2

So I'm having a small issue with my landlord who has changed the lock on my garage, and says that "I never rented the garage".

Wondering if anyone is able to confirm my understanding, the below clause "the property" does this give me access to all areas of the land and buildings, that exist within the boundaries (as defined by the local council) for my address.

Thank you.

Geographic: United Kingdom - England.

Contract: Private Tenancy

Clause in question: The Property situated at and being ... __ ... , together with the fixtures, fittings, furniture and effects therein and more particularly specified in the Inventory signed by the Tenant and all grounds. It shall include the right to use, in common with others, any shared rights of access, stairways, communal parts, paths and drives.

Attached images of the property to help visualise the situation. (Red outline of what I believe is mine) enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Is the garage an integral part of the property (as it might be for a house), or is it in a separate garage block (as it might be for a flat)? – Steve Melnikoff Oct 3 '18 at 12:45
  • Thanks, ill update my question when I'm back at my PC with a diagram or similar. The garage is disconnected from the house, it is free standing (not a block of garages) with a door into my back yard, and my driveway is from street to garage directly. – TolMera Oct 3 '18 at 12:49
5

The term "The Property" does not intrinsically include or exclude a garage in this situation, so the answer has to come from other considerations. The lease is unclear, so the courts will need to look at other factors (such as the picture) to decide which interpretation is correct. Insofar as the landlord wrote the contract and could have included a clause explicitly excluding the garage, but didn't, the courts may rule in your favor under the doctrine contra proferentem. The physical arrangement does support the conclusion that the garage is part of The Property, in particular the access to the part constituting your yard. This assumes that there actually is access to your yard from the garage.

Scouring the entire contract, there may be some subtle indication of how the garage is to be treated, such as a clause presupposing that you have access to the garage ("shall clean the garage..."). Then we come to the matter of the key. You say the landlord changed the key: does that mean you used to have a key that gave you access to the garage? If you used to have access to the garage, using a key provided by the landlord, that would support the conclusion that the garage was not a separate item governed by its own contract. If you have never had and were not given access to the garage (no key), that would support the contention that the garage is separate. Similar questions would be raised about the actual use of the garage: has the landlord been using it to store equipment? That would support his contention. Had you been using the garage previously and now months later the landlord wants to charge rent for the garage? That runs counter to his claim that you didn't rent the garage. In other words, since the wording does not answer the question, the full set of circumstances would have to considered.

  • Awesome thanks, that's very helpful. I'm going to leave the question open a day or two to get more answers (seems like a good idea) - curious because the situation is complex (I didn't have keys, but was promised them by the agent), would emails promising that I would be given keys count in the same way as actually having them? (probably not right :-/ ) – TolMera Oct 3 '18 at 16:52
  • Pretty close to the same thing. The agent is presumably authorized to act on behalf of the landlord in making representations about the property. – user6726 Oct 3 '18 at 16:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.