ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
To not make it particularly easy?(34 Posts)
Right, I’m going to give you the backstory, so for the length…
I’ve been living in a rented house for 4 years and am leaving by the end of April. My landlady lives overseas and the property is managed by letting agents. At Christmas 2012 the LL came back to the UK for a visit and wanted to have a look at the property, so, on 27 December I vacated for the morning with my two children, so that she could view with the LA, which I thought was fairly nice and flexible of me – I didn’t have to let her in at all, it was right over the holiday season and not the best time to accommodate her, but I did it. Anyway, apparently she went into my wardrobe and cupboards looking for evidence that my boyfriend lived there. She was reading all the Christmas cards saying to the LA ‘There are all these Christmas cards addressed to them both, he does live here'. She moved a bookcase to get up in the loft and was going through all the stuff there. The LA was stunned and appalled and so apologetic. I was completely furious but we agreed that as she lives overseas and only comes back every 3/4 years I would leave it for now as I had plans to move at some point and would then tell her to stick her house up her arse.
Then in June last year the female neighbour on the unattached side screamed and swore at my (then) 6 & 7 year old children for NO reason, completely out of the blue. She didn’t realise I was there and I called her out on it. We didn’t speak again (mainly because we never see each other, I wouldn’t have ignored) until just before Christmas last year when I had a most unpleasant exchange with her one evening. I went out to move my car into my space as (it transpires) her mother in law had parked there. I put a note on the car (pleasant enough I thought) saying 'Please note this space is for no 6'. When I went to move the car her husband was getting stuff from theirs and apologised, which was fine and I accepted his apology. The wife then appeared in the doorway and started to throw abuse at me. She swore at me a number of times, telling me to f*ck off and abused with me several personal insults, saying I was a weirdo and telling me I look like Catherine Tate and then Brian May (WTVF – I have red curly hair, so ummm, yes). My children were upstairs in their rooms and clearly heard her. Not nice. It’s odd because she’s not a fishwife, appears respectable etc etc. Either she had had a drink or I have unintentionally done something (what, I don’t know) to completely piss her off.
She said she was going to phone the LL as she is one of her good friends, to tell her about me and that my boyfriend lived there with me. I told her to do what she liked and that we could prove that he has his own place in our town. I said that regardless of him visiting and staying with me, it was none of her business and that he is not here all of the time anyway. She herself knows that he does not live here as she came round a few weekends before on some pretence when my ex-husband was staying with the children. Her husband actually seemed very embarrassed by her behaviour and kept telling her to stop and to be quiet, eventually bustling her inside the house. I at no point raised my voice or swore at her, the complete opposite to her behaviour. As a result of this, my boyfriend and I decided that we would move in together. I made the LA aware of what had happened and our plans. They actually said that the LL was so unpleasant they would sacking her as a client if she wanted to relet once I’d gone. The LA also have had prior dealings with the cowbag next door too, so were very sympathetic.
Anyway, my 12 month tenancy was up at the end of February and the LA rang to say a) the woman next door had recently got in touch with the LL and had lied about what had happened. Her story was so different and because of that and the time lapse, that they wanted to check if we’d had another altercation since the last one but no, we hadn’t (I have seen her since this time and have ignored her). She has completed fabricated everything and said that she will ring the police if I shout at her again…delusional and b) did I want to renew for another 12 months. I said no, I would be gone by end of April and would be formally handing my notice in, in due course. I then get a Section 21 (? Is that right, can’t remember) from the LL saying to vacate by end April – fine, I was going to anyway. Then the LA rang to say the LL had asked them to issue this as she wants to sell when I go….fine, couldn’t care less, I just want out.
Right, so here is the AIBU part – the LL wants 3 estate agents to come and value the house before marketing it with one of them. I will have to be present for any visits; I work full time and have two primary aged children. Bearing in mind the LL’s behaviour when she visited and the way she has sided with next door, who has made my life hell, AIBU by not dropping everything to let 3rd parties into my home (I still live there after all)? I am aware that I am entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property but would try to be flexible in usual circumstances. What would you advise I feed back to the LL (via the LA) with regards to why I am not rolling over and letting her tickle my tummy?
Thanks for reading and again, sorry for the length but wanted to give the background!
I would just say it isn't convenient. I'm sure the LA will fill her in on why! You don't have to give a reason, it is your home which you pay for, and if the LL wanted you to go out of your way to facilitate her selling her property, she could perhaps not have gone through your personal possessions while you were out!
"I work full time, therefore will not be in a position to accommodate this."
Not a chance! The only, only way I would even entertain the idea would be so that I could say very vocally to the valuing agents that next door are neighbours from hell, who make unhinged threats and scream and shout for no reason. The agent would then have a legal obligation to tell any potential viewers who ask them about the neighbours.
But I think on balance, it would be better to reply that the viewing times aren't convenient and leave it at that.
Check your lease. It may have a clause in it stipulating that you have to allow this kind of access at the end of a tenancy.
Under the circumstances of the last inspection I think it would be reasonable to say that you want any visits to the house to be accompanied - and if necessary stipulate a time you could do it (even if that is on a weekend) so that you're complying with the lease but still not 'giving in' as such.
Thanks everyone, I will go with the 'not convenient' thing, you're right.
Kittens - I'm sure the lease could have this clause but it's legally unenforceable as a tenant is entitled to 'quiet enjoyment' of their home and therefore the clause is void.
spare - hmmm, that sounds appealing; part of me wants to make it as inconvenient as possible for the LL as she's behaved so poorly. I think I'll be filling in any estate agents and people viewing that there have been serious issues with next door then.
Did you not make an official complaint about the abuse from next door ?
Pity if you didnt, as your LL would have to declare that when selling
I'm a landlord and live overseas. Your LL's behaviour has been appalling! I have done visits to check on the state of my property (my old home) and just had a check round to see nothing needed replacing/repairing that the agent hadn't mentioned. I also made sure I had the agent with me and gave my tenants the correct notice of the visit - but that's just standard.
I suspect you will have something written into the contract about allowing viewings but check it out. Can't the LL agent be there to show estate agents round? That's what I'd do if I wanted to sell. I wouldn't expect a tenant to facilitate contact. And as for the neighbour - sounds unhinged! But unless anything is legally recorded, your LL can't use her allegations against you (and even then, it would be difficult).
Wibbly - that clause you're referring to is unenforceable, see my above comments. How could the LL use the NDN's lies against me, even if they were 'legally recorded'? She couldn't do anything - giving me notice is the only thing she could do. I imagine the LA will be there to show 3rd parties around - but not without my being there too they wont. I was a lot more relaxed before, but since they basically stood by and let the LL root through my stuff there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that I will let anyone in MY home and one I am paying for, without me being present.
Oldraver - I took legal advice after the recent abuse. They were going to write to her with a 'cease and desist' letter (re the abuse and telling lies) but they actually advised me that seeing as I was moving anyway to save myself £250 (plus VAT!). He (solicitor) said he didn't normally turn work away but in these circumstances it would be a waste of money.
Hi again Amarena - I don't know without seeing the contract. Absolutely agree on the quiet enjoyment front but it could be argued (not saying this is right, by the way) that a couple of visits from agents when a LL wants to sell isn't unreasonable.
My point re your neighbour was that even if what she has said was true (which it quite clearly isn't), it would be very hard for your LL - or any LL -to use that against a tenant. Yes, they could end the contract but it couldn't be used as a reason for eviction in the same way that eg having a pet could be. Moot point anyway really as you've already been served notice.
In your position I would be loath to help your LL too given all the hassle you've had. Hope it works out for you.
OP, if the lease has a clause requiring you to allow reasonable access for people to view the property at the end of the tenancy it's perfectly enforceable and does not conflict with the quiet enjoyment covenant.
But in any event surely the LA could deal with estate agents' visits without you needing to be present?
In your position, I wouldn't allow any estate agents in to value, and I certainly wouldn't allow any potential buyers to view. I'd even (temporarily) change the locks, changing them back at the end of April when you move out. She can sell once you've gone.
Nennypops, as the op knows, a clause in a lease cannot supercede the law of the land. And the law is that she doesn't have to let anyone in, not even the ll with whatever notice. (She does have to let the fire brigade in if the place is on fire, though, and I think the gas people if there's a leak...)
I wouldn't do anything to make things easier for your ll, I would do the whatever you have to legally and not a single thing more
Yanbu. The LA will show people around WITH YOUR PRIOR PERMISSION. You don't have to be there for anything.
Nennypops - there is Not. A. Chance. that I am going to let the LA or anyone else conduct viewings while I am not present. These are the same LA's that stood by and watched as my LL went through my wardrobe and cupboards and moved my furniture to get in the loft and root through more of my possessions! Not a sodding chance!
YANBU. Can't believe the LL searched your personal belongings, so out of order. I think I would allow access for viewings while I was at work but insist the estate agents handled it so it didn't affect me. However, there is an opportunity to put buyers off by being present at viewings and explaining that the neighbour is a bit loopy!
Thanks everyone - I am going to insist that I am present at all viewings/valuations precisely because of the looper LL going through my stuff previously. The LA totally understand my reasons for this and if the house isn't marketed with that particular agency, I will tell the EA that is marketing it my reasons for wanting to be present. Under no circumstances will I let anything take place without my being there, and, as I work full time and have two children, any viewings will be limited to when I am available and when it's convenient to me.
It's helped getting my thoughts down in order.
Wrt the neighbours, I will ensure to make any prospective buyers aware of how nasty the witch next door is too! Win-Win AFAIC!
No - YANBU. No showing around by the Letting Agent. (And I'd tell them why.) No showing round by you during the week (you are working) - maybe a slot at weekends when convenient.
I had a rotten landlord once - when we moved out we were really helpful showing round prospective new tenants - we showed them the broken vent in the kitchen that meant the house was freezing, the condensation on the broken double glazing that we had to mop up every day, the kettle we used to heat the water every time the hot water broke and we had to wait over a month for them to fix it (3 times in a 7 month tenancy), the abandonned burnt out car outside. I'm a helpful sort like that......
Haha, thanks Mumof - I'll be sure to be as helpful as you were to any prospective buyers!
No need to be reasonable at all with the viewings. If LL wants to enforce viewings she'll need a court order - haha good luck with that!
I'd make sure that for any viewings you do allow, you're present and you mention how crazy the neighbours are and they're the reason you're moving........if you'd like to thoroughly inconvenience your LL that is ;)
Would it be actionable to warn the prospective EAs off dealing with LL as a client?
LL and neighbour sound absolutely awful. In your shoes I would certainly not be putting myself out at all.
Your LL going through your personal possessions is so invasive. I wonder whether the NDN had stirred things with her friend the LL so that she was certain your DP was living there?
I think it depend exactly what she is saying. For example when we were asked "how high are your fuel bills?" we would answer "a bit higher than average due to the
sodding hole in the wall broken air vent".
We didn't saying "the landlord is shit, we hate the house."
In the same way Op could say "just to let you know that due to an incident where the landlord looked through all my private possessions including moving furniture to climb into the loft and a Letting Agent just stood and watched I will not be allowing any viewings unless supervised by me".
"Oh and when do I have to tell prospective buyers about all the awful problems with next door - I have a feeling that we are not allowed to keep that secret are we?"
It's then up to the EA what they do about it.
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