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A Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment – What a Developer Landlord Needs to Know

10th March 2020

There are a number of rules and regulations you need to be aware of as a landlord. As a leading commercial estate agency and property management specialist, we’re familiar with the legal obligations landlords have to fulfil. One obligation that is non-negotiable is a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. The terms of quiet enjoyment are usually detailed in the lease agreement between yourself and your tenant. These terms are essential reading for developer landlords looking to make changes to their property in the form of repair work or new building work. 

In this blog post, the experts at our commercial estate agency take a closer look at the right to quiet enjoyment so you’re clued up on all the facts.

What is quiet enjoyment?

Every tenant has a right to quiet enjoyment of their rented property. This right stipulates that the landlord (or any other party) must not interfere with the tenant’s enjoyment of the property. This right must be upheld whether the right to quiet enjoyment is referred to in the lease agreement or not. 

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

Whether you are looking to undertake repair work or carry out a new building project on your tenanted property, as a developer landlord you must take various precautions to uphold your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. 

All work must be completed with minimum disruption to your tenant. It is your right to alter, add to or rebuild your property, but this must not be done at the detriment of your tenant. Access should therefore not be restricted or use of the property inhibited by the repair or new building work. With this in mind, developer landlords must give tenants written notice of at least 24 hours and arrange visits for a reasonable time of the day. The tenant can still refuse entry and by law, the landlord must respond by rearranging the appointment for a time and date that’s more suitable.

What if there’s an emergency?

Emergency situations are dealt with a little differently. In the case of an emergency, whereby immediate access is required, the right to quiet enjoyment does not apply. A fire or burst water pipe are just two instances that constitute a landlord emergency. By law, a landlord can enter the property without notice or permission to resolve an emergency.

What if disruption is caused?

If you have carried out works and the tenant feels that their right to quiet enjoyment has been breached, they may wish to pursue legal action. The precautions taken by the landlord will be analysed by the Court, and the benefits of the work being completed for the landlord and tenant will be examined. If the Court chooses to rule in the tenant’s favour, they may be liable for financial compensation. The Court must, however, find that the landlord acted unreasonably and failed to provide notice or information (on details like project duration and noise management etc.) to the tenant about the intended work.

Why a good landlord-tenant relationship matters?

As a commercial estate agency, we’re always keen to share the advantages of nurturing good landlord-tenant relationships. In the case of upholding your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, a good landlord-tenant relationship is vital. Our commercial estate agency provides a professional property management service, so each and every property in your portfolio - plus the tenants who call them home - can be looked after appropriately. Early discussions with tenants can work wonders for minimising the disruption caused by repair and new building works. They also lessen the chances of legal intervention. Let our commercial estate agency assist you in your role as a developer landlord from the beginning of your tenant’s lease to the end.

Find out more about our property management service right here. Alternatively, you can contact our commercial estate agency direct on 01782 715725 or via enquiries@rorymack.co.uk to discuss your requirements.