Viewings taking place without notice – or consent

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    Viewings taking place without notice – or consent

    Hi everyone,

    Thought I would post in this thread as opposed to starting a new topic since my issue is heavily related.

    I arrived in the UK about seven months ago and since that time I've been renting a flat managed by a high street lettings agency (the landlady lives abroad). I live there together with my partner alone. A clause in our contract states that two months written notice must be given if the tenant wishes to vacate the property, which is what we provided at the end of January. Even though their standard notice is one month, an exception was made in our case requiring us to give two months notice.

    Although our intention is to leave at the end of March, the agency have been advertising the flat from the time I gave notice in January. Since that time, we've had a number of viewings which have increased dramatically in recent weeks (amounting to 4 or 5 over separate days in one week). The flat itself is a piece of crap with obvious damp issues (it's a 'lower ground floor' flat) for which they've failed to rectify and claim to be nothing more than condensation (a separate issue in itself). This, I suspect, is why they've had trouble finding a future tenant.

    Although the high frequency of viewings is a bit annoying, my problem lies with the fact that on a number of occasions (but not all), we have not received ANY forenotice. The clause in our contract states:

    During 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 minimum of 24 hours notice
    We have always permitted a viewing whenever requested more than 24 hours in advance (and there have been a lot), but there have been THREE occasions where they have shown up with prospective tenants having not given any notice. After each occasion I called the agency to ask why this has occured - after the first time they apologised because they'd 'forgot to inform us', but the latter two occasions they claimed that it's been marked on their records that I've been informed. This was, quite simply, not true. Indeed the agent that showed up today without notice seemed quite annoyed when I refused her (and the prospective tenants) entry. There's obviously some serious communication issues within their agency that have allowed this mistake to occur for the THIRD time. It appears that half the staff are unaware of when viewings are due to take place, since they all spout different things as to when the next viewings are due to take place (one says we have a viewing booked for tomorrow, other says we don't, etc.). I raised this issue to them, they apologised and said this 'wasn't acceptable' - but then had the audacity to ask if it was OK if the viewing they had arranged today would go ahead anyway!

    This concerns me a lot, because if neither of us would be at home, I'm quite certain they would enter on the assumption that we'd already been informed.

    As I'm not a UK citizen, I'm not so familiar with the laws governing property viewings prior to the end of our tenancy. As such, I'd greatly appreciate if you could answer these questions:

    1. Are the agency actually permitted to hold viewings over the two months prior to the end of our tenancy?

    2. At what point (if at all) do these numerous viewings become a violation of our right to "quiet enjoyment of the Property without interruption by the Landlord or his Agent"?

    3. Short of speaking to the manager of the agency itself (whom I've tried to contact, but received no response), is there any way I can complain or pursue this issue elsewhere to be sure that there won't be any surprise viewings when we're not at home?

    Many thanks.

    #2
    Well you could change the barrel on the lock ( and change back at end of tenancy) and resist all viewings.
    However, your contract appears to say you have agreed to viewings but they must respect you right to quiet enjoyment and agree reasonable times.
    Suggest you put in writing to agents the times you are prepared to allow viewings-say 6-7 on two evenings and and hour Saturdays for example.

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds like you've been reasonable with what you've allowed so far. If you don't want any more viewings tell them to stop and change the barrel on the lock as suggested. What's the worse they can do, give you notice to leave?

      Alternatively if you still want to help them out, and if it was me I'd offer a block of time on a particular day when they can gather all the viewers together at once and only suffer that one interruption each week.
      "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

      What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

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