Want to arrange viewings 8 months into 12 month AST

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    Want to arrange viewings 8 months into 12 month AST

    Hi all. I am in a position where I have to sell my house but my tenants are only 8 months into a 12 mionth AST. I intend to sell the house after their agreement is up, but want to arrange viewings now.
    The tenants are not keen on having anyone into the property so early into the agreement, and although I understand that, the house NEEDS to be sold.
    I have a clause in the contract that states the tenants must allow viewings for potential buyers with reaonable notice. They are stating that their quiet enjoyment will be disturbed and if they were to allow viewings, they would like a rent reduction.
    I'm not prepared to reduce the rent and I've been scoring the net for advice on how to proceed to force some viewing shedules to be put in place.
    I'm sure this has been dealt with hundreds of times on here but can't find a matching case.
    Any help gratefully received!

    #2
    Originally posted by Frustratedandconfused View Post
    Hi all. I am in a position where I have to sell my house but my tenants are only 8 months into a 12 mionth AST. I intend to sell the house after their agreement is up, but want to arrange viewings now.
    The tenants are not keen on having anyone into the property so early into the agreement, and although I understand that, the house NEEDS to be sold.
    I have a clause in the contract that states the tenants must allow viewings for potential buyers with reaonable notice. They are stating that their quiet enjoyment will be disturbed and if they were to allow viewings, they would like a rent reduction.
    I'm not prepared to reduce the rent and I've been scoring the net for advice on how to proceed to force some viewing shedules to be put in place.
    I'm sure this has been dealt with hundreds of times on here but can't find a matching case.
    Any help gratefully received!
    The bottom line is that any clause requiring Ts to allow access for viewings is unenforceable without a court order. It would take you several weeks, possibly months, to secure one. And even if they were still in the property at that point, it is hardly going to be a selling point is it - grumpy, unwilling tenants staring sullenly at your prospective buyers as they tramp round? Nor is there any way you can force the Ts to tidy up/make the house look presentable.

    Please don't forget that although it is your property, it is primarily your tenants' home and their right to quiet enjoyment of it is enshrined in law. The fact that you think it 'must' be sold is your problem, not your tenants'. Asking them to allow viewing only two thirds of the way through their tenancy sounds unreasonable to me. Most contracts stipulate during the last month only - and even then, as explained above, it is not automatic that the Ts must agree.

    For this reason you are going to have to accept that they could if they wished change the locks and refuse all viewings completely, or compromise and negotiate with them about what they would find acceptable. A financial incentive would be a good starting point, but in the end, if they prefer to live undisturbed in the property until the day you obtain a court order/ they move out, that's their right.

    Remember also that if they decide to be awkward and not move out at the end of their fixed term, you may need to obtain a court order to regain possession. ,
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
      The bottom line is that any clause requiring Ts to allow access for viewings is unenforceable without a court order. It would take you several weeks, possibly months, to secure one.

      You seem to be forgetting that although it is your property, it is primarily your tenants' home and their right to quiet enjoyment of it is enshrined in law. The fact that you think it 'must' be sold is your problem, not your tenants'.

      For this reason you are going to have to accept that they could if they wished change the locks and refuse all viewings completely, or compromise and negotiate with them about what they would find acceptable. A finacila incentive would be a good starting point, but in the end, if they prefer to live undisturbed in the property until the day you obtain a court order/ they move out, that's their right.
      Thanks for this 'Mind the Gap'. So in effect my worst fears are correct. It's either the nicely nicely approach and try to work with them on whatever agreement that they think is reasonable. Or risk not being able to sell until after it is too late?
      Is this also true for the EA to go around to measure and take photos? THere is no way to give the tenants good notice and point out the clause?
      Many thanks for your advice, even if it is depressing!

      Comment


        #4
        MTG is correct and, just to add, the fact that they used the term "quiet enjoyment" suggests that they are clued up on their rights. With that in mind, I'd definitely make sure you know what you're doing before proceeding. They can refuse all access (except in an emergency) if they want and that wouldn't help you.

        Unfortunately, even if it was in the last week of their tenancy you can't force them to allow viewings without a court order.

        I'm both a LL and a T and I'd probably not be too happy about allowing viewings in my home four months before the end of the AST. If I was your T I'd be far more willing to negotiate within, say, the last two months of the AST.

        But, you can still negotiate, and appeal to their reasonable side. I probably wouldn't mind an EA doing some measuring for half an hour - but lots of viewings four months before the end of my AST would probably put me off too.

        Good luck though!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Frustratedandconfused View Post
          Thanks for this 'Mind the Gap'. So in effect my worst fears are correct. It's either the nicely nicely approach and try to work with them on whatever agreement that they think is reasonable. Or risk not being able to sell until after it is too late?
          Yes, that's about it, I'm afraid.

          Originally posted by Frustratedandconfused View Post
          Is this also true for the EA to go around to measure and take photos? THere is no way to give the tenants good notice and point out the clause?
          Many thanks for your advice, even if it is depressing!
          You can give good notice and point out the clause but to be honest if they are unwilling to co-operate you are probably better off waiting until they have moved out.

          Too late for WHAT, exactly?
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            For one reason or another, I need the house to be sold bt October at the latest.
            I have seen that a court order will cost around £100. Does anyone have an estimate of all of the other costs that would be incurred by me in this scenario? I imagine that adding up these costs and just go to them with a rent reduction of equal value for the last 3 months would be the best suited solution to us all!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Frustratedandconfused View Post
              For one reason or another, I need the house to be sold bt October at the latest.
              I have seen that a court order will cost around £100. Does anyone have an estimate of all of the other costs that would be incurred by me in this scenario? I imagine that adding up these costs and just go to them with a rent reduction of equal value for the last 3 months would be the best suited solution to us all!
              Not sure of the costs but you have to ask yourself whether even if you were in possession of a court order, the Ts would not put off any prospective buyers by telling them horror stories about the house, being rude, etc. Not saying they will, but I would advise the softly, softly option and be nice to them.

              Please remember that if they do not move out by the end of Sept you will not be able to sell the house unless the buyer is happy to buy it without vacant possession - which most buyers aren't.

              You are cutting it fine, hoping to have it all done and dusted by October.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Frustratedandconfused View Post
                For one reason or another, I need the house to be sold bt October at the latest.
                So? You can certainly try to sell it- just not with vacant possession.
                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.
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                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  So? You can certainly try to sell it- just not with vacant possession.
                  Only to someone who doesn't mind (or even wants) a tenant still in there - and realistically, if T is unwilling to co-operate with viewings, it's not going to be sold to anyone any time soon, is it? Even if purchaser were a new LL, he would still want to look round, presumably.
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Frustratedandconfused: Mind the gap has already alluded to this, but are you aware that the tenant is quite within their rights to stay in the property at the end of the AST? By the time you have your s21 and court order issued - maybe followed by waiting for bailiffs - you could sail past your deadline. Time to get a 'plan B' sorted, just in case.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Plan B

                      Ask to go round and discuss the situation with T, impress upon them that you NEED to sell on future date.

                      Discuss possibilty of them staying and signing new contract to start at end of current fixed term - (a lot of LL inc me LIKE to buy T with prop - possibly at a premium)

                      Get Video of property whilst there to show potential buyers(reduce viewings by timewasters).

                      See if they will agree to a small window once every 2 or 3 weeks on say a sunday dinner time for 1 hour (do block viewings) - then offer them £20(xx) to go and have a pub lunch, giving them an assurance that you will personally be present to conduct viewings with the estate agent + prospective buyers.(or be presenty themselves if they wish)

                      The outcome will all depend on whatever relationship you have cultivated with the T up until now - after 8 mths ( imo a fairly LONG time I personally would be very confident of getting a T to agree to this!)

                      Empathise with their feelings, but do not allow them to take advantage of the situation, be careful, as they clearly know their rights !
                      TIP. do not express that you are as desperate as you sound on here ...that £20 could get a bit too big !!!

                      Plan C

                      All prospective buyers will have to wear white all in one nuclear protection suits and head masks (as will you) and all view at the same time.
                      Knock on front door and explain that their is a suspected unexploded nuclear bomb under the house, it is an emergency and the property must be evacuated immediately whilst checks are carried out, take the viewers in to have a look, then allow the tenants back in as it seems it was all a false alarm.
                      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                      W.Churchill

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