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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hi TDlawyer. I am renting a two bedroom flat which has developed

Customer Question

Hi TDlawyer. I am renting a two bedroom flat which has developed a damp problem after a shower leak. The floor boards in the hallway were taken up fthree weeks ago to allow drying out so I have been lving with a cold damp concrete floor! The landlord's loss adjuster has now advised him that all the floorboards in the sitting room need to be removed along with the skirting boards and some of the plaster to allow the floor to dry out. The skirting boards in the spare room also need to be removed. Large de-humidifiers will need to be on constantly. Furniture from these two rooms needs to go into storage. I'll have to live in my bedroom! After much too-ing and fro-ing the landlord has said I can stay rent free whilst the work is taking place. I'm nearly at the end of my tether as I have put up with constant disruption since moving in 10 months ago with 24 visits from the landlord or his agents. I could move out but it's not a good time. Can I ask him to pay for removal and storage of the furniture, in addition to the rent-free period? Thank you. Marie.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name is Tony, I can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Does the landlord accept that this is not your fault and that it in a breach of the tenancy agreement? (It sounds like it given the rent free offer?)?

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Yes

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Though h does say if I had let him take up the hallway and just some sitting room floor boards over christmas there wouldn't be such a big problem now. Which I disagree with, because the leak was fixed by that point!

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then he sounds like a fairly reasonable landlord, compared to some! If moving the furniture out is reasonably foreseeable in the sense that it was apparent that it was going to be reasonably necessary, then yes, you should be able to ask the landlord to meet the storage/moving costs of that.

tdlawyer :

I expect with something of thing nature, it is reasonable to get the furniture moved and, that it would have been reasonably foreseeable to the landlord that this is necessary.

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Okay, so even though he says I can stay here without paying rent (whilst living in one room!) it's "reasonable" for me to ask him to pay for removal and storage costs?

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

I assume there's no law that covers this type of thing?

tdlawyer :

Yes, I think it is reasonable. There is no specific law that I could refer you to, like a section in a statute or something, that deals with it. It's a matter of contract law and understanding what damages flow from a breach of that agreement.

tdlawyer :

It's a case of back to "first principles".

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Okay, this is so helpful, thank you. Could you give me a couple of sentences I can put into an email back to the landlord's agency?

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

To explain this

tdlawyer :

Well, something along the following lines maybe:

tdlawyer :

I understand that I am entitled to my reasonable losses that flow as a consequence of the breach of the tenancy agreement. In this instance, it is a foreseeable loss that I would have to move and store furniture whilst the premises are renovated. I appreciate the landlords offer of rent free whilst this happening but I also require these costs to be met.

tdlawyer :

How does that sound?

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

That sounds really good. What do I do if they say no?!

tdlawyer :

Then you have to decide whether to sue your landlord now to recover the money that it will/does cost you. If you do this, the landlord might get rid of you sooner that he might otherwise have done. That might not suit you? If you choose not to sue him there and then, you do have 6 years in which to do this later if you want to.

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Right, okay, thank you. You've been really helpful. Finally question, can I say my position is based on legal advice?

tdlawyer :

We are not allowed on this website to give "legal advice" and all the forms you fill in tell you that. We give information only, as can do not know enough about any particular situation to be able to give tailored legal advice. You can say that you've researched the position and understand that this is the case.

tdlawyer :

]

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Right, fair enough, thanks very much.

tdlawyer :

Thank you very much too. Is there anything else you would like me to answer for you?

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Actually, just one last thing - I have put up with constant disruption since moving in 10 months ago with 24 visits from the landlord or his agents to check various things....

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

I feel like I have no "quiet enjoyment" of my flat! Is there anything I can do about this?

tdlawyer :

Yes, your landlord is obliged to give you "quiet enjoyment" under the terms of the tenancy agreement. This is something that you're also entitled to compensation for, although it's difficult to quantify what that might be, and the Court has to take something of a 'holistic' approach by working out what disruption you've suffered over the period. Don't expect a large sum through, the English Courts are very conservative about damages awards like this. Perhaps something like £1,500 is fairly realistic, but it does depend on the extent of the disruption and inconvenience etc.

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Okay, thank you so sounds like I would have to take him to court for that. Could you give me an idea of what I could say around the "quiet enjoyment" problem to increase the chances of him agreeing to pay for removal and storage of my furniture?

tdlawyer :

To be honest, I think you've already said it above. There is nothing magic about this, just set out your position, and say that you consider there to have been a breach of the obligation of quiet enjoyment.

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

Okay. That's great. Thank you.

tdlawyer :

Thank you for your time this evening!

JACUSTOMER-29ye3yye- :

You too!

tdlawyer :

Bye

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