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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My property has been water damaged and is deemed uninhabitable

Resolved Question:

My property has been water damaged and is deemed uninhabitable until it has been repaired and dried out by the Buildings Insurance Contractors. They have estimated it will take between 12 -26 weeks to make it habitable again. The Insurers will be paying the rent for the property while the tenant and her flat mated are living in a temporary apartment and have removed their personal belongings while the work is ongoing. My problem is that they are refusing to hand over the keys as they wish to retain the parking permits which are attached to the address. I have had to give my only set of keys to one of the Contractors to get the work started so do not have any means of access myself. I don't want her keeping the keys as I don't want her accessing the property while the work is ongoing for safety reasons as much as anything. What are my rights to the keys please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Do you have a problem with them keeping the permits please?

Customer:

I do not have a problem with them keeping the permits as they are linked with the address and their Car Registrations.

Alex Watts :

What is in your tenancy agreement about doing significant work please?

Customer:

I shall read the tenancy agreement about 'significant work' and get back to you but -I have an additional problem in that the Short Term Tenancy Agreement has been 'rolling on' since 2012 and is in the name of one of the occupants of the property. The named tenant 'phoned me in OIctober 2013 and asked if she could 'take in a flat mate?' and I said yes. The flat mate was never added to the 'rolling tenancy' but they are both claiming r rent from the insurers. I told them that the insurers agreed to pay 'reasonable costs' for accommodation a hotel to the equivalent of a Holiday Inn - or I offered the alternate accommodation for £1200 pcm. The rent for the original property is £995 pcm - they refused to even look at the offer I made but are paying £700 per week. Could the Insurers put this cost back to me?

Alex Watts :

I would think not because they are genuine tenants.

Alex Watts :

If the tenants have moved out, technically they are no longer in possession of the property.

Alex Watts :

This means you could change the locks if you wish so they can't get back in

Alex Watts :

Then once the work is completed, give them new keys again

Alex Watts :

But if they are not in possession and now renting elsewhere because of the insurance, then you can ask for the keys back, but allow them to park

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

The property is an apartment with a communal front door shared with one other apartment. The Front Door Keys are expensive and I would have to get several keys cut so both properties could gain access - because they are not responding to my requests for return of the keys can I charge the new locks to them?

Alex Watts :

No - because the fact they had to move out is not their fault.

Alex Watts :

But you could change the locks on the property front door, not communal

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help. They are not responding to my requests for the return of the keys and it will be quite costly as the communal front door is used by the apartment upstairs so several keys would be rquired. could I charge the replacement locks to them please?

Alex Watts :

No - because the fact they had to move out is not their fault.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

Thank you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


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Customer:

I am applying for exemption from council tax while the property is uninhabitable I think this will mean that their parking permits are invalid - is that my responsibility?

Alex Watts :

No, that would be to do with the Council and them

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

Yes may thanks for your help.

Alex Watts :

Great. Please remember to leave feedback before you go today. Thanks!

Customer:

I am trying to leave excellent feedback and the site won't let me! I've kept trying

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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