Jacob (yak_boy) wrote,

The Rights of Tenants

I need some advice on our rights as tenants.

Basically, the situation is that the landlord wants to do some repairs to the property.
They want to replace all of the windows in all of the flats.
This is going to be a significant building job that will mean having builders working in our home for two to three days, causing significant disruption to our lives and property (we have already been warned to have everything covered in old sheets, which the builder told us we will need to buy from an op-shop) as everything will get covered in saw-dust.
The builder also said that he will be starting this noisy, dusty work each day from 7:30am.

Basically, the "tenants rights and responsibilities" handbook only has info on what happens if the landlord doesn't perform repairs that we have asked for, and this is the opposite problem: the landlord wants to perform repairs that we didn't ask for.
They could possibly be considered "urgent" repairs under the definition that the security of the flat may be at risk, but I think that would be drawing a long bow since the only windows that don't lock altogether are ones that adjoin a two-storey drop and besides it would be our property mostly at risk.

The builder himself recommended that we vacate the flat whilst these repairs were taking place, and I feel that it is unfair that they can render our home unliveable whilst they perform repairs that we don't deem necessary.

Can we say no to these repairs, or ask them to wait until we vacate in February?
If not, can we refuse the builders entry until a reasonable hour (i.e. stop them entering before 9am)?
Can we ask for remuneration for the old sheets the builder has told us to purchase?
Can we ask for remuneration for temporary accommodation whilst these building works are ongoing, as the builder himself recommended we vacate for the period?

Is there an advice line that we should call to answer these questions?
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