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to refuse viewings on our house?

(82 Posts)
BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:20:19

It's rented. Our insurance company pays the rent and it seems that the work that needs to be done will be more extensive than first thought. We all thought we would need the house for 8 months. The rent was advertised at £2600 a month, but because we only wanted a let of less than a year the landlady said we could have it for £2800. And she wants £56 a month for a gardener fortnightly who has yet to show up, but that's another issue.) So she's getting £2856.

So, we took the house in November, for 8 months through Letting Agent M. And then realised it's ALSO up for sale with Estate Agent H. So we said that before we signed the contract we wanted the tenancy agreement altering so that we are willing to show buyers round for the last 2 months of the tenancy (standard) but only on a Monday (not standard but that's what works for us.) Landlady agreed, but dithered a bit before she signed the tenancy, despite taking a huge deposit. The letting agency said privately that she does their head in.

And then on Sunday a woman turned up having seen the house advertised via estate agent H, and wanted to view. No appointment, nothing, so my mum, who was here whilst we were out, feeding the dogs, said no, go through the agent. Then the same woman came back at 7pm and tried to get my husband to let her view - very pushy, "don't worry if you haven't tidied up" etc. He declined. She said she would be putting in a "cheeky offer" anyway.

Our insurer has indicated that we won't be back in our house until mid October earliest and suggested we extend the tenancy until the end of Nov. Fine. We are ok with this and today I contacted the letting agent to let them know and ask if they would speak to the LL and draw up the paperwork. I also mentioned the woman trying to view and they took a dim view of it and said they were trying to get the LL to sign up till November and that be that. I've called a few times to try and find out what's happening and one of the other office staff let slip (I think) that the LL is disappointed that we wont allow more viewings, every day rather than Mondays. I said that's what we agreed to in the tenancy agreement, and we needed to know whether she was going to sell (*in which case we would give her notice and find something else*) or carry on renting to us! She can't have it all ways surely??

In our Tenancy Agreement it says we only have to allow viewers in the last 2 months of the tenancy but then there's a codicil saying "only on a monday"so I don't know if that means ANY Monday or just the last two months' Mondays.

Anyway, I think she should decide if she's selling, or take it off the ,arket until September. Shit, or get off the pot, as they say! AIBU?

(of you are still with me, well done. Here's a virtual Prosecco.)

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 05-Feb-14 22:23:50

Usually, you can refuse viewings if you choose to do so, but she could push you out.

I don't get why you agreed to viewings in the first place when they were a pain for you, TBH.

BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:31:50

Because we thought we would be there for 8 months only, so (as I saw it) viewings on a Monday wouldn't be a big deal. As it's turned out we need the house for longer. We will still be paying the higher rent if we stay, but if we aren't able to stay and she pushes us out, I'd like to know about it now so we can look and book somewhere else.

BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:32:16

<hands prosecco>

Bragadocia Wed 05-Feb-14 22:35:59

You can't be expected to have viewings for the remaining five months of your original tenancy agreement. The codicil does not appear to mean 'Mondays at any time in the tenancy', it means 'Mondays in the last two months of the tenancy'. The LL may be reluctant to extend to end of November though, if she's thinking of selling, which would be a pain for you.

You certainly can't be expected to let strangers, unaccompanied by estate agents, without an appointment, into your home - but isn't this aspect of the situation due to this prospective viewer behaving inappropriately, as the EA didn't actually send her?

LL needs to decide what she wants to do: sell or let. If she wants to get a shitload of rent, she needs to treat her tenants with a bit of respect, and leave them to enjoy their home in peace! If she wants to sell, she should issue notice and accept the possibility of an empty property while it sells. She can't have everything.

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Feb-14 22:36:35

So really all the landlord has done is express to the agent that it's disappointing that she can only let the property she's trying to sell on one inconvenient day each week?

Seems a perfectly reasonable opinion for a vendor to hold to me. The agent should stop shit stirring and start being professional.

The fact that some random turned up on your doorstep isn't the LLs fault. That happens to sellers that are owner occupiers as well!

She probably does want to sell it, she's just not going to be able to and still abide with the conditions.

I'm struggling to work out what the problem is.

bellasuewow Wed 05-Feb-14 22:37:16

Sounds to me as if you are totally covered bob as all in writing and you are paying to quietly possess and enjoy the property. If she wants unlimited viewings then she needs to wait until property is empty.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 05-Feb-14 22:39:36

Well, I think you were very considerate to agree previously and they shouldn't expect you to give them even more leeway.

I think sometimes they think because they put viewings in the contract, it's normal for tenants to agree to have open house for two months, and it really isn't. It is something you are allowed to refuse.

They do sound pretty pushy, though.

greenfolder Wed 05-Feb-14 22:40:34

Look into other options. It can be hard finding family size accomodation so that might limit your choices. Agree about cake and eating it! Either she wants the substantial rent or she wants to sell. Why are you paying her for a gardener in winter? We had neighbours with huge gardener and they had to provide a gardener just to get someone to rent it!

Viviennemary Wed 05-Feb-14 22:41:32

I think it was perfectly fair of you to refuse the viewing from the woman who didn't come through the estate agent. From what I understood from your post you have asked for an extension of your tenancy which the owner probably doesn't even have to grant but on the other hand if you leave she will have to find new tenants.

Can't you come to some sort of compromise re viewings if staying in the house longer would suit you.

BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:44:42

Exactly Bragadocia.

WoowooOwl If she sells we have to move out in June and find somewhere else until November, and I don't want to do that. We are already paying over the odds, we're not arguing about the rent and if she wants to sell she should decide that NOW so we can look for somewhere else and potentially give her notice early or sign the contract till November and tell her other agent that there will be no viewings until September.

She wants it all ways.

BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:49:23

I think the owner is trying to see if this woman makes an offer and if she does we are out in June. I don't want to be in this position which is why I'm dragging my heels about a viewing, and I want her to decide BEFORE the potential buyer views, whether she's going to sell or not.

Now that I've looked at our TA more closely and there's the bit about only taking viewings in the last two months, I know I can highlight this, but I don't want to piss her off! I really want to stay till November!

BobFlemming Wed 05-Feb-14 22:51:55

If she decided that she wanted to sell for sure we could look for something else and terminate early, as I understand it with 1 month's notice so long as we had served 6 months. So that would mean giving notice in March, assuming we found somewhere.

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Feb-14 23:01:46

I must be missing something here.

You said We are ok with this and today I contacted the letting agent to let them know and ask if they would speak to the LL and draw up the paperwork.

And then

I've called a few times to try and find out what's happening and one of the other office staff let slip (I think) that the LL is disappointed that we wont allow more viewings, every day rather than Mondays.

Which reads to me like you have an agreement on the house until June. You called the EA today to let them know that you're interested in extending the agreement. When they haven't been able to give you an immediate answer on whether that's possible, you have phoned and bugged them so many times they have got the the point of needing to say something to you, so they have told you that one of the things the ll has to think about when making the decision to sell or extend your agreement is that she's going to have a hard time selling when she can only allow viewings on Mondays.

You're saying the LL wants it all ways, but from what I can gather she was expecting her property to be vacant from June anyway. The fact that you have just found out that you want the property for longer doesn't mean the ll has to jump to immediate attention the day you ask for an extension and make a decision on whether she wants to sell later rather than sooner or not.

BobFlemming Thu 06-Feb-14 08:45:53

Apologies woowoo but yes, you are missing something, and also adding a huge amount of conjecture too.

The bit you're missing is yes, the landlady SHOULD decide whether she wants to sell or not, so that we can make plans appropriately. What she shouldn't do is try and do both - keep us at an inflated rent, AND expect us to take viewings.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 06-Feb-14 09:18:47

Mmm Prosecco.

Your LL and the agents have crossed wires. LL is keen to get rid of the property but happy to take a big deposit then try and flog it with a separate agent. She is back pedalling hoping you will meekly cave in.

I wouldn't want randoms traipsing round my home, rented doesn't mean "walk on in and invade our living space".

Don't pay for a gardener you're not getting!

A Monday a week in the last two months of your agreement sounds all right. If she is willing to drop the price back to what the rental originally was, perhaps you might see your way to be willing to let viewers come over on a Saturday?

Mineisthefinalword Thu 06-Feb-14 09:23:50

Can't you take control of the situation and decide for yourselves that you WILL move out in June? I understand that this is not ideal, but better than being in limbo surely? And then LL cand do as she sees fit without it impacting on you.

And in fairness to WooWooOwl s/he understood your post in exactly the same way that I did, so maybe not so much conjecture by him/her, more ambiguity by you.

Mineisthefinalword Thu 06-Feb-14 09:28:35

And I really don't see why she should decide NOW (your capitals). I can see that it suits your purposes that she does and fair enuffski, but, in the nicest possible way, that's not her problem. As I said, you must act in your best interests and if you want certainty, hand in notice now.

TeamEdward Thu 06-Feb-14 09:31:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mineisthefinalword Thu 06-Feb-14 09:32:24

Couldn't possibly disagree with you on that Edward

Fleta Thu 06-Feb-14 09:36:49

The thing is you want her to decide now, but you've changed the goalposts about how long you want the property for?

I don't think you're unreasonable at all about not wanting viewings for a protracted period, but given the last two months of the tenancy seems to be moving further away....

You need the house for a few more months, she wants viewings. Why not stick to the agreement and allow viewings on the Mondays. It would be far more inconvenient if she serves notice and you have to find somewhere else.

The person turning up of the street is a bit of a red herring as that was nothing to do with the LL.

BobFlemming Thu 06-Feb-14 09:51:50

I've just been trawling letting agents looking for something suitable and there's hardly anything. Obviously that could change but it'd leave us with only a couple of months to find anything at all. This will sound like a drip feed but the last house we rented was sold from under us too so this would be the second move (or third if you count the one when we moved from our own house) and it's incredibly unsettling. To me it seems simple: she either wants to sell it - in which case be straight about not extending the tenancy - or she wants the rent, so then take it off the market.
I don't think she's the sharpest tool in the shed - she kept saying to the letting agent that it wasn't on the market to sell , and they pointed out that the estate agent in the next street had it in their window! Why she didn't think they'd find out is beyond me.

BobFlemming Thu 06-Feb-14 09:52:44

In a way the person turning up isn't quite a red herring, because it forced us all to consider our position definitively.

Mineisthefinalword Thu 06-Feb-14 10:04:45

To me it seems simple: she either wants to sell it - in which case be straight about not extending the tenancy - or she wants the rent, so then take it off the market

No it's not that simple...there is no reason on earth why she shouldn't keep her options open (including the reason that it inconveniences you, alas!). As someone else has said, you have changed the timeframe (albeit out of your hands) not her. Of course it is a pain to have people traipsing round at all times and YANBU to limit this and in this context the lady at the door IS a red herring. I don't think you would be unreasonable to try to get the rent reduced if your tenancy is extended, but equally swnbu to refuse as it still seems it would be under a year, and tbh it's not her who is attempting to extend it piecmeal.

None of this should be taken that I do not sympathise with your sitch, it is a pain and no mistake, but I really don't see that she is at fault her (no show or gardener yes, that's a pisstake, but apart from that....)

Mineisthefinalword Thu 06-Feb-14 10:05:55


Give me strength!

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