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Hi,

I know this subject can be quite contentious and has been touched on a few times on this forum, but having searched around some old posts I can't find answers to my specific questions and would appreciate some advice please.

I moved in to a new rental property 4 months ago and today have received a letter requesting that the letting agents carry out an inspection visit in a months time, this will be their second visit in 5 months and I understand it is their intention to inspect every 3 months from now on (although this has not been communicated). In 20 years of renting properties across 3 continents I have only ever suffered inspection visits in the UK, however the most frequent have only ever been every 12 months and in my opinion every 3 months is excessive. On the one hand I can allow the visit, the last visit only lasted 2 minutes or so and was no more than a cursory glance, but with two children under the age of 2 in the house and a wife deprived of sleep it is actually a little inconvenient, plus the tone of the Letting Agents letter has annoyed me slightly.

The reason for the visit is stated as:

We write to advise you that as Managing Agents for the above property we are required to inspect the premises to check its condition and state of repair on behalf of the Landlord. During our visit to carry out the Property Inspection, we shall be looking at the following areas:

General cleanliness and tidiness of the property

Garden maintenance

Any signs of leaks or water damage

Any damage to walls and carpets/flooring

Signs of smoking – please note smoking is not permitted in any of our properties

Is this a valid reason to visit the property or can I refuse access here? I was of the understanding that letting agents can only inspect proerties to see if any repairs need to be done?

They also state:

As we are keyholders for the above property, you are not required to be present, however if this appointment is not convenient please contact our office to discuss. If we do not hear from you, we shall carry out the scheduled inspection on 12 December 2012.

This suggests that the LA has an implied right of access and do not require explicit permission from the tenant to enter the property. Is this correct? The letter was not sent by registered delivery so they cannot prove whether I have received it or not.

I will probably let the agent know that I object to the tone of their letter and also to 3 monthly visits, however I will allow the visit in a months time but after that request that visits only take place once every 6 months - does this sound a reasonable response? One other thing is that there are a number of repairs that we have requested in the property which have been carried in neither a timely nor satisfactory manner, how is it best, considering the agency's bullish stance to ensure that these repairs get carried out? Can I refuse any inspection visit until the requested repairs have been carried out?

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Bingobob

Edited by bingobob
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Hi,

I know this subject can be quite contentious and has been touched on a few times on this forum, but having searched around some old posts I can't find answers to my specific questions and would appreciate some advice please.

I moved in to a new rental property 4 months ago and today have received a letter requesting that the letting agents carry out an inspection visit in a months time, this will be their second visit in 5 months and I understand it is their intention to inspect every 3 months from now on (although this has not been communicated). In 20 years of renting properties across 3 continents I have only ever suffered inspection visits in the UK, however the most frequent have only ever been every 12 months and in my opinion every 3 months is excessive. On the one hand I can allow the visit, the last visit only lasted 2 minutes or so and was no more than a cursory glance, but with two children under the age of 2 in the house and a wife deprived of sleep it is actually a little inconvenient, plus the tone of the Letting Agents letter has annoyed me slightly.

The reason for the visit is stated as:

We write to advise you that as Managing Agents for the above property we are required to inspect the premises to check its condition and state of repair on behalf of the Landlord. During our visit to carry out the Property Inspection, we shall be looking at the following areas:

General cleanliness and tidiness of the property

Garden maintenance

Any signs of leaks or water damage

Any damage to walls and carpets/flooring

Signs of smoking – please note smoking is not permitted in any of our properties

Is this a valid reason to visit the property or can I refuse access here? I was of the understanding that letting agents can only inspect proerties to see if any repairs need to be done?

They also state:

As we are keyholders for the above property, you are not required to be present, however if this appointment is not convenient please contact our office to discuss. If we do not hear from you, we shall carry out the scheduled inspection on 12 December 2012.

This suggests that the LA has an implied right of access and do not require explicit permission from the tenant to enter the property. Is this correct? The letter was not sent by registered delivery so they cannot prove whether I have received it or not.

I will probably let the agent know that I object to the tone of their letter and also to 3 monthly visits, however I will allow the visit in a months time but after that request that visits only take place once every 6 months - does this sound a reasonable response? One other thing is that there are a number of repairs that we have requested in the property which have been carried in neither a timely nor satisfactory manner, how is it best, considering the agency's bullish stance to ensure that these repairs get carried out? Can I refuse any inspection visit until the requested repairs have been carried out?

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Bingobob

I welcome my 3 monthly visits by the agents.

I always prepare a list of issues and problems as long as king kongs knob and ask them to fix them.

We had new double glazing fitted this week at no cost to us. Meanwhile some idiot just paid 300k to live next door in an identical house, my rent is half what it would cost to buy and I don't have thousands to pay go refurb costs.

Embrace the agents and play them at their own game.

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I think you're right about the implied right of access (there is none except in an emergency) - so mention the recorded delivery thing.

Also I think it's also fine to postpone it until convenient for you.

btw I've never had inspections while renting in the UK (many years with many LLs) - although I reckon the guys who come to fix stuff are asked to report any serious neglect going on.

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Sending you sympathy!

Our agents sent a fairly similar letter once, stating that they'll come every 6 months on the 1st Tuesday of the month, if we're not in, they'll let themselves in. There's no reminder near the time. It's pants, and at one point it was every 3 months, Although the inspector (a scrutiny little oik, who I'm very tired of, some people have more power bestowed upon them than is sensible...) doesn't always bother to turn up, which narks me considerably, and I wonder if he turns up at a different time instead....

They're probably doing it every 3 months for the first year, then decide whether they'll reduce your inspection intervals.

I point stuff out to the oik, but he always mums and aahs, says that's something that they'd look at doing when we move out, as we wouldn't want the upheaval/disruption, and so nothing worthwhile has really been done in years. We are now moving out, it'll be interesting to see if they do any of the work they've been postponing for the last few years!

Another thing, they write in the letter about inspecting the property to check its clean and tidy. Whether you clean and tidy your house is not their business! So long as you return it to them in a reasonable condition at the end of your tenancy, if you want to live in your own filth and untidiness (so long as it doesn't entice vermin), that is your business, and not theirs!

They should be there to check the condition of the property, not how you choose to live your life in it. That means you could spend an awful lot of their time pointing out in great detail all the things that they haven't fixed, or have done a shoddy job in fixing - as that is their business!

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Sending you sympathy!

Our agents sent a fairly similar letter once, stating that they'll come every 6 months on the 1st Tuesday of the month, if we're not in, they'll let themselves in. There's no reminder near the time. It's pants, and at one point it was every 3 months, Although the inspector (a scrutiny little oik, who I'm very tired of, some people have more power bestowed upon them than is sensible...) doesn't always bother to turn up, which narks me considerably, and I wonder if he turns up at a different time instead....

They're probably doing it every 3 months for the first year, then decide whether they'll reduce your inspection intervals.

I point stuff out to the oik, but he always mums and aahs, says that's something that they'd look at doing when we move out, as we wouldn't want the upheaval/disruption, and so nothing worthwhile has really been done in years. We are now moving out, it'll be interesting to see if they do any of the work they've been postponing for the last few years!

Another thing, they write in the letter about inspecting the property to check its clean and tidy. Whether you clean and tidy your house is not their business! So long as you return it to them in a reasonable condition at the end of your tenancy, if you want to live in your own filth and untidiness (so long as it doesn't entice vermin), that is your business, and not theirs!

They should be there to check the condition of the property, not how you choose to live your life in it. That means you could spend an awful lot of their time pointing out in great detail all the things that they haven't fixed, or have done a shoddy job in fixing - as that is their business!

when you make a list of things wrong, give the man a copy, and ask him to sign YOUR copy that he has received his copy...

This will act as an update to the inventory come leaving time..

He cant then say you left so and so unrepaired, heres the bill, if you asked them in writing to attend to it, and even if it was your job to do the work, lack of action on their part will work very much in your favour.

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The only thing I can think of is that it is interfering with your "rightful and peaceful enjoyment" of the property and no, they can't just let themselves in, except to carry out an emergency repair.

True. So what do you do about it? Who can you complain to? No-one gives a damn about tenants. These laws are not being enforced.

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True. So what do you do about it? Who can you complain to? No-one gives a damn about tenants. These laws are not being enforced.

What do you mean, "these laws are not being enforced"? If you think your contract rights are being violated, it's noone's business but yours to enforce them. Easier just to move out.

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What do you mean, "these laws are not being enforced"? If you think your contract rights are being violated, it's noone's business but yours to enforce them. Easier just to move out.

How do I stop the harrassment? the police won't do anything if an estate agent enters your home without your permission. You are powerless, the law is not being enforced.

Easier to move out. Yes. Thats not very satisfactory is it? Hounded out of your home every few months with no comeback? what sort of life is that?

The living situation forced on those born too late to buy or too financially savvy to refuse to join the ponzi is a disgrace.

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How do I stop the harrassment? the police won't do anything if an estate agent enters your home without your permission. You are powerless, the law is not being enforced.

Easier to move out. Yes. Thats not very satisfactory is it? Hounded out of your home every few months with no comeback? what sort of life is that?

The living situation forced on those born too late to buy or too financially savvy to refuse to join the ponzi is a disgrace.

you talk to the council housing department. immediately.

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We have gone round in circles discussing the law on a landlord's right of access. Whatever the law may be, the problem here is the tone of the agent's letter. It is the reason Bingobob made his post. As an exercise in public relations the letter fails abysmally. It gives the impression that the agent is coming round to check up on Bingobob and that whether he likes it or not they will let themselves in. Whatever the relationship was between Bingobob and the agent the letter has done nothing to improve it and gone quite a way to worsen it. The letter is typical of many agents' peremptory attitude and fails to acknowledge that the property is Bingobob's home.

Hopefully we can all agree that good estate management is in the interest of both landlords and tenants and that regular inspections are part of good estate management. How regular has to depend on the circumstances, but I am inclined to agree with Bingobob that every six months should be sufficient, at least for the average property in reasonable condition.

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There is one thing worse than regular inspections by the EA and that is regular inspections by the EA accompanied by the Landlord and her monther. The experience was one of the biggest contributing factors to our decision to throw in the towel and buy a house (overpriced).

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I don't get it. Why the discussion? The landlord or agent have no legal right to enter your home without a court order or your explicit permission. . Only the emergency services can come in without your or court permission. If you want to stay on good terms with the agent then you should perhaps do whatever they tell you. That is your decision as whether your personal privacy is worth more to you.

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