Letting agent says they can come inspect whenever they like?

(67 Posts)
eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 11:57:29

Wonder if anyone knows about this. Does a letting agent have the right to enter your home for quarterly inspections at whatever time they wish, without having to ask your permission, as long as they have given 24 hrs notice?

The tenancy agreement just says I agree to let them have quarterly inspections. Didn't say they can come whatever time, but the agent is telling me now that they can come whenever they like as long as they give 24 hrs notice because "I signed it off in the tenancy agreement that I agree to quarterly inspections and it is the law that they can do that." but I can't find anything in the law or otherwise saying they can come whenever they like for quarterly inspections. Plus they say that when they give written notice of inspections, they can only give a date and not a time because "they can't possibly know when they will arrive at my house on the day as they have to do several inspections on the same day at different houses." I can only find laws saying the landlord can come in for emergency repairs - i.e. some really pressing issue. An inspection to me, does not constitute a pressing issue requiring access at whatever time they like?

But basically now they are telling me that they don't have to arrange a mutually convenient time to come and inspect? Imagine them letting themselves in when someone is alone in the house, sleeping, or just coming out of the shower, or in the shower, etc.? Surely that is not legally enforceable? I'm just uncomfortable with that. I wouldn't mind them having inspections if it was agreed beforehand though, but not letting themselves in whenever they like?

Sizzlesthedog Fri 03-Jul-15 12:07:12

I'm a landlord.

Then agent will ask for an inspection every quarter. But they cannot enter without your permission unless there is a safety risk/emergency.

So make sure they stick to this. They will be checking the property is ok, not spying on you. This is a good chance for you to raise any concerns with the property.

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 12:43:50

See I knew they could not enter without permission. However they are saying different. They are saying they can enter whenever they like, without asking for permission, just a 24 hr notice. They said I signed it off in the contract. I'm looking at the contract now and there is a clause there saying "That the Landlord or any person authorised by the Landlord or his Agent may at reasonable times of the day on giving 24 hours' written notice, (unless in the case of an emergency) enter the Property for the purpose of inspecting its condition and state of repair. The Tenant shall permit the Property to be viewed on reasonable notice (of at least 24 hours) at all reasonable times during the final weeks of the tenancy." So does that mean they can just come whenever they like for inspections?

Sizzlesthedog Fri 03-Jul-15 13:03:20

No not at all.

They cannot enter if you don't allow them to. They should make an appointment with you and come then.

Clarify this with them NOW.

The law is on your side as a tenant.

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:07:44

They have now given me a time frame of 10 am to 4 pm. It's ridiculous. I keep arguing with them they can't do this but they are not budging.

I then asked for the landlord's contact details (i.e. just the address) as I want to let the landlord know if I'm deciding not to rent this house anymore, it's not because of her house, it's because the agents are unprofessional. I think under Section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, I'm legally entitled to that information? But the agent is refusing point blank to give it, quoting "data protection". The landlord seems like a nice person who cares a lot about her house. She even left us chocolates and wine when we moved in. Such a shame I can't stand the agents and with quarterly inspections stipulated in the contract, I'd be dealing with them so often.

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:09:00

Can you tell me which part of the law is on my side here? And does the law apply even if I signed a contract with a clause as the above? "That the Landlord or any person authorised by the Landlord or his Agent may at reasonable times of the day on giving 24 hours' written notice, (unless in the case of an emergency) enter the Property for the purpose of inspecting its condition and state of repair. The Tenant shall permit the Property to be viewed on reasonable notice (of at least 24 hours) at all reasonable times during the final weeks of the tenancy."

DorisLessingsCat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:09:27

You are legally entitled to the landlord's address. It should be on your deposit protection paperwork, which they are legally obliged to give you.

They are talking horse shit.

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:10:32

It's all "C/O agent's address".

DorisLessingsCat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:12:07

Landlords have a statutory obligation (under the Prescribed Information Order) to make certain information regarding the deposit, the tenancy deposit protection scheme protecting the deposit and specified tenancy related information available to the tenant(s).

CocktailQueen Fri 03-Jul-15 13:12:42

The letting agent sounds vile - and you can imagine if they're being awkward about this, they will carry on being awkward about other things too. Can you look up your ll's address online? electoral register?

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:13:04

The other posters are correct, they are not allowed to enter and you are allowed your landlord's address.

Quiet enjoyment etc

DorisLessingsCat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:13:29

This is a link to the Deposit Protection Scheme prescribed information:

www.depositprotection.com/documents/prescribed-information-template.pdf

It includes the LLs address.

You may have a different scheme - you need to look this up.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 03-Jul-15 13:16:02

I would go in or call them and threaten with legal action tbh. They are not doing their job properly and withholding information. They are trying it on.

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:16:09

Best I could find in short time

Some tenants may object to this and call it harassment (particularly if they are in rent arrears). If there is a problem of this nature or is likely to be, then you should take care to only visit the property by appointment or by the invitation of the tenant.

You should never use your keys to enter the property without the tenants' knowledge or permission, other than in cases of genuine emergency.

If the tenant objects to you attending to do inspections or carry out repairs, then you cannot enter the property. This situation is rare, however, and if it occurs, then you should consider whether you should bring proceedings for eviction.

Note that if the tenant's failure to allow access for repairs is causing the property to deteriorate, this may in itself be a ground for possession. But this should only be used if the deterioration is very serious and urgent remedial work is needed.

If you treat your tenant with respect and comply with your obligations under tenancy law, you will be protecting yourself from any potential claims from your tenants. You will also find it easier to enforce your own rights against the tenant, should this be necessary.

Although a covenant of quiet enjoyment is not implied into licence agreements, licensees have the right to use the property for the purpose for which occupation was granted, which gives them a certain amount of similar protection for the duration of the licence agreement.

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:18:34

Section 1 of landlord and tenant act 1985- that's the civil one. There is another criminal one for serving documents.

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:19:00

Soz- that's for LL address

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:19:12

Yes my deposit is held with DPS, same organisation as the link you provided. However it says on it as "Agent/landlord trading title" : Agent name... "Agent/landlord address" : Agent's address..

So they still did not provide landlord's address on there.

It's the same on the tenancy agreement. Just the Agent's address. However the landlord's name is there. The only thing I know is that the landlord lives on a street just a few minutes from mine - and that's because one of the agent's staff (who has left the company now) revealed it to me a while ago (perhaps accidentally - since it obviously violates their "data protection" policy, I guess).

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:21:26

Search land registry for address too.
If it's for serving of notices, the letting agent address can be used.
Otherwise use sect 1 of 1985 act.

DorisLessingsCat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:22:46

They are ignorant at best and criminal at worst.

Go and see them and make a call to the DPS together.

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:24:23

Thing is my AST is running out this month, and I am due to sign another AST with them - they make it so that signing 6 month AST is much cheaper than going onto a rolling monthly contract. Obviously can't move right now and just been here 6 months and there really is nothing wrong with the house and we like it.

Okay the landlord did ask us to retain all her old mail and a few months ago asked the agent to ask us to give her her old mail. We did. The landlord asked the agent if she could come to our house to pick up the mail. The agent then revealed to me that she actually just lives a few minutes away on that street. Then the agent said it's not advisable the landlord comes to do this, so she asked if we can drop the mail off at the agents' so they can pass it on to the landlord instead. We agreed. Thinking back now, I wish I had said yes to letting the landlord come pick up the mail. We could perhaps have chatted and got to know each other, etc. Then I wouldn't have this problem now of not being able to contact her!

eliphant Fri 03-Jul-15 13:32:57

Doris, are you saying to call DPS to ask for the landlord's real address?

Toughasoldboots Fri 03-Jul-15 13:34:45

Am I invisible today grin

DorisLessingsCat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:37:19

The DPS may not have the LLs address if the agent hasn't given it to them but they will be able to tell the agent that your are required to have it.

ActiviaYoghurt Fri 03-Jul-15 13:38:09

I don't think that if the property is managed that you can demand the landlord address tbh?

if a quarterly inspection is requested, with 24 hours notice that there is a major issue however I think that you are perfectly in your right to say if it is inconvenient and ask them to specify a time, a four hour window seems a bit odd.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Fri 03-Jul-15 13:40:32

Sorry to go off on a tangent but this really jumped out at me:

"they make it so that signing 6 month AST is much cheaper than going onto a rolling monthly contract."

Huh? The tenancy automatically by law becomes a rolling contract unless a) they have given notice to evict you or b) you choose to renew. (And if you don't choose to renew, then they actively have to serve you notice - of two months - if they don't want to keep you on.) Here's more info on Shelter's website:

renewing private tenancy

So what are they telling you you would have to pay extra for to go onto a monthly rolling contract? That's another thing to take up with them. God, I really do despise some letting agents.

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