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Is this a reasonable and legal request from letting agent?

(34 Posts)
Meetmeonamonday Fri 17-Nov-17 20:54:09

We rent a property through a letting agents and tenancy is the type where we have no contact with landlord, this is fine. Been in property 18 months no real problems but the agents protocol is to do an inspection with photographs every 3 months! And it always seems to fly around so fast.

It's not a huge deal as we are good and tidy tenants but of course I feel the pressure to have it spotless when they're due. The fact that every 3 months someone is coming into my home (yes I know not my actual house) and taking photos makes me feel I suppose a bit intruded on and inferior (?) it's like a drip feed reminder that we don't own our own home and the bottom line is it will always be someone's else's home that they can arrange to pop in every 3 months and take pictures and check up on. I would love to be a homeowner but it's not a possiblity at the moment.

It is your actual home.
Annual would be more reasonable. Quarterly is disturbingly often.

I used to hate those inspections. They made me so anxious.

IsaSchmisa Fri 17-Nov-17 20:56:10

They can ask. They can't enforce it, but the flip side to that is that the impact of a refusal might be the landlord ending the tenancy. Make a decision based on the market in your area and how long you're planning to stay.

JustPutSomeGlitterOnIt Fri 17-Nov-17 20:59:28

Mmm, I'd say that you're paying a lot of money for your privacy, and part of that is to be left alone unless they have any specific reason for concern.

Meetmeonamonday Fri 17-Nov-17 20:59:57

Also I'm not sure what they actually do with the pictures. I'm a very private person and the thought of the interiors of my home being on a computer database unnerves me if it's accessible by many random people at the office, (hope that makes sense) they've never said they delete the photos after passing on to the landlord or even if they do pass them on or if they just keep them on file.

I like it here and for the stability of my children would like it to be our home for the foreseeable future so don't want to unnecessarily rock the boat

Branleuse Fri 17-Nov-17 21:02:00

i think its pretty common. My friend has this every 3 months. I rent and have been here 2 or 3 years and I think its been inspected once

Ethylred Fri 17-Nov-17 21:02:13

What does your tenancy agreement say about this?

SlartyFarkBarstard Fri 17-Nov-17 21:03:01

That’s not quiet enjoyment, that’s bordering on harassment! The photography is bloody intrusive too.

Meetmeonamonday Fri 17-Nov-17 21:03:36

Ethylred I'm not sure actually I will have to hook it out and have a read.

SlartyFarkBarstard Fri 17-Nov-17 21:04:49

I’ve been in my home 7 years and have never agreed to an inspection. They tried twice to arrange it, they didn’t turn up twice and never asked again after that. I’d tell them to bugger off if they tried it now.

Roystonv Fri 17-Nov-17 21:05:39

1) Letting agents have a contract with your landlord so if that contract says 1/4 inspections then the letting agents has a duty to do the checks every 3 months. 2) you should be using these visits to draw the agents attention to any problems you are having so welcome them, use them. The property is your landlords investment it is not unreasonable that they want to know all is ok so work together, help them maintain it, everyone benefits.

Spam88 Fri 17-Nov-17 21:05:55

My last tenancy agreement was every 3 months but they didn’t come in the year we were there.

Given how long you’ve been there with the LL presumably being happy with the condition you’re keeping the property in, perhaps you could ask the agency about reducing the frequency?

WinchestersInATardis Fri 17-Nov-17 21:07:10

Every 3 months is a bit much! I have one once a year and they don't take pictures. It's just a walk round checkup that everything's in reasonable shape and to check if any minor repairs/maintenance is needed.

Veterinari Fri 17-Nov-17 21:07:53

My letting agent did this. I told them I found it intrusive and we agreed to 1-2 times a year as a compromise

Meetmeonamonday Fri 17-Nov-17 21:08:14

I just wish I could buy a place and not have to worry about all this

redfragglebiker Fri 17-Nov-17 21:08:52

When we rented we had this... We asked the agent if they could ask the landlord if it was necessary so often after the first 18 months as it was pretty clear by then that the state of the house was consistent. They switched to 6 monthly and then annually after that.

IsaSchmisa Fri 17-Nov-17 21:09:34

Their contract won't override the law on quiet enjoyment royston.

esk1mo Fri 17-Nov-17 21:11:22

my last property was a 6 month lease, with inspections every 3 months ie. twice in that 6 month period. after that we had a rolling contract with inspections every 6 months. THAT felt like alot, i cant imagine how you feel. id email them and mention that you’ve had 6 inspections (with no issues) so could they reduce it to every 6 months to ensure your comfort and enjoyment of your living space.

im 7 months into a 1 yr contract and havent had one yet, not sure what contract says.

whoareyoukidding Fri 17-Nov-17 21:11:40

Maybe the LL had a bad experience in the past and is super anxious. However, after 18 months I would have thought it is obvious that you're not wrecking the place. You could try asking the agents to contact the LL to say that now that you're long term you'd like the inspections to be annual.

thecatneuterer Fri 17-Nov-17 21:12:52

In areas that have introduced LL licensing it is a requirement imposed by the licence that an inspection be done quarterly, and problems need to be logged and records kept for five years.

It's all a big pain in the neck as far as I'm concerned.

YouDidNotJustSayThat Fri 17-Nov-17 21:22:17

A friend recently had her house trashed by tenants who she had thought were fine. Rent was paid on time but it cost her thousands to put right after they moved on. The deposit didn't cover a fraction of the repair costs. The same tenants actually lived in my house before me and it they left that in a bloody horrendous state for me moving in and that was after the landlords did repairs! By the time I knew who they were, it was too late, they were in my friend's property (small town coincidence). Her newest tenant, knowing what had happened, agreed to quarterly inspections and my friend has told me she'll stop inspections when she feels reassured the house isn't being wrecked again. Even though she is worried for her house, she knows quarterly inspections are intrusive and doesn't want to do it more than the first year.

Ask your Estate agents to ask the landlord to reassess the inspections and definitely refuse photographs. That is taking the pee. They do NOT need photographs of your possessions.

MaitlandGirl Fri 17-Nov-17 21:25:55

The photographs will be dated and issued to the landlord as part of the report - this will prove that the estate agent attended the property and met their side of the landlord/estate agent contract. Landlords have the right to attend every inspection, but I’d much rather photographs.

The photos will enable the owner to see if things are getting a bit shabby (paintwork etc) so they can plan their maintenance and if a problem occurs they can get an idea of when it happened.

Some insurance companies also insist on regular inspections.

Yes, it’s intrusive and irritating but it’s for your protection as well as the owners. At the end of the day all good landlords want to protect their investment and make sure it’s in the best possible shape do they keep their tenants happy.

Roystonv Sat 18-Nov-17 22:08:25

Exactly what I said Maitland Girl, they should be of benefit to both parties.

MaitlandGirl Sat 18-Nov-17 23:24:10

Sorry Roystonv I was wrangling the neighbours toddler and skim reading so missed your post smile

kinkajoukid Sun 19-Nov-17 06:09:11

I would find that frequency very intrusive unless there is a very good relationship with the agent. It is generally a horrible feeling to have a stranger come in and judge how you live and make a report on you. You can end up feeling less at home where you live, than in a hotel room (and with less power to complain and get money back!).

The tenancy we have now is the first where I have hope that there will be a two-way benefit as the landlady has been absolutely lovely so far smile nothing but terrible LLs previously sad

I think an annual check is plenty, 6 months maybe in the first year, but it has a to be two-way reporting and action.

It is absolutely intrusive to take a photo to 'prove' that the tenants are tidy, or 'look like the right kind of people' or just to alleviate a LL's anxiety.

Written reports are given much more weight than photographs when assessing deposit disputes etc. If the LL doesn't trust the agent's word, then they should inspect the property themselves and get a new agent.

If photos are needed they should not be of whole rooms showing only a general impression, but be close up and detailed eg showing skirting boards and flooring in high traffic areas where paint may be chipped or carpet/ flooring worn, or flaking paint on painted wooden windows/ sills, under and around the kitchen sink, gutters, sinks and baths to help assess for water damage, leaks and mould etc, paving stones etc to assess levelness and trip hazards, anything specific and useful to assess maintenance/ repair. That is what I look out for as a responsible tenant and former home owner (pre massive house price rises).

In 16 years of renting, I have never had anyone look for any of these things when doing an inspection - they didn't actually want to know about any problems that might give the LL hassle or expense (but happy to point out that there were 2 mugs and a plate to wash up), even if that lack of care was a complete false economy that led to greater expense in the long run. It has been very frustrating.

It is hard to enforce your rights though when there is so much competition for housing.

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