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MacGuffin

What Right Have I To Refuse Allow Viewings During The Notice Period?

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I should know this already, but what is the legality around refusing to allow viewings during a notice period?

I have just given slightly more than the required notice period and, quick as a flash, the letting agent has emailed me to ask that I send him an email giving him access to the flat so he can re-let. I live in an apartment block with a concierge desk and - I presume - some sort of master key (or maybe the agent wants me to leave my spare set down there).

I really would prefer not to, actually. I am doing most of my work from home these days and I don't really want to be disturbed by viewings. Even on non-working days, I don't feel like having my free time disturbed.

I imagine 'access to flat during notice period' is something I signed up to in the tenancy agreement, though. But how can I get out of it? Just flat out refuse? Or try to negotiate something?

Also, I'll be lending the flat to people for a couple of periods during the notice period, while I am away. I definitely would not want to allow viewings then.

Help!

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I think you should allow for potential viewings - it's only fair in the grand scheme of things.

However, the letting agent should not just turn up with the spare key whenever they please. That would probably be against your contract and/or the 'peaceful enjoyment' of your home whilst you are renting it. My contract has a statement to the effect that the agent needs to give at least 24 hours notice of access (for a viewing, or for repairs, or anything), and that I can negotiate if the time is not good for me.

It's odd that they are asking for an email to allow access - what exactly are they asking for? I hope it is not a carte blanche to do viewings whenever they please. They should be doing it on a per viewing basis, i.e. notifying you of each viewing separately.

Have a look at the Shelter website, they will have more info on this situation.

Basically, they have to get your permission but you should be reasonable and allow viewings where it's ok with you.

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Even if it is written in the contract, it means nothing.

You have the right to refuse viewings. I remember reading it on here.

However, this is the real world. Refuse viewings and expect your landlord to be a d1ck. Maybe even trouble with the deposit or future references.

I would allow viewings but specify when. I used to tell agents "only in the evening" and "always call me first". I think this is reasonable for everyone.

Watch out, they might still go behind your back if they have a key. I caught a tw@t on surveillance once. I received an email during the day and lo-and-behold, snapshot of the tw@ts face, caught red-handed. He even denied it until I showed him the evidence. Being a local sh1tty estate agent, I'm sure his boss couldn't care less though.

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I think you should allow for potential viewings - it's only fair in the grand scheme of things.

Why? I know this is accepted practice, but I don't really understand why. I'd prefer the custom to change so that landlords accept that they will have a void period whilst they show potential tenants around an empty house after their old tenants have moved out. I hate having complete strangers look round my house for the financial benefit of a landlord that I already pay handsomely just because society currently judges that to be 'fair practice'.

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Bottom line, if you dont want viewings then in the email just tell the agent "i will not be allowing viewings"

Whatever people consider reasonable doesnt really matter, if you are paying for the flat and want exclusive use of it until you leave then thats up to you.

Its sometimes nice to allow viewings if you have a good relationship with the LL and are happy to help them out, but remember that you are helping them out and under no obligation.

So if you dont want viewings then dont allow them, and ignore comments such as

"I think you should allow for potential viewings - it's only fair in the grand scheme of things." as there is no concept of fair, you are paying for the flat so fair is you get what you paid for.

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Why? I know this is accepted practice, but I don't really understand why. I'd prefer the custom to change so that landlords accept that they will have a void period whilst they show potential tenants around an empty house after their old tenants have moved out. I hate having complete strangers look round my house for the financial benefit of a landlord that I already pay handsomely just because society currently judges that to be 'fair practice'.

What the h3ll is this fair practice, I pay my landlord to live in his house-I'm buying the right to live there as if it is my home/property, if I bought a car and the salesman turned up wanting to take another customer for a test drive in it he'd be extracting a size nine from his posterior.

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I agree with those who object to the practice. I see no reason why my home life should be disturbed for up to 2 months. It's simply not convenient, and that is good enough for me when I am deciding what is 'fair', considering that I am paying a high enough rent! I am not being done any favours, believe me.

However, my question was about the legality of a refusal to allow viewings. What can they do? And how long would it take? Is there any danger of my deposit being held back?

Edited by MacGuffin

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Uh, guess I'm in a minority here then. If you have a reasonable relationship with your landlord you'll find life is easier generally. I've been having to allow viewings recently as well and my landlord gave me £100 as a thank-you for being reasonable about it.

I'm fairly lucky the agents/landlord are ok I guess though....

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However, my question was about the legality of a refusal to allow viewings. What can they do? And how long would it take? Is there any danger of my deposit being held back?

I would imagine it is covered under "the right to quite enjoyment". While you are paying for the property then I can't see under that they can ask for all and sundry to be coming to have a look around.

For me there would be no grounds for withholding deposits and it would IMO be laughed at if it ever went to the TDS to decide.

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However, my question was about the legality of a refusal to allow viewings. What can they do? And how long would it take? Is there any danger of my deposit being held back?

It is perfectly legal to refuse viewings, any contract clause specifying you must allow viewings is void.

Put simply, a contract term should not solely benefit one party above the other, you get no benefit from a clause allowing viewings so you can safely ignore it.

Also the right to quiet enjoyment if you really want to go there.

As to what the agent can do, assuming they have a key, they can enter but this will be an illegal entry and should be dealt with accordingly, holding the deposit is a no go frankly so dont worry about it.

Basically, you pay the rent, you are the legal occupier and therefore you decide who may enter the property, end of. If the agent tries to play the inspection card but brings a viewer with them, then allow the agent to do the inspection (with correct notice etc) but make the viewer stay outside.

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Damocles will come on here giving it the usual drivel about fairness/reasonableness yada yada yada,but it's utterly meaningless.

How very DARE you suggest that Damocles will come on here spouting utter tripe about fairness and... oh... yeah i forgot ;)

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£100 it's up to you.as a negotiator,I wouldn't give up your day job.

Sheesh, no negotiation, it was out of the blue.

I agree with everyone else that you have a right to a peaceful home, you can refuse all requests for viewings if you want to, etc. I just don't understand why you'd be so confrontational about it. Unauthorised access - yes, definitely out of order but if you're moving out in a month, why so worried about someone coming around to view the place? Most rentals are one or two bedders that take about, ooh 10 mins to look around anyway.

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I agree with those who object to the practice. I see no reason why my home life should be disturbed for up to 2 months. It's simply not convenient, and that is good enough for me when I am deciding what is 'fair', considering that I am paying a high enough rent! I am not being done any favours, believe me.

However, my question was about the legality of a refusal to allow viewings. What can they do? And how long would it take? Is there any danger of my deposit being held back?

They can only enter with your permission or a court order, otherwise it's entirely up to you. If you need references they could be difficult but if they lie then you can have them for slander. As it goes the law gives you the right to quiet enjoyment which they cannot take from you for any reason. The deposit is an entirely different matter and if they try and keep it back pursue the feckers through the courts.

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Sheesh, no negotiation, it was out of the blue.

I agree with everyone else that you have a right to a peaceful home, you can refuse all requests for viewings if you want to, etc. I just don't understand why you'd be so confrontational about it. Unauthorised access - yes, definitely out of order but if you're moving out in a month, why so worried about someone coming around to view the place? Most rentals are one or two bedders that take about, ooh 10 mins to look around anyway.

Having said what I've said about the viewings I will add that when it comes to leaving my current gaff and they want to have viewings then it'll cost em, they can pay a reasonable amount off the rent for the privilige :rolleyes:

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Oh, ok then! :lol:

Won't you be reading it on here and taking that as correct too?

Being messed about re viewings is why I give the minimum amount of notice possible.. Do not give notice more than one month from your last day, and if they put up a sign outside take it down to prevent viewing requests as far as possible.

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I have already expressed my opinion on this in this thread: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=138346&st=0

Some people felt unable to go all the way with my views, though I think there was agreement that a landlord ultimately had a right to enter when it came to matters relating to maintenance. Since it comes up frequently, I would like to revisit the question of whether a tenant can refuse access for viewings by prospective tenants.

The first thing that can be said with confidence is that there is no right to view if the terms of the tenancy do not cover it.

But what if they do?

In the other thread I concentrated on trying to establish what the legal position was and that led to suggestions that I was ignoring reality. So let's get to the reality.

First, if a tenant refuses access there is not a lot a landlord can do. Even if it were established that the right is enforceable, it is not going to be worth a landlord's while to go to court over it.

Secondly, any landlord entering without the tenant confirming he is happy for him to enter (I will not say without consent because consent has been given by the agreement) runs the risk of falling foul of the legislation that protects tenants from harassment.

That leaves us with the practical result that a tenant can effectively deny access. That is not the same thing as saying that a tenant has the right to deny access. You cannot argue that there is no right because if there were a right you cannot enforce it, or at least easily. That is no different from saying that a debtor has the right to refuse to pay a debt that is not worth suing over.

I argued in the other thread that the right must exist in some form; many disagree. Until a court gives a ruling the position is uncertain. Accordingly I urge posters not to insist that where a tenant expressly agrees a right to view when he signs up that he is not bound by what he has agreed. That does not rule out drawing attention to the practicalities.

Edited by Damocles

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I think it's a very personal issue.If you've got kids,then the kids can start adding 2+2 making 5 and getting worried.Also,depending on how poular the place is it can be very disruptive ie you're sat there having a family meal and some people are suddenly walking through the kitchen.

you can be reasonable ie allowing viewings two days a week,,but all too often,this gets abused and before you know it,it's five days a week.then it's the phone call,'oh I'm in the area can I show them round while you're out' etc

for me,it's best jsut not to start.

Fair enough I suppose. I haven't had anything as bad as that, but I have had surprise double bookings - i.e. one viewing straight after the other, even though they only told me about the first one.

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  • 258 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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