Right of access for viewings/quiet enjoyment?

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    Right of access for viewings/quiet enjoyment?


    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.

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