How to handle basement excavation in a neighbouring property?

It’s a tricky situation as you tend to end up with disgruntled tenants. They could be the best tenants you’ve ever had, and the two of you get along perfectly. Then, when the diggers arrive, everything changes. Nobody wants to live next door to construction works. Basement excavations take a long time and are incredibly noisy.

Consequently, if you don’t play your cards right, you end up in a tough situation where your tenant no longer wants to rent your property due to the persistent construction work right next to them.

Technically, they’re not allowed to leave even if they’re super annoyed by the basement dig. If there’s nothing wrong with your property, then it all comes down to the terms of your agreement. However, this leads to a disgruntled tenant who feels forced to stay in a property that they’re no longer happy with.

This begs the question; what is the best course of action?

Now, you could let your tenant leave through a tenant replacement agreement. This means you can replace them with someone else, but it’s not as easy as that. It can be hard to find someone who’s willing to move in when there’s a basement dig going on next door.

Secondly, you could sit down with your tenant and talk to them about the situation. Thanks to the Considerate Builder Scheme, basement digs can only occur during the permitted building hours – 8:00 to 18:00 on weekdays, and 08:30 to 13:00 on Saturdays. If your tenant knows this, then it might ease their distress. For people who work full-time, it means the building works shouldn’t affect them too badly.

Obviously, if your tenant is home during the working hours, then it’s still a considerable problem. Now, you can try and talk to your neighbour and ask them to help recover any losses you suffer as the result of a tenant leaving due to their building works. They probably won’t, but it’s worth trying.

One idea is to negotiate a new contract with a tenant whose time is running up. Agree on a long-term deal with them, but offer a cut-price on rent during the basement digging process. This way, you don’t end up with an empty property – which is far harder to fill when construction work happens next door.

The worst thing to do is attempt to block the neighbour’s construction. This will just lead to a poor relationship with someone you’ll see a lot. Plus, if you ever choose to have work done, you can bet they’ll retaliate!

In conclusion, you have a few main options. Let the tenant leave and deal with a significant financial loss, keep them there but offer a reduced price on rent during the basement digging process, or find a tenant replacement agreement. Ideally, your tenants will just stay and handle the situation if they know when the construction will happen during the day.

For more details on this topic, click here to read the full article from Mews News magazine.