Undisclosed renovations during my tenancy | The Tenants' Voice
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Undisclosed renovations during my tenancy

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527 views 1 replies latest reply: 20 April 2016

Moved to the UK in November last year and worked through agency to find a flat that was in a relatively quiet area because I work from home. I found a place in Chiswick and was told that it was a perfect accommodation for me because it was close to the public transportation yet in a quieter area where I wouldn’t have any issues. Settled on a rental price slightly higher than my budget because I thought it ticked all the boxes. Since Day 1, the building or surrounding flats have been under construction (none of this was visible or heard during my visit to the flat). The flat below me was under major renovations for 2 months that caused my walls to vibrate and the sound of pounding and drilling was unbearable. They were working 6 days a week starting by 7:30 and not finishing until 6:30! Once that finished, the flat next to me started renovations and the disturbance continued. I’ve been away on business for a week and come back to find the whole building surrounded by scaffolding and it seems they are starting a 4-6 month external refurbishing of the building and roof. Outside my window the scaffolding level is just the right height for the workers to be staring in my windows all day every day for weeks! Now there is a security risk and privacy issue on top of the noise. It is unbearable and it seems all of this was planned long before my tenancy began. It is not possible for me to work in these conditions and I pay a fortune in rent. I’m locked into at least 18 months and although I’ve already complained through the agent about the situation, all they have done is say ‘oh that’s really unfortunate for you’. Isn’t this against my basic rights as a tenant to have a peaceful and enjoyable residence here? What rights do I have? Can I get compensation from the landlord for the inconvenience? Can I get out of the contract? Should they have disclosed this information? If anyone has a similar experience or some advice I’d appreciate it. I feel very unfortunate to be miserable for the money I’m spending. Thank you in advance for your help.

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Hi Amy,

First of all, if you can, I would find out who owns the other properties. One of the key issues here is whether or not the Agent and/or Landlord knew of these extensive works before Letting you the Property and can this be proven?

Unfortunately, works to a neighbouring property, or even the exterior of a building, can (and often do) happen with little warning or forenotice to property owners. Unless Planning Consent is required, major cosmetic works can be taken up by a neighbour, or neighbours, at any time.

There are strict times workmen are permitted to work on such projects, and you should easily be able to locate this information on your local council/borough website. Once you know these, you can hold all works parties accountable to them and report any breaches of working outside of permitted hours.

If you genuinely believe you have been misled, then you may want to file an official complaint with your agent and then escalate to an Ombudsman or regulator if still unstaisfied.

You may also want to try simply explaining how entenable the situation is given the fact that, as explained at the viewing, you work from home. As such, noise that wouldnt bother someone who leaves home for work each day, is untenable in your situation and you need to reach an agreement under which terms you can surrender the tenancy.

There’s usually an agreement to be reached but there may be some costs involved with vacating early however this may be the swiftest solution.

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