Anyone up on their tenancy law? I need some advice please.

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  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 10:39:56 19,417 posts
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    It's coming to the end of our tenancy (31/7/2013) and our estate agent has been mucking us about with viewings - originally arranged with less than 24 hours, which we refused. On one of these occasions, access was gained despite our refusal. We have had 3 days of viewings arranged at just over 24 hours notice, to which we objected that our 'quiet enjoyment' of the property was being disrupted. The estate agent started to demand a face-to-face meeting with us, but we haven't responded to these requests, as we believe he has no right or power to do this.

    Recently following one viewing, we received a threatening email stating the condition of the property was unacceptable, and the clients viewing refused to even enter the property (I find this very hard to believe). We were ordered to tidy the property at 48 hours notice, or be charged for professional cleaning. The property is in some disarray it's true (we are still living here, after all - it isn't even within one month of the end of the let), but it is really not that extreme. Specific complaints were "open food boxes" (referring to cereal cartons stored in our kitchen), "unwashed dishes" and "items left everywhere", whatever that means. Again, the property is in occupancy, so of course there are items everywhere.

    He has threatened us with legal action if the next let is not agreed before ours finishes, saying we could be liable for lost income for the landlord. He has also dictated that this "face-to-face meeting" will now take place when he visits for the inspection of our cleaning efforts. We still have no intention of meeting with him to discuss anything, and now feel extremely harassed and unable to enjoy our privacy.

    Can anyone shed light on our position? What does "clean and tidy" mean with respect to a property's expected condition? Where do we stand on him gaining unlawful access and harassing us? Can he request meetings with the tenants? Are we liable if they do not let the property (we have allowed several viewings to go ahead, two of which were cancelled unbeknownst to us)?

    We're going to talk to the CAB today, and consider reporting his behaviour re: trespass and harassment to the police and his regulatory body. I'd really like to hear some advice and experiences from as many sources as possible though.

    Thanks a bunch,

    Prof.
  • THFourteen 26 Jun 2013 10:42:08 34,486 posts
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    Have you still got your contract? what does it say in there? Mine says that inspections can be performed ad-hoc with 24 hours notice. Says nothing about the tenants having to give consent or having to be in the property at the time (should add i'm the landlord not the tenant)

    Edited by THFourteen at 10:43:16 26-06-2013
  • Syrette 26 Jun 2013 10:43:09 44,341 posts
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    Asking for legal advice on a gaming forumlol

  • Load_2.0 26 Jun 2013 10:45:08 19,684 posts
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    The tenacy agreement should state how much notice (usually written) is required before gaining access to the property.

    As for the cleaning, tell him to get fucked.
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 10:45:41 19,417 posts
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    Inspections are not viewings. As I understand it, viewings have to be arranged by mutual agreement, given 24 hours written notice and the permission of the occupant. Permission should not ordinarily be withheld, but can be reasonably refused.

    I believe lack of 24 hours notice and consecutive short notice of appointments to be reasonable grounds for refusal. We have since permitted other viewings - their access to the property is not restricted. We have been asking for some attention to courtesy, but the estate agent seems to want to defend his perceived right to be bullish and get his own way.
  • DFawkes 26 Jun 2013 10:45:52 24,106 posts
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    Syrette wrote:
    Asking for legal advice on a gaming forumlol
    To be fair, it can be surprisingly helpful. Similar has come up before, and someone that works in that subject popped up to give some really helpful advise.

    Not me, obviously. I'd only advise a visit to the CAB, but since Professor is already doing that then I have nothing. Hope it gets sorted Prof :)

    Oh for goodness sake, I've caught my scrotum in my zip again - Margaret Thatcher, 1986

  • spindle9988 26 Jun 2013 10:47:32 3,676 posts
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    My landlord always gives a lot of notice when he wants to come and check the property. He does live a long way away though
  • Load_2.0 26 Jun 2013 10:48:05 19,684 posts
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    Until you point out he/she is in breach of the tenancy agreement you will get nowhere.
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 10:49:48 19,417 posts
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    Load_2.0 wrote:
    Until you point out he/she is in breach of the tenancy agreement you will get nowhere.
    We have already done this. He chose to retaliate and escalate, pointing out our own "breaches" re cleanliness and tidiness. I don't think he has a leg to stand on. How can he objectively prove it is too untidy? We have taken photographs.
  • Deleted user 26 June 2013 10:52:34
    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    Inspections are not viewings. As I understand it, viewings have to be arranged by mutual agreement, given 24 hours written notice and the permission of the occupant. Permission should not ordinarily be withheld, but can be reasonably refused.

    I believe lack of 24 hours notice and consecutive short notice of appointments to be reasonable grounds for refusal. We have since permitted other viewings - their access to the property is not restricted. We have been asking for some attention to courtesy, but the estate agent seems to want to defend his perceived right to be bullish and get his own way.
    I'm not sure on the laws, but i rent of a private landlord, and for him to enter my house, they have to ask me to come in. I know that, because they stated that to me.

    A bit like vampires really.

    As its a company you are dealing with i'm not too sure whether different laws apply to them or not. To be honest i would have taken that face to face meeting to work out and make clear what your rights are. In previous houses i have rented, they have given me 72 hours to a week notice, but again its different, because they were student houses, and if you stated you were leaving the next year the landlord as to get new people in.

    Edited by joelstinton at 10:53:40 26-06-2013
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 10:55:59 19,417 posts
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    @joelstinton we were feeling harassed and threatened by this individual, and in no way wanted to give him an opportunity to bully us in person. Since we're also treading on legal ground, we don't want him to be able to say anything that isn't put in writing.

    We're also students. Technically.
  • L0cky 26 Jun 2013 10:56:44 1,561 posts
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    May be irrelevant, but whenever you have a dispute with your landlord, always check if your deposit is in a valid deposit protection scheme.

    If it isn't, they automatically owe you 3 times your deposit. Always useful for leverage :)
  • THFourteen 26 Jun 2013 10:58:20 34,486 posts
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    Just do the washing up have a tidy and hoover and clean the surfaces

    Problem solved :-)
  • Load_2.0 26 Jun 2013 11:00:00 19,684 posts
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    I am too belligerent, I would answer the door in my pants all the time.

    Sorry mate, should have given us a heads up.
  • ZuluHero 26 Jun 2013 11:02:49 4,349 posts
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    ProfessorLesser wrote:
    Load_2.0 wrote:
    Until you point out he/she is in breach of the tenancy agreement you will get nowhere.
    We have already done this. He chose to retaliate and escalate, pointing out our own "breaches" re cleanliness and tidiness. I don't think he has a leg to stand on. How can he objectively prove it is too untidy? We have taken photographs.
    Can we see them? :)

    EDIt: To clarify the objectivity ofc

    Edited by ZuluHero at 11:03:49 26-06-2013
  • Deleted user 26 June 2013 11:10:10
    My housing law knowledge is fucking tits, but that relates to Scotland not England. I'll have a look later on and see if there is anything I can recognise and try and put you in the right direction. (On phone right now).
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 11:14:03 19,417 posts
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    @graysonavich we're doing the cleaning. The point is we feel harassed, threatened, and that our quiet enjoyment of the property has been taken away. He can't tell us how to live, or demand meetings. He's not our employer or our parent - in fact, we pay him.
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 11:15:06 19,417 posts
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    @graysonavich you don't think an email a day before you want to come into my home should be required?
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 11:15:40 19,417 posts
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    @mowgli cheers lawyerbro, really appreciate it.
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 11:17:58 19,417 posts
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    You're not helping - go read another thread.
  • THFourteen 26 Jun 2013 11:18:08 34,486 posts
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    graysonavich wrote:
    He's probably a bit fucked off that a bunch of student-types are fucking up his house and preventing him from earning a living by refusing viewings.
    Guess he should have done a better job of references when he let it out in the first place!

    Serves him right.
  • ProfessorLesser 26 Jun 2013 11:20:41 19,417 posts
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    Come on, we're 26 and 28 years old, and as of two weeks, both qualified doctors. Let's not play the stereotype game.
  • Ziz0u 26 Jun 2013 11:22:56 8,648 posts
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    I'm currently going through this as well, but I must say I don't mind having people in at the drop of a hat since I want out asap.
  • Dougs 26 Jun 2013 11:23:14 69,548 posts
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    Haaaaang on. So you're not a professor then?
  • THFourteen 26 Jun 2013 11:24:24 34,486 posts
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    Heh i'm only messing.

    My Mrs and her friends got harrassed out of their 3k deposit for their last shared place before we moved in together. I was all ready to fight it as i had a lawyer friend look over the case and he said they had no right to do what they were doing, but the landlord threatened them with expensive solicitors, and the other girls weren't interested in fighting so just gave up the deposit.
  • ZuluHero 26 Jun 2013 11:25:54 4,349 posts
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    To be honest, you yourself said the house is in "some disarray". "Acceptable" living mess is usually the odd magazine or book here and there, maybe plates drying on the draining board. Perhaps you have your washing drying on a rack somewhere.

    But your beds should be made every day, and the floors hovered and clear of debris and work surfaces wiped down. There shouldn't be a layer of dust over everything. When you make breakfast, put the stuff away after you. Simple stuff really. I always make sure my kitchen is spotless when i go to bed, and the rest of the house has been put back into order, ready for the next day of "living".

    Incidentally, i just looked at my Tenancy agreement and it says 24 hours notice is all the estate agents need. Though to tell you the truth, if they phoned me now, i'd let them in within half an hour, but you know, that's because I know my house doesn't look like a bomb's hit it :)

    Edited by ZuluHero at 11:27:49 26-06-2013
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