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My landlord is selling the house I rent and wants to show people my house while I am out

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287 views 1 replies latest reply: 15 January 2016

I have lived in the house I rent for 2 years and 4 months now. It is an annexe built next to their house. They informed me just before Christmas that they were putting the house on the market and that there is a legal clause both properties have to be sold together. They told me that ideally they would like to sell the house with a sitting tenant. 

I allowed the estate agents (3 companies) to come round and take photos of the property; however I moved all my belongings out of the photo (so it looked empty). 

My letting agency called today to say they have a viewings the weekend and can I be out while they are. I wasn’t happy about this as just being after new year my house is not as tidy as it usually is and also I have 2 cats who get scared easily. I also have a problem with them bringing a stranger into my house looking at all my personal possessions (especially my bedroom). 

I went to CAB and have read numerous articles that state I have no legal requirement to let people look round my house as I am currently living there and paying full rent. 

My landlord and I today had a discussion which ended up in an argument. They said that they ‘ideally like to sell the house with me in it, but if not I will have to go’. 

I feel that really they should have to make a decision to either sell with a sitting tenant or they should give me my notice and sell it empty. 

They made a few comments along the lines of ‘if you are being obstructive, we will move the obstruction’ and made a couple of very personal comments which upset me. 

My landlord used the line he ‘legally had the right to enter the property with 24 hours notice’. I completely agreed with him and said he is welcome to look round the house, but he is not entitled to bring other people into the house I rent.

 I have no problem with my landlord giving me notice, I just want a bit of stability. The house is up for quite a lot of money and I know this is the first interest they have had. I obviously understand they want to sell the house but they seem to want it both ways in my eyes…. They want my rent in case they don’t sell but also want access to the property I rent. 

Could anyone help with my tenant rights and right to privacy etc…. 

Thank you in advance.


Hi Carla

Your landlord has the legal right to enter with 24 hrs notice WITH YOUR CONSENT. That’s the bit landlords always miss. If they enter the property without your consent, even if they’ve given notice, then it could be trespass, something you can sue for. The only exception is if there’s a genuine emergency, such as a burst pipe. I’m not a lawyer but, as I understand it, effectively paying the rent gives you temporary possession of the property and an exclusive right that means you can prevent others from entering. Your tenancy probably requires you not to unreasonably withold the consent to allow the landlord or his agents to enter but is it reasonable to demand you vacate the property so they can show people around at the weekend? I’m not sure it is. This is guidance from the Residential Landlords Association that clearly states that consent is required – you can quote this or show it to the landlord if it helps.

If your landlord is demanding entry to the property, or entering without consent or when you’re not there and is being verbally abusive about it all then you may also have an argument of harassment (a criminal offence).

It might be worth putting in writing what has happened, pointing out that the landlord needs your consent to enter, even with the notice given, that you are not going to unreasonably withold that consent but that it does have to be asked for and not demanded. You could also mention how threatened you felt by the implication that the landlord intends to enter the property at any time, even without your consent, and also by the personal things that were said and the idea that you will be ‘removed.’ Perhaps you could say that you’d rather stay as a sitting tenant but you’d like your rights and your personal safety to be respected. A letter like this, sent by registered post, should put the landlord on alert that they can’t just steamroll over you. If they do want to get rid of you then make them do it legally in the normal way, as you say. If you’re not worried about being asked to leave then it’s definitely worth standing up for yourself.


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