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To think flat inspection should occur when it is convenient for tenant?

(34 Posts)
ambravale Wed 03-Apr-19 16:18:59

We have really shitty estate agents who manage our rented flat for the land lord/owner. We are moving out in about 4 months at the end of our lease.

A few weeks ago I was having a bath and heard a knock but ignored it. Next thing I know, someone was unlocking the bloody door !!! This was at about 10:30am so not super early but it was my day off. I asked the woman if I coule help her, and she said oh we have a possible future tenant wanting to look around. It wasn’t, is that ok, it was sort of; this is what is happening.

Today I got an email saying “We will be coming for an inspection of your flat at 4:40 on Friday. You do not need to be present”

Erm, actually no, I don’t want someone nosing around my flat. As it happens I’m hosting a dinner party that night with drinks starting at 4:30, so no I don’t want them here.

AIBU to think they ought to say, “Would it be possible to come at X time, or when is appropriate?”

I think it’s cheeky to say say we are coming. Erm, no, bugger off! As it happens, their fees are jolly well expensive too!

SneakyGremlins Wed 03-Apr-19 16:22:15

But that's part of renting confused I always get a letter about a month in advance saying when they'll be coming.

Just coming in isn't acceptable though if you haven't had notice.

burritofan Wed 03-Apr-19 16:23:55

They should be giving you 24 hours notice in writing; they're not allowed to just yoohoo like the Avon lady and make themselves at home. Can you lock the door from the inside so they can't just wander in? (Technically I think you have the right to change the locks for the duration of your tenancy, but might be a faff.) Say no to the 4.30 visit, you've every right to.

donajimena Wed 03-Apr-19 16:25:47

No its not part of renting! You are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of your home. I'd tell them to reschedule to a time convenient for you. In my fantasy world I'd have ten mates around for karaoke and group sex when the agency were due to call in.

donajimena Wed 03-Apr-19 16:27:19

I should explain to make the agency feel awkward. I don't really want group sex or karaoke.

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:28:23

In both instances, viewings and inspections, they should make you aware that they are coming beforehand. They are able to enter and conduct both whether you are there or not however, in my experience, letting agents can be flexible if you would rather be present and will try to accommodate this however, they ar not obliged to.

It always baffles me as to why they would want to enter without the tenant present though. I know sometimes needs must and legally they can but surely they open themselves up to issues. A tenant could accuse them of damaging or stealing property for example.

So yes they can enter whether you're there or not but they should send you notification.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:29:52

It doesn't matter whether they give you 24 hours notice or 24 days notice, they have no right to enter without your say-so except in an emergency because you have the right to quiet enjoyment. This takes precedence over whatever is written in the tenancy agreement and if you say "no, that's not convenient, please come at a different time" then they have to abide by that.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:30:36

So yes they can enter whether you're there or not but they should send you notification.

No. They can't.

They only time they can enter without your permission is in an emergency.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:32:00

Technically I think you have the right to change the locks for the duration of your tenancy, but might be a faff.

You can change the locks so long as you either put the old ones back on when you leave or give them keys to the new locks (e.g., if they're better quality than the ones you replaced or the old ones are broken). It's fairly easy to do, just a case of swapping out the barrels.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 03-Apr-19 16:33:10

Pricks. Years ago I was in bed (not alone) and I hear the key in the door! Apparently the cheeky cow knocked hmm, well bo you didn’t and even if you did then so fucking what, no one told you were coming.
She was all “we tried to notify you, blah blah blah”.

CalmDownPacino Wed 03-Apr-19 16:34:10

Oh please god not this again <cries>

Nobody can enter your home without your express permission, regardless of whether it is written into the tenancy agreement or not. Nothing in a lease/TA overrides law. The only time that this can happen is in an emergency situation such as where there is a flood or a gas leak.

ambravale Wed 03-Apr-19 16:36:09

That is to say, I could legally tell them no they won’t come and inspect?

SneakyGremlins Wed 03-Apr-19 16:37:00

I feel stupid now sad

On my letters it always says "You do not need to be present for this inspection" - is that wrong?

RedTitsMcGinty Wed 03-Apr-19 16:37:58

So yes they can enter whether you're there or not

That’s not in the slightest bit true.

OP, are you in England? You don’t have to let them enter.
england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/landlord_responsibilities

RedTitsMcGinty Wed 03-Apr-19 16:39:22

If they’re inspecting for repairs you can arrange a time with them. If they’re showing round a prospective tenant, you don’t have to let them in at all.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:39:35

That is to say, I could legally tell them no they won’t come and inspect?

You can tell them it's not convenient, that you won't allow entry, and that they are not to enter without you present/your permission. You can phrase it as politely as you like but yes, you have every right to refuse the scheduled inspection and reschedule it for a day and time that is more convenient to you.

On my letters it always says "You do not need to be present for this inspection" - is that wrong?

Yes.

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:41:15

If you are viewed as being "unreasonably obstructive" by the lanlord, they can make an application to the court to obtain a court order to enter the property without your permission. Obviously whether they obtain it or not depends on whether the court agrees that you have been unreasonably obstructive. The LL could also attempt to recover the costs of this process from you.

That's not likely to happen to be honest as it would be rather extreme. The landlord has a right to inspect his property if he has a legitimate reason to do so.

swingofthings Wed 03-Apr-19 16:41:56

Outrageous behaviour. This should be illegal. I can't I mn shine walking in someone's home without being invited. It's not on.

gutrotweins Wed 03-Apr-19 16:42:10

It should be written in your tenancy agreement (I hope you have one!) that the landlord must notify you before s/he makes a visit - the tenant has a right to privacy.

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:43:05

When I said they can enter whether you're there or not I meant if you have given them permission to do so! Sorry if that wasn't clear OP.

So if they have sent notification of an inspection on Monday at 4pm and you have agreed for it to take place, they can enter and perform the inspection.

CatGoals Wed 03-Apr-19 16:43:55

There’s no law that says you need to have inspections at all, despite what any contract may say.

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:45:00

Did it not say somewhere on the email something along the lines of "if this is not convienient, please contact us on phone number"?

I mean, it's irrelevant really as even if the email doesn't state this, you are still within your rights to call and rearrange.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:46:40

If you are viewed as being "unreasonably obstructive" by the lanlord, they can make an application to the court to obtain a court order to enter the property without your permission. Obviously whether they obtain it or not depends on whether the court agrees that you have been unreasonably obstructive. The LL could also attempt to recover the costs of this process from you.

From experience, "unreasonably obstructive" is things like refusing access for a gas safety check which is fairly essential as it's a legal responsibility of the landlord to carry it out.

Saying "Monday isn't convenient for me, please come on <mutually convenient day> instead and by the way I don't want you coming in when I'm not here" isn't unreasonably obstructive and the landlord would have their arse handed to them by the court if they tried to say it was.

Oakmaiden Wed 03-Apr-19 16:46:49

*On my letters it always says "You do not need to be present for this inspection" - is that wrong?

Yes.*

Well, in a sense it isn't wrong, but it is giving the wrong impression. If it isn't a bother to you then you can allow them to visit at their convenience and without you there. But you don't have to. They have no right of entry except with your agreement or in an emergency.

In the long run, though, if you are difficult about it they may not renew your tenancy. Which isn't an issue for the OP.

Peterpiperpickedwrong Wed 03-Apr-19 16:46:50

A few weeks ago I was having a bath and heard a knock but ignored it. Next thing I know, someone was unlocking the bloody door !!!

shock and did they come in and look around whilst you were stood in your towel or did you tell them to bugger off?!

I should explain to make the agency feel awkward. I don't really want group sex or karaoke.
grin

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:50:17

@Bearfrills completely agree, hence why I said it's unlikely to happen in this scenario. I just popped it in there as OP had asked if she could legally refuse inspections. I'm not sure if or when refusing inspections would be classed as unreasonable obstruction but thought it worth being aware about if not already smile

Podemos Wed 03-Apr-19 16:51:28

It drives me insane that people continue to post on threads like this when they have no idea of the law.

The only time your landlords can enter would be in an emergency (think gas leak or water dripping through your floor onto electrics in flat below)

You could legally have changed your locks when you moved in so they wouldn't have been able walk in when you were in the bath - god I'd have been furious and the prospective tenants would have known exactly what kind of agents they were letting themselves in for.

Personally I think it's fair enough to let them in for pre-arranged inspections, but you still don't have to (even if it's in the contract, this doesnt trump law) and it absolutely needs to be when convenient to you- say no to the time they've given.

Do you need a reference from them?

In my last rental property we offered to allow viewings ONLY IF the landlord agreed that we could give one month's notice from any date rather than from the rent payment date as was in the contract. E.g If rent due 1st Jan and we gave notice 4th Jan, contract said we were responsible for rent until 1st March. Got on well with landlord so wasn't done to piss them off we just knew we held the cards with allowing viewings and we needed flexibility around when we moved out.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:51:29

I'm not sure if or when refusing inspections would be classed as unreasonable obstruction but thought it worth being aware about if not already

There'd probably be some landlords out there who would try to use it against their tenants. The amount of cowboys out there is shocking.

Bearfrills Wed 03-Apr-19 16:51:53

To many "out there"s in there grin

needanappp Wed 03-Apr-19 16:54:31

Tell me about it, I rented from one of them just a couple of years ago! Sent a contractor to fill a hole in the roof, causing a leak, with expanding foam grin Unfortunately it's too easy for someone to take out a buy-to-let mortgage and rent their property without them actually having much of a clue about the legalities of being a lanlord!

MadameAnchou Wed 03-Apr-19 17:12:29

I can see why some folks change the lock barrels when they move in. When we were renting, and this was some time ago, we had EAs just waltz right in to do viewings. No notice at all. Loads of people have, just a thread on here last week and people had had EAs come in whilst they were in bed, in the shower, all sorts.

PinkCrayon Wed 03-Apr-19 17:15:15

How unproffessional of them!
I have rented in the past and never had any trouble like that, when it came to viewings they worked around me, there was certainly no telling me when it was going to happen.
I would avoid this agency in the future, I would also complain.

mumwon Wed 03-Apr-19 17:31:30

www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2016/10/18/tenant-penalties-breaching-tenancy-rules-changing-locks/
it isn't quite that straightforward, you shouldn't change the locks automatically UNLESS the landlord is overstepping the mark by just walking in - think about it - you have a flood or some emergency - how does he/she get into to fix it? - I have always talked to tenant usually a week or two ahead & worked out best mutual day, date & time to check property & I much prefer tenant to be there & catch up if there are any little issues - I regard the property as their home - things happen to property - & many tenants may not recognise that somethings an issue (stiff hinges, dripping taps that need new washers, fences or gates that need a bit of check up or care - or signs of subsidence, etc) & its land lords responsibility to do this & you cant if you haven't seen it.

SomeLikeItTepid Wed 03-Apr-19 17:46:13

I have heard this same thing (the knock once then enter regardless) from a few different friends who have rented in recent years. The estate agents with letting departments, rather than letting companies, seem to be the worst offenders. One friend had a couple turn up for a viewing on the house they were renting as the landlord had put it on the market and nobody had bothered to tell them. Although this might not be illegal it's bloody rude at best. I was so glad once I was finally in a position to buy.

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