My Tenant Won’t Allow Me To Enter The Property For Viewings

Tenant won't allow viewings

Ahh, taking viewings with tenants in situ! What a royal pain in the rectum.

My tenant isn’t exactly point-blank refusing me access in order to take viewings, but she’s making it incredibly difficult, which is encouraging me to have terrible thoughts, which all conclude with her crying like a blubbering baby, while I’m holding her bloody heart up in the air like a prized trophy and laughing like a hyena.

So I want to touch on the subject of arranging viewings with difficult tenants, because there seems to be conflicting opinions about this incredibly common dilemma, particularly regarding the landlords right of entry.

The struggle is real whether you want to find new replacement tenants or sell a tenanted property. This blog post will primarily focus on tenant viewings, but the general principles and legal standings will apply to both scenarios.

Page contents:

The situation from both sides

On one hand, the landlord wants to limit the void period between tenancies, so they’re eager to take viewings while the property is still tenanted. Totally understandable.

But on the other hand, the tenant is still the occupant; the property is still their home, and they’re not terribly encouraged by the idea of random punters trampling in and out of their home. Equally as understanding.

In reality, most tenants won’t have an issue with viewings as long as they’re orchestrated with courtesy by the landlord. Granted, many landlords haven’t the foggiest what that entails. But even so, there are many other reasons for why viewings can be problematic when there is a tenant in situ.

It can be one of the trickiest and most irritating situations for both landlord and tenant, because there’s a legitimate argument for both parties, so it’s easy to be sympathetic for either side. But it’s probably more irritating for landlords, and I say that while trying to remain unequivocally unbiased and objective. The landlord simply has something more tangible to lose. Money!

So, who’s in the right? Morally, it can go either way (but who cares about morals, right?). Here’s how I’ve always understood it from a legal standpoint…

Can the tenant refuse the landlord access for viewings?

I believe so, yes.

If the tenant doesn’t want to allow access, whether it be for viewings, inspections or general maintenance, that’s their statutory right. The tenant has the right to possession and to the lawful use and enjoyment of the premises. Whether that’s reasonable or not is another issue altogether.

In this situation, I’ve noticed a bizarre trend, whereby many landlords and agents are under the impression that tenants mysteriously lose their statutory rights towards the end of the tenancy when it’s time for viewings. They don’t.

So what does that mean? Under Common Law, all tenants are entitled to live in “quiet enjoyment” until the tenancy is legally terminated, so only until then can you or anyone else can’t just waltz in and out of the property without permission.

Tessa Shepperson, from The Landlord Law blog, says the following on the matter:

It means that they [the tenant] are entitled to live in the property without interference from the landlord or anyone acting on his behalf (such as his letting agent).

There is also another legal rule which says that “a landlord may not derogate from his grant“.

This means, effectively, that a landlord cannot grant a tenancy and then expect to be able to treat the property as if it was his.

So the law is (or should be) on the side of the tenant if he wants to keep his landlord out.

‘Viewing’ clauses in tenancy agreements

This is where it gets particularly controversial with opinions flying in several directions.

Many rely and believe in ‘viewing clauses’, which typically stipulates that in the last 28 days of a tenancy the landlord/agent is entitled to access the premises in order to take viewings.

Many tenancy agreements will have viewing clauses, but I think they’re often misinterpreted, and wrongly used as a license to breach the tenants rights. That’s when it can become dangerous.

While Citizen’s Advice does mention that landlords can rely on terms set in the tenancy agreement to gain reasonable access for viewings, it’s important to acknowledge that “forceful entry” into the property without legal consent (e.g. consent from a Judge) is not permitted, which is what I believe the situation would effectively be if a landlord or agent enters a property without permission. On that basis, viewing clauses become tragically weaker than many realise, because they still don’t actually provide authority to enter the premises without permission.

Ultimately, the tenants right to refuse access will take precedence over any clause impeding the tenants right to “quiet enjoyment”, unless there is a genuine emergency. Section 11 clarifies that if there is an emergency the landlord can enter without permission, which I’m assuming is something like a heavily leaking/burst water pipe or fire.

I suppose, you could, in theory, strategically throw a rock through the window and dislodge an exposed pipe and then go into the property. Err… good luck with that one.

The biggest consequence ALL landlords should fear when contemplating the notion of entering a property without consent from the tenant is the prospect of harassment charges for “forcing entry” It’s very real. And scary.

You definitely don’t want that nasty little allegation hanging over your sorry little peanut-head. I wouldn’t risk it. It’s also worth bearing in mind (in case you actually want to act on your mindless stupidity), Judges are generally in favour of the poor vulnerable tenants in these situations, so it’s practically financial suicide for landlords. Trespassers be warned.

I’d personally wait until the tenant vacates and subsequently risk having a longer void period, even if that means reluctantly swallowing the extra costs. It’s a total suck-fest, but that’s the reality of the situation as far as I’m concerned.

If the tenant does refuse access while there are ‘reasonable’ viewing clauses and the landlord has attempted to orchestrate them reasonably and with fair warning, yes, the tenant IS in breach of contract. Then you can serve a section 8, but what’s the bloody point? The tenant is due to vacate soon anyways and going down the eviction route would be the epitome of cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. A whole lot of hassle. Again, I’d still rather wait until the unreasonable douchebag tenant vacates.

Another point to note is that the landlord may have a good case to seek compensation via the deposit scheme if reasonable access hasn’t been granted and consequently money has been lost.

Conclusion? Meh, in real terms, viewing clauses aren’t worth shit, in my humble opinion! However, purely on the grounds that most tenants aren’t aware of their right to quiet enjoyment, the clause is still worth having. So on the basis that you’ve managed to bag yourself a tenant that will blindly allow their fate to be determined by a clause that mostly isn’t worth a damn, you may have hit the jackpot in this situation.

What about letting agents & viewings?

Yeah, what about them? They can go suck on a pulsating haemorrhoid.

Only joking.

I have two thoughts about letting agents and viewings.

Agents can be extremely useful during these turbulent times, because they’ll usually chase, pester and apply pressure until tenants reluctantly become accommodating. Agents usually aren’t shy of being relentless, greasy little assholes, and that can be an extremely persuasive skill set. Sometimes.

I’ve always said that one of the main benefits of using a high-street agent is having the viewings dealt with. Now, whether that alone is worth their sky high price-tag is debatable. A debate for another day, perhaps.

My second thought is, quite naturally, rather more disruptive. I often hear stories about letting agents freely walking in and out of properties without the tenants permission. This usually occurs because the agents are oblivious to the law or knowingly disregard it. They probably get away with it more often than not, because they know they’re preying on the ignorant. But it’s a risky game for them to play, because agents are governed by the same restrictions as landlords.

All I’d say is, if an agent is handling the viewings on your behalf, I wouldn’t advise or pressure them to ‘force entry’ if you’re dealing with a difficult tenant. However, if they’re prepared to do it without your encouragement, on their greasy little head be it. But as the landlord, I believe it’s wiser to keep your hands squeaky clean and tell your agent not to enter without permission.

How to deal with viewings during tenanted properties

The key is communication and respect.

Don’t just assume or insist that taking viewings is perfectly acceptable in your tenants eyes, even if you have an amazing relationship and your star-sign intertwines with theirs. Always ask permission and emphasise you’re prepared to work around their schedule.

Remember, they don’t have to allow you access, they can easily make the entire process extremely difficult for you just for the sake of it. They hold all the chips. Of course, some tenants will naturally make it extra difficult regardless of how tactful and respectfully you approach the situation.

My tenant was being extremely difficult when it came to the scheduling, and I genuinely didn’t understand why, especially since she’s the one that surrendered her freaking tenancy. I offered the miserable ol’ tart several days/times over a 3 week period, which she could choose from, but she point-blank refused without any hesitation. She was allegedly busy during all the proposed days/times.

Without a doubt, total bullshit. In any case, despite her short fallings as a compassionate human, I completely respect that she is the current tenant and therefore the property is her home until she officially vacates. But more notably, she’s generally been a very decent tenant. I have no complaints.

My way of dealing with it was to begrudgingly request access to the property for 4 hours during ONE lousy day of her choice, after 5pm, in which time I’ll arrange as many viewings as possible. A total pain to organise, because it was heavily reliant on the prospective tenants being available, but it’s all I had to work with. Fortunately, it worked out, and I managed to squeeze in 4 viewings during that time.

If I can’t find a suitable tenant out of that set, I’ll probably just wait until the property is vacant… or get on my knees and beg for her mercy. Failing that, I’ll probably just sacrifice a friend of mine by getting him to lower his inhibitions by caressing her lifeless carcass until the sun rises, hoping that will lighten her mood. I’ll probably give him a fiver for his troubles.

From my experience, when you’re dealing with unreasonable tenants in these similar situations, the best solution is to allow them to take control and dance to their tune like a monkey, and take every ounce of mercy you can get your grubby little mitts on. I snatched those 4 hours out of her hand like I was gagging for my next high and she was dangling a mountain of cocaine like a carrot.

What if the tenant completely refuses access?

If your tenant remains unreasonable, then there’s probably an underlying reason for it. Most commonly;

  • 1) They could legitimately be unreasonable tenants with a chip on their shoulder. That could genuinely be the only reason, especially if you’re the heartless schmuck that served them notice.

    In this case, I would just cut my losses and take viewings once the tenant vacates. Better that the alternative(s) e.g. forcing entry and creating more problems.

  • 2) It’s highly possible that the tenant genuinely has a massive phobia with random people walking in and out of their home, snooping around, and eyeing up their junk. It’s not uncommon, especially during a stressful period when they are planning to move homes, which probably heightens their phobia.

    I believe this was my tenant’s issue.

    Again, in this situation, I would just wait until the tenant vacates.

  • 3) The relationship between you and the tenant is total bullshit. Perhaps that’s the reason behind the tenant’s departure, and why they’re adamant on making your life a living hell. Everyone knows that the best way to cripple a landlord is by attacking the purse.

    Once again, I would wait until the tenant vacates.

  • 4) The tenant is hiding something sinister e.g. damaged property, a property that’s been reduced to a shithole and/or a cannabis farm. In this case, if you haven’t already served notice, I’d be inclined to serve a Section 8 or 21, depending on the specifics, because the reality is, they may not have any intentions of vacating. But also, you probably wouldn’t want to expose prospective tenants around whatever it is the current tenants are preventing you from accessing.

If you’re currently in this situation and you’re having a very concerning experiencing, whether you’re a tenant or landlord, I would advise seeking legal advice from either Shelter, Citizens Advice or a professional tenant eviction company.

Do you actually want to take viewings with tenants in situ?

Think about it.

In my experience, very few tenants live in conditions that I would deem truly presentable. But then again, I do have a mild case of OCD. But despite my irrational compulsiveness, there is still something very real lurking in my point for even the average sane person. I’ve seen tenants live in conditions that even a donkey would be mortified by. It’s truly baffling.

In many cases, I’ve been reluctant to take viewings while tenants are in situ because I don’t want the new prospective tenants to endure the hellhole conditions the current tenants are living in, that would probably do more harm than good to any tenant finding process. I’d rather allow the property to be void for a couple of days after the current tenants vacate so I can make it presentable before taking viewings. Generally speaking, shit properties attract shit tenants. You better believe that!

I’m not saying the properties were reduced to utter gloom and death, but they’ve been sore on the eyes.

It’s usually made clear if hygiene or general tidiness is or isn’t on the top of your tenant’s agenda during property inspections (which all landlords should regularly do). I personally wouldn’t even contemplate arranging viewings unless I knew I was going to be showing a property worth showing. I’ve had tenants make my property look like show homes in the past, and consequently the viewings have been a joy.

So before insisting on viewings, decide on whether it’s actually sensible to take viewings with tenants in situ. You don’t want to burn through your prospective tenants by showing them a stinking shit-pit; not only will that make you look like a terrible landlord, but it will also increase the chances of attracting similarly distasteful tenants.

Final note…

I just want to emphasise how important it is to be respectful and build a good working relationship with your tenants. Being an asshole landlord is counter-intuitive, it will make your life much more difficult as this blog post demonstrates, and that can often reflect negatively on profit margins.

Rightly or wrongly so, tenants can effortlessly eat through profit margins, so it’s better to keep them on your side, even if that means biting your lip on occasion (but not allowing them to completely take the piss). Always be rational and look at the bigger picture.

So, letting agents, tenants, landlords…anyone… have you got any personal experience on the matter? What’s your thoughts on the issue and the legislation?

Perhaps I’ve got it all wrong! Speak to me!

227 Join the Conversation...

Showing 177 - 227 comments (out of 227)
Guest Avatar
Benji 2nd April, 2020 @ 20:46

"after 6 weeks of arrears you can apply..."

It's 8 weeks in the sense you mean, although you can ask before.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd April, 2020 @ 21:37

@Benji
You had a pop at me once for replying to each person in different comments.

You just replied to the same person in 3 separate comments.

Muppet!

@David
The normal section 21 notices will still be valid if served before the 27th March [for the usual 6 months].

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Pati 27th August, 2020 @ 10:32

Given the actual global situation, and all complications that visits of new tenants may conflict with actual tenants and the landlord, would 360 VIRTUAL TOURS be the best solution?
What are your views on this, is it a viable alternative?

Thank you

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Kim Swoboda 21st November, 2020 @ 23:09

Our landlord distributed a letter to all home owner occupied neighbors stating we are "just RENTERS" and she is the "OWNER" and we havent paid rent since March (untrue, we made it through August) and because of the Oregon Govenors moratium, the only way to evict us is through violations. Could the OWNERS please watch the house for any activity that disrupts the community (there is none) and call her so she can evict us.
So neighbors walk and drive by slow, Im embarrassed and kinda scared, feel like Im wearing a scarlet letter. Ive actually seen flashes from cameras go off as i was bringing groceries home.
Antyhing i can do??
Thank you, Kim

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Beth 20th January, 2021 @ 13:53

Hi,

I’m a tenant in a Student house. Our lease is set to end at the end of June, but our agent has already begun setting up viewings, despite it being a National Lockdown due to Covid-19 here.

I have done research and 1) I know house viewings are still allowed, following the correct safety guidelines, and 2) I know I have a right to refuse entry as the tenant.

There are two of us living here currently, and my housemate has been told to shield by the government because they’re high risk. We’re due two in person viewings today and I called and said that they’ve been told to shield and that we don’t feel safe or comfortable to let the viewings occur. The agent said he’d call me back, so I’m patiently waiting for his response.

I want to propose that no in person viewings can happen until my housemate reaches the end of their shielding window (Feb 21st) but I don’t know how that’s going to go down. Is there anyway I can put it so I don’t ruin the (already rocky) with our (asshole) agent? I’ve been in this house almost two years.

Any help is appreciated :)

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David 20th January, 2021 @ 18:05

@Beth

As someone recently infected by and still suffering from the virus, I am spitting nails about your case, it is so unnecessary to put people at risk.

Even bailiffs have agreed not to pass threshold and suspended the eviction it took them a year to get.

I assume by Student house you mean a privately owned HMO, i.e. not owned by University?

Regardless of the Pandemic you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property, you do not have to let anyone in, even if there are clauses in the lease that say you should. The only exception would be a gas leaking boiler and even then only a single gas safe engineer, although I would question on what basis they thought that there was a gas leak.

The viewing is ridiculously premature and because they are being so stupid I would shut them down immediately.

You are being incredibly reasonable and that is probably why the Agent is treating you like a doormat. You need to just exercise your authority.

I would not worry about the rocky relationship with the asshole agent, you can't be evicted for at least a year, even if your tenancy expires, staying in the property creates an Statutory Period Tenancy. Currently it is 6 months notice for an S21 and again (assuming ALL the prerequisites are in place) it is likely to take a further 6 to 8 months to get an order from a Court.

Possession is everything so I always recommend changing the cylinder in the locks, taking care to keep the old ones for re-installation.

I have had clients keep agents, contractors and any other visitors out for 9 months so far, for contractual safety the Landlords have been happy with a letter of indemnity.

I have long held that 90% of Agents are scum, they cost landlords a fortune and are so incompetent it begs belief.

Then drop them a line along the lines of

==========================================
Dear Agent

RE: 1 Acacia Avenue.
--------------------
As you should be aware we are entitled by law to the quiet enjoyment of our home.

Our lease is not due to end until the end of June and it is totally ridiculous that you have started to arrange viewings in January.

In addition to this there is a Pandemic Lockdown on which is likely to run to the end of March.

Furthermore my housemate is shielding on medical advice.

As you have totally failed to respect my housemate's risk to health, the spirit of the lockdown and behaved so unreasonably, we have decided that we will NOT be entertaining the thought of ANY viewings until the end of our tenancy.

What we ARE prepared to do is provide a one off virtual viewing which can be put on YouTube. We will do this when we are good and ready but not until the end of March.

Please do not waste your or our time with idle threats, we are not interested. Any attempt to harass us or force entry will result in the Police being called under the Protection from Harassment Act 2007 which carries potential for fines and it is a criminal offence.

I trust you understand why we have come to this decision and will now cease and desist from further unreasonable requests.

Yours

A Tenant

----------------------------------------

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Bob 20th January, 2021 @ 18:23

I just want to doff my car to David's answer. Cheers, David.

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Simon Pambin 20th January, 2021 @ 18:40

To be fair to the agents (which is probably more than they deserve), doing viewings for next year's tenants at this time of year seems to be common practice in the private student rental sector, so it's not ridiculously premature as such. Having said that, you'd have thought they might have noticed there's a global pandemic on!

A polite but firm refusal is the way to go. It's tough for the landlord, but these things happen in business.

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Lawyer 26th February, 2021 @ 13:20

Your agent is acting on your authority. If, in the scope of his duties, he invades your tenant’s property, you will likely be held responsible for that trespass. If an agent is within the scope of his duties and acting with apparent authority to represent you (not to mention explicit authority), he is basically being you.

That’s one reason why you can sue companies for what their employees do. You should probably delete that “squeaky clean” line and replace it with “tell your agent not to enter without permission”

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Jesse 24th May, 2021 @ 14:23

Thanks for this post - and the comments - which have all been very useful in my current situation.

We were served a section 21 notice in March, as our landlord wants to sell the property. We used our break clause of 2 months (Landlord refused to allow us to reduce this to one month which made finding a new property two months in advance quite tricky) and are now due to leave in early July (initially the letting agent tried to tell us we HAD to stay the 6 months of the section 21 notice and could not leave until Sept, but then relented when we were firm)

Not long after serving us the notice, the letting agent asked if, because we haven't had an inspection for a while due to covid, we could send photographs of each room in lieu of an inspection. We did so within 24 hours. Our house is incredibly tidy and well looked after, which was reflected in the photos, and the agent said the LL was happy with the pics.

Since then, we have granted access to two estate agents for valuations when asked and agreed some times during which we will permit viewings which fit around our working from home/children/life (though as yet, no viewings have taken place)

In the last week or so, we have had some odd questions from the landlord via the estate agent. "Is the pine wardrobe in bedroom 4 when you checked in still there?" (yes, it's clearly visable in the pics) "where is the lampshade from bedroom 3?" (safe in storage, it will be put back when we leave) "when was the chimney swept?" (yearly, at our expense, as per tenancy, we are meant to leave certificate here when we leave) etc

Today, the agent got in touch and said the landlord wishes to have an inspection carried out. I politely declined and said that we had provided photos in leiu, and our house now has half full boxes in it and we have started dismantling furniture to take to the tip. It seems really unnecessary and inconvenient at such a stressful time. The agent told us we HAVE to obige, as the landlord wants it done.

We then received an email from an external inspection agency telling us they will be visiting next Tues, sometime between 9 and 5. Not only have I declined this, this all day appointment is not convenient - one or the other of us needs to book time off to have people in, the times/day are not what we stipulated to the agency for viewings and I still don't feel the entire thing is warrented or necessary.

I pride myself on being a good tenant but I really feel I need to object to this intrusion. I don't understand why the landlord can't just wait a month until we leave and then just do the check-out inspection? Any advice please?

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David 24th May, 2021 @ 18:38

@Jesse

It always helps to have leverage, screw ups in their deposit protection, the serving of the prescribed information, the landlord not being licensed in an area or property that requires it. A deposit exceeding 5 weeks rent. These all carry fines and some are applicable per tenancy, so check your paperwork etc.

In your position I would change the locks by putting a new cylinder in and decline access or inspection.

Next they will be asking you for viewings, if you act like a doormat people will wipe their shoes on you along with anything they have trodden in.

You need to draw a do not cross line; just fire off an email saying something like:

"I am sorry, but we have been more than co-operative with you and your agents to date, but this has become totally intrusive and has reached the level of harassment.

We have provided you with photos in lieu of an inspection, then fielded stupid questions that would not have needed to be asked if you bothered to look at the photos. Then other questions relating to pathetic lampshades that are in safe storage at our cost and will be returned to the property upon our departure.

I am writing to formally inform you that we will now avail ourselves of our legal right to the quiet enjoyment of our home.

No access will be provided to ANYONE until X date when we will allow the exit inspection.

We are not interested in your problems or any implied terms or threats, they are all unenforceable and contrary to common law, thus unfair contract terms.

I remind you that there is a pandemic on and a new variant of coronavirus circulating, this is another reason we will not be entertaining the idea of people coming into our home and putting us at risk.

As a Landlord/Agent you will be aware that there is a thing called a void, it is the period after we have gone, we respectfully suggest you plan all these futile activities for then.

Of course if you wish to release us from our tenancy earlier we might be able to surrender the property with no rent due on Z date.

Any further pressure will be deemed as harassment and will be reported to the Police and Local Authority.

Yours sincerely

Jesse
"

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Jesse 24th May, 2021 @ 19:47

Many thanks for this, David, it's really helpful.

Sadly, they haven't dropped the ball on any of those things - though there has been a catalogue of errors in the past two years from the agents, who I did end up complaining about to the ombudsman, so I don't think they like me much.

The letting agency has already provided us with good references for our new property - my main worry with Not-Being-A-Doormat was that it would have some sort of repercussions on our getting our new place. That said, we have been accommodating and, I like to think, good tenants throughout.

I rented my last property for nearly ten years (private landlord, no crap agents in the middle) and the landlord/tenant relationship I had there was an absolute dream, so I guess I just expected all landlords to be that cool!

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Magdalena 1st June, 2021 @ 14:41

What does it mean that he will lose money? Nobody is gonna take any money from Landlord. The fact is, if there is a gap, landlord won't earn money from lenting house at that time, but who cares??? He should has other income. He shouldn't relay on the money from renting and put people in this situation. I can't believe this is legal.

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JIM 3rd June, 2021 @ 15:38

I think the way you talk about tenants is despicable. I am a professional Engineer and teacher and recently found myself in the situation, through divorce and losing my family home, where I needed to rent a house for 12 months. I have treated this house like my own since arriving; I have looked after it, cleaned it, secured it, kept the gardens and hedges clipped and I've kept the windows clean. Just because a person has to rent a property, it doesn't mean that they are a 'peanut head', a 'greasy head' or any of the other disrespectful, inappropriate down right rude nicknames you childishly choose to brandish us all with. You should try showing some respect for your fellow human beings. You are after all providing a service which people are paying for. You have paying customers and you are the service provider so you should be mindful of that. You wouldn't expect a restaurateur to assume that you were an arrogant, greedy, selfish, git and to treat you like scum, just because some diners can be troublesome would you? It is people like you who give landlords a bad name! I am lucky enough to be able to buy myself my own place soon but my heart goes out to people who aren't so lucky and so have to deal with little shitesters like you!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 3rd June, 2021 @ 15:54

@Jim

It doesn't even sound like you read the blog post - but rather, you've just gone on a mindless rant.

You definitely don’t want that nasty little allegation hanging over your sorry little peanut-head.

I'm referring to a landlord as a "peanut-head", as in, the landlord won't want an "harassment" allegation hanging over their head. Actually read what I said. Pretty surprising that a professional Engineer and teacher misunderstood that.

I have no idea why you think I attack all tenants in this blog post, because I don't. I have never tarnished all landlords or tenants with the same brush, you're literally making things up.

I have 6 categories on this website dedicated to helping decent tenants against asshole landlords: https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/tenants/

My point is, I respect decent landlords and tenants, and I despise rogue landlords and tenants.

You're self-pitying and taking everything personally, because this has nothing to do with attacking decent tenants.

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Lilly 4th June, 2021 @ 09:21

I am currently a private tenant and have lived in the property for 8 years, my landlord is not experienced and has needed prompting for renewal tenancy agreements etc.

We have just been given our 6 month notice period as he has put the house up for sale, however I do not want to allow viewings at all. I suffer with mental health issues and the thought of people in and out fills me with dread. We have already had numerous people knocking on the door asking if they can come in to view its all so stressful.

I have told the landlord I do not want to allow viewings however I have been met with him turning up at the door, at least 20 missed calls a day, constant messages going from nice to down right rude. Telling me he will increase the rent unless I allow viewings, then messages telling me what a dire situation he is in unless I allow the viewings for him to sell the house.

Its all really getting me down, I just want to be left alone to not only look for a new home myself but feel at peace whilst i am still in this one.

I genuinely don't think he knows what he should / shouldn't do as a landlord, I advised I know my rights and that I don't have to allow viewings. He said he has rights and will have to move back into the property then ??

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David 4th June, 2021 @ 10:39

@Lilly

There are three aspect of law that you need to be made aware of, tenancy rights, harassment and eviction.

When you take out a tenancy it is almost as if you own the property for the duration of the lease. Some obligations are in Housing Law and some come from case law that goes back for many years.

One of the most sacred is called "quiet enjoyment of the property" it covers all aspects of disturbances, from works to pestering.

There is also legislation against threats and harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, I have known many Landlords breach this, not realising that it can not only carry fines but imprisonment and a criminal record. Any rights he thinks he has can only be enforced by a Court of Law.

Nobody can be evicted without a Court Order and Landlords cannot move back in until the legal process for eviction has been completed. Eviction notices have prerequisites and if a Landlord forgets any one of these then the notice becomes invalid, cannot be enforced and they have to start again.

For example if a Landlord does not have a valid up to date annual gas safety certificate and they issue you with a Section 21 with say 6 months notice, you can tell them 179 days later that the notice is not legally valid and they need to get an up to date Gas Safety Inspection done by a certified Gas Safe Engineer. Now assume they get that done and issue you another S21 notice for say 4 months (current requirement), but they have not protected your deposit nor issued you with the Prescribed Information for deposit protection. Again you can wait until the day before the 4 months notice expires and tell them the S21 notice they served is not legally valid because they did not protect the deposit. They then need to comply with the deposit protection and start over again.

Any tenancy that is 8 years old has some history, there may be more than one tenancy, deposit protection legislation has changed, as have the rules regarding licensing enforcement if your home requires licensing. A breach of these may lead to sanctions against the Landlord which get paid to you. Please see the link below for more about these,

www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

Meanwhile I would email your Landlord something like the following

"Dear Mr Z

RE: Harassment, Threats and Intimidation

I am writing regarding your increasing threats, intimidation and harassment of me with regard to the property I rent from you at 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA.

Your behaviour is illegal and you can not only face fines for harassment but if it continues to escalate, you risk a criminal record and imprisonment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

It is unacceptable for you to send me 20+ text messages a day with threats and intimidation, I therefore require that you cease and desist from sending me any further text messages nor voice mails or I will involve the Police under the said Act.

From now on, please restrict all further communications to email and keep the content cordial, any threats will also be deemed as harassment and reported to the authorities.

Regarding the tenancy, you should be aware that a tenancy effectively means this is MY home and you surrender your land rights for the duration of the tenancy. Your ONLY right of access is for an emergency repair such as a gas leak and in such a situation I am only obliged to let a suitably qualified (Gas Safe) contractor in the property to carry out the repair.

The Law provides that I am entitled to the "quiet enjoyment of the property" and I am exercising that right, that means no viewings will be entertained, this is for the sake of my own health and mental health. I remind you that we are in the middle of a Pandemic and I will NOT put myself at risk from potential viewers who may be infected with the Sars-Cov2 Virus or variants.

Any attempt to enter the property will be trespass and the Police will be called to arrest you should such trespass occur. I will also not tolerate any more people turning up asking for viewings, this will also be deemed as harassment instigated by you and will add to my case against you for harassment. If I have to have a No Viewing Sign put up, I will hold you responsible for the cost of such a sign and no viewings will be entertained in any event.

As Landlord you should be aware that no Tenant can be evicted in the UK without a Court Order, the procedure for obtaining such an Order requires the appropriate Eviction notice to expire and then an appearance in Court. I am reliably informed that there are currently a backlog of around 60,000 eviction cases being processed by the Courts. As such it is likely that once an eviction notice expires, it will take 6 to 8 months to get the case brought before the Court. There is therefore no valid reason to arrange viewings right now and because you have harassed me thus far I see no reason to give up my rights to quiet enjoyment of my home as provided by the tenancy agreement and common law.

With regard to your threat to move back into the property, again you can only do this when I have been evicted or surrendered the property of my own accord. Before you get any ideas about further harassment or forced eviction, I would draw your attention to the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and subsequent legislation updates in the Housing Act and the Landlord & Tenant Act.

Any further attempt to intimidate, harass or threaten me will be deemed as a course of behaviour attempting to force to evict me. So please STOP this unacceptable behaviour immediately, or face the consequences which may result in fines in excess of £40,000 and addition sanctions with penalties and a criminal record.

Your Threats to increase the rent are further intimidation and any such attempt will be rejected as a breach of tenancy and the matter referred for Rent Review as well as to the authorities as part of your campaign of harassment of me.

Whilst I am sympathetic to your situation, I have not caused it, nor am I responsible for ameliorating it. However, as a gesture of goodwill I might be prepared to take photos or make a video of the internal of the property. As you know I have a secure tenancy and it is likely to be at least a year before I am obliged to leave, so your only potential buyer pool at this time would be a Landlord / Investor and such buyers should be well aware of the situation with a sitting Tenant.

Yours sincerely

Lilly Jones"

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Lilly 4th June, 2021 @ 10:52

Thank you so much for this.. it will be a massive help!

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Lily 10th June, 2021 @ 09:27

Hiya

I sent the email over to my landlord and the annoyance has stopped, to a degree.

I have asked for the details of the deposit scheme that was used in 2017 when we switched from a letting agent to privately renting with the owner, I advised it was illegal not to have one.

I received an email yesterday from the deposit scheme saying 'thanks for protecting your deposit' etc. meaning it has only just been done. Can they do this?

A HUGE question I have is that she has given me the incorrect notice, it is a section 33d immigration act notice. We are all UK citizens and I know this is a mistake, but if I let them know that this notice is incorrect would I then only be given the 3 month notice as of 1st June. Seems unfair for us to penalized for their mistake.

Amy help with these 2 questions would be a massive help!

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David 10th June, 2021 @ 10:36

@Lily

Well that is very good news, you now have some leverage and it seems your Landlord is completely incompetent. This could run and run.

To use this Act they would need to have been served notice(s) in writing by the Government, furthermore you would all need to be disqualified due to your immigration status from occupying premises under a residential tenancy agreement.

They can indeed protect it late and it is the best way to show that they realised their mistake and are now complying, however, you have been unprotected since 2017, that is some failure. Although in your previous post you said you had been there for 8 years. Also you said before it was a he and now it is a she, I am guessing that it is a couple and perhaps they themselves may have a family or friend who got served the the notice they served on you so they copied that.

I am guessing that they did not give you one tenancy agreement from 2017 to 2021, so they will be likely to pay a sanction for EACH tenancy, normally these are limited to 6 years but we have successfully argued in the past that the act of not protecting is in effect a covert action and so seek permission to claim for last 12 years. we can negotiate that to save you having to go to Court and you get to keep all the money rather than lose one third to a claim company. This is beneficial to the Landlord too.

Please see the link below for more information on deposit protection, then go to comment 814 on that page for details of how to contact me as it would be inappropriate to discuss more detail on an open blog like this.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

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David 10th June, 2021 @ 10:52

@lily

To clarify, the notice is invalid, right now, unless there is arrears or serious antisocial behaviour the shortest notice amount is 4 months, normally it is 2 months but under Coronavirus legislation / statutory instruments, it was increased to 3 months, then 6 months, then from end of May it started a taper down to 4 months with next review in September. So in September if you tell them it will likely be 2 or 3 months notice, I suspect the latter until December just to help the Courts deal with the estimated 60,000 backlog of cases.

I think that they are likely to issue a Section 21 notice but when people are this incompetent you can be sure that they will have made another mistake in the prerequisites for issuing such a notice. My bet is they will forget to give you the prescribed information for their newly acquired protection, again, no need to tell them until the notice is on the cusp of expiring.

As they are selling and eventually they will get their act together it gives you a lot of leverage to offer to leave early and wrap the whole thing into a settlement agreement.

You do not need to act on their notice, just ignore it for 85 days and then fire off an email saying

"by the way that immigration notice you served was totally void and inappropriate so has been ignored. If you were to serve the correct notice we would of course take that under advisement."

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Lilly 10th June, 2021 @ 11:05

Thank you, I have messaged your Facebook page!

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David 10th June, 2021 @ 11:15

@Lily

I do not do Facebook, please follow the instructions above.

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Bob 10th June, 2021 @ 11:21

You're so good, David, that people think this is your site.

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Harry 18th August, 2021 @ 08:42

I know I'm late to this conversation but as tenant I don't want to be a dick and I really want to help my landlord out. As I am aware it is his house even though it is my home
Little things like giving 2 month's notice instead of the required one, highlighting little things maintenance wise so they don't turn into big things.

That being said the agent he is using is awful had no end of issue with them, and I'm sure they have ripped him off on several maintenance items.

Since we handed in our notice, they have been really difficult about it all in a few different ways. Like it's taken 18 working days with me emailing and calling on everyday to get a copy of the inventory. Which I only got a copy of now because I turned up in person at their office and insisted. Now they want to arrange viewings it's all "we want to work together with you" lots of false politeness and niceties. Now I have to wonder why I would go to the inconvenience of having my home invaded on several days, do above and beyond cleaning an tidying for each viewing day... to the point I googled if I have to let them in... Hence being here.

Landlords need to get their agents in order, these guys can make or break how much your tenant wants to help you out. No one likes a bully who then asks for favours. If I were a landlord with a tenant I would ask my tenants to review and rate the agent when vacating the premises. I'd love to tell my landlord all they have done but they won't let me have contact with him "as they are the managing agent so will deal with any complaints".

Any way a bit a rant... But just wanted to say not all awkward tenants are dicks some of us have just been bullied around for a few years then been asked for favours in the last 2 months...

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David 18th August, 2021 @ 15:52

@Harry

The fact is you do not have to let them in, you are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of the property, especially in these times when people have dirty little Viruses from "Chinaah" said in a Donald Trump way!!

Seriously you are entitled to deny access or set your own conditions, such as set a Date (Such as Wednesday Evening at 18:30 and Sunday at 15:00), set a time duration when limited viewings will be allowed (say 3 individuals at 15m intervals and not concurrently), set a limit to one person at a time (to prevent theft of possessions) and the agent to wait outside (to reduce risk of infection).

If someone reading this has any vulnerability I would recommend making a video with an iPad and giving it to the Agent.

You can ask that they first carry out the tenant referencing so that you are not faced with timewasters.

You could ask for sight of Vaccine passport or Covid Certification (PCR test from within last 72h).

You might even limit viewings to the last four weeks, so they can use the first month to line people up and the second to show the shortlisted tenants the property.

I hate Agents, they almost always get in the way and often create animosity, I would let the Landlord know and maybe check your deposit has been protected because plonker agents screw up on everything.

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Daisy 21st October, 2021 @ 18:32

Hi,
My landlord wants to have viewings in my room and they are marketing it for the next year, but there is still 8 months left of my contract agreement(out of 12 month contract). Is this normal or fair at all?

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The Landlord 22nd October, 2021 @ 08:14

Hi @Daisy,

Doesn't sound normal or fair to start taking viewings so early. Have you asked the landlord why s/he is taking the viewings so early [before your fixed term expires]? Something doesn't quite add up, because I can't imagine many prospective tenants showing interest in an occupancy 8 months in advance.

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David 22nd October, 2021 @ 11:49

@Daisy

The Landlord might be selling the property with you as a sitting tenant, but either way you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property and even if there are terms in the contract, they are practically unenforceable.

I would drop them a line as below, I know it is firm but it is important to communicate clearly that this is not acceptable.

"Dear Landlord

I am writing regarding your requests for viewing of my home.

This is unacceptable to me at this time as I have 8 months left on my tenancy and totally premature as new tenants can be found in days online with referencing taking maybe a day or two online.

I find this intrusive and an invasion of my privacy, in addition to this I am advised that I am legally entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property and any terms that counter this may be considered unfair contract terms as they are contrary to common law.

Also we are still in the middle of a pandemic, I do not wish to increase my risk of catching the virus by having people coming and going. This could endanger my health or at the very least cost me money for time off work while self isolating.

So I must advise you that I will not entertain any viewings, I remind you that you are not entitled to enter the property without my consent. The exception to this is in an emergency, but in such an emergency I would only allow the contractor to enter alone and only after I have verified their credentials as a bona fide and authorised contractor.

I do not want to fall out with you over this, so if you want I am prepared to make you a video with my phone and upload it online so you can download it.

This is not a matter I am prepared to discuss or negotiate, I have a lease and am protected by numerous UK laws, if there is any attempt to force viewings or pester me it may breach the Protection from the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and/or Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

In the last month of the lease I might entertain viewings once you have vetted your applicants, so there are only people who are real prospects, this will depend on the state of the pandemic and there will be limitations such as one person at a time, 12 minutes max and only at agreed windows of time that I will give you nearer the time. If these conditions are breached there will be no viewing until I surrender my lease.

Thanks for your understanding

Daisy"

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Anne 27th November, 2021 @ 18:32

A property for sale has a sitting tenant whose assured short hold contract finishes in June.
The tenant refuses to allow viewings so a buyer has no idea as to the condition of the property, which has been lived in with this tenant for 15 years, and must buy ‘blind’. The estate agent has explained that the house looks ‘tired’.
Is it all to complicated to buy, even though money could be saved on the price, which is below comparable properties

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David 27th November, 2021 @ 19:52

Sounds like a negotiation opportunity to me.

Perhaps connect with the tenant yourself, ask if they could do you a video on an iPad, ask them if they want to continue to let beyond June.

If you can at least get a rapport going you may find the tenant has real concerns that you may be able to resolve.

Maybe they will allow a full structural survey.

15 years, tired, what were you expecting!

Chances are they are paying a low rent, maybe they have medical issues that mean the local authority has a duty of care to house them, you could offer to support that, they will still need to be evicted but it may get you enough to decide it is worth a punt.

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Gloria 2nd December, 2021 @ 09:53

Hi
I have rented my property for 12 years now. I assume it is now a rolling month to month contract. I have never had any issues with the landlord at all and consider we have a great relationship Out of the blue I get a text saying can someone come to do a valuation . I replied I was worried as are they intending to sell? They said no they are reviewing all the properties in the company for valuation and insurance purposes. They said to no worry and certainly no plans at this stage. I do remain anxious. They have asked if an agent comes round to just do a valuation. I do not want to cause trouble but am I within my rights to say I have been led to believe it is fir valuation only and allow no pictures as I have not been informed of intent to sell? Also how long notice do they have to give me to vacate if they do decide to put the property up for sale. I am worried if I say no to valuation they may just give me notice . Thanks in advance

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David 3rd December, 2021 @ 10:59

@Gloria

It is quite normal for a Landlord to have up to date valuations done, often to increase their potential for borrowing.

The fact that it is an Agent and not a Surveyor might lead one to suspect they may be considering selling, otherwise zoopla et al might provide an idea of the costs.

The reality is that whatever the Landlord's intentions, if they want to evict you they will find a way.

We have a no fault eviction process called Section 21, this allows them to evict you with 2 months notice followed by a Court Hearing. The Court Hearings have a huge backlog, it various around the Country but I would expect 5 to 6 months, after the S21.

I often help tenants by showing flaws in the Landlords Section 21, they then have to rectify the flaw and start over, there may be a month or two between.

NO TENANT OF AN AST MAY BE EVICTED WITHOUT A COURT ORDER, SUCH AN ORDER MUST BE PRECEDED BY A LEGALLY VALID SECTION 21 OR SECTION 8 NOTICE.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/section-8-evicting-tenants/#grounds

Harassment and activites that form part of forced eviction can lead to santions up to £40,000 or even more in some cases and a criminal record.

It is certainly true that if you are a blocker to a sale they will want to evict you, but not if it is for the reasons they say they want it. You have been a good tenant for 12 years and paid off at least half their mortgage, so they will want to keep you.

You might express some concerns about Covid and the Omicron variant asking if could provide a video tour on a mobile phone with a zoom call or on an Ipad for the agent and he could look at the property from the outside, plus look at Zoopla to achieve his valuation.

This is what I have been advising both Landlords and Tenants to do throughout the Pandemic when residents have been concerned. They start on a facetime type call with the agent who guides them around the home, then on another day they make the place look as nice as possible and do a video tour. Many agents are using sites like matterport to do 3d tours:

matterport.com/blog/property-buyers-and-sellers-want-listings-3d-tours

Most people have concerns about visitors coming into their home, you seem to have problems with photos, are you keeping the property in a bad state, do you hoard, do you have 46 cats, 12 dogs and a few rats? If not then why not allow some photos, even if the Landlord intends to sell and even if they want to evict you, a glowing reference of 12 years will help you.

Also consider whether the Local authority would have a duty of care to you because you may be vulnerable, in which case they would prioritise you for social housing which is far cheaper than the private sector.

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Gloria 6th December, 2021 @ 12:10

@David

Thanks for your kind and informative response.

I just felt if they are intending to send an agent to do a valuation with a view to sale I would have liked to be told the truth.

The property is immaculate and would have no issues with photos taken at all . I just want them to be upfront if that is the intention. The valuation is being conducted this afternoon and at this stage do not feel that photos of my personal furnishings etc in situ are relevant at this time given the information I have so far.

I do feel a little worried about this new Covid variant but feel it is a little late in the day to cancel. I will certainly bear all this in mind if viewings become apparent. I work from home so not ideal in the course of the day so would be advising when convenient for me.

Of course I may be worrying unnecessarily but I think the delivery of this a few weeks before Christmas feels upsetting given we have always had a very good relationship. I would rather be proactive and potentially start looking elsewhere.

I remain concerned if I have not find somewhere suitable by the time 2 months came around . I would of course leave happily if I found somewhere to live before . Does a section 21 go against me or any costs and court records etc . Sorry don’t understand this process.

Thanks

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David 6th December, 2021 @ 14:55

@Gloria

So far none of the things you are worried about have actually happened, so try not to let it worry you, especially as most of them are beyond your control.

It could be just what they say it is, a valuation for insurance purposes, you can always quiz the person doing it, ask them what agency they are from, then ask if they have been instructed to sell or are they hoping to..

The Section 21 is just a notice that the Landlord can download online, it is the first stage and so many are void because they make a mistake, if you get one I can check the validity for you via the forum. If it is faulty you let the 2 months expire and only then advise them it is faulty, they have to start over and so it goes on.

There are only costs if you remain in a property after a VALID Section 21 has expired, the Landlord can then ask for a hearing which will take at least 4 to 6 months.

For Tenants that are owed a duty by the Council they should not leave without the Council telling them to, otherwise they risk being classed as intentionally homeless. Councils are not supposed to do this but some still do.

So no, a S21 in itself does not go against you, if your deposit has not been protected then the S21 is void and you can get sanctions, see post below.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit

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Charlie 6th December, 2021 @ 21:59

Hello. Looking for a bit of advice (and perhaps reassurance that I'm not in the wrong here.)

My partner and I had a perfectly amicable relationship with our landlord. We kept the place spotless, always paid on time and they fixed any issues in a timely manner.

Then... there was a dispute where they tried to charge us for a furnishing we did not break. I politely stood my ground and said they would have to take it to dispute resolution - as I'm not happy paying for something I didn't break.

It seemed to be over... Then on the first of the month we received a letter giving us our two month notice. They essentially booted us out for refusing to pay this unfair bill. Right before Christmas :)

My partner helps out her vulnerable grandmother and we both work from home full time. We're both being very covid safe in the run up to Xmas. I don't really want anyone traipsing in to repair this non-emergency furnishing- and I certainly don't feel like accommodating viewings to help them recoup any money they'll lose from kicking us out harshly.

Am I within my rights to just say no?

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David 7th December, 2021 @ 11:02

@Charlie

You do not say if you are a Lodger or a whether you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), essentially does the Landlord live with you, because if they don't you are NOT a lodger but a Tenant, regardless of whether they gave you a contract or license.

If you are a Lodger they have to give you "reasonable notice" that is subjective and one might argue that it is not reasonable to evict someone so close to Christmas.

The basis for this is that the Courts themselves have cancelled evictions from mid December to mid January, even if there is a Judgement, they will not enforce it.

If you are a Tenant with an AST then a written letter as notice is toilet paper but keep it as it may prove very valuable later.

If you have an AST then you cannot be evicted without a Court Order and the only way to get a Court Order is either a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice. These have to be done very precisely, they are not letters typed or written, they have statutory wording that must be in a prescribed form or substantially similar. So if they have not given you the right form don't tell them, just wait until a few days before the notice it up and then inform them you will not be leaving because the notice is void.

With regard to the viewings you are entitled to something called "quiet enjoyment of the property", so you have several approaches; you can simply email something like

"sorry we are enforcing our right to quiet enjoyment of the property and will not be allowing viewings for the duration of our tenancy. We also have concerns about the Omicron variant so I am afraid that you will have to wait until we leave"

Now they may bleat on about Clause 4.23532 of the Tenancy Agreement, but they would have to go to Court to enforce that which would take 6 months and very few Judges want to make a Judgement that goes against common law as it is likely to be overturned on appeal. This right has so much case law because the principle of a lease is that the property is almost yours for the duration of the lease, subject to fair and reasonable terms.

Most Landlords are very decent folk, they just want to take your money and have you look after their property. A small minority take the "Lord" bit too seriously and are either control freaks or entitled or both.

It sounds as if you did what was necessary; you reported the fault promptly, so they have two choices. They can make a claim through the ADR process that you get with the Deposit Protection Scheme they protected your deposit, where they would have to prove that you damaged it.

Even if the adjudicator decided you did, the age of the item is a factor, so they would need to provide a receipt for the item and then fair wear and tear would be taken into account. They are not entitled to betterment (being better off than they were before).

The sensible thing for them to have done would to have made a claim against the supplier of the furnishing under The Consumer Rights Act 2015 that says an item must last for a reasonable length of time (potentially at least 6 years but longer on some items).

The price paid will be a factor and usage, if the item is over 6 months old the Landlord would have to get a report that there is was a manufacturer’s defect, but the supplier would have to pay for that report if it came down on the Landlord's side. Again betterment applies, so if a sofa is 2 years old, cost £4k and should have lasted 6 years, then 4000/60 = 66.66 a month * 24 months usage is £1600 so the supplier can either repair it, replace it or pay them £2400.

Your Landlords sound really daft, because any sane Landlord would just go on Freecycle and get a replacement or ask you if you mind doing so.

Now Charlie, if you are thinking "what is this deposit scheme you are talking about", that would suggest that you have not been given the Prescribed Information (PI) relating to the protection of your deposit or that the Landlord did not protect it. Both of these trigger a legal sanction of between 1x and 3x the deposit PER tenancy.

Now don't go getting all entitled yourself, wait until you have left and I will help you to achieve settlement without going to Court, if they have not protected it within 30 days or not served you the PI. As I rule I suggest Tenants do not make these claims when in the property, because the less scrupulous Landlords have this strange habit of inventing all kinds of damages. They fail to realise that they need two inventories with you present before and after the tenancy to really prove alleged damages, also wise tenants take videos and photos of their property when they move in and before they move out.

I am happy to review the legality of your notice, a letter does not sound right, unless it includes the S21 form and it must be done properly, most inexperienced Landlords fail in this and some experienced ones do too.

I can help you with these but providing more detail on a live case is not advisable on an open forum.

So I suggest you contact me via the forum using the forum link below

https://www.landlordforumproject.co.uk

Join the forum

Confirm the email (note hotmail/outlook addresses rarely work)

Once fully registered and logged in use link below to see my profile and there will be an option bottom left of page to send me a private message

http://bit.ly/davidpip

and hopefully I can help you seek a mutually agreeable settlement.

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Charlie 7th December, 2021 @ 11:25

@David - thank you so much for the detailed response, really appreciated. As advised, I'll drop you a PM on the forum.

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Vikki Seyfert 17th December, 2021 @ 22:22

I have given my landlord notice that I am leaving my property today. She has come back to me and stated that she wants to have access for a viewing on Sunday and for an estate agent to come in to take photos. I have no issue with this. However, she wants me to actually vacate my house for an hour and a half to do this - surely she can't force me out of my rented home to show strangers around??? I have stated I am happy to wait outside but she is not happy with that. And doesn't an hour and a half seem extreme for one viewing and some photos???

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David 17th December, 2021 @ 22:46

@Vikki

Regardless of what she may have written in your Tenancy Agreement you have a right to "quiet enjoyment of the property", this is not about noise but you right to the property until the day you leave.

I have many clients not even allowing viewings at all because of Covid.

Even without it, I would advise putting very strict conditions on viewings, many thieves go viewing properties and steal iPads or whatever.

TBH the fact that you have been asked to do this suggests a very "entitled" Landlord who needs to be brought back to earth. A letter along the lines of that below might help restore the balance.

"Dear Landlord

I am writing regarding your requests for viewing of my home.

I find this intrusive and an invasion of my privacy, in addition to this I am advised that I am legally entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property and any terms that counter this may be considered unfair contract terms as they are contrary to common law.

As we are still in the middle of a pandemic, I do not wish to increase my risk of catching the virus by having people coming and going. This could endanger my health or at the very least cost me money for time off work while self isolating, not to mention cost me time with my family at Christmas.

This is unacceptable to me at this time and I will never consider vacating my property while strangers and potential thieves rummage around my home. The fact that you asked for this shows your total lack of respect and a disdain for me.

So I must advise you that I will NOT entertain any viewings, I remind you that you are NOT entitled to enter the property without my consent. The exception to this is in an emergency, but in such an emergency I would only allow the contractor to enter alone and only after I have verified their credentials as a bona fide and authorised contractor, e.g. Gas Safe.

I do not want to fall out with you over this, so if you want I am prepared to make you a video with my phone and upload it online so you can download it.

This is not a matter I am prepared to discuss or negotiate, I have a lease and am protected by numerous UK laws, if there is any attempt to force viewings or pester me it may breach the Protection from the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and/or Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

We live in a world of online eveerything, an ad on OpenRent will bring you a plethora of potential tenants and keep your void to a minimum once I have left.

Thanks for your understanding

Vicky"

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James 1st January, 2022 @ 13:41

We have been in a rented property since March 1st 2021 so this is looking at some of the comments and our situation from the other side of the coin. Since we moved in there have been ongoing problems with drainage - downstairs WC was blocked on day 1 and was unuseable. The upstairs WC did not flush properly. Both reported, downstairs cleared after 7 days, upstairs was reported back by the plumber as needing replacemetn and never has been. Over the course of the next four months use of the downstairs WC was continuously hampered by blocked drains. Several companies came out (with us needing to let them in) for CCTV reports, unblocking, headscratching etc. The issue was roots. Trees had been removed prior to occupancy but there was damage to the underground pipe allowing roots to continuously enter. July and August were fine (warm weather, roots not growing) but then back to blocking in September and despite chasing, loss of use of downstairs WC for the whole of October. Cleared start of November, more surveys, work agreed to take place 17th December.
Also at start of October lots of condensation on windows, mould forming, draughts like you would not believe and a miracle window that managed to 'open itself' despite not being able to open from day 1 of tenancy (reported as a note on the inventory) and is now impossible to close. Lots of communication with the Landlord about this including some professional advice (I have 35+ years building industry experience with degree in Building Services) on why the condensation was occuring - failed seals, thermal bridge is short version. "Hopefully we can do something cheaply" was the reply followed a few days later by a Section 21 with Grounds that Landlord family member wanted to move in. Correct notice and everything. Call me very sceptical but this is more than coincidental.
We allowed the drainage work on 17th December but they were unable to carry out the full work. Apparently 4 CCTV surveys (2 of which I viewed and could see the problem) did not give them enough information to do the work that they should have done.
The LL has since been hellbent on getting dates sorted. Last set of emails were 5 over a 2 hour period ending up stating that the work WILL be carried out on 8/9th January and they would let the contractor in if we didn't. They also stated that we should not use the downstairs WC until the contractor ha completed the work - effectively denying us use of a facility we are paying for.
I know this page is for LL advice to LL and as a Tenant I might be treading on toes but I did hit them with denying access under the quiet enjoyment clause of the Tenancy. We have had avoidable problems from day 1, spent our own time and money fixing some of the bodges left in place (kitchen sink waste glued onto underside of bowl lasted three washes!), 15 to 20 return homes for contractor appointments with average of 3 hours each time.
We have had increased water useage due to ineffective plumbing, numerous contactor use of electricity, our time (circa 45+ hours plus travel) plus a deep clean which we had to carry out after one contractor blasted the back end of the pan out spilling contaminated water in large amounts over the floor of the downstairs WC (and walls) ruining the mats we had down.
Our rent is paid on the nail every month without fail for a sub standard property.
We have refused access in the final two months of Tenancy under the quiet enjoyment clause mainly because we are sick of the disruption we have had for the last 10 months. Can they force entry on us (it is repairs not emergency although the Gas Safety falls due in a weeks time - not that we have been advised of this yet!) and could we claim any costs against our lack of peaceful enjoyment and highly suspect S21 issue.
James

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David 1st January, 2022 @ 17:58

@James

There are two sides to your first issue, for the sake of others reading this let me say if basic amenities such as heating, water or sewage are not maintained at all times and promptly repaired, REPORT IT TO THE COUNCIL if not repaired promptly at the earliest opportunity and if the problem reoccurs.

If you report a Landlord who fails to carry out their repair obligations to the Council then if they try to evict you for asking / demanding repairs their S21 will be voided under Deregulation Act 2015.

Such repairs are covered under Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act and the Homes Fitness for Habitation Act (which covers mould).

When the Contractor made that mess you should have reported it via email and had the Landlord employ contractors to clean it up so you are not blamed for any deterioration in the property as a result of it.

You can't really complain about work not being done if you do not allow the contractor to come in, I would lay down some strict stipulations. You might limit the hours, you might demand that the contractors have DBS checks and you might lay down some Covid things like mask wearing, social distancing, windows kept open to aid ventilation.

It is not unreasonable to ask you not to use the downstairs WC if it is faulty but only if the repair is prompt. 10 months does not sound prompt.

You do not have to allow the Landlord to come in, even in an emergency it is only the qualified (e.g. Gas Safe Registered) Contractor you have to let in. You can also specify times of day and limit the hours.

A section 21 is a no fault eviction process, so the family member is not relevant, but what IS relevant are the prerequisites for a S21. One of them is deposit protection which can have some heavy sanctions, another is gas safety, also not serving the Prescribed information, Government How to Rent document and charging you prohibited fees.

He cannot force entry without a Court Order, even if it is in the terms because terms are not LAW, they are made up by Landlords and their Solicitors.

I had a client who refused entry for Gas Safety and Electrical checks for most of 2020 and some of 2021. An energy certificate is not an emergency, a gas leak or a flood would be considered an emergency.

As he has threatened to let someone in you could change the lock cylinders, these can be cheaply obtained from eBay, keep the old ones so you can restore them. However, if this is the final chance for the repair then you might want to let it proceed. I guess it depends on how close you are to leaving, if you were certain you were going then you could tell them to do it when there is a void after you leave.

You can withhold money if you think you have a dispute but you would need evidence, for example, you would need to be able to show normal water usage vs extra water usage, normal energy usage vs extra energy usage. Of course if you let a 3 bed house with a downstairs WC and the WC has not been useable for 10 months then you might consider a reasonable deduction from rent, based on square footage, utility and so on.

Section 21 Notices are often completed wrongly, sometimes they do not give 2 clear months’ notice from date of service, or documents were not served within the 30 day limit.

If you want me to review your S21 use the instructions on post 213 above.

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Amki 7th January, 2022 @ 14:29

Hi! Our landlady informed us that she intends to increase our rent by 20%. This made us have to move,so we vacate by March 12. We recently got an email from her telling us (not asking, informing) that she had arranged an open house on February 12 for 3 hours. We let her know we would be in so that wouldn't be a problem (it's a huge inconvenience but we were being civilised). She then asked if we honestly weren't going to leave the house for those 3 hours, since it could be "awkward" for prospective tenants and a covid safety issue since there would be 10 new tenants looking at the same time. We told her we would keep to ourselves best we could and certainly not "follow" new tenants around. (I also fail to see how we are causing the covid safety issue when she has decided to have that many people over at once... We never said no to separate viewings.) She is now "disappointed" in our position and seems to think we are being unreasonable for not leaving our home for 3 hours on a day and during a time when two inhabitants (night-time worker and small child) would normally be sleeping in it. I can't find any situations online where tenants have been asked to get out of their home to facilitate a viewing. It's not in our agreement, and she didn't even ask before she arranged this. Please let me know if this is normal and acceptable.

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David 7th January, 2022 @ 16:42

@Amki

Depending on where you are in you tenancy your Landlord may struggle to increase rent by that level

If you have a fixed term contract then the Landlord can't increase rent except for as stated in the terms and I very much doubt that there is a provision for a 20% rise.

If a tenancy is coming to an end then the Landlord can offer a new tenancy at a higher rate but you do not have to sign that new tenancy but can still remain in the property paying your current rent.

What would happen then is that a Statutory Periodic Tenancy would be created in Law, it is called periodic because it rolls for rental period to rental period. Usually this is monthly if you pay your rent monthly but if you pay it quarterly then it is quarterly too and the notice required is the same as that payment interval.

Now assume it is monthly, then your notice period would need to be two months, your Landlord would need to serve a Section 21 notice giving at least two clear months and a day's notice to end the tenancy. e.g. giving notice today for a tenancy ending on March 12th 2022 would be fine IF and only IF the tenancy was not a fixed term tenancy without an appropriate break clause which itself must comply with what is in the tenancy agreement.

For example you might have a 12 month tenancy agreement with a break clause that says it can only be given after 8 months by either party. So if you had a tenancy that started on March 1st 2021 that clause could not be invoked until November 1st 2021. Some clauses of this kind give a one off limit on the break clause saying it must be exercised on a given date or within a week of a given month.

I have seen some Landlords seek a declaration from the Tenant to advise them of their intention to stay or go, months before the end of a tenancy. this is not enforceable, one might reply, "I am not sure yet, we are waiting for my partners employer to confirm that his employment contract is being made permanent". A tenant might string a Landlord along like this until the fixed term of the Tenancy is a few weeks from expiry, to prevent a landlord from issuing a S21 notice.

Some tenancies include a term that says in the last two months the tenant has to provide reasonable access for viewing but it is totally unenforceable.

Your Landlady has no right to arrange an Open House on any date without your consent and you are not obliged to consent to anything that you feel uncomfortable with. You will see from my previous replies that under normal circumstances I would encourage a tenant to cooperate with a Landlord but to put strict limitations on viewings. For example to say that you are prepared to entertain viewings that have been mutually agreed, that such viewing must be on a Wednesday evening from 18:00 or a Sunday Afternoon, from 16:00 and that whichever is used the viewing period will last for one hour, only one person may view at a time and only for 6 minutes or maybe 12 minutes if you are feeling generous. Also to state that you will show the person around and they will not be allowed to have the Landlord or Agent with them. This is to avoid distraction tactics for thieves who often go viewing properties to steal ipads and other tech whilst distracting the existing tenant and/or Landlord. You can also limit their viewing of your cupboards or any area you deem as private.

However, these are not normal times and a large number of my clients have simply declined viewings completely during the pandemic. Some have declined Gas Safety Engineers because they could not certify them on the Gas Safe website or because on a previous occasion they were lecherous pigs.

I find it ironic that you have the right to "quiet enjoyment of the property" and she wants you to give up that tenancy to allow ten strangers to come in and leave their potentially infected breath in your home. Errr NO! This is what happens when you give an inch, they take a mile.

Obviously your Landlord is selfish to your needs and the only way to deal with them is to say you have taken legal advice and are enforcing your right to quiet enjoyment of the property, so you will NOT be entertaining any viewings
but as a gesture of goodwill you will make a video with an Ipad.

You are absolutely right that it is her that is creating in infection vector, you tried to be reasonable and she took advantage of your generosity.

With respect your Landlady sounds "entitled" when she is not.

You can tell her that you know she will be even more "disappointed" that you have withdrawn you consent but you have made your decision.

This is a simple matter, you are in possession of the property, you can change the locks or simply deny her or anyone else entry. The contract might have some copy pasted terms or some made up terms, but to enforce a contract you need to get in front of a Judge and good luck with doing that within 6 months, even accelerated procedures are taking at least 3 months in Courts that I would not have thought would be that busy.

When a Tenancy Agreement is made it is a lease and you virtually own the property to all intents and purposes as long as you look after the property as specified in the terms. Quiet Enjoyment is not about just about noise, it is about inconvenience and nuisance. Most importantly, it is embedded in so many case laws and common law that even if a Landlord could get in front of a Judge they would struggle. Also the Judge may make an order but a tenant could appeal that based on case law or common law if they felt the Judge was not acting in accordance with same.

You have already decided that it is NOT acceptable, what you need to do now is determine your way forward.

You could agree to enter into a new AST at the higher rent but if you feel that the rent is way above market level for such a property you can challenge it and refer it for review.

If you think she is entitled to increase the rent because the tenancy ends, you might just say that you have changed your mind and decided to stay, so no viewings are necessary. Note I did not say you agreed to pay a higher rent.

You could decline to sign a new tenancy but stall her until much closer to the end date, then wait until the tenancy expires and becomes an SPT.

Remember no tenant of an AST (or SPT) may be evicted without a Court Order.

Once the tenancy is an SPT it will allow the Landlord to PROPOSE a rent increase which you can then challenge if you think it is way above market value.

How do you determine market value? A good place to start is the LHA rate, you can search LHA rate and key in your postcode on the Gov website it will then show you LHA rates for different properties. These are set at the 30th percentile of the areas to which they refer. So the bottom 30% of properties are below the LHA rate and no Housing Benefit or Universal Credit equivalent will be paid above that rate.

Next you would do a search for a property of of a similar size on RightMove, Zoopla and OpenRent, then drill down and find similar properties. There will always be a range, so you want to account for why some charge 50% more than the LHA rate because they have a load of tech installed, include access to a Gym, private gated gardens and include a massage twice a week!

You would need to show a wide variety of properties in the same areas with the majority of rents below what she is asking. The Tribunal may actually increase the rent beyond what she is asking, so do your homework.

If you are planning to move I am guessing that you already did some research and either decided to move out of the area or that you could find a cheaper flat in the same area.

Another point to consider is that generally your tenancy agreement needs to provide balance, it must not have terms that say the Landlord can end the fixed term but the tenant can't. Otherwise it becomes an unfair contract term because of the significant imbalance to the detriment of the Tenant vs Landlord.

It should not say that the Landlord needs to give less than 2 months’ notice without cause (e.g. you stopped paying rent), even if a Landlord gives you a month's notice as provided for in the tenancy agreement, it is not enforceable and the Landlord would have to start again and issue the proper form of eviction (section 21 if no fault or S8 if there is a legitimate ground).

If you want me to review your tenancy agreement to see if she is even entitled to increase the rent then feel free to use the instructions on post 213 above to send me a private message.

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Mikey 16th January, 2022 @ 15:24

Hello, I have been at my property for just over 7 years. Last year my landlord phoned me to tell me theyy intended to sell the property. A section 21 was put through the letter box, it had a date of eviction but the date served was blank. Fast forward a 5 months and my landlord contacted me to ask if I had secured a property. I said no as the rental market was really bad, and asked for more time, a new section 21 was issued I confirmed receipt and it looks ok, Istill have not found a property and I have a matter of weeks, the property has been valued and I have been told that viewings will start in the next few day. There has been some communication along the lines of “removal all clutter” “ have you arranged for your move out” . This is causing me immense stress,I am pretty much living out of boxes.
One main point to this I was not notified of my deposit being protected until over 2 years after the tenancy started, the letter from the landlord about the deposit states “ ignore the dates on the scheme” I didn’t want to be in this position, am I better of telling my landlord now that I cannot vacate the property (bearing in mind imminent viewings), or should I wait until a day or so before, but not tell my landlord that I believe the section 21 is illegal due the lack of quick deposit protection. Or do I just say I won’t be leaving and let it go to court which will buy me more time to find a property.

All rents have been paid. Oh another thing is the gas safety certificate expired halfway through the first section 21.

Thanks for any help and advice

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David 16th January, 2022 @ 17:05

@Mikey

What matters is that the Notice text has not been modified and that there are at least two clear months between the date you received the Section 21 notice. They need evidence of this, if you replied confirming service then that date will likely be counted.

Ideally it should be 2 months and a day, I advise Landlords to give 2 months and a week just to make sure they account for any delays. Leaving a date of service out is a tad foolish, hard to imagine them relying on that in Court, but you helped them by confirming receipt.

It is not a date of eviction, it is a date AFTER which the Landlord may apply to the Court, a stage that in itself is taking at least 4 to 6 months depending on Area. However, it does expose you to the costs of eviction and Court fee.

"2.You are required to leave the below address after: (insert calendar date)"

As you will read above you are not obliged to allow viewings, drop them a line to explain why. Also you do not have to remove all clutter, it is your home and you may have as much "clutter" as you like. If the LL wants it to look lovely then wait for you to go, then decorate and stage the property.

The stress is unavoidable, if you have children, a disability or mental health condition the local Council may owe you a duty of care for housing. If not they will signpost you to local charities for the homeless.

If you live outside London you should find a Housing Association that lets out garages of former Council properties for a reasonable amount (£10 a month). This will at least allow you to obtain something on spareroom dot com or an AirBnB.

If the deposit was protected AND the PI served correctly AFTER the current S21 was issued then the S21 is void, if BEFORE the current S21 was issued then the S21 is possibly valid, but you are in a good position to seek sanctions PER TENANCY.

However, it sounds as if the current S21 has other problems, the Landlord must serve you the Prescribed Information, not a letter from the Landlord unless it contains the exact information required. It is funny, I do not remember seeing the words "ignore the dates on the scheme" in the legislation!!

A failure to serve the PI is as bad as not protecting, I would need to see the paperwork (see link below).

I would put a stop to the viewings by simply saying "I am sorry but in light of the current situation with the Pandemic and my statutory rights, I am exercising my right to quiet enjoyment of the property. I will not be entertaining viewing for the duration of my tenancy".

What should be more concerning for the LL is that the Gas Safety expiry means that the current S21 is void.

You do not have to tell them just yet, for now just decline the viewings.

Then inform them about the Gas Safety a few days or even the night before, explaining that it is void for this reason. They will need to arrange the Gas Safety Certificate which must be performed by a Gas Safe Engineer.

I do not advise taking deposit protection action while you are still in the property and I can help you and your LL negotiate a settlement which will save you both time and money.

They should not take it to Court if they are told a valid reason for the S21 being void. If they proceed anyway they will lose their Court fee, their legal costs and may have to pay your legal costs too.

If the Council DO have a duty to you then you must not leave until they tell you to or they will consider you intentionally homeless.

Make sure rent continues to be paid.

Based on your main point I think you may find the page below more appropriate.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

You can contact me and I can review your paperwork to check if it is valid or not and I can help you with the best way forward.

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David 16th January, 2022 @ 20:54

@Mikey

I discourage entering personal details in the blog because it identifies you and may prejudice you down the road.

If you want me to review your Section 21 then feel free to use the instructions on post 213 above to send me a private message.

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Carol 12th February, 2022 @ 18:31

I have been served a S21 notice to quit on the 2/2/22 for the 4/4/22 the LL wants to sell the property despite assurances that it would be mine until I decided to leave.

The tenancy was an AST administered by an agent for 12 months with the deposit being held and safeguarded by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. After this period the LL then took over managing the tenancy and has been efficient I continued paying my rent monthly but was not issued with any additional paperwork.

I have been obliging and have let the estate agent into the property to see it prior to marketing it. I am now been asked to agree to a photographer and a camera person to come into the property to take images for the marketing of the property.

I am not happy in agreeing to this and have told the agent so but their response is that it will ultimately reduce the amount of viewings and less of an inconvenience for me when they ultimately arrange block bookings at my convenience.

If I was to agree to the marketing material being undertaken am I within my rights to stay in the property when the agent undertakes any viewings?

However having read your previous comments I understand I can refuse to comply to the requests quoting that, “ I am exercising my quiet right to the my enjoyment of the property.“
Could you clarify would this be past the period of notice should I continue to reside in the property due to being unable to secure another tenancy within the period of notice.

Should this be the case am I right in thinking even if the S21 notice was served in a correct manner the LL would still have to commence eviction proceedings to remove me from the property and I should continue to pay my monthly rent accordingly.

Thank you

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David 12th February, 2022 @ 22:16

@Carol

NO TENANT CAN BE EVICTED WITHOUT A COURT ORDER if they have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, or anything that is deemed one by a Court, even if a Rogue Landlord calls it something else like a "license". Really the only exceptions are a Genuine Holiday Let or being a Lodger. There is some recent case law on guardians, but I will leave that out of it as is unlikely to be relevant.

Even if your tenancy expires, a new one called a Statutory Periodic Tenancy is created in Law and runs from payment day to payment day. It is called Periodic because if you pay rent quarterly then the Landlord must give you 3 months’ notice on the S21 and so on, but always a minimum of 2 months’ notice.

The process of eviction via S21 is that when the notice expires the Landlord pays the Court a fee and files their paperwork, you then get sent a form which essentially covers all the defences. It will take 4 to 6 months to get to Court due to backlogs, then if the Court grants an Order they will allow 14 to 42 days and then up to 6 weeks for bailiffs. It is not advisable to wait until all of that happens, you will pay the legal costs if the LL uses a Solicitor and the Court fee and the Bailiff fee.

If the Council have a duty to house you then you should notify them as soon as you get the S21, the bad Councils will tell you not to leave until you are evicted or else they will consider you intentionally homeless. They should be considering you homeless or at risk of being homeless as soon as it expires.

They generally have a duty if you have children under 18, have a disability, a mental health condition and a few other things. Most Single / Divorced people are "shit out of luck" when it comes to being helped by the Council, but they will signpost you to local homeless charities who help with food, showers, clothes washing and have their own network of bedsit owning landlords.

If you like you can contact me via the forum and I will do a stringent test of your S21 to make sure it is totally valid, if it is not valid you would not tell them until the 2 months are up and then they start again, that gives you more time. There is a lot to get wrong and this is not the place to do it, PM me via the forum using instructions below.

If the Landlord is desperate they may want to make you a financial offer to leave of your own accord. If you have arrears they may absolve them and still give you enough for a deposit. They are selling for a reason, be mindful of that, but they must still follow the law. Harassment to attempt to make you leave and other activities are considered forced eviction which carries up to 2 years in prison and is a criminal offence.

Your home is your home the lease makes it as if it is your own except there are terms. You do not have to let anyone in at all and in your situation you could just make a video with your Phone or iPad, but decline viewings on the basis that you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property.

Note the words "Quiet Enjoyment" which you missed above.

You don't need to take any pressure from Agent or Landlord, regardless of any terms in the lease.

There is a common problem when a tenancy moves from an Agent letting to the Landlord doing it that may stop the S21. Most Agents use an insurance backed scheme such as the TDS, where the Agent is the "stakeholder" and some hold the money. When the property goes back to LL management that insurance lapses and many a LL fails to realise their obligations to protect the deposit themselves and serve the prescribed information within the lime limit. This can prove quite expensive as the Tenant then has a claim for sanctions between 1x and 3x the deposit. Readers can get more details on the link below.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

So to check your S21 is fully valid I suggest you contact me via the forum using the forum link below

https://www.landlordforumproject.co.uk

Join the forum

Confirm the email (note hotmail/outlook addresses rarely work)

Once fully registered and logged in use link below to see my profile and there will be an option bottom left of page to send me a private message

http://bit.ly/davidpip

and hopefully I can help you establish your situation so you may make the appropriate plans.

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Ursula 15th February, 2022 @ 01:29

Hi David,

I’m a tenant who struggles with very significant mental health conditions. I have severe PTSD and anxiety to the point that I have a carer, psychiatrist, social worker and CPN.

I have been living in my current flat (attached to my landlords house) for the last 3 years. When I moved in my deposit was not protected, there was no gas safety certificate and no fire alarms etc.

I was given a six month tenancy agreement. Very recently the Landlord has said they wish to inspect. I explained I would need my CPN with me. She said no. She doesn’t want anyone ‘watching’ her.

She said she should have a right to enter her property as she wishes. I’m someone who has a minimum of six debilitating panic attacks a day. I cannot leave my house due to flashbacks so having them in my house is debilitating. In addition homelessness is a massive trigger to me.

The truth is the house is in better order than it was when I moved in - it was filthy - they did not clean it at all.

Since then they have been insisting on 24 hours notice ‘under UK law’. They have booked a gas inspection and an electric inspection. They also want to inspect the property themselves but will not give me a time so I cannot organise support.

It’s completely detrimental to my mental health and I genuinely believe that they are looking to evict me. I do have a hamster in an enclosure (secure cage) as an emotional support animal which is the only support I have at night to calm me down.

I don’t want to be an arsehole but at the same time they are being completely awful. They said if I don’t allow them access to the property for ‘any reason’ with 24 hours notice they cannot continue to rent to me which I consider a direct threat and which has sent me into a total spiral. My landlady has recently opened the door to walk in when I didn’t get to the door fast enough on her knock.

What are my rights - and what are they likely to be able to do?

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David 15th February, 2022 @ 10:15

@Ursula

The best thing to do when the LL feels "entitled" is to show them they are not.

To reduce your anxiety I advise you change the cylinder of the locks, this is very easy and cheap, and there are videos on YouTube explaining how. Be sure to keep the old one to restore at the end of the tenancy so there can be no accusation of criminal damage.

The Landlord has no enforceable rights, but it is sensible to allow inspections to be done, albeit under strict conditions that you will specify. There is no need for the Landlord to attend these and you can provide video of the property or do a zoom call if your mental health condition means you can't cope with being alone.

Your rights are explained in the article above, i.e. the right to quiet enjoyment of the property.

This right goes back hundreds of years, it can be traced back to Henry the Eighth, there are a plethora of nested case laws that are far too complex to go into on a blog, but put simply these are Higher Court decisions which means to they are binding on lower Courts and to challenge them a Landlord would have to go to a Higher Court if one existed for the specific decision and would need permission from that Court to bring that case.

A short way to interpret them is that when you sign a tenancy agreement the land is essentially yours as long as you adhere to the terms of the lease but those terms need to comply with common law. So of course you look after the property, carry out the reasonable maintenance but nothing gives them rights to enter the property without permission, regardless of what terms say.

As the article says there is very little the Landlord can do, it is important to show you are trying to accommodate the Landlord's needs. For example they have an obligation to get Gas Safety and Electrical Inspections done, but these can always be done by appointment and you can make sure that they use bona fide Gas Safe qualified and have no criminal record etc.

I have had two clients with PTSD, one from abuse and one from being evicted in a bad way after 30 years, so I know that you will have complex mental health needs.

Speaking frankly I think you would be better off in Social Housing operated by a Housing Association as these are setup to support Tenants with your needs. The current state of housing lists means that the likely way this will be achieved is that your Landlord evicts you and the Council then has a duty to house you as a vulnerable person. That journey can be tedious depending on local conditions, but once you are in Social Housing you are pretty much in a secure tenancy for life as long as you do not exceed the number of rooms needed. You can still swap between HA's and maybe move between properties that the HA own.

I think this Landlord is mistaken in believing their own BS terms, terms like that are put in Tenancy agreements to make Tenants more malleable but any attempt to enter without permission can be deemed as harassment and even acts of forced eviction. Both offences are criminal offences that carry up to two years imprisonment.

Landlords reading this need to know that as long as they have attempted to carry out their obligations for Gas and Electric testing they are unlikely to be subject to a fine. Emails from a Tenant refusing will suffice. If the Landlord has good evidence to believe that the Tenant is carrying out an illegal activity such as growing certain things, then they should simply report it to the Police and provide them with the contact details of the Tenant.

Certain Landlords need a warning shot others need a slap in the face, both of which I am happy to provide but most back off with a well-constructed letter.

Later you can deal with the defects in deposit protection and I can help you with how to reach a settlement on that with your Landlord.

I can write you a letter to send to your Landlord which should make them back off. Please see the instructions in post 225 for how to contact me privately via the forum.

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