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NSW Rent Compensation Due to Development at Apartment?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Mike Larsson, 4 September 2016.

  1. Mike Larsson

    Mike Larsson Member

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    I'm currently renting an apartment on a 12-month lease, and there are some major developments being done to the building. The main issue is that the balcony, which takes up around 15% of the apartment area, has been demolished. The balcony was one of the main reasons we signed the lease, and all the balcony furniture (and large bbq) must be stored indoors while the renovations are being carried out which takes up even more of the living space.

    I've contacted the landlord and asked for a rent reduction due to this. His reply was however that he's "not in a financial position to reduce this amount any further", and argues that a reduction in rent has already been done when we signed the lease. We were never informed about the major development being carried out, and nothing in the contract or communication with the agent mentions anything about reduced rent nor construction work.

    Do I have any legal rights to compensation /reduced rent for not having access to the full apartment? The balcony was demolished 4 weeks ago, and the renovations have not started yet so it will be a while until it's ready...
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    If you contracted to lease a certain area which included a balcony but you are deprived of or prevented from using that whole area that you agreed to lease, then its prima facie breach of contract. You are not receiving what you contracted for. Do you deal with an agent or owner directly?
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Victoria. You have the option of moving out without paying a breach fee. The landlord is the one in breach if there is no provision in your lease for building works.

    Your options are:
    1. Do nothing
    2. Move out, give reasonable notice, say 30 days, Do not pay break fees/re-advertising fees etc
    3. Negotiate reduced rent while building works are in progress.
     
  4. Mike Larsson

    Mike Larsson Member

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    Thank you for your replies,

    It is an agent I'm dealing with. I just wanted to clarify that the works are being done to the whole building, not just my apartment, in case it wasn't clear in my initial message. The renovations are therefore not carried out on the landlord's request (if this makes any difference). I'm still prevented from using the balcony and have to store everything indoors which leaves me even less living space.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Makes no difference. Your lease is with the landlord to provide a liveable place with all services/space. If he can't meet his obligations, regardless of reason, you are not bound by the lease.
     

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