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What are our rights with regards to allowing viewings on rental property? LL selling

(77 Posts)
SmileAndNod Sun 15-Oct-17 09:59:01

We rent and the owner of our house is deciding whether to sell *though from what we've been told it's pretty certain. Or put in an extra bedroom / extension. He's not too sure. Our tenancy ends in Feb, so we will be given notice in December ( on Xmas eve).

So far the letting agent has arranged with us two dates to come and do a valuation / take photos and measure up for floor plans. Both times they have failed to turn up. The second time (Friday) DH waited in all day and not even a phone call to say they weren't comingangry

We don't know what to do . We're not happy with them just turning up as they please without one of us being here. We have a dog who won't know these people, will become distressed at strangers being in his house. He has a heart condition and I'm worried what might happen.

According to the letting agent they only have to give us 24 hours notice and they can let themselves in as they choose. Whether we're here or not. I think it's in the tenancy agreement as well. Do we have to accept this? Is there anything legally we can say whereby we can refuse? I ask because we were due to look at another rental property but were told we'd have to wait till x date until the current tenant moved out. In any event we didn't get to see it as they had 15 viewings the first day and so they had their pick of tenants.

I'm wondering why our letting agents aren't so reasonable. Or indeed can be bothered. We had to chase THEM to find out about the decision to sell! They don't return calls.Then they don't even turn up at arranged times. 2 days DH has taken off work.

We're feeling very unsettled by it all. We have 3 kids and will be homeless after Christmas (perils of renting I know) but all of this is piling on the stresssad

EnglishGirlApproximately Sun 15-Oct-17 10:04:31

The 24 hour rule is only for emergencies, they have no right at all to enter without your permission for anything other than urgent repairs- gas leak for example.
I feel your pain OP, we had our section 21 last month as our landlady is getting divorced and has nowhere that's live so she wants to move into the house that she 'bought for investment, will definitely never want to live in it' hmm
I'm quite laid back and try to work with the landlady and agency but would go nuts if they entered without my permission. Luckily the agency is extremely professional and respectful to us and they're managing the landladies expectations we'll. good luck flowers

EnglishGirlApproximately Sun 15-Oct-17 10:05:21

Gosh, loads of typos hope you get the gist!

insancerre Sun 15-Oct-17 10:11:29

You don't have to let them in and they can't let themselves in either

Fattymcfaterson Sun 15-Oct-17 10:11:38

Email the letting agent stating that you do not, in any situation grant them permission to enter when you are not there.
They can write what they like in a contract. It doesn't make it legal. Lots of letting agents try this on. But you have final say. Even with 24hrs notice you are within your rights to say no

specialsubject Sun 15-Oct-17 11:35:22

Write to the agent, copy the landlord, refusing all viewings. That is a letter , not kiddy comms, sent from a post office with a free proof of posting.

If the agent is threatening to let themselves in, change the locks. Keep the old locks and replace when you leave, making good any damage.

I'm a landlord.

specialsubject Sun 15-Oct-17 11:36:48

BTW your notice will be two months if you aren't in a fixed term. You won't be homeless after Christmas.

SmileAndNod Sun 15-Oct-17 15:01:26

Thanks for the replies. Is there any legal form of words that we need to use the letter special subject?

Only the letting agent was quite abrupt when she told me on the phone that they only had to give us 24 hours notice to enter the property and they will do that regardless if what we say. She was quite certain and it is in the contract we signed. We don't have a lawyer if that was needed. It is our home space with our things and our dog 😓

I hope you find somewhere English girl. It's shit isn't it. It has ( and is) sending my MH into a downward spiral. I don't trust the agents after not returning calls, not turning up etc. They are happy to take 60 quid from us every 6 months for signing a bit of paper and come for a nose every 3 months.

I just hope that people move after Xmas and that we can find somewhere before end of Feb when the fixed term ends.

Fattymcfaterson Sun 15-Oct-17 15:37:34

Just tell them that if they enter your property without your express WRITTEN permission, that you will contact the police and file a report of trespassing

PersianCatLady Sun 15-Oct-17 15:52:22

Trespass is not a crime, so the police will not be interested.

EnglishGirlApproximately Sun 15-Oct-17 15:58:07

smile. I would just tell them that any contract they have produced doesn't overwrite law, and legally they have no right of entry. We've seen somewhere we like and we're hoping to hear that tomorrow if we've got it so fingers crossed, hope you manage to find something soon. There are plenty of rentals around but the quality of so many of them is awful that there's always a dozen applicants for the good ones. We are at the more expensive end if our local market and so many properties are in such a poor state I dread to think what the cheaper end of the market is like.

insancerre Sun 15-Oct-17 16:06:45

I suggest you change the locks and replace them when you leave
A good locksmith will be able help you

specialsubject Sun 15-Oct-17 18:34:19

Have a look at what shelter say on the subject. You aren't in the last month of your tenancy - in fact as landlords can't end tenancies, unless you give notice or bailiffs are booked you can't be.

This is all so pointless - the landlord is selling, it isn't going to shift until you have gone, so why not just wait until you have?

sooperdooper Sun 15-Oct-17 18:38:25

As you know now this is happening why don't you start looking for somewhere new now? Are you on a rolling contract? If so get ahead of the game and give them notice instead of waiting

SmileAndNod Sun 15-Oct-17 20:41:01

Were on a 6 month fixed term until Feb - so we cant give notice now, nor will they release us early. We have been looking on rightmove and registered our interest with other letting agents since we found out but no one is much interested at the minute as we are not in a position to move quickly. LL want their houses filled ASAP not to wait until FEb.

Do you think that places will be available after Christmas or does everything slow down then?

specialsubject Sun 15-Oct-17 22:01:30

Obviously a landlord won't hold the place for three months, but once you are nearer leaving it can all happen.

That said, with a dog you will be more restricted so keep an eye out. Also my usual frying pan and fire warning - get informed and dont feed crap landlords. Even if this is London.

SmileAndNod Mon 16-Oct-17 06:16:01

Actually we are rural! Agree definitely more restricted with a dog. He's a good boy though and not left roaming the house to cause damage. Weve missed a couple that would consider pets so that has been annoying.

We'ver been good tenants so they say which makes it all the more galling that we feel mucked about at the minute. I'm trying not to take it personally it's business to the owner.

Still keep having nightmares about it all though...

Will try and get through to Shelter today.

Pemba Mon 16-Oct-17 10:02:35

Letting agents are behaving badly. I would change the locks. It probably says in your contract that you aren't allowed to do this, but how will they know, unless they attempt to let themselves in without agreement, which they aren't allowed to do ....

SmileAndNod Mon 16-Oct-17 17:09:11

They're bloody abysmal - still no word from then about their missed appointment on Friday. I'm not sure I can be bothered to chase them - again.
If I could afford s locksmith ( with all the rest that moving will cost) i would!

Firstaidnovice Mon 16-Oct-17 17:17:11

Depending on the kind of door you have, you don't need a locksmith, you can just buy a lock the right size in b and q, and change it yourself, it's actually pretty straightforward.
As everyone has said, they definitely have no legal right to enter your property. Check to see if they are registered with any trade bodies, and threaten to report them if they enter without permission.
When I was a LL I offered my tenants a reasonably reduced rent in exchange for allowing viewings, which they were happy with, so that's also something you could consider, although of course viewings at mutually agreed times. And it doesn't sound as though the agent would honour any such agreement, so possibly a non starter.

ButDoYouAvocado Wed 18-Oct-17 09:32:30

We had similar. I refused all viewings etc. Not to be an arsehole but because of the situation you describe, ie. Not turning up for appointments and lying about their rights. We also changed the locks for peace of mind. We moved out on the last day and left it spotless.

SmileAndNod Wed 18-Oct-17 12:59:17

Yes. We don't want to be awkward. But are so fed up of getting messed about.
AND we keep getting parking fines sent to our address for the owner angry

specialsubject Wed 18-Oct-17 13:04:57

...which means that he probably hasn't declared that the place is rented - the car is still registered there. Return as 'not known'. Credit issues go with people, not address.

If he hasn't declared it is rented then it could be (stress could) at risk of repossession if the mortgage company find out, and not properly insured. Not your problem as you don't own the building.

how are all the legals? Gas safe, EPC, how to rent, smoke alarms?

mikesh909 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:14:16

I had this in a recently vacated rental. Legally speaking you have the right to 'quiet enjoyment' of your property up to and including the elastic day of your tenancy. This means if it doesn't suit you to take viewings that day, you can decline. The letting agent would be breaking the law if they let themselves in without notice or without permission. Most agents though, as you probably know if you're an experienced renter, are mostly qualified for the job by way of their cheap suits and questionable moral compasses so don't count on them to know the law. The housing charity 'shelter' were incredibly helpful to me. You can talk to one of their advisors in a webchat and they can explain the specific legalities including references to the actual laws so you can put yourself in a position to educate any agents / landlords who might not have bothered to do this for themselves. Good luck with it all. It's a stressful situation to be in.

mikesh909 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:14:54

Elastic = last!

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