Landlord Access Rights when rental period is ending due to Section 21 ?

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    Landlord Access Rights when rental period is ending due to Section 21 ?

    I have been renting for 3 yrs and have been served Section 21 (the landlord has decided to sell the apartments instead of renting them, so I have two months to move out). That part is fine, but what I'm trying to confirm is whether I have a legal right (or implied right) to restrict access to the apartment until I vacate, or to offer only 1 day per week for agents to enter.

    I am very uncomfortable with agents having keys and allowing potential buyers in my home while I'm not there. If it was limited to 1-2 weeks, it would be manageable, but it's for 2.5 months. I can't live on a day-to-day basis feeling like I have to hide all of my valuables and ensure the place is neat and presentable for viewing. I typically work 13-17 hour days, so I barely have time to breathe, much less deal with the added burden of frequent viewings. Additionally, my limited time at home is precious and I'm mentally dead by then and typically hide at home to recuperate...so arranging time for viewings when I'm home and giving up the little bit of free time I have to strangers is also highly stressful and invasive (for me at least).

    Do I have any legal options to decline viewings until my move date (or restrict viewings to 1 day per week to avoid the ongoing hassle and stress)? Does is matter whether my lease indicates that I should provide access in the final 60 days of renting (since I'm not actually leaving, but rather being forced out)?

    My rental company has sought my approval for viewings and offered me to stay longer if I provide more access....which leads me to believe that I have the right to refuse. Thank you!!

    Best regards,
    Adelina

    #2
    You have every right to restrict viewings, you could say no to all of them, what we usually advise is to allow a window of a couple of hours once or twice a week. No more, and refuse all requests outside those windows.

    You could change the lock barrels to stop anyone entering while you are working, save the old ones to replace when you leave.

    You do realise that a S21 is not a notice to quit, it merely allows the landlord to apply for a PO to the court. That could take months.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      I back up everything jta says. The landlord has a statutory right to enter for repairs and check the condition of the place - nothing gives him the right to do sales / relet viewings UNLESS you have agreed to that in the tenancy agreement. Did you?

      If you did, let us know the exact wording of the clause.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by oscarw View Post
        My rental company has sought my approval for viewings and offered me to stay longer if I provide more access....which leads me to believe that I have the right to refuse.
        Read the 'sticky' at the top of this forum: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ion-or-viewing

        Comment


          #5
          Hi - thank you so much for your help. Below is what I signed in the original lease (though I have not re-signed any papers since the end of my lease in June).

          Other Tenant Responsibilities:
          Within the last two months of the tenancy to permit the Landlord or any person authorised by the Landlord or the Landlord’s Agent at reasonable hours in daytime to enter and view the Property with prospective tenants or purchasers, having first given the Tenant a reasonable period of notice.

          Isi t enforceable? Would they have to take me to court to enforce it, thereby making it a moot point by the time it's all said and done (I'll be moved out already). I really want to be fair about it, but want to understand my rights and theirs, so I know what baseline I'm working from as far as negotiations go. Also, I don't want to make them angry to the point that they find every excuse possible to keep my deposit. I've taken very good care of the place, but of course there's general wear and tear.

          Best regards.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you, jta and snorkerz, much appreciated. I've added the paragraph from my lease if that changes anything. Regards.

            Comment


              #7
              As the S21 does not actually end the tenancy until/unless the LL pursues eviction through the courts at the end of the notice period, you could argue that you are currently not in the "last 2 months of the tenancy" as until the court grants possession, the tenancy does not end and who knows when that will be!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by oscarw View Post
                Does is matter whether my lease indicates that I should provide access in the final 60 days of renting (since I'm not actually leaving, but rather being forced out)?
                A s.21 notice is not a notice to quit, does not end the tenancy, and does not oblige you to vacate at notice expiry. Only a court bailiff with a possession order previously obtained by the LL can actually 'force' you out.

                Note, a s.21 notice doesn't remove your obligation to give notice to quit if you wish to unilaterally end the tenancy. In other words, if you vacate at expiry of the s.21 notice, without having given notice yourself, you could theoretically be liable for rent in lieu of notice.

                Your contract gives the LL the right to conduct viewings in the last two months (not 60 days). Yes, the LL would need a court order to enforce it but he might also claim consequential damages for the breach if you were to completely refuse access.

                As LesleyAnne points out, you could argue that it's not the last two months of the tenancy, because a s.21 notice doesn't end the tenancy. However, if you don't serve notice to quit, thus establishing the end date of the tenancy (because a T's notice to quit does end the tenancy at notice expiry), then you might alternatively have to pay rent in lieu of notice.

                In short, if the LL had a mind to fully enforcing his rights, there are two potential scenarios where you could face a liability.

                The safest thing to do is to serve notice to quit (at least one month, also expiring at the end of a tenancy period), and allow very restricted access for viewings as suggested above.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all - I checked back through the papers and was also served a Section 13, which I believe is the notice to vacate in two months - I confused it with the Section 21.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A Sec 13 is a rent increase form.
                    I don't see anyway the two could be mixed up.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment

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