Estate Agent Walks Into Property And Takes Viewings Without Notifying Tenant

Sneaky Estate Agent Right, so this is what happened today on this miserable Monday. A work colleague of mine received an alarming phone call this afternoon from his heavily pregnant wife. She had called in a panic to inform him that an estate agent had opened the front door (with keys) to take a viewing of the property, which they’re currently renting. Now, this is what the problems are with that…

  • 1] the tenants didn’t even know the property was for sale
  • 2] the tenants didn’t receive any notification from the landlord or estate agent that someone would be entering the property
  • 3] my colleagues wife is heavily pregnant, so imagine how scared she must have been when strangers walked into the property
  • 4] they only moved into the property on the 30th of December, with a 6 month tenancy agreement
  • 5] the agent didn’t even knock, he just entered on his own accord. If you knew the property was occupied, you’d f’ing knock first, right?

Absolutely disgusting, right? BOTH the landlord and agent are equally in the wrong as far as I’m concerned. The spineless landlord should have informed the tenants he had intentions of selling the property. And the sly estate agents (which are also my tenants letting agent) KNOW they need to provide 24 hours notice to the tenant, which the tenant must agree to.

My colleague (the tenant) was so furious, and rightly so. He called the agents and explained how pissed off he was. The agents apologised (not good enough in my opinion) and said it won’t happen again.

Seriously, what a piss-take, on both the landlords and estate agents part.

What are the tenants rights?

While there’s a Tenancy Agreement in place, the tenants don’t have to move out until their tenancy agreement expires. So I hope the Landlord does find a buyer pretty soon, because then the tenants will have him over a barrel. Additionally, the tenants don’t have to allow viewings, which they won’t. And finally, the tenant is now going to change the front door locks (which they are entitled to do by law). More details on this issue here: My Landlord Wants To Sell The Property I’m Renting

Making a complaint about the estate agent

Since the tenant wanted to make an official complaint, I gave him a push in the right direction. I made him check to see if the Estate Agent is a member of a governing body for estate agents. Guess what? They are members’ of the The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which means the agent is bound by strict rules of conduct to ensure they offer you the highest level of integrity and service. Since the estate agent failed to provide any positive level of service, the tenant is in the process of writing a detailed complaint of the bullshit that went on today.

If the estate agent is in breach of any rules of conduct (which I believe they are), the NAEA can…

Penalities are; caution, formal warning or they could be summoned to a Disciplinary Tribunal (if found to be in breach of the Rules of Conduct, the member could be fined for each breach of the rules, suspended or expelled from membership)

So, if you think an estate agent has taken the piss, check out the NAEA website and see if they’re a member. If so, contact them and make a formal complaint.

May the power be with you.

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4 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Sheldon 25th January, 2010 @ 23:26

what a fucking dumb ass agent and landlord....

1
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GillsMan 26th January, 2010 @ 07:37

Wow. That is absolutely terrible! Damn right they should change the locks and not allow any further viewings. Normally, I advocate that tenants should be reasonable and allow viewings but, given what's happened, I fully support them on this!

2
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Greg 6th February, 2010 @ 10:22

SHOCKING!!!! thats precisely why the industry should be more heavily regulated

3
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deeplyblue 15th January, 2011 @ 02:33

Our original tenancy agreement included a clause which said that in the last two months of the agreement that the landlord or their agents had the right to show prospective new tenants or, presumably, purchasers round the house - after 24 hours' notice, which could be verbal. This was, I think, a standard clause in the agreement used by a large lettings agency.

I suspect that under the conditions outlined here (assuming that all the relevant facts have been revealed- which is a job for a lawyer), the tenants' right to privacy has probably been breached. The tenants probably have a good case if they wanted to take the case to courts, as a breach of human rights.

I would suggest that the tenants take further steps. I didn't know that they had a right to change the locks, but I would have thought that they would have to provide the landlord/ agents with a spare set.

I would recommend setting up a small webcam, linked to a computer - it is quite possible that an agent with that sort of track record is capable of entering the house when the tenants are not at home. They need to track this.

4

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