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To refuse the landlord to do viewings?

(110 Posts)

I am moving home soon. The majority of my belongings has been moved into storage until I take up my tenancy next month. I surrendered my tenancy during a 6 month AST. It was only after this that I found out I never had to sign a new 6 month tenancy. Now i have to pay my private LL 'fees' not listed in my contract. Anyway, I moved the majority of my belongings about a week ago. Landlord asked if she could do a viewing the same evening I moved. I allowed her but let her know I wouldn't be able to clean/repair any damage yet. Landlord emailed me the same night saying I needed to redecorated the flat. I came home to find the rest of my things moved to a corner. I didn't allow this. I still live there! In my opinion it doesn't need redecorating, I just need to clean and fix damage (screw holes etc). I didn't give her permission to do an inspection! I am spending the time between moving to my new house caring for my terminally ill aunt who will pass very VERY soon. Landlord has emailed me several times telling me she wants access to the flat for this that and the other. I have a month left on my tenancy and I would prefer it if she didn't access it freely until the last 2 weeks when the rest of my belongings have been removed and I can clean and repair any damage. Is this acceptable? I was open to her doing viewings without me present until she sent me an inflammatory email after the first day I moved my things. I'm not comfortable with anybody going back until I am ready. I feel like my landlord may think I'm being unreasonable but I've been a good tenant and now she feels she can come and go as she pleases. Please help!

EBearhug Tue 04-Oct-16 01:57:49

She can't come and go as she pleases - she has to give at least 24 hours and you can refuse if the time doesn't suit you, although you should agree another time.

Do check your tenancy agreement before you go. I've had one which specified the cleaning of skirting boards (I'd love to know why they felt it warranted specific mention,) but it's also common to insist on getting carpets cleaned and that sort of thing - when I left my last one, I had to show receipts.

What fees are you being asked for which aren't in the contract? If you have doubts (which you should have, if they're not in the contract,) check with Shelter - they advise on all sorts of housing issues, including tenancy queries, not just homelessness.

Good luck. Moving out of a tenancy is too often stressful. Caring for a terminally I'll person is definitely stressful. Both together is going to be very difficult. Please look after yourself in all this, and I hope it works out okay.

Inyournightdress Tue 04-Oct-16 02:06:41

Landlords have to give 24 hour notice but you can't refuse them access altogether.

Manumission Tue 04-Oct-16 02:25:44

Landlords have to give 24 hour notice but you can't refuse them access altogether.

I don't think that's quite accurate either. SIL had issues along these lines and used a solicitor. Apparently the tenant's right to 'quiet enjoyment' (?) is the over-riding thing. It's not automatic that the LL must be admitted as long as they've given 24 hr notice.

Threebedsemii Tue 04-Oct-16 02:28:15

Tell her no. What's she going to do, take you to court?

FleurThomas Tue 04-Oct-16 05:36:56

I'm a LL and have my access guaranteed as a condition in the lease provided I give 24 hours notice. If Tenant blocks access then lease is considered broken. I have taken legal action about this before & it is definitely legally enforceable.

PoldarksBreeches Tue 04-Oct-16 05:47:18

Fleur don't scaremonger. If you have taken legal action to evict a tenant before then there must have been more to it than refusing access. Not to mention this op is in the last month of her tenancy so nobody is taking legal action over anything!
Op, the moment she touched your belongings was the moment she lost any right to access your home. Tell her to wait until you have moved out.

SlottedSpoon Tue 04-Oct-16 05:53:17

It sounds to me as though she wants to decorate before you've moved all your stuff out, so she doesn't have to have a void period while it's done.

In my experience it's never realistic to move people straight in as a tenant moves out. A void of a week or two is almost always for the best unless you run your own team of maintenance people who are their at your beck and call. I've recently had some nightmare tenants make a right old mess and it was impossible to find people to sort the place out within less than a month. New tenants have moved in because they were in a desperate hurry, but there are still jobs outstanding that people are going back and forth, doing around them. Not ideal.

Fleur I think I will ask to have that written into my contracts from now on, but I think 48 hours is more reasonable. I've never had anyone refuse access yet, (apart from the quarterly inspections which are not done by me, I like to get into each house once a year to check on the wear and tear of furnishings and carpets etc so I can budget ahead for replacements/decorating) but reading threads on here makes me realise that lots of people do like to give their LLs / managing agents the runaround on some sort of warped matter of principle.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 04-Oct-16 06:32:09

I'm assuming you had a 6 month AST and extended, is that correct? No you didn't have to extend the AST however, landlord could have served notice on you if you refused to extend.

Please explain the fees not listed.

With regards to painting, the state of the decoration on entering the property should be listed on the inventory. And you should have checked it and agreed with it or asked for amendments at the time. If the decoration isn't detailed, the LL doesn't have a leg to stand on. The deposit should be with a TDS scheme and they will be the arbitrators of any dispute.

How long have you been there? Was the property through a letting agent?

As far as access is concerned, the LL is already in breach of contract by moving your stuff around. I would insist on letter of the law access. I.E. A formal written request with a minimum of 24 hours notice.

I'm a landlord and I would want reasonable access if you're not living there for viewings. But that's it.

This person sounds really unreasonable and I wouldn't let them do anything to the property until you have surrendered the keys and agreed to deposit release including deductions off the deposit for damage, if any. If they want the property back earlier, I would agree to give them the property back early if they agreed to refund a partial and prorata rental payment.

Please get back to us. There are some people very versed in Lettings, who may be able to help.

Matilda11 Tue 04-Oct-16 06:35:39

24 hours notice is standard in a contract. Normally for the last month or even 2. You can say no to a viewing when they ask if there is a reason but can't withold access all together. You need to be reasonable and let them in, maybe agree times of the day convenient for you. The terms should be clear if you check the contract.
Definitely best to keep on good terms with the landlord as soon the deposit release will be agreed and this will make life much easier.
Lastly (I have worked in lettings for years!) you don't have to clean or keep it immaculate before the end if your tenancy, but at the end of the tenancy you must leave it as it was as start of the tenancy. Anything above wear and tear will come out of the deposit. (Will be protected by a deposit scheme so you it is protected from her taking what she likes but they will look at the facts if there is any disagreement).
She shouldn't be moving your things around though....

PoldarksBreeches Tue 04-Oct-16 06:49:39

Matilda - the law is clear. Tenants can refuse landlords inessential access. You should know that.

itlypocerka Tue 04-Oct-16 06:57:11

How long have you been there?
A property needing redecorating between tenants is normally fair wear and tear and the cost is born by the landlord not the outgoing tenant (unless you had a hobby of picking off wallpaper for fun, or changing your motorbike sump in the living room and spattering dirty oil on the walls).

You are entitled to know which deposit protection scheme has your deposit money - if you don't know then ask now. The scheme will not allow deductions for unreasonable things if you protest them.

It's perfectly reasonable for you to wait till the end of the tenancy to do the cleaning etc if you want to. I've also had skirting boards specifically mentioned as something that must be cleaned - buy if it's thorough you should be fine.

Matilda11 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:04:01

Poldark yes, you are right you can, but I think it is not fair to not allow them ever. Hence maybe agree times? And I always think best to try to be reasonable, it really can help when deposit release, references etc.

PoldarksBreeches Tue 04-Oct-16 07:09:35

Oh yes I agree - a good landlord is worth their weight as is a good tenant. There is no value in making trouble for nothing. But that doesn't mean tenants shouldn't know the law.

PoldarksBreeches Tue 04-Oct-16 07:12:59

For example the op above - signed a new 6 month ast without knowing she could remain on a periodic tenancy that would happen automatically. A friend of mine recently freaked out because she split from her ex in the last month of their tenancy, they had planned to stay another 6 months but she couldn't afford it alone. Neither party had given notice so she had every right in the law to stay 2 more months to give herself time to find somewhere else. The letting agents insisted to her that she had to sign 6 more months. I helped her draft an email and she stayed the 2 months she needed with no consequences but they would have had 6 more months out of her plus renewal fees simply because she didn't know and they lied to her.

HardcoreLadyType Tue 04-Oct-16 07:13:20

I think that Matilda is wrong. A landlord must give at least 24 hours notice, but that is not to say that having given 24 hours, the landlord has automatic right of entry. They could just give notice, and be in there every day!

A tenant does not have to give access to a landlord. The landlord must give "quiet enjoyment" of the property, though.

Moving a tenant's possessions is not giving "quiet enjoyment".

You do not have to allow the landlord to show the property. Many tenants will do so, as a courtesy, but if the landlord has been an arse, why would you do them a favour like that?

If the landlord becomes difficult about it, then perhaps speak to Shelter, or your local authority may have a legal advice line (it's cheaper for them to give legal advise to enable tenants to stay in a property than to provide emergency housing if they are evicted!).

Threebedsemii Tue 04-Oct-16 07:17:23

The landlord has no right of entry without a court order

EvaWild Tue 04-Oct-16 07:23:18

I don't think they can come in whenever they please, unless they give you some notice. Then again, it all depends on what you have in the contract. I would suggest you take a closer look at what you have signed and work from there. Also, do hire end of tenancy cleaners, as they usually know the checklist of the inspections that follow and can focus their efforts on what really needs to be cleaned.

Kirriemuir Tue 04-Oct-16 07:27:33

Matilda is wrong. Right to peaceful enjoyment. You do not have to allow access.

ThomasHardyPerennial Tue 04-Oct-16 07:30:35

A landlord can write whatever they like in a contract, but if it is against the law it is meaningless. Tenants have very clear rights to quiet enjoyment, and you do not have to grant them access (unless it is an emergency) regardless of whether or not they give you 24hr notice. I would be furious that they moved your belongings!

You do not have to give them access for viewings, but if you wanted to keep things amicable you could arrange for all viewings to take place on a certain day of the week only etc. Your landlord does not have the right to come and go as she pleases.

I'm not sure why you need to redecorate unless you have painted it yourself and need to return it to previous colours? It's fair wear and tear, and repairs are your landlord's responsibility.

19lottie82 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:39:03

The way it works is this.......

The LL has a right to enter their property, after serving the appropriate notice, however the tenant had a right to "quiet enjoyment".

If the tenant denies the LL access, then the LL must go to court to get permission to enter, and this can take months to sort out a date ect. Even then it's not guaranteed that a judge will side with a LL.

So effectively, no the tenant doesn't have to let the LL in / allow viewings (not without getting the courts involved anyway!).

Writing in a lease that a tenant must allow viewings is nonsense as a tenants right to "quiet enjoyment" trumps contract law.

SlottedSpoon Tue 04-Oct-16 07:45:07

Well anyone who gave me the runaround like that would be out on their ear at the first available opportunity, especially if the inspection reports had been less than glowing. I would assume a reluctance to let me in meant they were hiding something. Unfortunately I've learnt the hard way that there is no substitute for seeing things for myself from time to time, and if a tenant won't let me then the tenant gets a cheery wave bye bye as soon as it's possible for me to do so.

So if that's the risk people are prepared to take in order to get their 'quiet enjoyment' then so be it. Not so quiet and enjoyable having to move every year, versus just letting someone in for 20 mins once or twice a year, is it?

Threebedsemii Tue 04-Oct-16 07:47:02

She's moving out in a month anyway slotting so it doesn't matter

Matilda11 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:48:46

That is what I mean slotted spoon. Do what you like, but if you are reasonable then life much easier!
This applies to landlords and tenants

wowfudge Tue 04-Oct-16 07:54:01

OP are you paying/have you paid rent and have simply given notice? If so then the LL cannot just enter the place whenever she wants. If you have agreed an early surrender with the LL then although you probably don't have to pay rent, you may have to pay other charges and be liable for council tax, etc until a new tenant is found. It isn't clear what the actual situation is. If it's a surrender at a specific date then you still have the right to quiet enjoyment.

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