A recent case [Timothy Taylor v Mayfair House  EWHC 1075 (Ch)] has highlighted that landlords wanting to carry out building works to other parts of their building have to take their current tenant’s entitlement to ‘quiet enjoyment’ into account.
Even if there is an express provision in your lease to the tenant which enables you to carry out works which could materially affect your tenant’s use and enjoyment, this could potentially lead to you having to pay financial compensation to your tenant if there is substantial inconvenience to the tenant during the carrying out of your works.
The Court has highlighted various practical points which landlords should take into account to avoid such claims from their tenants:
- Inform your tenant of your proposed works beforehand. Discuss these works with the tenant as early as possible (ideally before the tender stage) and try to come up with some solutions to minimise disturbance – including the layout of any scaffolding and timing of any noisy works
- Scaffolding should not obstruct your tenant’s access to their premises and should maintain the appearance of their facade as far as possible. Landlords should especially use pillars or towers (where possible) to avoid obstructions
- The hours of noisy works should be limited and the tenant should be given prior notice of these
- Any deliveries to the premises should not interfere with the tenant’s access to the building
- Keep your tenant regularly updated about progress – likely timescales, any issues etc.
- Consider a rent concession (especially if works overrun or there are problems)
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.