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  • FIRST POST
    • hannah9000
    • By hannah9000 1st Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • 185Posts
    • 67Thanks
    hannah9000
    Should I sue?!
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    Should I sue?! 1st Oct 17 at 10:23 PM
    I moved into a property (3 storey barn conversion) on 1st Sept. Within a week I had daily complaints from the landlady saying the lady who lived in the flat below said our TV was too loud, my son was too noisy playing and my two dogs made too much noise. She even went to the extent of recording us on a dictaphone which the landlady played back to me.

    Now, it's been mutually agreed between myseld and landlady that I should leave - I work fulltime and I want to relax at home, I don't want to have my floor knocked on everytime my boy plays with his diggers. I wasn't informed of the lady living below at any point during viewing or signing up to the property. The first I knew of her was when the complaints came in. The property is managed by the LL but marketed by an agent. The agent agreed to refund my referencing fees, he offered half and when I said I'd go to the ombudsman he quickly offered a full refund HOWEVER I had to buy a cooker when I moved in and put fencing around the garden, total cost for cooker and fencing £300. I'm going to have to pay moving costs again, van hire etc, uproot my 5yr old again and try and sell this bloody cooker.

    Should I be trying to reclaim more costs? The landlady was desperate to get me in here as she responded to my ad in the post office which stated I had a child and dogs, the applicants before me failed their credit check and she didn't want to lose out on rent. She says the lady below me is anxious and nervy about noises and that I should take the children round to the old barn to play and put my dogs outside in a shed!!!

    Its a 12 month tenancy agreement with 2 months notice, however I'll be leaving after a month. As I signed the tenancy agreement that states a months notice, the 2 months notice was an afterthought and the amended page was sent seperately about 2 weeks after I'd moved...i haven't signed it though.
    *Hannah Banana*
    Declared BR 19/12/08
    ED granted 18/08/09

    Awaiting Baby B due 14th May 2012
Page 1
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 1st Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • 8,596 Posts
    • 53,042 Thanks
    Ms Chocaholic
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    Is the property carpeted? If not, would the landlady consider laying carpets to minimise the noise so you can stay there.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 1st Oct 17, 10:31 PM
    • 2,521 Posts
    • 2,813 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:31 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:31 PM
    What's wrong with the dog being in an outhouse a bit during the day?

    I don't think you can or should try and sue for your costs when it's not your landlord's fault, especially as they did tell you the neighbour had issues. If you feel you must move then chalk it down to a bad experience.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 1st Oct 17, 10:37 PM
    • 754 Posts
    • 1,521 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:37 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:37 PM
    I feel that the OP has been unfairly treated. The LL responded to her ad, which stated that she had dogs and a child. Why would she do that when she knew that the tenant in situ would have issues with that?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 1st Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    • 5,930 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    they did tell you the neighbour had issues.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    Think you've misread the OP:
    I wasn't informed of the lady living below at any point during viewing or signing up to the property.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 1st Oct 17, 10:40 PM
    • 2,700 Posts
    • 2,653 Thanks
    cjdavies
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:40 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:40 PM
    I don't think you can or should try and sue for your costs when it's not your landlord's fault, especially as they did tell you the neighbour had issues..
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    I wasn't informed of the lady living below at any point during viewing or signing up to the property. The first I knew of her was when the complaints came in.
    Originally posted by hannah9000


    No the landlord did not.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 1st Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    • 41,425 Posts
    • 47,783 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    The notice period in the contract is irrelevant.

    And the question of suing does not arise.

    What is being considered here is an 'Early Surrender' of the tenancy by you, which the landlady is accepting.

    The question is, who is really requesting the Early Surrender? You or the LL? Because that determines who has the greater motivation, and therefore who should compensate who and by how much.

    For example, where a tenant wants to leave early (and the LL wants the tenancy to continue to the end) it is normal/common for the tenant to agree to pay the LL's marketing costs etc to find a new tenant, and to pay rent till the new tenant is in place.

    But in this case, it seems the LL wants to end the tenancy early, to keep the lady downstairs happy. That being so, you can say you'll agree, provided she re-imburses all your costs:

    * application/vetting fees
    * cooker, fence
    * moving costs
    * whatever else it has cost you.

    Of course, if she says no to some/all of these you then have a choice:

    1) negotiate and agree on some costs, or
    2) stay where you are - she'll find it hard/impossible to evict you since you have a 12 month fixed term.

    If 2 above, then the lady downstairs will just have to learn to live with your dogs and son....

    There is, of course, an implied term in every tenancy that you'll act in a 'tenant-like manner', and there may also be an explicit term in your contract about not disturbing the neighbours, but stopping a child from playing would not fall into either category - especially where the child was known of in advance by the landlord.

    Dogs might fall into one or other of the above categories, but again, since the LL knew in advance you had dogs (and I assume there is not a 'no pets' clause in the contract?), it would be unreasonable to expect that there would be no doggy noises.......
    Last edited by G_M; 01-10-2017 at 10:52 PM.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 1st Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • 6,734 Posts
    • 11,999 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    You signed a contract for a twelve month tenancy.

    You are mutually agreeing to end it early and not occupy the property for the full twelve months and not have to pay the full twelve months rent.

    To mutually agree to end it early is something that you and your landlord have agreed / negotiated to be in everyone's interest, so it doesn't seem like there is anything for anyone to "sue" for. Nobody has broken a contract without the other party being happy with it.

    Part of your tenant agreement would have been not to cause undue noise to concern and annoy the neighbours. That goes for your child and pets not making noise to annoy the downstairs neighbours, just like it goes for the downstairs neighbours every time they annoy you by bashing on their ceiling whenever they get "nervy and anxious" (which might be all/most of the time). It may be that from each of your perspectives, the other party is "the neighbours from hell". If you are only making a "normal" amount of noise for a normal household, it would not be grounds for any eviction of you by your landlord. But because the situation is untenable from both sides, you are each amicably agreeing to cancel the contract and walk away.

    In doing that, either of you can ask for whatever you like (but either of you may not necessarily get it, depending on how keen the other person is to cancel the contract)

    You would have been out of pocket for the referencing fees but they've agreed to give you them back.

    You are out of pocket for the fence which you didn't legally need to buy (unless they had already supplied a fence which you broke), and the cooker that again you were not forced to buy. You bought them of your own choice. So, there's no need for them to reimburse you if they don't want to. Still, you bought them on the expectation that you'd be there for a year or more, so it would have made sense to ask them to chip in for them if you don't want to take them with you, at the point when you were negotiating to leave early.

    Your basic choice is to carry on living there and ignore the landlord and neighbour complaint and do what you can to mitigate the causes of noise so that the landlord is not successful in evicting you through the courts system... just continue to use the property for the twelve months until the tenancy ends ; or to agree to leave and when doing so, negotiate with your landlord to cover as much of your costs as possible.

    Given the behaviour of the person living underneath you (assuming they're nervy/highly strung and being unreasonable and you're not actually being very noisy) you might find the best thing to do is just up sticks and leave and find a property where you get along better with the landlord and neighbours. But as moving is a hassle, the suggestion from the poster above that you mutually look for a solution to mitigate the noise problems, might be a good choice.
    • AFF8879
    • By AFF8879 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 AM
    • 255 Posts
    • 592 Thanks
    AFF8879
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 AM
    Sounds like a poorly constructed conversion if your child playing with toys is that audible!

    Chalk it up to a bad experience and next time, if you still go for a flat, look for one with carpets and concrete between floors.
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 2nd Oct 17, 9:06 AM
    • 213 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Car1980
    If your TV really isn't too loud and your children aren't screaming and playing like every other kid in the world, I wouldn't be leaving. Just depends if the dog is a nuisance or not.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 2nd Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 2,700 Posts
    • 2,653 Thanks
    cjdavies
    If you can't get the costs back from the landlord, then stay and attempt to ignore the person downstairs, you can't help everyday noise, landlords problem.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    • 41,425 Posts
    • 47,783 Thanks
    G_M
    If you can't get the costs back from the landlord, then stay and write to the landlord complaining of the neighbour downstairs banging on your floor, you can't help everyday noise, landlords problem.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Is the neighbour downstairs also a tenant? Same landlord? Or an owner-occupier?
    • hannah9000
    • By hannah9000 2nd Oct 17, 11:23 AM
    • 185 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    hannah9000
    The barn is based on a farm. There are various commercial amd residential lettings here. All owned by the same landlady. I feel like she's supporting the tenant downstairs and not considering the fact these are everyday noises.

    We've agreed mutually that I should leave, which its fine as I don't want to tiptoe around my own home. But I was hoping to recover some costs.
    *Hannah Banana*
    Declared BR 19/12/08
    ED granted 18/08/09

    Awaiting Baby B due 14th May 2012
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 2nd Oct 17, 11:50 AM
    • 5,019 Posts
    • 4,366 Thanks
    00ec25
    We've agreed mutually that I should leave, which its fine as I don't want to tiptoe around my own home.
    Originally posted by hannah9000
    so you failed to establish what was below you when you viewed. Just as well the farm does not have an early morning milking or that may also have surprised you?

    But I was hoping to recover some costs.
    Originally posted by hannah9000
    your money to spend on court costs, I think you have little chance of success, and risk becoming embroiled in a wider dispute over the remaining 10 months rent if the LL then tries to rescind the "agreed" mutual surrender
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 2nd Oct 17, 11:50 AM
    • 5,265 Posts
    • 4,907 Thanks
    eddddy
    We've agreed mutually that I should leave, which its fine as I don't want to tiptoe around my own home. But I was hoping to recover some costs.
    Originally posted by hannah9000
    So the bottom line is that you have to mutually agree with the LL what costs you can recover.

    (If the LL refuses to agree to all the costs you are asking for, all you can do is refuse to move out.)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 12:41 PM
    • 41,425 Posts
    • 47,783 Thanks
    G_M

    We've agreed mutually that I should leave, which its fine as I don't want to tiptoe around my own home. But I was hoping to recover some costs.
    Originally posted by hannah9000
    As explained, that needed/needs to be done as part of the Early Surrender (agreement to leave).

    You can't agree to leave and then start demanding extra costs. It is your choice to surrender the tenancy, so if costs are not negotiated as part of that agreement (eg the fence & cooker) on what basis could you sue?

    Have you actually

    * agreed a precise date to end the tenancy?
    * agreed the precise terms of this Early Surrender?
    * put this all in writing, and jontly signed?

    If not, there may still be scope to do so.

    Indeed - beware! Unless you had written consent to erect the fence, or unless the fence is included in the terms of the Early Surrender, the LL could charge you the cost for removing it!
    Last edited by G_M; 02-10-2017 at 12:44 PM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Oct 17, 1:05 PM
    • 460 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    Comms69
    And why not just take the cooker? It's your property
    • hannah9000
    • By hannah9000 2nd Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • 185 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    hannah9000
    so you failed to establish what was below you when you viewed. Just as well the farm does not have an early morning milking or that may also have surprised you?
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    It wasn't my fault the fact there is someone living below me happened to slip both the letting agent and the LL's minds!!!!! The farm has cows and indeed early milking, that's not a problem at all...not sure what you're getting at?!
    *Hannah Banana*
    Declared BR 19/12/08
    ED granted 18/08/09

    Awaiting Baby B due 14th May 2012
    • hannah9000
    • By hannah9000 2nd Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • 185 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    hannah9000
    Thank you for all your replies.
    *Hannah Banana*
    Declared BR 19/12/08
    ED granted 18/08/09

    Awaiting Baby B due 14th May 2012
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Oct 17, 1:38 PM
    • 460 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    Comms69
    The point is though that your neighbourly relationships aren't anything to do with the LL or the agent.


    You could rightly ignore all parties and continue to live there as you wish.
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