Can I claim rent reduction due to excessive building noise and landlord’s misrepresentation?

I started renting a ‘studio apartment’ (i.e. a bedsit) in January this year in a three-storey 1930s block – residents are a mix of renters and leaseholders. I am considering asking for rent reduction due to two main issues:

  1. Upon moving in I noticed that there is no way to turn off the radiator, as it is controlled centrally, making for an overly hot room. The landlord and their letting agents did not inform me of this (I would not have agreed to rent it if they had). They said that that ‘may’ install a thermostat before the winter comes and they turn it back on. I was willing to chalk that up to ‘live and learn’, until…

  2. The landlord is now engaged in an extensive external repair programme on the roof, meaning that the entire block will be covered in scaffolding for at least three months - this is preventative rather than urgent as far as I know. The builders are here from 8-4 every day and the noise from drilling, shouting, hammering etc. is incessant… they’ve been here 3 weeks already and now the landlord informed us that they’ll be there another months at least. I work from home and it’s borderline unbearable (my nearest company office is 50 miles away, and as it’s all confidential legal stuff I work on I’m technically not supposed to work in a coffee shop or library). Moreover, the way they have laid out the scaffolding means that I can only open my windows about 1/10 of their full capacity, this in the hottest period of the year. There is also the loss of privacy as the builders are constantly walking past my window (flat is one room, open-plan), plus the loss of natural light due to the scaffolding planks. Though letters/emails were sent warning of the works, I was not informed of the works before I signed the lease and again would not have moved in had I known.

Given the above, I do not see why I should pay the full rent for the months the works are taking place, given as they are violation of the ‘quit enjoyment’ clause and ability to use the flat as intended upon signing the lease. That said, the landlord will likely push back saying the works are essential (covered in the lease) – I understand there have been recent cases found in favour of the lessee, but that these were extreme cases (e.g. noise so deafening noise plugs were needed).

As for misrepresentation, I’m not sure about the law on that. The landlord could say I should have known that an older block would have centrally controlled heating (news to me) and that building works could take place at any time. I was happy staying here for a year whilst I save for a deposit but really I feel I’m been completely shafted (£650 a month to live in a tiny bedsit which is a construction site in the summer and a sauna in the winter).

Any advice here would be helpful - assuming the landlord refuses to discuss compensation, is the legal route worth it? Even if successful any compensation gained would likely be cancelled out by legal fees.

A Renter

I would be rightly peeved myself if I was not made aware of the circumstances in advance, although works should be expected at any time.

The heating situation seems ridiculous, (assuming water fed rad, cover it in towels to block heat). Are there any valves either side of it?

Personally I would formally write to LL outlining grievances and request compensation.

The legal route would be tiring and expensive and as always comes with a high amount of risk. I doubt you would be awarded anything as where is the breach?. I would argue that even preventative works are essential.

Once the problem goes away you will most likely just forget about it very quickly.

Thought about hot desking in the mean time?

Thanks… I could possibly find one of those virtual office places though I’m not sure if they charge. The there’d be extra expense for food, coffee etc. Anyway why should I be forced out of my flat?

You can’t change the circumstance, only adapt to it.
I would either bear it or find an office to hot desk.
I would seek compensation but to be honest you are peeing into the wind.

Your only hope is that the LL is generous.

Of course office will charge, it’s not a virtual office, it’s a real one you need. Some allow rental by the day.

Some serviced offices are around £250 a month with 30 day terms .

Doesn’t the radiator have valves either side?

OK the radiator is a bit of a pain but, the other is called maintenance and thats what good landlords do.
Who are you going to claim off for any noisy road work outside your flat.
Think I would give this a miss and thank your lucky stars you have a good landlord.


Let me guess, you’re a landlord or a property owner?

A ‘good landlord’ would inform tenants that for 1/3 of the tenancy the property will be a sauna, and 1/3 a construction site.
Maybe, just maybe - hear me out - he didn’t tell me so that he get me signed up under false pretenses and thus start maximizing the yield from his property investment?

here they are


If you get a small adjustable spanner on the right one (the square bit at top) and turn clockwise a few times it will stop the flow and thus stop it heating. Reverse procedure to get it back on. Don’t over tighten.

Landlord should fit thermostatic radiator valve on this for you.

these valves look a bit rough and are not complete in order to regulate