some degree). Therefore you will firstly have to succeed in the claim that this was been a deliberate omission, and then that there is a measurable difference in the level of disturbance, and that this can be quantified.

Matt Jones :

I think the issue of the notice of planning will come into play as the Landlord will try rely on the fact that public notice was given and you should have been aware. In addition they will argue that you have a degree of responsibility of asking the right questions about the built and didnt. I think overall to take this case to Court would be a difficult one to succeed on.

Matt Jones :

I hope this helps. Do please ask any follow up questions.

Customer:

Thank you Matt for all your kind advice and fully understand what you're telling me. I am of the opinion that there was possibly an omission by the landlord in telling any prospective tenant viewing this house at the time that a house be attached to it as that knowledge may well have delayed him being able to let this house for some considerable time. Had I personally been made aware of a proposed attached build at that time I would not have taken up occupancy of this place.

Matt Jones :

i think the problem here is the issue of negligence versus your obligation as a "buyer" to investigate all necessery parts to the contract. In a comparable case of a sale/purchase contract there is an obligation on the buyer to do all things necessary to satisfy himself i.e. "buyer beware". The danger of forcing the case is that you whilst you havent been told what type of property was being built, you also havent asked what type of property was being built.

Matt Jones :

however it is all a matter of looking at the external circumstances of the case; the planning permission advertised, the statement of the Agents etc

Matt Jones :

sorry I cant be more positive but sometimes the facts of the matter just dictate as such. I hope that I have been of assistance to you however

Customer:

I fully take on board all you say in myself enquiring further as to the nature of the build. Personally I would have thought as a tenant of his property he would have had an obligation by law to inform me by letter or personally of the nature of this build and the impact this would cause as not everyone sees lamp post notifications. Well not to drag this out any further, thank you for your time and advice.

Matt Jones :

I hope I have at least provided some food for thought for you. Please leave me positive feedback so that I can be pad for my time today. The question wont close and you can come back and ask any follow up questions at a later date.

Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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