What is ‘right to quiet enjoyment’?
The right to quiet enjoyment is implied, if not explicitly stated within each tenancy agreement or lease. It means that the tenant or leaseholder has a right to the undisturbed use and peaceful occupation and enjoyment of their home. Therefore, the landlord or freeholder cannot simply enter into a property without giving either ‘reasonable’ notice or the amount specified in the tenancy agreement or lease that they intend to attend the property.
The right to quiet enjoyment does not, however, mean that the tenant has the right to a quiet property, just that they have a right to a property undisturbed by their landlord or others. Any noise complaints would fall under noise nuisance and or at its extreme harassment.
The right to quiet enjoyment is breached when the landlord or freeholder:
- Visits the property without any invitation or notice
- Sending agents or workmen without any notice
- Physically impeding the property
- Harassing, either physically or verbally
The landlords’ rights under quiet enjoyment
For landlords who have urgent repairs to carry out or safety checks that need to be made, these are allowed under the current law. However, we have also noticed an increase in landlords, or their contractors being refused entrance to the property by the leaseholder or tenants. This is despite the requisite notice having been provided. Often, failure to attend for these reasons would amount to a breach of the tenancy or lease and the tenants/leaseholder could bring a claim for breach. It appears that the landlord/freeholder is in a Catch-22 situation.
What is ‘Noise Nuisance’?
As touched upon above, another issue which has been magnified by the lockdown is noise nuisance being reported by people who are now finding themselves at home, when previously they would have been out of the property most of the day. Whether or not this is an increase in noise, or an increase in people experiencing the noise nuisance remains to be seen. Whatever the reason, it is still your right as the tenant/leaseholder to live in a household and to enjoy it peacefully, that is uninterrupted by any noisy neighbours.
How can Hanne & Co help?
Our initial advice is to see if you can speak with the people making the noise. It may be that they are not aware that they can be heard by anyone outside their immediate vicinity. If this is unsuccessful or exacerbates the noise, keep a noise diary and if you feel threatened report the matter to the police. If this still does not resolve matters, then it is best to consult the services of a solicitor, who can advise on your options on how best to attempt to resolve your dispute.
At Hanne & Co, our Litigation Department is experienced in advising tenants, leaseholders, and freeholders with regard to all types of property disputes. Should you require assistance with any of the matters discussed above, or other property disputes, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.
Image Credit © [Halfpoint] / Adobe Stock