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!

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Showing 150 - 200 comments (out of 200)
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David 4th February, 2019 @ 13:44

@Graham

The Council usually inform the Landlord to attend with them or else risk being in breach of Part 5 of Section 239 of the Housing Act 2004

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/section/239

(5)Before entering any premises in exercise of the power conferred by subsection (3), the authorised person or proper officer must have given at least 24 hours' notice of his intention to do so—

(a)to the owner of the premises (if known), and

(b)to the occupier (if any).

The IF KNOWN is a get out clause and they usually use electoral databases and send notices where they think appropriate, they might also check the Land Registry.

If you were not informed you should ask them to confirm where served such notices and what other steps they took to find you, e.g. Tenancy Agreement of Tenant (this may show the agent but your address for service should be provided)

They can also get out of it by virtue of part 6 & 7 if they think an offence is being committed.

(6)Subsection (7) applies where the local housing authority consider that any premises need to be entered for the purpose of ascertaining whether an offence has been committed under section 72, 95 or 234(3).

(7)A person authorised by the local housing authority may enter the premises for that purpose—

(a)at any reasonable time, but

(b)WITHOUT giving any prior notice as mentioned in subsection (5).

If you attend they may ask you or the Tenant to wait outside if there is animosity between Landlord and Tenant. Some Councils do use the Improvement Order process as a way to make a quick £500, you may appeal it BTW.

I would be putting in a complaint to the Council asking why you were not informed you can also seek their procedure for appeal, if they do one before external one is done.

You do not say what the Improvement Order requires to be done, you need to establish whether it is something the tenant did, was wear or tear or a fault you are liable for. I have seen cases where tenants damaged or removed smoke alarms, removed doors, damaged central heating boiler in order to make the Landlord liable.

This highlights the importance of a thorough check-in inventory with video evidence AND regular inspections as hopefully defined in the agreement. Sadly some agents are completely hopeless at inspections thinking that a quick check of seals around bath and kitchen units are enough, yet they tick 20 boxes saying they checked stuff.

So you need to contact the agent to ask them for copies of all the inspections, also get them to write/sign a witness statement to the effect that the alleged damage was caused by the tenant as was in good order on X date to the best of their knowledge.

Of course if there is a volley of emails sent back and forth between agent and tenant saying there is no hot water, then you are obviously at fault.

With regard to the validity of the S21, whilst the validity depends on whether an improvement or emergency remedial notice has been served it can also be affected by whether the Tenant wrote to you about the issue that is referred to in the said notice. If they wrote to you (or your Agent) then you should have replied within 14 days, confirming or dismissing the problem and/or informing them when the repairs would be carried out.

If you failed to respond and the Council then issue an Improvement/Emergency notice then the S21 notice is invalid, in which case your only option is to get the Council to withdraw the notice. I warn you they are loathe to do this as in their mind they paid for their Officer to visit so they usually let it go to appeal in the knowledge that your S21 is invalid and it might reduce any obligation on them to house the tenant (assuming they are vulnerable).

Note you will be unable to issue a new S21 for 6 months which will put you in a new territory.

I should warn you that the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 was enacted on 20th December 2018 and will take effect from 20th March 2018 for most parts (9 Months later for Pre-Act SPT's) . This Act updates the Landlord and Tenant Act and generally affects the following areas:

Freedom from damp
Facilities for disposal of waste water
Facilities for preparation and cooking of food
Internal arrangement
Drainage and sanitary conveniences
Natural lighting
Repair
Stability
Ventilation
Water supply

There are 29 Housing Hazards

http://bit.ly/s9hazards

an easier to read online version was created by Stafford Borough Council

http://bit.ly/29hazards

A Landlord Guide was produced by Derby Council Here

http://bit.ly/llhazard

The one that is likely to get most complaints is going to be Damp and Mould, the Act says the Tenant must act in a Tenant like manner, I expect there to be the usual arguments about whether the damp is caused by tenants with drying of clothes or the Landlord who has an external problem such as guttering, leaks, damp proof course et al.

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Bob 4th February, 2019 @ 13:53

Ah. I do beg your pardon.
In hindsight I should have said 'wait until David replies". Rookie mistake.
Apologies.

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Graham 4th February, 2019 @ 14:14

Thanks David..

We have an email from the council officer who went to our home telling us he sent his report to our estate agent brownandmerry 5 or 6 weeks ago. Neither a council officer nor the estate agents bothered to sent a copy to us. The council officer also write in his email that brownandmerry told him that we would not pay for any works to be done, As we were completely unaware that the tenant had spoken to the council at all,we have been given no opportunity to discuss any improvements or to obtain any quotes.

As we are currently in the Philippines and had been making the necessary arrangements to return to the UK. We now find ourselves in the position of being homeless if we were to return to the UK.

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David 4th February, 2019 @ 20:14

@Graham

So if they failed to write to you or your Agent it does put them in a difficult position to rely upon to defend from eviction in Court. As mentioned above if the Improvement Notice comes AFTER the S21 it can only make the S21 Notice Invalid if you first failed to respond to request for repair

This is where S33(2) of the Deregulation Act 2015 comes in

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/section/33/enacted

(2) A section 21 notice given in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England is invalid where—

(a) BEFORE the section 21 notice was given, the tenant made a complaint in writing to the landlord regarding the condition of the dwelling-house at the time of the complaint,

(b)the landlord—

(i)did not provide a response to the complaint within 14 days beginning with the day on which the complaint was given,

(ii)provided a response to the complaint that was not an adequate response, or

(iii)gave a section 21 notice in relation to the dwelling-house following the complaint.

(c)the tenant THEN made a complaint to the relevant local housing authority about the SAME, or substantially the same, subject matter as the complaint to the landlord,

(d)the relevant local housing authority served a relevant notice in relation to the dwelling-house in response to the complaint, and

(e)if the section 21 notice was not given BEFORE the tenant’s complaint to the local housing authority, it was given before the service of the relevant notice.

So you can see how each of the Acts depends on the conditions in the other.

If as your Agent said, they have not made a complaint to you or your Agent and given you 14 days to reply then you can hardly be expected to make the repair.

Also it can hardly be a retaliation if there was no complaint in the first place and that is what S33 is about AKA revenge evictions.

So based on what you SAY and without any view of the paperwork, you must comply with the Improvement Order if they stay unless you can get them to withdraw it, if the tenant leaves and you move back in then you can probably get them to withdraw it, but still may have to pay their fee.

Either way, the S21 is valid and you should now write to the tenant and say.

"Dear Ms Tenant

As you have been advised by our Agent you have made no complaint to me or them in regard to the matters you reported to the Council.

You are required to do this under S33(2)(a) the deregulation Act 2015

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/section/33/enacted

which clearly states

(a)before the section 21 notice was given, the tenant made a complaint in writing to the landlord regarding the condition of the dwelling-house at the time of the complaint,

Had you made such a complaint we would have of course addressed it.

The Act also says such a complaint would need to be about the SAME issue:

(c)the tenant then made a complaint to the relevant local housing authority about the same, or substantially the same, subject matter as the complaint to the landlord,

Therefore I am writing to inform you that our S21 Notice remains valid regardless of the Improvement Order of the Council and you should leave by the expiry of the notice which is tomorrow the 5th of Feb 2019.

If you fail to leave I will be forced to ask the Court to issue a Possession Order which can be enforced by Bailiffs. I will also ask the Court for my costs in this matter (estimated to be around £2100) and if these are awarded but not paid you will receive a County Court Judgement which may affect your ability to obtain credit and a future tenancy agreement. If I am forced to take such action I will escalate the CCJ to the High Court which will then be enforced by High Court Enforcement Officers for the debt and this could push that debt very much higher.

The S21 procedure is an accelerated procedure which means it will be heard promptly by the Court, which makes your attempt to delay futile.

Please take your own legal advice and if you feel the Council owes you a duty of care to house you in temporary accommodation pending their review of your vulnerability then remind them of this and feel free to give them a copy of this letter.

If you are not classed as vulnerable I suggest you look on AirBnB which usually has accommodation available at short notice.

We have always wanted to resolve this matter amicably, we gave you considerable notice with the notice being served on November 27th 2018, so we are very disappointed that you have tried this stunt to delay matters.

Please inform me of your intentions and let our agent know if you are prepared to leave on the 5th February, in which case we will consider providing you with a positive reference.

Yours sincerely

Graham Landlord"

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Dan 4th April, 2019 @ 17:01

Hello,

I would appreciate everyone's thoughts on our situation. We have just given notice to end our tenancy. There is a clause in our tenancy agreement that states that the landlord or his agent can, having given 24 hours notice and during reasonable hours in daylight, enter the property for the purpose of viewings, repairs and inspections.

We have asked whether viewings can be arranged during weekends or evenings only, so that we can be present, as we have had a negative experience with viewings in our absence in the past. The response we received was that the landlord does not conduct viewings in the evenings, and if we don't offer more times for them to complete viewings, they have the right to "insist" on completing them at any given time, with or without our presence and explicit consent, so long as they email us 24 hours in advance.

I am curious as to whether this is a breach of quiet enjoyment, what constitutes "reasonable" hours, and whether, ultimately, we can refuse permission for viewings despite having signed an agreement containing the above clause on viewings. Even then, we would only look refuse times at which we could not be present.

Apologies if some of this has already been covered above, but would appreciate feedback on this.

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Bob 4th April, 2019 @ 19:07

Others will put it better than me, but they have no right to insist on viewings at all.

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David 4th April, 2019 @ 23:25

@Dan

Yes it has been covered many times it may be worth your while reading through previous comments, your tenancy agreement is likely to have a term saying you will do this or you will do that, but the reality is that no term may override common law or it becomes an unfair contract term.

They can INSIST all they like but you need to put your foot down and say

Dear Landlord

I am disappointed with your response and I am sorry but we are exercising our right to quiet enjoyment of the property.

I have established that these rights enable us to enjoy our tenancy without hindrance and under the law you are only entitled to enter the property IN A GENUINE EMERGENCY after informing us of said emergency.

Viewings are not a right and although you have put them in the tenancy agreement they are contrary to common and case law, as such they are unenforceable and any attempt to enter our property will be considered trespass and harassment.

As you have not been reasonable in granting my request I have changed the locks, the old ones will be refitted undamaged at the end of our tenancy.

We would like to reach an amicable agreement to when and how viewings may be carried out. From now on we will entertain viewings under the conditions below that ensure our security and safety.

1. The viewings must be done by a Lettings Agent with a proper business card or yourself.
2. No more than one person may view the property at a time, a second person will have to wait until the first has left and will have to wait outside.
3. Viewings must take no more than 12 minutes.
4. Viewings will be allowed at two specific times per week, from 7pm to 8pm Wednesdays and 3pm to 4pm Sundays, all viewings must be pre-booked with us at least 48h ahead of these times, to make sure they are still convenient.
5. No more than 4 viewings may be made in these slots

I hope you will understand that these are sensible precautions and conditions, any attempt to breach these conditions will not only be deemed as harassment but it will immediately cease any further viewing until we have left the property.

Yours sincerely

Dan Tenant"

===================

When you take on a tenancy the property is effectively yours albeit that you must look after the property in accordance with the terms in the tenancy agreement.

If the Landlord is unreasonable in their response just do not agree to let them in at all, if they turn up and are aggressive call the Police and say that someone is trying to break into your property - do not give further information, just ask them to attend as you are in fear. When they arrive have them ask the Landlord to leave and point out that they are in breach of the Harassment Act 2007 which carries a £5000 fine and can be a criminal offence if it continues. Note you MUST NOT respond to the aggression of the Landlord.

Not all Policemen are aware of the Law, do not accept any BS from a Policeman telling you that you have to allow then in, the tenancy agreement is a civil matter, you are simply asking the Police to keep the peace and prevent public order offences being committed by the Landlord. Do this in person NOT on the phone, when on the phone LESS IS MORE.

I know this can feel intimidating, but start by changing the locks of all external access to the property, a cylinder costs £3 on ebay and same for patio door cylinders.

Remember your Landlord's problems are not your problems, they want to reduce the void but you are entitled to the full and quiet enjoyment of your property until the day you leave.

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Shehzaad Shams 16th May, 2019 @ 17:11

Hi All,
We are pressed to an extremely stressful situation by our current landlord. We are renting and our tenancy ends on 31st of May, but we requested extension for just 8 days to which landlord initially agreed with pro-rated rent to be paid.

Now with viewings, we have been very flexible to allow them any time during weekdays. Its only the Saturday when we said we can't accept viewings because on Saturdays we have a lactation specialist cum sleep trainer who comes to attend our small boy of 2 months and we really need uninterrupted sessions with the baby and the trainer.

Landlord had been very insensitive, persistent and exploitative so much so that they have told us that they now want us to vacate on by 31st May and if we have to stay the 8 days extra, we have to pay a full month's rent to make up for the loss they have faced because we didn't allow Saturday viewings. They have also said that being flexible during weekdays anytime for viewing is not flexible enough, its the Saturday viewings where most new tenants are.

Can someone please give me any advice what I can do now with my little family?

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David 17th May, 2019 @ 21:10

@Shehzaad

From what you say it seems that you have no legal agreement to hold them to for the 8 days.

The fact is you have been entirely reasonable and your Landlord is being unreasonable, so the only thing you can do it push back hard and refuse to do any more viewings.

Regardless of any term in the contract (which would be unenforceable as deemed an unfair contract term) you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property until the end of your tenancy.

I would advise you temporarily change the lock cylinder so that they can't come in when you are out.

Your backup for 8 days is called AirBnB, but I suspect that your Landlord will agree to the 8 days to prevent the void he would have if you no longer allow viewings.

If you contact me via the forum I can draft you a letter and then a firm agreement for the 8 days which we will offer him in return for weekday visits after taking them away.

To contact me via the forum Click where is says Landlord forum at top of page or visit

https://www.landlordforumproject.co.uk

Once you register on that forum and have confirmed your email

you can click on this link to private message me:

http://bit.ly/davidpip

It will be at the bottom of left menu.

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David 17th May, 2019 @ 21:13

@Shehzaad

I have posted you a reply but it seems to have been caught up in the moderation queue for the site owner

He should approve it presently.

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Charlotte 25th June, 2019 @ 10:48

As a tenant who’s landlord is selling I just found your post. I work from home (with landlord permission), both during the day and evenings. I’m also a single mum of 4 kids. I respectfully want the house to be spotless and presentable for viewings, but arranging them around my schedule and making extra effort to keep clean and tidy, all whilst preparing to move, is super stressful. I suggested to my landlord that they reduce the rent by 10% for the last couple of months and that I’d employ a cleaner so the house is always presentable and they declined. So I allow them one evening per week for viewings and they still complain. It’s a really tough call for both parties but I pay over 30k a year to live here, they’ve had in excess of 160k from me and I resent both the intrusion and lack of flexibility.

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Bob 25th June, 2019 @ 11:40

Charlotte, you can do as you please. Many won't like that, but its true. You can allow as many or as few viewings as you like, whenever you like.

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Patty 1st August, 2019 @ 19:21

Great article. I am a six year tenant. Gave notice. Landlord decided to sell as they have no time to take care of maintenance and they are losing me, the “for all intents & purposes” property manager. Now I have people traipsing thru five days a week, and scattered all thru weekend. Each visit averages 45 minutes. So over if. I can’t even pack! And she knows this property shows like a beautiful & pristine (say OCD tenant) museum while I am in it. I finally told her today this is too much. I cant help her sell this as she literally uses up my last thirty days of rent ( $1800) to show her house. Btw - the damn house looks better than when I moved in. Painted. Backsplash. Grouting. Caulking. Actual working outlets. Your advice to be a good landlord is spot on. And only because I am too proud to show a dirty house has she been so fortunate. But now the ugly tenant is raising her head. :(

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David 1st August, 2019 @ 19:24

@Patty

The advice and comments here are for UK, your use of $ makes me think you are in USA.

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Patty 1st August, 2019 @ 19:42

Ahhh yes. I am in USA. :(

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Gwyneth 13th September, 2019 @ 14:34

A relative with two children and partner has rented the same property for ten years. Never in arrears decorated and carpeted at their own expense. The landlord never registered himself ( they live in Wales) and was very friendly. Sadly he died and the estate is now waiting probate. This was the kickstart the relative needed and they have found a house to buy. The original contract has now become a monthly rolling contract. They do not want to give the executors notice until the survey comes back ok on the proposed new home. However the executors are now asking for estate agents to be allowed to see the rented property, as they want to sell. Do my relatives have the same rights as all other tennants i.e to restrict or deny access to estate agents and viewers?

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David 13th September, 2019 @ 14:54

@Gwyneth

The terms of an SPT are identical to the AST except in Term and Notice, but regardless of either the right to "Quiet enjoyment of the property" is now established from case law going back to the 1960's.

They may have clauses to the contrary but they are unenforceable and in some cases even void.

The best way for they to ensure their rights are to first change the cylinder in the locks of exterior doors (cheap ones on ebay) and restore them before they depart so that there cannot be any obligation on the Landlord (although most decent Landlords change the locks between tenancies for security reasons).

They should then drop a note to the Landlord (executor in your case) and say that they are only allowing viewings at a particular time and on certain days or not at all. They can limit the number of people coming in at a time (to avoid theft) and insist that they are accompanied (for safety). One reason to withdraw is when agents are late and expect the tenant to take the viewing. The time viewing can also be limited, it does not take more than 12 minutes to view a property and some I know limit it to 5 minutes.

If the Landlord was required to be registered and was not (in the last 12 months) there may be an opportunity to negotiate a settlement with the Executor and the same if the deposit was not protected and the legislation not followed.

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Shirleys77 21st September, 2019 @ 10:38

We informed our landlord’s letting agents in June that we were in the process of buying a house and so would need to transfer to a rolling contract, if possible, at the end of our tenancy agreement (12 months, which ended in July 2019). The agents said they would contact the landlord and come back to us. They never did. July, we contacted the agents again to make them aware that we were nearing exchange of contracts with our new house purchase, and still didn’t receive a reply from them. Last month we gave formal notice to say that we had exchanged contracts and would be ending the tenancy once the month’s rent we have paid for terminates (mid October), which they agreed to. We complete on the house on the 24th September and are hoping to move out on the 30th.

We have never received a new contract, after the old one expires in July, with new terms. The agents are being rather forceful about bringing viewers in, which we agreed to at first. Although, they have basically been telling us when they are coming, and not asking. When viewings take place, I go out with the dog (usually in the car) for 15 minutes or so. They are in the daytime so my husband is at work. Yesterday, the agent had said he had one viewing at 10:00am so I duly took the dog out for a drive in the car. I was gone 25 minutes, but came back to still find cars on the drive. I thought it a bit strange but just left and drove round for a bit longer. After 45 minutes, the cars were still there. Come 11:00, an elderly couple turned up, got out of their car on my drive, pointed to the sign and duly walked up to the front door to be let in by the agent!! He and his viewers were in my home for a total time of one hour and 15 minutes, which I think is totally unacceptable. Especially, when we weren’t asked if this could happen. I complained to the Lettings agency and the letting agent emailed me to “apologise” whilst making excuses that he thought I was aware of the viewing at 10:30, and that he then had somebody else wanting to view and, as he couldn’t get hold of either of us, decided to put them on the end of the other two viewings and tell them to come at 11:00. Again, without telling us. Neither of us knew anything about the 10:30 or 11:00 viewings and neither of us had received any missed calls, messages or emails.

On entering the house: the double doors had been left unlocked, the shower scrunchie thing that I use to wash myself with in the shower had been taken from it’s hanging place and put in the bath, there was a small blood smear on the fridge door, (the fridge is the landlord’s but has our own things in and on it), and now I’ve noticed grubby fingertip marks above our bed where there is a crack on the ceiling. I’m furious with the letting agency and don’t want them bringing any more viewings in until we have moved out. We will be going on the 30th September, which leaves them around 10 days of completely empty house to conduct viewings in whenever they like. The agent is still constantly ringing and emailing telling us when he wants to bring viewers round. I have anxiety and, to be frank, this is making me ill. We have enough to worry about with trying to pack everything, without trying to keep the house clean and tidy and having them round at the drop of a hat. We have been very accommodating with them over the past year and it feels that, since we’ve handed our notice in, they don’t care about our rights anymore.

Given that we don’t have a contract, as the previous one ended in July, how can I word an email to the letting agent to inform him that no further viewings will be taking place until we have vacated the property?

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Bob 21st September, 2019 @ 10:55

You still have a contract. Your fixed term contract became a rolling contract automatically, assuming you have an assured shorthold tenancy.
You can any email however you wish, just make it clear there'll be no more viewings. You're perfectly within your rights to do that.

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Shirleys77 21st September, 2019 @ 15:57

We informed our landlord’s letting agents in June that we were in the process of buying a house and so would need to transfer to a rolling contract, if possible, at the end of our tenancy agreement (12 months, which ended in July 2019). The agents said they would contact the landlord and come back to us. They never did. July, we contacted the agents again to make them aware that we were nearing exchange of contracts with our new house purchase, and still didn’t receive a reply from them. Last month we gave formal notice to say that we had exchanged contracts and would be ending the tenancy once the month’s rent we have paid for terminates (mid October), which they agreed to. We complete on the house on the 24th September and are hoping to move out on the 30th.

We have never received a new contract, after the old one expires in July, with new terms. The agents are being rather forceful about bringing viewers in, which we agreed to at first. Although, they have basically been telling us when they are coming, and not asking. When viewings take place, I go out with the dog (usually in the car) for 15 minutes or so. They are in the daytime so my husband is at work. Yesterday, the agent had said he had one viewing at 10:00am so I duly took the dog out for a drive in the car. I was gone 25 minutes, but came back to still find cars on the drive. I thought it a bit strange but just left and drove round for a bit longer. After 45 minutes, the cars were still there. Come 11:00, an elderly couple turned up, got out of their car on my drive, pointed to the sign and duly walked up to the front door to be let in by the agent!! He and his viewers were in my home for a total time of one hour and 15 minutes, which I think is totally unacceptable. Especially, when we weren’t asked if this could happen. I complained to the Lettings agency and the letting agent emailed me to “apologise” whilst making excuses that he thought I was aware of the viewing at 10:30, and that he then had somebody else wanting to view and, as he couldn’t get hold of either of us, decided to put them on the end of the other two viewings and tell them to come at 11:00. Again, without telling us. Neither of us knew anything about the 10:30 or 11:00 viewings and neither of us had received any missed calls, messages or emails.

On entering the house: the double doors had been left unlocked, the shower scrunchie thing that I use to wash myself with in the shower had been taken from it’s hanging place and put in the bath, there was a small blood smear on the fridge door, (the fridge is the landlord’s but has our own things in and on it), and now I’ve noticed grubby fingertip marks above our bed where there is a crack on the ceiling. I’m furious with the letting agency and don’t want them bringing any more viewings in until we have moved out. We will be going on the 30th September, which leaves them around 10 days of completely empty house to

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David 22nd September, 2019 @ 22:21

@Shirleys77

Copy and adapt the letter I wrote in post 156

Otherwise feel free to contact me via PM on the forum using instructions in Post 158.

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shaun MacLean 2nd April, 2020 @ 18:51

My tenant has been served a section 21. The exit date shown on the Section 21 is the 25th of April 2020. The tenant has informed my estate agents that she will not be moving on that date. The section 21 was delivered prior to the virus lockdown and so am I right in assuming that the exit date is valid?
Would I be legally entitled to enter the property on the 25th or 26th of April 2020 and show future tenants?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd April, 2020 @ 18:53

@Shuan,
Assuming the notice was served properly, then yes, it's still valid.

You can't force entry, if that's what you're asking. The tenant must grant access...

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Bob 2nd April, 2020 @ 19:07

Shaun, effectively all this means is you'll have to go to court to seek a possession order if they don't go. They're under no legal obligation to go until a court order says they must. Indeed, they can stay until the next step, which would be you instructing bailiffs to remove them. At that point, they will be removed for sure.
You have no right of entry without the tenant's permission until bailiffs are involved.

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David 2nd April, 2020 @ 19:26

@shaun MacLean

Regardless of Virus a S21 requires a Court Order to evict, if her tenancy has expired then a new Statutory Periodic will be created in law as per usual.

She will NOT be moving, ALL eviction hearings are cancelled, initially for 3 months but probably until at least September, so all Section 21 notices are void, they will have expired under Dereg act anyway.

Any new S21 must have 3 months notice but again the Courts will not be hearing cases, but knock yourself out and serve the new Covid19 version of the S21. They will be told to ignore it if they take advice.

So no do not assume the exit date was valid, it was never an exit date, more like a "hoped for date" but if a tenant does not go all it means is that you need to go to Court to get eviction but as I said that will not be happening.

The common law rights of Quiet enjoyment of a property trump any terms in your agreement. You definitely do NOT have any right of entry to the property. There is a right for emergency access FOR A GAS SAFE ENGINEER but not you in the event of a real emergency.

You would be not only wasting your time having viewings but you need to be careful of your conduct, because it is a thin line to a harassment claim.

You do not even have a confirmed date of exit so there is no valid reason to show new tenants and these are always done by mutual agreement with the tenant and they can just say no. I advise them to be co-operative if they are going but maybe to limit it to two windows a week because agents are bloody inconsiderate.

My advice is forget it. If your tenant has arrears and is on housing benefit, after 6 weeks of arrears you can apply to Council or JCP for it to be paid directly to you.

You can also ask your lender for a 3 month holiday on your mortgage if you have one.

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Benji 2nd April, 2020 @ 20:42

"so all Section 21 notices are void"

No they aren't.
In this case Shaun can start court action using his existing section 21 up until August (depending on date served).
Although it would be prudent to keep serving new section 21's monthly from now on.

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Benji 2nd April, 2020 @ 20:44

"You definitely do NOT have any right of entry to the property."

Yes you do.

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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 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 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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