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Tenant Rights

(21 Posts)
lottiebunny Mon 31-Aug-09 23:54:23

I was verbally informed that landlords were visiting this weekend to carry out some basic maintenance work. I agreed they could come up to do this.

Came back from weekend away to be told that the house was a complete sty (it wasn't but I will admit that I hadn't done a through clean in a few weeks) and that they would be getting in cleaners tomorrow.

I've managed to get this cancelled and have agreed for the landlords to come back next Saturday to have another look round. They don't seem to think that I have a right to agree a mutually convenient time for them to come round and even tried to say that I had to pay for their travel expenses. Am I right in saying that under the 'quiet enjoyment' covenant I can bar them from coming into my home?

I'm worried that they might start playing games at the end of tenancy though. How can make sure I'll get all my deposit back if they are going to so picky about everything? They even moaned because I'd left a bag of flour on the side after making bread.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 01-Sep-09 00:03:30

Have a look at your lease. This is your home and they cannot dictate to you like this.

SuperBunny Tue 01-Sep-09 00:09:23

I agree - I am both a landlord and a tenant.

I might be a bit pissed off if the tenants weren't looking after the house very well but I wouldn't send in cleaners without arranging it with the tenants. And I probably wouldn't do it until the end of the lease anyway. I don't think you have to let them in.

I do think there may be problems at the end of the tenancy though. DO you have pictures of what the house was like when you moved in?

As a tenant, you have the right to clean your home as and when you chose, as long as it is in good condition when you move out.

paisleyleaf Tue 01-Sep-09 00:16:40

I don't think she is letting cleaners in - got it cancelled.
Landlords want to come in next weekend.....to inspect the house again.
I think you have to let the landlords in when they give notice....it'll be in your tenancy agreement I should think.
Bag of flour?! ....I think you've got quite panicky landlords there to say the least.

lottiebunny Tue 01-Sep-09 07:21:46

I've have agreed with the landlords (but only on my behalf, the rest of my housemates could have issues with this) that they can come back in on Sat but they want the house in the condition I moved in. I think this is a tad unrealistic and can see there being a real argument about it.

Things that were moaned about:
Tops of cupboards needed dusting
Oven needed a clean
Crumbs on chairs in kitchen
Skirting boards dusty
Shower screen needed a clean
I hadn't pulled out a cabinet to clean behind it.
I hadn't mopped kitchen floor properly before flying out of the house last minute on Friday night.

To me these are minor things that I would have done during the week and weekend anyway but they seem to think that its unacceptable.

In tenancy agreement its 24 written notice at reasonable time. It also says to keep interior in good repair and condition. I did think though that I had the right to refuse access if it wasn't convenient to me.

I don't have pictures of the house when I first moved in and there wasn't an inventory. I'm truly buggered, aren't I?

SuperBunny Tue 01-Sep-09 08:54:30

Those things do sound relatively minor and are all things that can be cleaned quickly and so it seems rather petty for them to fuss about the state of the house. If stuff is broken then it'd be different.

Is it an agent or a private landlord? Have they let property before?

lottiebunny Tue 01-Sep-09 13:38:25

Private landlord and they have let property before. Problem comes that they have only let to groups which include their sons so the mum gets all funny about it as if it's her own house. If I had known that she would be this way then I wouldn't have entered into the lease.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 02-Sep-09 01:31:37

Oh god, a nutty landlady. She hasn't really loosed the apron strings, has she? Are you about the same age as her sons?

It's completely unrealistic to expect the property to be immaculate at all times when people are living in it. Keeping the interior in good nick isn't dusting the skirting boards, it's not putting your fist through a door/nails in the walls.

My landlords said, "No pets". I said, "Two dogs". They said, "Professionally clean/replace the carpets when you move out". I said, "Of course". They haven't been back since and that's four years now.

>>regards "accident" stains on living room carpet<<

Just as well, really.

But it'll be immaculate when I move out. Ready for the next tenant.

Tortington Wed 02-Sep-09 01:35:02

you need to phone shelter england

as far as i know you can tell em to go swivel regarding looking roun your house =- unless you signed something different

its a double edged sword - start asserting your rights and you wont get the lease renewed.

but phone shelter england found out where you stand in law

noodlesoup Wed 02-Sep-09 07:37:33

I'm a landlord. I've been round to some of my houses to so repairs etc. and have been astounded by the filth but I would never say anything until the end of the tenancy. It is your house and you can fill it up to the rafters with flour if you want as long as you return it in good condition. No inventory means they are buggered, not you. You could remove the central heating and kitchen and flog them and they couldn't say that they were there when you moved in. Is your deposit in a scheme? If you moved in after April '07 you should be protected.

I have charged tenants for traveling expenses when I have had to visit due to their fault eg to serve court papers or collect very overdue rent that should have been put into the bank but not for repairs/inspections etc.

lottiebunny Wed 02-Sep-09 08:12:07

Deposit is in a scheme so hopefully if I take pictures of the house as is it now, no right minded people would dispute that I'm right. Even the son has described to me in writing that his mums standards are excessive. I just wish I had known.

Lease is up end of June and I'm leaving for definite then anyway. Hurrah.

Ready to tell her where to go on Saturday if she starts up again though.

ABetaDad Wed 02-Sep-09 08:38:02

lottiebunny - I have been renting for 25 years and now the syndrome you are talking about.

It is the amateur landlord who still thinks the house is their own home problem. Your rights are clear.

You have a right to quiet enjoyment which means you get to enjoy it as your home. The landlord can visit and do repairs at your convenience unless it is an absolute emergency repair. You are right to say come back after I have cleaned.

I would get her to write a letter specifyng her concerns in detail. They sound very minor indeed compared to what I have seen looking round houses to rent. Your only duty is to clean it at the end. It can be a sty if you like to live that way until you leave. You need to reply to her letter pointing out your right to quiet enjoyment and that you have now cleaned and will do so fully at the end of the tenancy as per the lease.

Take photos of everythng after you have cleaned and tidied now and again at the end of the tenancy. You may need it as evidence.

She has no right to charge you for coming to visit the property either. Do not back down on this. Sadly, some people have an attitude that tenants are second class citizens and that being a 'property owner' is some sort of special status that gives them rights to push people around.

If there is no inventory it is her problem. She has not got a leg to stand on as there is no record of what was in the property or the state it was in. If she witholds the deposit due to dilapidations she will lose in the arbitration procedure under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Jut one thought. Is she in a panic because she intends to sell the house and wants it imaculate ready for letting estate agents in to take photos? If so, she has no right to do that either - only if you agree as a favour to her and you do not have to alow peole round to view. Agents often try to bully tenants into allowing viewings.

Your local council will have a unit that looks after prvate tenants. Our council was very hot on tenant rights and pulls bad private landlords up very short if they transgress.

lottiebunny Wed 02-Sep-09 18:31:13

Don't think they can afford to sell the house. They bought at the peak of the market for well over the odds (even for the time) so I doubt they are in a position to sell it. This might be why they are so panicky though - they are skint and think that picking on tenants is an easy way to dredge up some cash.

Shall I prepare a letter to give them on Saturday? I know they are sending a letter giving notice of the visit and the problems so shall I wait for that to come, assuming it does of course, and send a reply in the post?

Tortington Wed 02-Sep-09 20:12:07

please phone shelter england to ascertain your rights

ABetaDad Wed 02-Sep-09 22:11:15

Wait for their letter and if it does not have specific details (I doubt it will be anything more tan a winge) then go back with a detailed letter itemising the things they objected to in detail. Tell them you have dealt wth everything and how. Then state your rights and that you have taken photos of the cleaned house a record.

SuperBunny Wed 02-Sep-09 23:21:52

It does seem a bit odd to behave the way the landlord is - I have people living in what was my family home but I have to accept that, for now, it is their home and, as long as it is in the same condition at the end of their lease as it was when they moved in, what they do inside in the meantime is not really my business.

lottiebunny Thu 03-Sep-09 17:04:02

Got their letter today. Word for word:

Notice of intent to inspect the above premises

1. This notice is given by the landlord
2. You are the tenants of the property.
3. We the landlords hereby give you formal notice as per the tenancy agreement section 4(6) that we and/or our appointed agent and associates will enter the above premises for the purposed of inspection of its condition and state of repair -
Date Saturday 5th September 2009
Time 11.00am

You are required to permit access to your personal rooms and all communual areas.

Am rather irked by the last line of it. 'Required to permit access' sounds a bit like we're coming in whether you like it or not.

I have tried to get through to Shelter England with no success but have printed off some information from them to show landlords when the arrive. Now to letter writing. I'd started to cool off a little but this has put my back up again.

londonone Thu 03-Sep-09 21:52:56

They are entitled to come and inspect the property, they are giving you notice. Why don't you just clean up it is entirely reasonable that they don't want their property to fall into disrepair. The sort of filth that builds up when people don't clean cannot simply be shifted after a year. I have no idea if you are filthy or not but in my experience people will treat rental properties in the most revolting manner.

lottiebunny Fri 04-Sep-09 07:53:34

Londonone, if you read my posts I have cleaned but the problem is lanlady's excessive standards (to the point that I can't even leave a bag of flour on the side) and their insistence that they have the right to come in without my permission as long as they send a letter beforehand. I at least want to be in the house when they come which they don't think I have the right to.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 04-Sep-09 08:02:00

Keep trying shelter, they are really good with things like this. Try when they first open this mornign and you should be able to get through.

scaryteacher Sun 06-Sep-09 23:55:06

I'm a landlady as well as a tenant. When I go back to UK to see my house, my agent warns me it isn't tidy...so what? It wasn't tidy when I lived there...as long as no damage is down to the fabric of the building, everything else can be sorted when my tenants move.

When I move out of my hiring, my cleaner will be sorting it out, and the place will be in the state it was when we moved in. How tidy I am in the meantime is no-one else's business. I still haven't stacked the dishwasher, and the cartons from tonight's chinese are still on the side!!!!

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