Rights as a tenant? LL/Agency allow themselves access

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    Rights as a tenant? LL/Agency allow themselves access

    We have been in our flat for two years, and are ending our tenancy in 12 months. On the whole, the agency has been okay at coming to the property for repairs/inspections (emails 24 hours in advance), but when it comes to viewings they're absolutely terrible.

    When we viewed the flat two years ago, they did not seek permission from the tenant, and another flat we were shown the tenant was getting dressed, and clearly had no idea we were coming! We have talked to neighbours who have had multiple viewings and property agents show up at their door completely unannounced, and last year we had the same (we did not let them in).

    When we're in it's not so much a problem, but when we're out the property agents would just let themselves in (which I know is illegal!) We're also not allowed to change our locks, so there's that issue.

    They know they're supposed to give us 24 hours for viewings, but they just don't seem to care. We have very expensive bikes and cycling equipment, along with laptops and personal possessions in the flat, and the thought of strangers walking around our flat without us there and without our permission is horrible. It's also as we now know, against the law!

    Furthermore, the staff turnover at the agents is so high, that whoever we email about this will be gone in a few months, and the issue will continue. We've been through at least 4 property agents in the past 2 years who have suddenly stopped working there.

    How do we let them know that we are aware of our rights and that they should respect us as tenants? Thanks!

    #2
    What makes you think you can't change the locks, or one lock?

    Easy and cheap to do for a nightlatch. Just replace the lock when you leave.

    Why are there any viewings? There is no [legal] requirement for a Tenant to give Notice that they intend to leave before or upon expiry of the lease. If you want no viewings, you are in an AST - NOT an SPT or CPT - and you are going to leave upon expiry of the lease then just let the Agent know two days before you leave and return the keys. I would take photos of the condition of the empty property bwfore you leave.
    There is always scope for misinterpretation.

    If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

    Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

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      #3
      Thanks for replying!

      They wrote into our tenancy agreement: "not to fit any lock in the Property and in particular not to fit any lock to any of the bedroom doors or change any lock in the Property or have additional keys made for any locks without prior consent". Otherwise, we would do it straight away.

      They have viewings because they assume that if we don't renew our tenancy for another year, then they can just show people around to find new tenants. We have to tell them by December if we're renewing, which means months of possible viewings!

      Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, we feel a little stuck and mistreated by our LL/property agents!

      Comment


        #4
        Don't be bullied by the agent.

        Regarding the locks. If you change the locks, they can only find out by trying to let themselves in without your knowing (and they're not allowed to do that). So any complaint about the locks shoots them in the foot.
        Locks are quite easy to change (after the first time's learning), so you could easily switch them back and forth, leaving the agent with a bit of an issue.

        Worst possible case, they'd have to either to sue you for breach of contract or try and serve notice based on that breach. Neither of those things are likely to be successful.

        If you have a 12 month fixed term until next year, the agent can't make you tell them your intentions in December (that's ludicrous), or you can simply lie to them and them "change your mind".

        If they want to charge you for your decision, I'd tell them you're planning to wait in case the fees they're planning to charge are made illegal.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Whole heartedly agree with the above.

          That clause is unenforceable and they can only demonstrate your breach by admitting a breach on their part.

          You are under no legal obligation to inform the Landlord or their Agents whether you are staying after the expiry of the lease or leaving prior to the expiry of the lease. You're also under no legal obligation to sign a new lease. Agents make money of you and the landlord when signing a new contract but there is no legal requirement to do so. A 'Statutory Periodic Tenancy' arises by law automatically if you stay in occupation past the expiy of the lease. You still need to pay rent! The tenancy agreement may also include for a 'Contractural Periodic Tenancy' to arise instead of an SPT. Eitherway, there's no need to 'resign'.

          Morally, it is decent to let someone know but if you know they are not going to act decently in response - ie unannounced viewings - then I wouldn't bother.

          I'd quote the last paragraph of JPK's post above. If they persist, then say to them 'I just want to check a couple of things on Landlordzone'. If they have half a brain (doubtful) then they'll leave you alone.

          The majority of Letting Agents know squat about 'Letting Law', in the same way the majority of Estate Agents know squat about construction. They are all second hand car salesmen who's only interest is to make money.
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mk1fan View Post

            That clause is unenforceable
            Not quite.

            I can think of two instances when it might be enforceable:
            1. Tenant agrees to the agent/LL visiting and forgets to put the original locks back.
            2. Tenant vacates without putting original lock back or giving LL/agent keys for the new lock.
            Case 1: S8 ground;
            Case 2: deposit claim.

            Comment

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