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Monday, May 23, 2011

Tips on Tenancy Deposit Dispute 43: Quiet Enjoyment

Tip 43: Quiet Enjoyment
I include this because it is regularly raised by tenants as part of their defence in deposit protection disputes.
The right to quiet enjoyment is a covenant implied into every residential tenancy agreement. It does not mean that the tenant has a right to peace and quiet, as I have heard some tenants argue.
Quiet enjoyment, in this context, means that the tenant can regard the property as their home, and the landlord is not permitted to bother the tenant unnecessarily. In particular, the landlord is required to give at least 24 hours written notice if they need to enter the property, for example to carry out some repair work or for an interim inspection.
There are exceptions, for example where emergency repairs are necessary for safety reasons, when the landlord may re-enter without notice, but other unauthorised entry is likely to infringe the tenant’s rights and may be viewed as something akin to harassment, even if you think it is justified. A good rule of thumb is never to turn up unannounced. Walking in on a student tenant in the shower never looks good in front of a judge.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes. 

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