There is a standard obligation in just about all leases that a landlord lets a property with “quiet enjoyment” being granted to the tenant.
A more recent clause in leases has often allowed a landlord to erect scaffolding at the property even if it may cause some disruption to the tenant’s business.
In a recent case that went to court, Timothy Taylor Ltd v Mayfair House Corporation and another  EWHC 1075 (Ch), the lease not only allowed the landlord to erect scaffolding but also specifically allowed the landlord to carry out significant works to the building as a whole.
However, the landlord carried out those works and erected the scaffolding without any consideration for the tenant. The noise was so loud that some of the tenant’s employees went off work through ill health and the construction of the scaffolding made it appear as if the tenant’s business had closed. The landlord was deaf to any compromise or adjustment to make the burden on the tenant lighter and the tenant went to court claiming that the landlord had breached the covenant for quiet enjoyment.
The court held that the landlord was acting unreasonably even though the lease specifically allowed the works and the scaffolding. The court decided that the landlord should have given consideration to the tenant and should have carried out the works so as to minimise, so far as reasonable, the impact on the tenant. The court allowed a 20% refund of rent from the moment the works started until completion of the works.
If you are a landlord about to start major works, and would like advice as to what you can and cannot do under the terms of your lease please contact Nina Wilson.
If the damage has already occurred, or is about to occur please contact Kevin Rogers.