L's right of access for inspection or viewing?

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    #31
    Landlord wanting access for viewings.......

    Hi, i'm new here. Been browsing the forum for a while so thought it was time to register

    We have just given 2 months notice to our landlord that we want to move out.

    Literally a couple of days later we were being bombarded with voicemails from estate agents saying that they have arranged viewings at a certain time without even checking if it's ok with us first! and that if we don't respond to the voicemails that they leave they will simply let themselves in with the key that the landlord has given them to use (the landlord didn't even inform us that they had given someone a set of keys to the property!)

    My o.h is on night shift for 3 weeks and therefore sleeps in the day, which is not ideal when there are people wanting to let themselve in to view the house!

    We raised these concerns with the landlord and simply got a reply stating that:
    a) it's not their fault that he has to sleep
    b) they have every right to enter the house as long as they give us notice that they are going to do so 24hrs in advance either by voicemail or other means.
    c) They have every right to access with 24 hours notice at all reasonable hours of the day 7 days a week in the last 2 months of the tenancy as in our tenancy agreement it states.......... '3.28 during the last 2 months of the tenancy to permit the landlord or their agent on reasonable notice to enter the property with prospective purchasers or tenants at all reasonable hours of the day to view the property'

    We have explained our situation about being on night shift etc and have suggested alternative dates and times for viewings. The landlord's reply was that it is unacceptable and if we continue to deny access at all reasonable hours of the day they will look to recover any losses incured due to us denying them access and take legal action!!

    My questions are:
    1) Does our right to have 'quiet enjoyment' of the property whilst we are still paying rent override the clause about allowing access at all reasonable times of the day?
    2) What is considered 'reasonable times'? as to us reasonable times on a night shift would be when my o.h is not asleep in bed!
    3) How will they be able to calculate any 'losses incured'?
    4) Are we within our rights to deny access completely as the 'viewings' are nothing to do with repairs or to inspect the state of the property by the landlord?
    5) Will any of this affect getting our deposit back at the end of our tenancy?

    Sorry for the long read, just thought it'd make it easier to put as much detail in as possible! lol

    Many Thanks in advance

    Comment


      #32
      Originally posted by kristel10589 View Post
      My questions are:
      1) Does our right to have 'quiet enjoyment' of the property whilst we are still paying rent override the clause about allowing access at all reasonable times of the day?
      2) What is considered 'reasonable times'? as to us reasonable times on a night shift would be when my o.h is not asleep in bed!
      Here's a quote from one of our legally qualified members, lawcruncher, on this issue. It's not wholly black and white.

      "There is no rule of law that says that a landlord may not exercise any right of entry he reserves. A tenant must of course not be harassed. Apart from that he has a right to quiet enjoyment, but that right needs to be read as if it were qualified by any right reserved that allows the landlord to enter, so long as he behaves reasonably. It is not easy to say what is reasonable. Since the exercise of the right is not dependent upon a court saying it can be exercised there must be circumstances, apart from a case of genuine emergency, where it is not unreasonable for a landlord to enter without consent and even where consent is refused, but it is a brave landlord who thinks he knows what the circumstances are."

      In your situation, it is perfectly reasonable to request that viewings do not take place when your husband has to sleep (and, for example, a viewing every hour while he was trying to sleep would be a breach of quiet enjoyment); the agent is being unreasonable in refusing to accommodate such a reasonable request. There needs to be a degree of compromise on both sides - you've already done this by offering alternative viewing days/times.

      3) How will they be able to calculate any 'losses incured'?
      So long as you are reasonable, and allow access for, say, at least a couple of two hour viewing slots per week, I doubt they could claim any losses whatsoever.

      4) Are we within our rights to deny access completely as the 'viewings' are nothing to do with repairs or to inspect the state of the property by the landlord?
      Not exactly, given clause 3.28 of the tenancy agreement, but you'll note the use of the word reasonable in it. You have much less to lose by refusing access than the agent has by insisting on access against your wishes. Be firm and do not let the agent bully you into viewings which are either inconvenient or excessive. You would be within your rights to change the lock (provided you keep and reinstate the original lock before you leave); some locks can be cheaply and easily changed just by replacing the barrel which would cause no damage to the door or doorframe. Note that you do not need the agent's or LL's permission to do this.

      5) Will any of this affect getting our deposit back at the end of our tenancy?
      If the LL tries to claim any unreasonable deductions, raise a dispute with the deposit scheme (if the deposit is protected). Alternatively, you can issue a county court claim, which would be allocated to the small claims track and is easy to DIY.

      Comment


        #33
        Thanks ever so much for your help, it's much appreciated! With regards to the locks, it states in our tenancy agreement that we aren't allowed to change the locks, is this a standard thing that to put in tenancy agreements? and is there any way round this?

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by kristel10589 View Post
          Thanks ever so much for your help, it's much appreciated! With regards to the locks, it states in our tenancy agreement that we aren't allowed to change the locks, is this a standard thing that to put in tenancy agreements? and is there any way round this?
          Change the lock mechanism, keep the existing one, and swap back over before you leave. The only way they will find out is if they attempt unauthorised entry.
          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

          Comment


            #35
            We had this a few years ago.
            LL ended up letting himself in after I'd forbidden him to do so (I knew he would - by then it was personal) and found himself confronted with dirty laundry on the floor, my husband in bed with all the lights off/curtains drawn, and me in the shower screaming bloody murder and ready to call the police.
            After that he became reasonable and arranged viewing for the times we had set out (hardly ungenerous, either - we said every evening between 7 and 8 and Sat mornings would be fine! But he was too greedy) ...

            Comment


              #36
              Landlord Access to Property

              Can landlords, who have let their property through an Agent, gain access to the rented property using a key and tidying up the house whilst they are there - without consent from the tenant.

              We are wanting to sell the property and took estate agents round yesterday without the tenants knowledge and had pictures taken. We had to move their stuff and unfortunately we threw away some tomato and pepper plants whilst tidying up the garden and pruning and chopping down bushes which were the tenants.

              We were planning on going round there on Thursday to take the estate agents round to do a HIP but we haven't told the tenants.

              They have threatened us with harrassment as we move their personal belongings around in the house just so we could take photos. Are we being unfair? What rights do the tenants have? We have not served a Section 21 notice as yet.

              Comment


                #37
                Do you have an AST in place? if 'yes' then read on.

                Originally posted by jbuckingham View Post
                Can landlords, who have let their property through an Agent, gain access to the rented property using a key and tidying up the house whilst they are there - without consent from the tenant.
                As far as I know, No

                Originally posted by jbuckingham View Post
                We are wanting to sell the property and took estate agents round yesterday without the tenants knowledge and had pictures taken. We had to move their stuff and unfortunately we threw away some tomato and pepper plants whilst tidying up the garden and pruning and chopping down bushes which were the tenants.
                The very least you should do is replace the missing property
                By pruning the tenant' bushes you have damaged their personal property.

                Originally posted by jbuckingham View Post
                We were planning on going round there on Thursday to take the estate agents round to do a HIP but we haven't told the tenants.
                You have to give reasonable notice. The tenant is entiled to peaceful use of the property with out you wandering at anytime day or night without warning

                Originally posted by jbuckingham View Post
                They have threatened us with harrassment as we move their personal belongings around in the house just so we could take photos. Are we being unfair? What rights do the tenants have? We have not served a Section 21 notice as yet.
                yes you are being unfair.

                It's landlords like you that get the rest of us a bad name..

                Comment


                  #38
                  Landlord Access to Property

                  Thank you moanygit. We are actually the tenants but didn't think anyone would reply to this message if they knew who we are.

                  Now that you have said that the landlords are being unfair can we do them for harrassment? Does anyone know the law for tenants.

                  Surely they have to give us a Section 21 Notice before they can invite estate agents round to view and promote the property?

                  Have we got the right to finish our agreement and move out considering they are in breach of their agreement with us.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    the thought did cross my mind.... seemed a little too honest.

                    If you have an AST in place, your privacy is protected.

                    There are Legal bods on here who can advise you better with regard to your harrassment concerns.

                    For now though I would make clear, with reference to you AST, to the Letting agent that any further access to your accomodation must be through prior arrangement with you at an agreed time.

                    Keepa detailed list of the plants removed, and any damages caused.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Landlord Access to Property

                      Thanks for the advice moanygit. Yes we have an AST in place. The Landlords have only started to get funny now that they want to sell. We guess they will issue a Section 21 Notice on 3 April (which is legally when they can) giving us two months notice. I think they just want to sell now and are annoyed that they can't so are coming in sorting stuff out as if they live there. We can't legally change the locks so they can come and go as they please!

                      I will try and get legal advice from bods on here. thanks again.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Well even if they give you a S21 they can't come in without your agreement,
                        Yes you can change the locks as long as you put the old ones back when you move out.
                        It be more "breach of quite enjoyment" that they are breaking, more than haressment.
                        To get it to stop, the easiest way is to write to the landlord and contact the local council housing officer, who will tell then to stop, and if they don't, which would be stupid on their part, but you then also have some proof that you disagree with them coming in.

                        Getting lawyers involved at this time will cost money, so it then comes down to your motive, whether you just want it to stop or you are trying to get some finanical gain from it.
                        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                        Comment


                          #42
                          You can legally change the locks to keep the agent/landlord out - so long as you cause no damage by doing so and replace the original lock (the landlords property) when you leave.

                          Please remember that if you are served a s21 notice, that is 2 months warning that...

                          If you don't go by the date shown the landlord will commence court proceedings to regain possession of the property. You do not legally have to leave at the expiry of a s21, you can legally wait until the landlord obtains a court order. HOWEVER, if the landlord has to go to court to emove you, you may be liable for the cost of doing so - a minimum of £150. The court process is likely to take around another 2 months.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Landlord Access to Property

                            Thank you for your replies. We are not after any financial gain - we just want to be sure that people are not wandering around our home whilst we are not there. I have a daughter who is around on her own after school and I don't want some stranger letting themselves in! We feel like our home has been violated! Thank you - we will change the lock and replace when we leave.

                            We are happy to move once they serve the S21. Actually we would rather go now so we don't have to put up with them doing what they like. Can we actually leave early without giving notice because of what they are doing? Perhaps that is what they want so they don't have to wait two months?

                            Comment


                              #44
                              If you are still within a fixed term, you have to pay rent upto the end of the fixed term unless the LL agrees to a surrender.

                              If not then you can give at least one month notice, ending on your rent date.(Check your contract).

                              The easiest procedure

                              1) Change locks and write a letter to the LL/LA, stating times when and how they can come in.( Shows you are being reasonable).
                              If that doesn't stop them.
                              2) Write letter to Local Council Housing officer.
                              If that doesn't stop them.
                              3) The Council will take action or get a lawyer envolved.
                              Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                              Comment


                                #45
                                From your earlier post, I am guessing you are still in the fixed-term of your tenancy agreement. You can leave whenever you want but will remaain liable for the rent until the end of the fixed term.
                                1. You can leave on the last day of the tenancy agreement without giving any notice
                                2. To leave on any day after that, you need to give one months notice, ending on the last day of a tenancy period (ie, if the original AST ended on the 3rd June, your notice must end on the 3rd of the month)
                                3. You can leave whenever you agree with your landlord. If they want you out, and you want to go, you can agree an early surrender - but make sure you get it in writing that no further rent will be due once you leave.

                                Comment

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