L's right of access for inspection or viewing?

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    #16
    Originally posted by wilfred View Post
    What would be the situation if you lived in a house with communal parts, i.e hall, stairs, landings, rear garden? Does L still require permission from T's to let himself in and walk around these parts?
    Probably not.

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
      Probably not.
      I agree, because the common parts are not demised/let.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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        #18
        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
        ...... As I said above, the tenant can only ask for damages equal to his loss and it is difficult to see what the loss is if the premises are left as they were found.


        I think that for many people the idea of having unknown visitors looking round their house while they are at work is seen as not just an invasion of privacy, but also a security risk. You may need to rely on the landlord or agent keeping accurate records of who they show round and at what times. If you come home from work knowing that someone has been looking round the house that day is it reasonable that you should then need check round the house to see if anything is missing or broken? If you do find something missing or broken and complain to the landlord / agent will they pay up or replace? Even if you are present during a viewing it’s quite possible that the person looking round is a professional burglar, if you find you are burgled the following weekend then I assume that’s tough luck because you may not be able to link back to the viewing, but what if the burglar is caught, is the landlord / agent still not responsible (I expect not)?

        I have seen posts on this forum where people who are planning to end their tenancy at the end of the six months AST have decided not to give any notice simply to avoid the situation where the landlord / agent tries to force a number of viewings on them, maybe while they are out at work.
        I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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          #19
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          I agree, because the common parts are not demised/let.
          Fair enough, most common parts such as stairs, landings, hall are probably not on a T. Agreement but if both tenants have `rear garden' on their
          T. Agreement, does that still allow L access to it whenever he likes?
          To know how rich you are, count the things you have which money can't buy.

          Comment


            #20
            If the rear garden is:
            a. all let to one or other T, they have exclusive occupation and L has no right to enter it; or
            b. all unlet but one or other T (or both of them) have access rights equivalent ot easements, L has the right to enter it as for other common parts.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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              #21
              Right of access for viewings/quiet enjoyment?

              Hello

              I wonder if you can offer me advice about my landlady/letting agents

              Our tenancy ends in just under two months and we've given notice so we can move out. Our letting agents think they can show other people to view the property when they like and are getting a key so they can let people in when they want even if we are out.

              We have asked for 24 hours notice of viewings but they said this won't always be practical. Our contract states we should have 24-hours written notice for access for repairs or inspection (not even viewings!).

              Can we insist on 24-hours written notice?

              Even when given this notice are we within our rights to say that a time is not good for us. For example can we say no to visits after 6pm, or no to visits when we are not home. I sometimes write from home - on these days can I reasonably say they can only do appointments between 4pm and 6pm to give me peace? I'm not sure I want people stomping round my home when I am relaxing in the evening, working or even while I'm out. Especially with little notice and on a regular occurrence. Can they let themselves in when we're not here?

              I don't want to stop viewings but it would be nice if I could say something like come at these times or on these afternoons so they can make appointments and we can be peaceful the rest of the time. It'd be nice for us to be able to agree. They don't seem to want to though!

              They have been pretty terrible agents/landlady throughout our two-year tenancy so I just want to be sure of my rights.

              Some background...

              The landlady's cousin has turned up unannounced before to check the make of the boiler (it wasn't an emergency just for routine). She seemed very shocked to find me working from home that day and demanded to be let in. It made me wonder how many times they've turned up when my husband and I have both been out at work and happily let themselves in!

              I do know that our landlady and her cousin visit the property regularly. We live in a small block of lats, which have postboxes for each flat by the entrance door. The landlady and her cousin have a key for this box, which they use to collect mail in their name all the time. This has always concerned us - especially because we've had mail go missing! Is this allowed?

              The letting agents tried to call us when we were on holiday last week to check if we wanted a new tenancy. They called on Monday and I missed the call. I had many voicemail messages and felt it was fair of me not to have to spend time or money checking them all and calling them back. We don't call them when they're on holiday! So, to keep them informed, I quickly sent a message explaining that we were on holiday renewing our wedding vows and that I would contact them on Friday when I had returned. They sent an email to my husband, which mentioned acknowledgment of us being away so they definitely got the message and have since admitted they did. And yet they still kept calling us! Then at 11am on Friday they called both of us. I had said I'd contact them that day, they could have given us more time I feel. Blimey. The calls woke us up as we'd got home so late the night before. We checked our messages which said please let us know if you want to renew your tenancy and I sent them an email (they wanted it in writing) telling them we would not be renewing our tenancy within half an hour of them calling us. But we soon found out they had called my mother, father and mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was very confused and concerned she thought it was an emergency (she's very old and English isn't her first language). The agent was very rude and urgent to her.

              So even though I had said I'd contacted them on Friday, they called me once, my husband once and then used our emergency numbers. It wasn't an emergency and I said I'd contact them that day. It wasn't even lunch time yet! I know 11am is office hours but if someone told me they'd contact me on a certain day I'd give them much later than that. I think they may have even called our parents after I sent the email. Perhaps they didn't check.

              By the way, we gave notice to move out before the date that the letting agent told me we had to tell him by. So why the rush I don't know! I guess they wanted it earlier.

              Is this right? Can they do this? They greatly distressed my mother-in-law, who speaks mostly Italian, as she didn't understand and thought there was some kind of emergency.

              You can see why I'm worried they'll harass us over the last two months of our tenancy, bearing in mind their past behaviour and their insistence that notice of viewings isn't practical.

              It feels so unfair. We're still paying them for this flat. It's our home.

              They have never given us the service we pay for. We reported hot water problems many times, which they've never fixed. They never took or returned our calls then (funny how there was urgency when they wanted something!!). The same goes for when we reported an unsecure entrance door and a bad mattress/bed that is giving us bad backs. None of these things were fixed and they didn't want to know. In fact the letting agent said to my husband once "You might as well give up, it's never going to get done". Unbelievable!

              We pay them a lot of money each month not vice versa! Why do they condescendingly treat us like rubbish and refuse to do their job then hassle us like they're the boss of us or something? I can't think of any other industry who could get away with being like this!

              We have always paid our rent on time and taken care of the property and been co-operative and nice to them and have never broken our contract.

              If I don't give them access when they want with no notice, can they give me a bad reference to future landlords even though we've been good tenants?

              I'm really worried and losing sleep over it. I know I shouldn't but they concern me so much.

              Thank you so much for your time and help. I really appreciate it.

              Comment


                #22
                If the tenancy agreement does not provide for the landlord to have access to show over prospective buyers or tenants then you do not need to allow access for that purpose.

                Comment


                  #23
                  and at risk of starting the whole thing off again, received wisdom is that even if it does allow for this you don't HAVE to allow access. (sorry everyone...)
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Robinson View Post

                    It feels so unfair. We're still paying them for this flat. It's our home.

                    They have never given us the service we pay for. We reported hot water problems many times, which they've never fixed. They never took or returned our calls then (funny how there was urgency when they wanted something!!). The same goes for when we reported an unsecure entrance door and a bad mattress/bed that is giving us bad backs. None of these things were fixed and they didn't want to know.
                    Your main question has been answered, so I'm just going to comment on the above. You pay rent in exchange for exclusive possession of the property, not for a 'service' per se - though the landlord is indeed responsible for making repairs. See this link for LL's statutory repairing obligations.

                    He is not, however, responsible for replacing what you perceive to be an uncomfortable bed.

                    See also this link about things you can do if the landlord refuses to carry out repairs for which he is responsible.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Sorry I was talking about the letting agent giving a service not landlord. More about them intruding on us and demanding so much of us when they gave nothing than just what you quoted. Hope you understand. They're the worst rudest most condescending useless nasty agents I've ever encountered. Words can't describe how much stress
                      one correspondence causes.

                      The bed isn't just uncomfy it's crippling. Years old. Unfit for purpose. We both are in agony not just discomfort. The matress is years old. Unsafe even. She won't replace it or take it away, that is not fair, if we throw it we lose deposit and we have no storage so we can't replace. So unfair to have a bad back and lose earnings over this. I'm freelance so don't get sick pay and would never claim benefits!

                      My father in law is a LL. He redecorates and gives new matress to every new tenant. The more LLs I meet the more I respect him!

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Ps flat is rented fully furnished. You'd expect a decent bed or at least for her to take it away so we can fit our own in!

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Thank you so much for your reply.

                          Do you know if the landlady having a key to our postbox is fair? As I said post had gone missing.

                          Also are the harassing calls our agents made to family emergency numbers with no good reason fair? When they'd had fair instruction wed contact them that day?

                          We deal with agents not LL. LL won't speak to us even though she and cousin let themselves into our property and locked postbox.

                          thank you again

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I am just a tenant like you so couldn't really advise you but I suggest looking on CAB website they have tons of fact sheets and info or call them up have a chat with some one they tend to be quite helpful most of the time I use them a lot,
                            or (depends how peeved you are) start threatening stuff like going to property ombudsman if they are a member/ trading standards/ solitcitors maybe not solitictors up to you ombudsman is your best bet I would have thought, its not like you are worried about them kicking you out as you are going anyway, it just might get them to take you seriously, I don't know if you have tried speaking to LA before about their behaviour or just let it ride for the "easy" life but I would start kicking up a fuss now.
                            Some LA are rubbish to put it mildly have just escaped a nightmare LA myself. They seem to go hand in hand bad LA bad LL. good luck hope you find the answers you need.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Robinson View Post
                              Sorry I was talking about the letting agent giving a service not landlord. More about them intruding on us and demanding so much of us when they gave nothing than just what you quoted. Hope you understand. They're the worst rudest most condescending useless nasty agents I've ever encountered. Words can't describe how much stress
                              one correspondence causes.
                              So bypass them and follow one of the options in the link to the Shelter website I provided. Either contact the environmental health officer re the lack of hot water, or follow the procedure in the link under "Tenant doing repairs" and address all the necessary letters for this to the LL. (Note that it is essential to follow the procedure to exactly, and to keep copies and proof of posting of everything you send to LL - a free certificate of posting is sufficient evidence).

                              BTW, it is the LL who pays the agent for a service. You do not have a contract with the agent. This isn't to say that it's acceptable for them to be rude or to fail to remedy reported disrepair on behalf of the LL.

                              The bed isn't just uncomfy it's crippling. Years old. Unfit for purpose. We both are in agony not just discomfort. The matress is years old. Unsafe even. She won't replace it or take it away, that is not fair, if we throw it we lose deposit and we have no storage so we can't replace.
                              Is there a fire safety label on it? If not, this is something else you could report to the EHO. If there is, I'm afraid the answer is the same, that the LL isn't legally obliged to replace it.

                              You could just buy a very cheap mattress and leave it behind when you go? (or look for an 'as new' mattresses on ebay, or even free via Freecycle). Was an inventory check-in carried out when you moved in because if not, the LL would struggle to claim any deductions; and if there is one it presumably describes the mattress as very old - in which case replacing it with a newer one isn't going to result in deposit deductions. Assuming this is an AST in England/Wales, has the LL protected your deposit?

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by Robinson View Post

                                Do you know if the landlady having a key to our postbox is fair? As I said post had gone missing.
                                I don't know; perhaps if the contract specifically mentions the postbox and key it would give you 'exclusive possession', but if not, I doubt it. Postal theft is a criminal offence, so you could always report it to the police. I think what I might do in this position would be to immediately re-address/forward any post which came for them, to deter the visits, and/or have my post re-directed to a friendly neighbour.

                                Also are the harassing calls our agents made to family emergency numbers with no good reason fair? When they'd had fair instruction wed contact them that day?
                                It is annoying behaviour and it would be reasonable to write to the agent and state that you do not wish your family to be contacted except in the case of a genuine emergency.

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