Landlord selling up - what are my rights?

(53 Posts)
Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 20:47:01

I've posted on chat and been advised I may get more responses here.

4 months into my 6 month tenancy, we've been given a section 21 notice as the landlord is selling.

Someone is coming to measure up, do a floor plan and take photos. Do I have to:

A.) Allow viewings?
B.) Allow photos with my personal belongings in the property? They have photos of it empty that they used to market it as a rental.

I've Googled both q's, but the answers are in consistent so I'd be grateful to know where I stand.

Thanks

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 20:48:46

You don't have to allow access for anything if you don't want, you are entitled to quiet enjoyment. However, would it maybe be easier to start searching for a new property now and negotiate with your landlord to leave the tenancy sooner rather than later? Or perhaps negotiate a lower rent in return for allowing viewings etc.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 24-Aug-16 20:50:42

You do need to allow access!!

Why be so difficult about it? Your lease was 6 months and he's prepping now to get it on the market in time for your departure

Also you'd be much better reading your actual tenancy agreement than asking here

Missgraeme Wed 24-Aug-16 20:51:14

Ask your ll for a glowing ref for any potential future ll.
Ask for reduced rent until u move so u can afford bond /deposit on new place.

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 20:53:39

Legally you don't need to allow access. Not saying it will make for good relations, but they don't have any right to access unless in the case of an emergency. You are entitled to quiet enjoyment and anyone who enters with your permission is technically breaking the law.

Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 20:56:09

Quite we were promised this was a long term lease and there was talk of signing a new 12 month lease, now all of a sudden he's selling. I've got various health problems and a difficult baby to look after, so I don't want strangers trapsing through my home all the time. The landlord/letting agents haven't fixed anything that they promised they would (leaking kitchen tap, broken window pane just to name two) so I don't want to do them a favour which would be putting myself out as why should I? They've been horrible to me during this tenancy. I don't think anyone would want strangers in their home, having tidy up every time etc...especially when it's of no benefit to themselves. If this had all been handled better I would be more co operative, but I'm sinking into depression here and worried we're going to be homeless.

wowfudge Wed 24-Aug-16 20:56:59

QuiteLikely you are wrong. And lots of tenancy agreements contain clauses which simply don't stand up because they are contrary to the law.

Before the agents start walking all over I'd look at negotiating what suits you or you can play hard ball, but that could be stressful and hard work.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 24-Aug-16 20:59:41

There are legally binding tenancies that do abide with the law and they do have clauses in regarding the above!

A clause is not illegal and contracts are legally binding things are they not?

Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 21:00:08

Thanks for the helpful answers. We don't have any way of contacting the LL - it's all done via the agents who don't seem to want to negotiate at all unfortunately. I've asked if the bond could be transfered to another property on their books but that doesn't seem an option either.

We used all our savings to move here (relocation and various other costs involved), so we aren't in a financial position to pay more agency fees, another bond up front etc. I'm looking at private lets and have a meeting with the council on Friday to talk through options. Just after a bit of a, what felt like, bullying phone call today, I just want to know where I stand if I choose not to allow viewings. I obviously need to think over my options carefully before deciding which way to jump.

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 21:03:25

You could maybe go for a reduced rent and say you will allow block viewings only at times to suit you? Maybe an hour every couple of weeks?

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 21:05:26

The bond can't be transferred OP as it will be in one of the deposit schemes, it has to be released to tenant and paid back in and they won't usually release it until after your final inspection, obviously too late if you are needing to sign for a new property. Personally I would ask for rent free/reduced rent and try and find somewhere else

wowfudge Wed 24-Aug-16 21:05:33

It's a principle of a tenancy agreement for the exclusive occupation of the property that the tenant has quiet enjoyment rights. The landlord has no right to enter or get his agent to enter without the tenant's permission for any reason other than to deal with an emergency. The OP is perfectly within her rights to refuse access for photos, viewings, etc. A perfect example of a clause that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Just because it's in the tenancy agreement doesn't mean it's legal.

wowfudge Wed 24-Aug-16 21:07:48

You are entitled under s1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act to the contact details for the landlord. Ask for them.

specialsubject Wed 24-Aug-16 21:08:31

unbelievably this is a bit grey in UK law, but the quiet enjoyment thing is a definite. You certainly don't have to tidy up/show round/be nice, or allow your belongings in photos. If they've got recent photos, they can use those.

you ARE entitled to landlord contact details, demand them. You also hold other cards because the property cannot be sold (except to another landlord) until you have left. The section 21 does not end the tenancy.

the ll may have a change of circumstances forcing a sale, not that it matters. But (and this is what annoys me and no doubt you) if he got in touch, treated you with courtesy, asked you if you would allow viewings, when would be convenient, etc etc that would not have cost anything! (and fixed the place too of course)

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 21:09:29

^^ what wow said. Also make sure you ask for LLs details in writing. They are not legally allowed to refuse such a request

Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 21:16:44

I've just read the tenancy agreement and it says I have to allow viewings in the last 2 months of the tenancy with 24 hours notice sad

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 21:18:33

Honestly you don't, that's not an enforceable clause

AbyssinianBanana Wed 24-Aug-16 21:19:23

I'm not a lawyer but I think what people are trying to say is that you can put anything you want into a contract and once signed, it's supposedly a binding document. However, that contract cannot supersede common law in this country. So your contract may state you must cook your landlord a full English breakfast once every six months when he does a property inspection, but there is no way he could take you to court and try to actually enforce that, should you refuse.

In the same way, you sign a contract that says you will allow viewings, but should you then refuse... Your landlord can do fuck all. He could try to bring a small claims court against you for braking your tenancy agreement, but he would have to prove the losses you've caused (impossible if sales viewings really). Not worth his/her expense. The landlord can't call the police if you won't let him/her in, but you can if they try to enter without permission.

Dizzywizz Wed 24-Aug-16 21:20:54

Rentingwoes you still do not have to though, legally you are allowed quiet enjoyment (letting agent here). And your landlord name and address should be on your tenancy agreement (although many agents do not follow this).

Twiceover Wed 24-Aug-16 21:21:14

A lot of tenancy agreements contain a clause requiring you to allow viewings in the last two months of a tenancy so might be worth checking your AST to see if it does.

Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 21:21:53

Special yes, this is what upsets me the most. We were told in email by the letting agents. No common decency at all. The letting accompanying our section 21 notice even starts with "we hope you are enjoying your tenancy" - what a kick in the teeth!!

I'm just rather annoyed today as when I phoned to discuss the email we received, I was passed to the sales team to agree a time for them to measure up etc. I was in shock so agreed to whatever they said. I've phoned to re arrange it as we've got various appointments now due to all this and they got quite arsey with me about it. There's just no understanding at all. It's the way there gone about it all.

My anxiety really can't take people coming in and out for 2 months, whilst I'm trying to get on with every day life and packing too, not even knowing where the hell we are going to.

If they had been decent about this I'd be more co operative but right now I feel so upset. Of course it's the LL's right to sell, I get that. I just feel screwed over as thought we had a home here for a few years.

Unicornsarelovely Wed 24-Aug-16 21:23:01

IT isn't an enforceable clause in a lease get her it is there or not though. The tenant is entitled to the quiet enjoyment of the property. This means no one is allowed access without the tenants permission without z court order.

Rentingwoes Wed 24-Aug-16 21:23:56

Ok, thanks for explaining it. I think I understand - they can put anything in the agreement, but it can't over ride common law? And common law is that I don't have to allow viewings as I have the right to quiet enjoyment?

The name is ok the agreement but the address is the letting agents address.

daisygirlmac Wed 24-Aug-16 21:27:11

If you don't want them in at all OP it might be best to send an email saying you want to cancel the appointment and on reflection you have decided you do not wish to allow access for any viewings or other appointments. Avoids any confrontational phone calls and also gives you a written record.

Bragadocia Wed 24-Aug-16 21:29:43

The law has more weight than any tenancy agreement.

Consider, for example, you signed a contract enslaving yourself, to compensate for unpaid debts. That would be unlawful, and the fact that you signed a contract to that effect is meaningless.

It's the same with tenancy agreements, it really is. You absolutely do not have to allow viewings, regardless of what it says in the TA. The landlord can do what he wants with the property at the end of your lease. Right now, it's your home.

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