How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Alex J. Your Own Question
Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Type Your Law Question Here...
Alex J. is online now

I rent a 2 bed flat in London for £2600 pcm with my friend

This answer was rated:

I rent a 2 bed flat in London for £2600 pcm with my friend which has a private balcony and a communal roof terrace. I was told a few months back that some essential building maintenance needed to be done at some point and during this time the roof terrace would be inaccessible. This was disappointing as this was one of the main reasons I took the flat but I agreed with the landlord a £200 pcm rental deduction as compensation while the weather is good. I have since been told that the builders now require my private balcony for doing the works. This involves erecting scaffolding and screens (that will block a huge amount of light to the flat and taking over my balcony with scaffolding and building materials. I have also spent all summer establishing a balcony garden at a cost of over £1000 for plants, planters and materials and a huge amount of hours invested into establishing it. I have been told all of this will have to be moved to the garden below. I am firstly upset at having spent so much time establishing the balcony only to see it all taken away, secondly concerned that the move will cause some of the plants to die from the trauma and also from the lack of light down in the garden and lack of support to grow against (they are mostly climbers), thirdly because I use that balcony every single evening to relax in and the outdoor space was a key factor for me in choosing this flat and this will now be unable to be used for the next 2-3 months. I do not know what to do.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Have you asked the landlord for a further deduction on the rent?
Once the works are finishes in 2-3months do you plan on remaining in the flat?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I haven't spoken to him yet about the balcony as I wanted to have my strategy planned and know my rights before I approached him. I was going to suggest a reduction to £2000pcm because of the importance of the balcony but wasn't sure how to go about it or if this would cause tension between us. I do plan on remaining in the flat after works completion yes

Thank you.
A reduction of £2000 PCM is effectively a 75% rent reduction.
I am not sure that he will agree to that - if you had made it clear that outside space was a condition of your rental before you signed the lease papers I would perhaps say at most a 50% reduction may be negotiable.
If you want to remain in the flat, put the ball in the landlord's court and ask him/her to propose compensation as a starting point and use that as the basis of negotiation. Ultimately the demise you have leased cannot be used and your quiet enjoyment of the property is being infringed so you should be entitled to some compensation in the form of a rental reduction. As a starting point you have to put the landlord on written notice that your quiet enjoyment is being infringed and ask him to propose compensation - you have to put him written notice incase the deposit ever reached the county court you will need the notice as evidence.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just to clarify, I stated I was proposing a deduction TO £2000pcm, not a deduction OF £2000pcm

Thank you.
My apologies. I think that is a fairly reasonable stance.
I would still recommend that you let the landlord "show his hand first" and propose an offer to you. You have not done anything wrong here and it is the landlord's obligation to ensure the demise you have leased can actually be used.
Kind regards
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you