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Energy efficiency work and tenant disturbance

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I had instructed a company to install external wall insulation to an older end terraced property to improve the energy efficiency and reduce heating bills, as the government currently helps with funding under the green deal home improvement fund (see RLA site as well!). I had obtained a voucher from this fund valid until end of February.
Did inform my tenants about this (one assessor came round in August 2014, though the company I chose in October) and was initially told "it would be fine". Then when the work started on 20 January, my tenants started to complain bitterly and said they could not sleep in the property as the plastic sheets on the scaffolding were too noisy at night and they (he) also needed to have a nap during daytime. Basically, they demanded to be put up in (or I felt under pressure to offer them) alternative accommodation, so I ended up having them stay in a local B&B for the duration of the works (2 weeks)!! I might have offered them a reduction in rent, but then they probably still would not have been happy.
He was threatening with legal action for `breach of contract`.

What is the situation or what could I have done? Has anybody experienced similar? Maybe I should have obtained their written consent first (is that necessary/obligatory)? Are they entitled to be moved out when work on the property is going on (which as such is not strictly essential for upkeep, as they were very happy before, but will benefit them if heating costs are reduced, whereas I still have to pay for it...).

Before the work started they had asked me to have a joiner fit battens above the bathroom and shower room windows, so that they could have net curtains put up for more privacy, which I had done.

They want me to pay for the cost of window cleaning, which I was happy to do, as there invariably would be some extra dust and debris settling on windows). I have already myself cleaned the patio and garden for them.

Now they also want a contribution towards the cost of water and electricity that was used by the workers when on site (they got this from a tap and electric sockets in the outhouse).

What is my position as the landlord?

Thanks, C
15/03/2015 08:58

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