AIBU to be an 'awkward' tenant?(23 Posts)
Disclaimer: I am the least confrontational, awkward person. But I'm fed up!
I've been in my (rented) house for 3 years. Rent always paid on time, 6 monthly property inspections which have always gone well, no breaches of tenancy agreement, landlord has said he's extremely pleased.
However. The house has been on the market for the past 2 years. When this first happened, I contacted the ll and he told me he didn't actually want to sell the property which is why he put it up at a grossly inflated price.
In the past few months interest seems to have picked up and I'm now having to put up with a number of viewings. These are upsetting for dd 3 as she doesn't understand why total randomers are looking in her bedroom etc.
I haven't been served notice, and have NO plans to go anywhere...
Would it make me a terrible person to ask for a rent reduction in view of the situation?
I should also probably add that if and when ll does serve notice on me, I'm not in a financial position to be able to move out and would be reliant on the local council for help... and they say you have to stay put until ll gets a court order to evict you.
The last thing I want to do is make life awkward for anyone but I do feel it's unfair that these viewings are going on whilst my ll has told me he has no intention of actually selling.
The landlord may be intending to sell the property with you in it, if you see what I mean - to another landlord. On the other hand, it could be that he's just waiting until you only have 2 months left on the assured shorthold tenancy, so that he can inform you that the lease will not be renewed. He can't do that at the moment as you have 3 months left to run.
Equally you are not required to allow the landlord to access the property except for repairs - see here. I would start by listing out the viewings you have facilitated in the last few months and perhaps negotiating something more reasonable, like one day a month?
Sorry, I should have added that I'm now on a rolling tenancy, not fixed term, and that he's definitely not looking to sell as an investment. All viewings so far have been people wanting to potentially live here themselves.
You don't have to allow or facilitate any viewings at all.
I'd just refuse all viewings under the quiet enjoyment rules. I suspect he is planning on selling though OP, have you spoken to the council and put a housing application in already?
When he said he didn't really want to sell, I'd assume that meant he didn't want to get rid of the property unless he could get the high price, and in the last 2 years house prices have increased so it's no longer overpriced- hence the additional viewings.
I would contact the council now and also refuse viewings. Assume he now is asking a reasonable price so it will sell. People who don't want to sell at all don't put their properties on the market.
I've been on the council housing list for over 2 years the rent I pay here is totally unsustainable but as far as they are concerned I have a roof over my head so I'm (understandably) not a priority.
Contact Shelter for advice OP. If you cannot afford to move because of having to get a deposit together, you could negotiate with the LL to get your deposit back before the end of the tenancy - assuming you paid a deposit and it has been put into a deposit protection scheme, as required by law.
fudge I did explore the possibility of early deposit release but was advised it was highly unlikely. From what I can gather the ll doesn't want to lose me as a tenant before the house sells as then he's losing his rental income, he can't put the house back up for rent while it's also up for sale, and it could end up sitting empty for another 2 years! I think he wants to have his cake and eat it...
But you haven't actually spoken to the LL to explore this with him? I think it sounds as though it is time to bite the bullet and do so. Let the LL know you have been advised you will need to be evicted in order to get social housing therefore if he wants a smooth sale once he has a buyer, it will be in his interests to release your deposit. I presume you have been in contact with the agent to date?
Are you expected to actually show them around the house?
Might be time to "helpfully" point out the room thats always freezing because of the damp, the corner the rats come in, the awful smell when the wind is from the West......
fudge I've spoken with the letting agent as they manage my property. I have also told them I would like to speak directly to my ll as soon as possible but so far they haven't been able to facilitate that. I'm not sure whether that's because they're wary of me being awkward, but I do know the ll spends a fair amount of the year out of the country.
This is landlord having it both ways and he can't do that. Unless he sells to another landlord, he cant sell until you've gone, and he hasn't even given you notice. You could be staying to the bailiffs for all he knows.
If he wants to sell, he needs to evict you first and cope with no rent.
You hold all the cards so tell the agent to tell hm that.
I would definately tell the landlord no more viewings then. Make it clear he's going to have to get you out before he can do viewings, so if he does want to sell, he has to give you notice.
If that's going to happen anyway, best get the ball rolling, and by cooperating, you are just delaying it all.
Thanks. I suppose I'm reluctant to rock the boat too much because it all comes down to me wanting to stay here as long as possible. The last thing I want to do is leave, for the house to then sit empty for a year or so. But I also don't want the constant feeling of dread every time there's a viewing!
Now I sound like I want to have my cake and eat it
It might be worth your while to think strategically. If he sells he makes you unintentionally homeless, which means the Council will have to rehouse you, especially if you have children.
The Council will probably not want to do this, and will encourage you to find another private rental. They may not be prepared to consider rehousing you till the day you are formally evicted. (Like those TV programmes.) And short term you could end up in a hostel or somewhere unsuitable. But if you can tough it out it could well be your golden ticket to a council tenancy. Talk to Shelter. Or tell the Council you expect to be evicted as your house is being sold and ask what they can do. Stress your current rent is cheap and you doubt you will be able to afford anything suitable on the open market. You may be lucky and there are some new family homes being built by a housing Assn or similar.
I don't think you sound like you want to have your cake and eat it. I know there's often tension between posters who are tenants and posters who are landlords on MN (disclaimer: I'm a landlord) because what is a business transaction to one party is about the roof over the head of the other. But in this case I can understand why the situation is causing you anxiety. The one who seems to want to have his cake and eat it is the landlord.
Most buyers will be warned off buying a house with a sitting tenant, because if you refuse to go at the end of the tenancy the sale can't go through until you've been evicted, and that can take months. So the risk that landlords take when wanting to sell a property (unless wanting to limit themselves to investors, and this is more difficult now because of BTL mortgages becoming more limited as I understand it) is to give notice to the tenant. If he's actually playing a game where he has to show willing but still doesn't really want to sell, this is a good strategy for him but unacceptable for you.
I would tell the letting agents that you won't facilitate any more viewings. It sounds like they're the ones who want the viewings most, do they have the house sale as well as the management of the rental? Either way - foot down, no more. Then the landlord can decide whether to terminate your contract (evidence for you to show the Council) or back off.
I agree with Needmoresleep - talk to Shelter.
He is selling, he just wants the right price. He isn't going to tell you that as he also wants your rent.
I'd look for somewhere else to live as a rolling contract can end very suddenly. The fact is he is selling up and you will need to move anyway. The rolling contract should mean you can move quickly too, whether he sells or not.
he is selling, soon as somebody makes an offer.
what i would do is speak to him and say that you will continue to stay and pay rent and facilitate viewings and leave when asked IF and ONLY IF you get a decent rent reduction. Then you can save that for your new deposit and when he does serve notice you'll be able to move out when requested and find somewhere new.
for council housing help you'd have to refuse to move out and wait for eviction which must be horribly stressful for everyone.
Can you ask to reduce the rent in return for allowing scheduled viewings? You then save the difference to start building up a deposit so you can move out sooner (and means LL doesn't have to wait to go through courts to evict)
tribpot is absolutely right - it is the landlord who wants it both ways and it simply doesn't work like that.
Be aware that if you do go down the eviction route for council property, you will be liable for the costs (£600 - £2k, although rarely enforced) and the council property may be a B and B.
stop the viewings by WRITING with proof of postage to the agent, and tell them that you need to be in touch with the landlord to work out a way forward.
So much advice. Thank you. tribpot yes, the la and ea are the same company, but different branches of it.
With regards a possible rent reduction, again I think there's more chance of hell freezing over. Ll wouldn't even agree to that when I had no heating or hot water for 5 days.
The last thing I want is to be awkward because that's just not who I am. I've been a good tenant for 3 years, I suppose I'd just like a little consideration in return.
Exerting your right to quiet enjoyment is not being awkward.
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