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landlord access when not convinient

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576 views 12 replies latest reply: 24 March 2015
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So I am dealing with a very difficult Lettings agent. 

They contacted us on Saturday to say:

 

“The landlord will be visiting the flat with a surveyor on Wednesday 18thMarch between 1pm-2.30pm. There will be no interruption to your day as they will be attending with the flat keys in hand, however you are welcome to be present.”

 

This was not convenient for us and we asked if they could come before 12. They responded with:

 

“Although I understand this is not convenient with you, the landlord will be entering the property with keys on Wednesday 18th March between 1pm-2.30pm.

As per Schedule 1 Section 6 of your contract; tenants are “to allow the Landlord…to enter the property. Except in an emergency, the Landlord…will give the tenant not less than 24 hours written notice.””

 

Is this true? From some research I’ve been doing this sounds like they are trying to intimidate us, as we have the right to Quiet enjoyment. Can anybody help with how I should reply?

Thanks!

 

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Tenant

so i was going to reply with:

Excuse me but the landlord will not be entering the property on Wednesday 18th between 1pm-2.30pm. 

 

Please do not quote my tennancy to me when you have little understanding of it. This is not in Schedule 1 Section 6, it is in Schedule 11 Section 6. 

I would like to state if you enter the property without our permission then you will be trespassing and guilty of harassment which is a criminal offence. You will also be in breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.

 

We have been reasonable and informed you that this time is not convenient to us, and given you an alternative time. As you cannot make this time, then we will have to rearrange again. We can do from Friday onwards, which is perfectly reasonable. 

And going forwards we must always be present at anytime you want access, and you must not use your keys to access the property unless in an emergency.

 

We would also like to speak to the landlord, so this will be a good opportunity. 

 

 

Thanks

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Service provider

The tenancy does convey a right for the landlord to enter the property given 24 hours notice but the tenants also have a right to quiet enjoyment.  I wouldn’t write what you propose especially suggesting that, should they gain entry, they would be liable to a harrassment charge.  This does nothing but inflame the sitaution and can make future dealings more tense.   Harrassment is over and above what you have described.

 

A simple email confirming what you have told them previously, that you do not give them permission to gain entry, will suffice.   It’s then up to them if they choose to ignore or accept it.  As long as you offer alternative times and don’t act unreasonably, you’re on safe ground.

 

Hopefully the agent or landlord will see sense and re-arrange.

 

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Tenant

yes, i toned it down, and took out any reference to charges. 

thanks for the help.

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Administrator

Hi Martin

Have you tried contacting the landlord directly? Sometimes agents dig their heels in for the sake of it and it becomes a battle of wills. If you contact the landlord and explain that you’re very happy to agree an alternative time but that the current one won’t work then they might be more amenable. You could also point out that, by insisting like this, the agent is opening the landlord up to a claim for trespass (I don’t think it would be harassment in this case) – which you can sue for – and, as that link you posted says, a claim that something has been lost, stolen or damaged by those who entered the property when you weren’t there.

If you need something to back you up – this link is to the National Landlords Association, an industry body that even the most inexperienced agent should recognise. As you can see, in question 3 it says “A tenancy gives exclusive possession of a property to the tenant. You can therefore only gain access by invitation.”

Whatever you choose to do it’s best to keep the tone cool and professional and not get angry or personal – it seems as if you’re well within your rights to stop them as long as you’re suggesting another date.

Alex

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Tenant

Ah thanks for the help. Yeah I think the landlord also owns the estate agent that is managing the property as they have a similar name. This explains a lot. 

In the end we reitterated that it was not convenient, they quoted back to us our obligations set out in the tenenacy. So i quoted back some of the research I’d gathered about quiet enjoyment and they immediately said they would rearrange for Friday. So much stress and time wasted when they could have done that in the first place. Then they contacted us later in the day to tell us that the landlord was selling the property and sent us our s21 to get out. 

Its been a nightmare from start to finish. We’ve lived there for 5 months, with 4 months of works and repairs, like no heating in half the flat for 3 months in winter. We’ve had to chase the Lettings agents on a daily basis or nothing got done, and had to put up with awful contractors who do a terrible job or don’t turn up. And as soon as all the work is complete and we’ve basically done their jobs for them, they tell us to get out. I know its for the best, but feel like we’ve been taken for a ride. And I’m only imagining the trouble we’re going to have now with them wanting to do viewings constantly while we’re not at home.

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so i am going to send the landlord this letter, would appriciate any feedback:


To whom it may concern

We are the tenants at #####, and would like to bring to your attention the number of issues we have had since moving into the property on 3rd November 2015. We would like to highlight these directly to you as we feel they have not been sufficiently managed by your letting agent ######.

Here is a list of some of the problems we have had in no particular order:
1. Unable to use oven for 5 weeks as oven racks were missing
2. Communal Post box unusable for 12 weeks as locks were broken. Even when it was “fixed” it is still unsafe to use as you can open it easily from the outside. This issue has been repeatedly ignored by ######.
3. No heating in front bedroom, or living area/kitchen for 13 weeks, resulting in spending Christmas under duvets, and being unable to have guest over.
4. Broken blind, which I fixed.
5. Loose plug and light sockets, which are a fire risk. I fixed.
6. Broken cooker hob which took 13 weeks to fix.
7. Leaking kitchen tap which took 3 weeks to fix.
8. Front door frame unsafe, as it had been split in two and not correctly fixed. We had to organize London Bar to be fitted ourselves.
9. Dead batteries in smoke alarm, which we replaced.
10. Communal front door didn’t lock for 5 weeks, and was only fixed when someone started to vandalise the communal areas of the flats. 

Another issue that was continuously ignored was our request for a 10% rent rebate for the 3 months where we were without heating, and as compensation for the amount of problems we had experienced since moving into the property. This was mentioned again and again to ####### via email, to which we were continuously told they were requesting it form yourself. We have still had no response. 

On top of having to deal with all these issues, we had to chase ####### on a daily basis before any action was taken, getting very little cooperation or understanding of the severity of what we were experiencing. We have over 150 emails between ourselves and #######. To compound matters further, ######## seem to employ very unreliable contractors who time after time failed to turn up to agreed appointments with no communication from themselves or the agent, meaning we had to continuously plan our day around them. 

Now after 4 months of unnecessary stress and bad management the above issues have finally been resolved, and we get 1 month to enjoy living in the property before we are told we have to leave as you are selling it. We feel we have been ideal tenants, always paying our rent on time, never causing any inconvenience and being more than understanding and patient with the situations we have faced. So I hope you understand what a bitter experience this leaves us with. I rented my previous property from ######### in #####, and had nothing but good things to say about them, but living here has caused us nothing but stress and I would sum the experience up as “a nightmare”. 

We hope you understand our concerns and reasons for informing you directly. If you require any further information we have emails with all correspondence between ourselves and #######.

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Tenant

And after all that, the landlord never bothered to turn up. Didn’t inform us either. It’s almost so absurd that it’s laughable. 

 

So, now i’m thinking of asking if we could leave before the 26th of may, if we need to. i would think this would be beneficial to the landlord, as he will be able to sell it sooner, and also for us if we can move into somewhere new ASAP. do you think this sounds reasonable?

 

also, how does it work regarding rent, as we pay our rent on the 3rd of each month, so do we get money back if we move out on the 26th?

 

would just like to know where i stand on this before approaching the lettings agent, as they’re already being difficult with supplying the landlords address, so we can send him a letter. 

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Administrator

Hi Martin

Your landlord’s address should be on your tenancy agreement – there are a couple of others ways you can find it mentioned here too.

It certainly sounds like you will be better off away from this landlord and agent. In terms of moving out early just make sure you get the landlord’s agreement in writing. Despite the fact that there have been so many problems you will still be liable for your rent until the tenancy officially ends unless you have proof that the landlord agreed to you leaving earlier. It’s always worth asking, especially if you can phrase it in terms of making things easier for the landlord.

If your official move out date is the 26th I would only pay rent 3rd – 26th as getting anything back will probably be like trying to get blood from a stone. 

Do you know which tenancy deposit scheme holds your deposit? I would check that now too as these kinds of landlords are the ones that will present you with a bill at the end of the tenancy if they can, so that they don’t have to pay for anything themselves to get new tenants.

Alex

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