To think our landlords are out of line...(32 Posts)
A bit long, I apologise for the rant.
This week we got a call from the landlords asking if they could pop in to look at the new shower that had been installed in the house we rent from them. (we have been there less than two months, but the fitted shower broke and was leaking downstairs, so it had to be replaced) We were going to be out that day, so we were a bit dubious of them coming in without us home, but they assured us that they wanted to quickly pop in just to look at the shower and make sure it was done nicely. We agreed, but informed them that we were still in the process of unpacking some things and a few of the rooms were a bit of a mess. (There is very little storage here, so we are in the process of gradually obtaining furniture to meet our storage needs, which we told them.) They assured us that it was no problem, and that they simply wanted to look at the shower.
That day we were rushing around all morning to get ready to go. We have a six month old (teething) baby, and a four year old. The four year old was playing with her toys part of the morning while I got myself and the baby fed and ready. Admittedly, I did not tidy up the playroom before we left, and she left some toys out down in the living room. The house was however, tidy, cleaned, and hoovered. The only mess was the clutter in the rooms that we were still sorting out, where the doors were left shut. (I was sorting through mountains of baby clothes in my daughter's room as well) The shower room was in the hallway, so there would have been no need to enter the bedrooms.
Imagine our shock to receive a nasty letter from the landlords the next day informing us of their findings during their thorough 'inspection' of the property. They were horrified that we had clothes in piles and on the floor. They told us that if we did not get these rooms sorted immediately, they would not renew our lease. (They did so in a manner that very rudely insulted our level of intelligence) They also said that obviously I am overtired and MUST be suffering from post natal depression and should get to the GP right away. They know others with children (they have none themselves) who cope with moving and there is no excuse to not have the house in order. And how we should be teaching our daughter to put away her toys because 'it is not rocket science' and how else will she learn. We could not possibly clean properly with plastic toys covering the floor. Everything should be packed away at all times. The letter was extremely rude and condescending. And they called the letting agent to inform them that we were filthy, dirty people who had trashed the property.
We have done no damage to the property, have not even hung anything on the walls, and keep it clean. They did not tell us it was an inspection (said multiple times, and put in writing, that they only wanted to look at the shower). They went into our bedrooms and office and snooped through our personal belongings. They sent us a rude letter personally attacking us and threatening us over not being unpacked and having piles of clothes on the floor. I feel deceived, violated, and furious!
The LLs sound like a pair of lunatics with too much time on their hands.
They do have the right to inspect the property but they have to give you proper notice in writing and if they have a letting agent, it would normally happen through the agency.
I rent out a property and the rule is you never contact the tenant directly. All communication goes through the agency.
It is a giant pain in the bum to move but I think you should just get out now and move to another one of the letting agent's properties. A shitty situation for you though especially with 2 young children.
I would speak to shelter and see what they suggest. It could be classed as harassment.
And as for the poster claiming op is shit stirring, shame on you!
People like this really annoy me. You hand over a large sum of money to
pay their mortgage enjoy your home and, provided you don't leave refuse lying around or knock lumps out of the place, you should be allowed to do so in peace. I've always insisted on being present at inspections because I'm responsible for damage to the property. A decent LL/EA will understand that.
I know its a hassle and more expense but I'd leave asap. The LL will probably have to pay more fees so watch your deposit.
Yes, I suspect the letting agents are offering to help out in order to keep you happy so you don't cause trouble..
You have an unhinged landlord (yes, they can do inspections, with notice, but the property is actually yours for the duration of the tenancy, not theirs, and they have no right to tell you how tidy the rooms should be!)
A quick reminder of our guidelines about troll hunting.
Even though the estate agents have offered to move you asap, remember that you have signed a contract to let the property from the Landlords and the terms of that will still apply. Read your contract to see under what circumstances you can give notice. I assume that it has 6 months tenancy agreement, check when you can give notice and get something lined up to move into.
Is your deposit under the assurance scheme, (I cannot remember the name)? Did you take photos when you moved in? If not, take some now, keep a record of everything that happens. When you move out, clean it top to bottom and take photos.
I wouldn't respond directly to the letter, ask the agency to do that and request that all further requests / contact is conducted via the estate agents. Don't engage with them and cover your ass.
I would perhaps get a solicitor to write a very strongly worded letter back as they have broken several parts of the AST, namely they have to give you 24 hours written notice to do an inspection and they have to let you know they are doing an actual inspection.
Also, you are not paying them to be patronised and treated like children, you are paying for the use of their property. They sound like they think they have the right to tell you how to live simply because they are your landlords. You are entitled to "quiet enjoyment of your property" and they are not allowing you to do this. You could contact the housing charity Shelter who would be able to advise you on the ins and outs of your full rights as a tenant.
Incidentally if you do get evicted (I am sure you will not), report them to HMRC (anonymously) to ensure they are paying the correct amount of tax on their rental earnings. Also, make sure you deposit is protected by one of the escrow deposit agencies that they are by law obliged to protect it with.
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