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Stressed John

Surprise building works

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Dear experts of the Residential Landlord forum.

I am looking for some advice on what to do when, shortly after you move into a place, inconvinient remediation works begin to the block's facade which the landlord/agent failed to tell you about.

I live in a duplex/maisonette towards the top of the block. We received a letter through the door from the newly appointed contractor about the 'imminent remediation works' to the building's facade. They have since erected scaffolding all around the building. What's more, the works are due to last until March 2013.

The problems I have with this are manyfold:

SECURITY. What previously had to be accessed through a security door (operated by key-fob) can now be reached via a convienient ladder in the form of scaffolding (i.e. my bedroom's balcony). There is also a handy platform right next to my balcony now. It was especially agreed with the landlord that I could store my bike on the balcony in the absence of other space, but now that seems like a crazy idea. Had they informed me about the upcoming works I would have looked at other options. The contractors have also managed to cut the electricity to the aformentioned security door, so that it is in a permanently unlocked state. As a result of these both, the block is basically a burglar's paradise (last year my old dear neighbour had £7k in cash robbed from her in a series of robberies, and that was with the security measures in place). I was mugged last Thursday (first time in my life) and am not prepared to take risks in this area.

VIEW/LIGHT. What was a nice view of the park is now obscured by poles and another platform at the level of my room's ceiling mean less light gets in.

DISRUPTION. The works are happening in the day but on any days I don't work or when I occaisionally work from home will be disrupted by the works. Today they cut the power between 0800 and 1600 (I was at work). One of my windows won't open properly because it is blocked by a horizontal pole at a high level. One day of leave that I already took was marred by noise of drilling etc.

The landlord/agent must have known about these works as the letter implies it has been on the cards for a while. If I had known about them I would not have chosen to pay the agreed sum each month.

What can be done/is usually done in these situations and how can I go about it?

Many thanks

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Its my experience that potential tenants often fail to ask important questions and some fail to ask ANY questions at all.

Whilst the landlord or their agents could have told you of the upcoming work (assuming the agent was aware ......which might not have been the case), you apparantly didn't feel it necessary to ask questions regarding matters that might affect your enjoyment of the property.

I often come across people who blame everyone else for their failures.......you appear to fall into this category.

I am looking for some advice on what to do when, shortly after you move into a place, inconvinient remediation works begin to the block's facade which the landlord/agent failed to tell you about.

In my opinion, there is very little that you can do. The most imortant thing is not to make the same mistake next time. You must accept the lions share of the blame for the situation you find yourself in, after all, its your responsibility to establish the suitability of a property for your needs. For example, there may be a particularly unpleasant neighbour ......the landlord is under no obligation to inform a prospective tenant of that fact or perhaps the neighbours may be especially noisy.....again the landlord is under no obligation to warn you of that fact.

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Its my experience that potential tenants often fail to ask important questions and some fail to ask ANY questions at all.

Whilst the landlord or their agents could have told you of the upcoming work (assuming the agent was aware ......which might not have been the case), you apparantly didn't feel it necessary to ask questions regarding matters that might affect your enjoyment of the property.

I often come across people who blame everyone else for their failures.......you appear to fall into this category.

I am looking for some advice on what to do when, shortly after you move into a place, inconvinient remediation works begin to the block's facade which the landlord/agent failed to tell you about.

In my opinion, there is very little that you can do. The most imortant thing is not to make the same mistake next time. You must accept the lions share of the blame for the situation you find yourself in, after all, its your responsibility to establish the suitability of a property for your needs. For example, there may be a particularly unpleasant neighbour ......the landlord is under no obligation to inform a prospective tenant of that fact or perhaps the neighbours may be especially noisy.....again the landlord is under no obligation to warn you of that fact.

I asked plenty of questions regarding my enjoyment of the property as described before moving into the property. I went through the 70 page contract with a fine tooth comb. The agents seemed suprised. You are right, however, that I did not ask those specific questions. i.e:

"Will anyone be installing scaffolding out side the window?"

"Will anyone be cutting off the electricity to lights/doors at random times?"

"Do I have to share the room with a knife-bearing mugger?"

"Are there additional tenants sharing the house that you have deliberately hidden from my attention?"

"Does anyone intend to install a missile battery on the roof?"

Clearly the implications of what you say are ridiculous. Just because those questions weren't asked doesn't mean it's reasonable for them to be imposed on me for the duration of the contract.

I did indeed establish the suitability of the property for my needs. However, if you are familiar with the terms 'misrepresentation' and 'breach of contract' then the rest of my argument is pretty self-explanatory.

I often come across pompous people who have no qualms about taking others for a ride.......you appear to fall into this category.

However, as I don't know you, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt in this instance and assume you have a temporary chip on your shoulder.

Anyone got any better comments?

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