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What is the right to quiet enjoyment?

by | Dec 6, 2022

If you’re a tenant in the UK, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your property. But what does that mean, and how can you make sure you’re getting it?

In this article, we’ll explain the concept of quiet enjoyment and offer some tips on how to ensure that you and your landlord are both upholding your responsibilities. So read on, and learn how to protect your right to a peaceful and happy home.

A tenant enjoying their quiet in a property

What is the right to quiet enjoyment?

Quiet enjoyment is a legal concept that is important for tenants in the UK. It essentially means that tenants have the right to live in their rental property without interference from their landlord or anyone else.

This means that the landlord cannot enter the property without the tenant’s permission, and they cannot make any changes to the property that would interfere with the tenant’s ability to use it as they see fit.

The right to quiet enjoyment is not just a nice idea, it is a legal right that is protected by the law. If a landlord breaches a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, the tenant may be able to take legal action against them by taking the landlord to court and explaining that they are in breach of the tenancy agreement. 

This could include seeking compensation for any damage or inconvenience caused by the landlord’s actions.

In order to ensure that you are getting quiet enjoyment of your rental property, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that you understand your rights as a tenant. You can find information about your rights on the website of the UK government, or you can speak to a solicitor who specialises in landlord-tenant law.

Next, make sure that you communicate clearly with your landlord. If you have any concerns about your right to quiet enjoyment, make sure to bring them up with your landlord right away. This can help to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that your landlord is aware of your concerns.

What happens if a landlord doesn’t respect a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment

If a landlord fails to respect a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, the tenant may have legal grounds to take action against the landlord as it shows they have failed to comply with basic tenant management rules. The specific actions available to the tenant will depend on the laws and regulations in the area where the property is located. 

In general, however, a tenant who has experienced a violation of their right to quiet enjoyment may be able to file a complaint with their local authority and potentially escalate the matter with the landlord in court. 

In addition, if the tenant is able to prove their right to a quiet environment has been violated, the landlord may lose their rights to evict a tenant for a no fault eviction for six months. This means a tenant doesn’t have to worry about being evicted following a tenant reporting the landlord for not following their tenancy agreement.

In the same way, a landlord may lose their right in the same way if they fail to keep a property safe such as not providing a gas safety certificate or an electrical safety certificate on time when the tenant needs it.

A landlord checking they have provided quiet enjoyment while they did a safety check

What is meant by the term “noise nuisance”?

The term “noise nuisance” refers to any excessive or unreasonable noise that disturbs or interferes with someone’s ability to enjoy their property. This could include loud music, barking dogs, construction noise, or any other type of noise that is disruptive or intrusive. 

Sometimes, noise nuisance may not be the fault of a landlord but there are some things a landlord can do to make sure noise nuisance never becomes an issue so they aren’t completely irresponsible for it.

Noise nuisance is a common problem in terraced houses, where close proximity to neighbours and other sources of noise can make it difficult to enjoy a peaceful and quiet environment. In some cases, a tenant will be able to use noise nuisance as a reason for them not being able to have “quiet enjoyment”. In order for this to happen a tenant should first complain to their landlord.

If the landlord will not or cannot do anything about it then they should speak to their local authority who may be able to enforce further rules around the tenant’s wellbeing when in the property.

How can landlords respect a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment

In order to respect a tenant’s rights, one of the first things a tenant should do is make sure there is a landlord inspection notice given to tenants whenever a landlord needs to enter a property. 

Because the landlord still owns the home that the tenant lives in, it is likely that the landlord will have to enter the property at some point in order to conduct maintenance in the property and make sure everything is safe. Especially when it comes to things like making sure there is planned preventative maintenance (PPM) in the property as and when needed to keep tenants safe.

Other reasons for the tenant not being able to feel like they are quietly enjoying their home is if there was a tenant in the property where there are multiple tenants that become a nuisance. For example, if there is a tenant who is living in a HMO and they consistently cause anti-social behaviour, the landlord may want to speak to the tenant about their behaviour.

To prevent this from happening in the first place, a landlord can conduct more thorough tenant referencing and perhaps make sure they have a landlord reference for all tenants who enter a home they are sharing with other tenants. This will give the landlord a better idea about their behaviours as a tenant and improve the chances the tenants will all be able to get along with each other and have quiet enjoyment.

The final thing a landlord can do in this situation to make sure tenants have quiet enjoyment is to issue a section 8 to tenants who aren’t being kind to other tenants. Things like playing loud music after 9 pm, constant arguing and loud noise coming from the property and perhaps the tenant not taking care of the shared space of a property are all reasons for eviction.

A tenant like this would have broken their tenancy agreement and be subject to being kicked out from their property under the grounds in section 8. If you are unsure on how to evict a tenant, check out our article on the notice a landlord must give a tenant to evict them in the UK.

      A loud tenant that is going to be evicted for not respecting other tenant’s quiet enjoyment

      How to get the balance right

      The right for quiet enjoyment in a home is the landlord’s responsibility. However, a tenant cannot unreasonably complain about anything that is slightly annoying in a property too. Any noise nuisance complaints and any restrictions on the right to quiet enjoyment have to be reasonable and there has to be a strong case for a tenant’s rights being violated in order for anything to happen.

      In order to get the balance right, one of the first things landlords and tenants can do is make sure there is effective communication. This can be done well by using a good property management software. Reporting any issues before they become serious can be a great way to make sure the issue is resolved quickly and there never is the need for a legal matter.

      You can also make sure tenants have the right training on what to do about intimidating neighbours if they encounter one on their property if they share with other dwellers.

      Ultimately, most landlords will want to make sure their tenants are having a good time on their property and the tolerance for quiet enjoyment in a home should also be reasonable by tenants when they know the landlord has their best interest at heart and they are able to get help if there is a serious issue in the property.

      What actions would violate the right to quiet enjoyment?

      The right to a quiet home can be neglected for a variety of reasons so in order to make sure you know if your tenancy agreement is being respected or not. You may make a formal complaint to your landlord if they:

      • Enter your home without permission
      • Fail to perform necessary safety checks or repairs
      • Interfere with utilities such as electricity, gas or water supply
      • Ia abusive, threatening or excessively persistent about any issue 
      • Visits the property often without notice, agreement or appointment

      To conclude

      In conclusion, quiet enjoyment is an important concept for tenants in the UK. It ensures that tenants have the right to live in their rental property without interference from their landlord or anyone else.

      By understanding your rights and communicating clearly with your landlord, you can help to protect your right to quiet enjoyment and enjoy a peaceful and happy home.

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      Donnell Bailey

      Property expert

      Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.