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foxtons lettings valuation?

(18 Posts)
maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 08:46:46

We're moving into our own place in April (hopefully - exchange has not taken place yet but we're getting there) and have had to give notice on our current flat as our tenancy ends at the end of April and landlord won't let us extend on a rolling contract, only a six month one which is no good to us.

so foxtons are re-marketing the flat which is fine but their lettings manager has said he has to come round today to look at the flat to see its current rental value? I find that a bit bizarre to be honest as place looks exactly the same as it did when we moved in a year ago.

I am eight and a half months pregnant and it's a massive hassle for me to be honest as means I have to hide our two cats (don't flame me for that, massive backstory but essentially we were totally upfront about having them when we moved in, LL said it was fine, we paid an extra deposit, then he changed his mind for no apparent reason. All furniture is ours and the flat isn't carpeted).

anyone else had experience of such lettings valuations? I also told foxtons that I was not going to be having viewings come round at all hours as depending on the day I was either going to be heavily pregnant, in labour or with a newborn so I'd prefer to have all viewings on a set date and time (eg saturday 10am-1pm). that didn't go down well either, they were really shirty with me.

I'm in London if it's relevant.

MrsFlorrick Wed 24-Feb-16 08:56:24

Letting valuation is normal. Perhaps this current Foxtons agent hasn't actually seen the place and it's hard to sell something you've not seen. So that's normal even if it is a hassle to you.

Stand your ground on set viewing times. There is no reason for them to be traipsing around at their convenience.

Ordinarily I would suggest you just let them get on with it however as you're more than 8 months pregnant, this isn't an option. This all needs to be done with least amount of stress to you.

Make sure you have email/documented the agreed times for viewings along with a statement in the email that if they were to just pitch up, it could cause you or your unborn child harm and distress. This will ensure they stay out of your way.

It's annoying that the LL won't let you stay on a rolling notice (holding over). However some landlords insist on tenancies with no holding over.

Have you got the LLs contact details? If so I'd contact directly and see if Foxtons really have passed on your offer of staying a little longer on a rolling notice. Perhaps they have not as they will receive a larger one off fee for finding a new tenant rather than a smaller monthly sum for letting you stay.

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:57:14

You can refuse any visits and you are perfectly entitled to do so because you have a legal right to 'quiet enjoyment'.

The Shelter website gives the definition:

'A tenant's right of undisturbed enjoyment of premises. Quiet enjoyment is an implied term of all tenancies.'

However, I tried to be reasonable, when I rented and I used to stipulate conditions on viewings otherwise letting agents just turned up whenever they wanted.

They have no right to come in to your home and it is your home no theirs. You are not living n a hotel. Agents are no more than sales people and they get as shirty as they like and it makes no difference. These agents very often don't know the law. You need to put them straight.

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:01:24

MrsFlorrck - I also agree that that the OP should contact the LL directly on the rolling contract issue. The LL may not be aware that the OP wants to go to an automatic rolling contract.

Agents always want tenants on fixed term contracts as they means guaranteed rental for a period and renewal fees at the end. Rolling contracts are however perfectly legal and start automatically if neither LL or tenant gives notice without any new paperwork and no fee required.

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 09:03:11

Florrick unfortunately our LL is a money grabbing arsehole as discovered re: the business with the cats. When he changed his mind we said OK, we would find somewhere else to go with them but we were locked into a years' contract then and he wouldn't release us from it. So I can fully believe he won't let us go on a rolling contract.

I will just have to stand my ground I suppose!!

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:11:44

maybe - on the cats issue.

Surely the fact you were allowed cats and you had agreed to pay extra money was written into your contract?

If not, you clearly had some correspondence about it and the LL agreement was indicated. Once agreed and the extra paid the LL it seems reversed their position on cats but only after the contract was signed? That reversal will not stand up in court if there is a dispute over deposit.

Stand your ground.

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 09:19:11

No sadly it wasn't as it was a verbal agreement after we'd signed the initial contract which just has a standard "no pets without the landlord's permission" type clause.

We did pay extra money into the deposit held by foxtons so there is a record of that though.

I didn't think he could withhold our deposit simply for having the cats, and even if he did it wouldn't be the world's worst disaster but my concern was that he'd evict us really.

kirinm Wed 24-Feb-16 09:43:59

You have my sympathy in having to deal with Foxtons. I only crossed paths because they were responsible for letting the flat above me and they made such a mess outside my flat that I went a bit apeshit - my LL had just told us she was using the break clause she insisted on the day we moved in and was selling so I wasn't in a great mood anyway.

Foxtons (as you are no doubt aware) are money grabbing arseholes. As you aren't reliant on them for a reference set out when they can and can't come round.

My LL couldn't actually sell her place so she rented it out again and they didn't do a valuation visit. I bet I could guess a valuation based on where you live only.

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 09:54:01

No thankfully we arent reliant on them for a reference as a third party company deals with the rent so that's something!

I really don't know why they need to do a valuation tbh, we live in Islington - all rent is extortionate here!

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Wed 24-Feb-16 09:59:06

What does it say in your contract about end of tenancy visits/viewings? If there is nothing specific there you do not have to allow visits until your Tenancy has ended.
Unless there is an emergency eg gas or water leak you never have to allow immediate access. So I suggest you tell the agent he cannot come today. If you want to be reasonable, you can make an appointment for a time that suits you before your tenancy ends. But you do not have to be reasonable.
Nobody would expect a woman on the verge of giving birth/ nursing a new born to allow access
Put everything in writing so that you have a paper trail if you wish to take action against The agent for harrassment. Copy to the Head of Lettings. You will probably find that the person pressurising you is some commission hungry new recruit.....

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:59:50

Maybe they just want to check the general condition of the property and take some photos for marketing purposes? Seems fair.

I never had a problem with an agent visiting before a flat as remarketed. It gave me an opportunity to discuss visiting arrangements, take a note of their contact details and generally form a working relationship.

I think the best way to deal with agents is be reasonable. Be sensible. Be clear on what terms you will accept and put those in an email. Be firm in making sure you enforce what you agreed.

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 10:15:39

I need to read it again but I'm pretty sure we have to allow "reasonable access" for viewings in the 2 months before our contract comes to an end.

I don't mind the viewings as long as they come at our set day and time and not ad hoc.

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 12:07:59

maybe - that contract term is invalid. There is no general right of access regardless of what your contract says apart form the usual right a LL has to make emergency entry to do repairs, etc.

All letting agents put that term in but is legally unenforceable. It does not override your right to quiet enjoyment.

What is 'reasonable access' anyway? It is undefined. What is reasonable is what you agree to.

My stipulation was always 24 hours notice by email then they can come anytime during the working day between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm and only 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Saturday but not Sunday at all.

I was out at work so it wasn't bothering me if they came in the working day. Given you are pregnant you might make the hours more restricted.

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 12:18:28

I don't want anyone coming round when I'm not here so I was thinking of offering a Saturday morning.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Wed 24-Feb-16 12:22:04

"Reasonable access" is exactly what it says. That means something a reasonable person would think of as reasonable. Given the circumstances, Saturday morning is fine.

ABetaDad1 Wed 24-Feb-16 12:23:44

Sorry typo. " isn't legally_ enforceable".

bojorojo Wed 24-Feb-16 14:02:17

I would try and be reasonable. Realistically, how many viewings will there be? Hundreds? Or just a few? People do queue up to view on a Saturday morning but if I was at home, I would be reasonable about access, pregnant or not. Trying to sort all this "reasonable" and "unreasonable" out and being combative will be just as difficult as agreeing to viewings on an ad hoc basis. I have visited flats with an agent whilst the tenant was at work No problems at all. That was reasonable. If you do NEED the flat longer, will the LL be prepared to accommodate you or will he want you out? If you try and enforce everything to your advantage the answer will be out, won't it?

maybebabybee Wed 24-Feb-16 14:22:05

I'm less bothered bojo about being pregnant while viewings take place and more about having a newborn or being in labour when viewings take place. Hence my suggestion of just having a set time rather than have people come round ad hoc.

I don't want anyone in the flat when one of us is out because of the cats.

The flat will I imagine be re-let very quickly as this is London, so either way we will be out at the end of our contract, whether we're nice or not.

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