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Rules For Showing Prospective Buyers Around

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Can anyone advise what the rules are for showing prospective buyers around a property you are renting?

Is this a compulsory requirement on the renter?

Are there any official references on this topic?

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Can anyone advise what the rules are for showing prospective buyers around a property you are renting?

Is this a compulsory requirement on the renter?

Are there any official references on this topic?

The rules are the same as for all access to the property, which means that entry can only be gained after reasonable notice has been given, usually taken to mean 24 hours notice in writing.

It should be noted that some landlords and their agents include a term allowing free access to purchasers, this is covered in OFT notice 356, is considered unfair and is hence legally meaningless.

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The rules are the same as for all access to the property, which means that entry can only be gained after reasonable notice has been given, usually taken to mean 24 hours notice in writing.

And note that the tenant can refuse this entry if they so wish.

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And note that the tenant can refuse this entry if they so wish.

They can refuse, but it is usually a good idea to try & keep on the right side of the landlord if you are planning to get most of your deposit back. If you act (in the LL opinion) unreasonably, they will be less reasonable over the deposit & vice versa.

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They can refuse, but it is usually a good idea to try & keep on the right side of the landlord if you are planning to get most of your deposit back. If you act (in the LL opinion) unreasonably, they will be less reasonable over the deposit & vice versa.

Absolutely,

In my experience, landlords haven't taken the p*ss, and have been generally apologetic, called ahead to let me know, etc.

It is when the MOFO estate agents get hold of a key that you get mucked around.

btp

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And note that the tenant can refuse this entry if they so wish.

Is that in all cases or only where adequate notice has not been delivered?

Also, although in theory they can, as many viewings will take place during the week then for most people it will be difficult to prevent entry.

Edited by Young Goat

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Is that in all cases or only where adequate notice has not been delivered?

Also, although in theory they can, as many viewings will take place during the week then for most people it will be difficult to prevent entry.

I think that they (the owner/EA) has to ask but the tennant can still refuse - if they are wanting to annoy their landlord.

Also, tennants who leave the place looking like a tip for a viewing will also annoy the owner!

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Also, tennants who leave the place looking like a tip for a viewing will also annoy the owner!

Fine, but the property remains the tenants home until the end of the tenancy, with only limited rights of access to the owner and even more limited rights over the state of tidyness. Whether the owner is annoyed or not, if the property is returned in the same condition they have no grounds for witholding any of the deposit.

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Fine, but the property remains the tenants home until the end of the tenancy, with only limited rights of access to the owner and even more limited rights over the state of tidyness. Whether the owner is annoyed or not, if the property is returned in the same condition they have no grounds for witholding any of the deposit.

I wasn't suggesting that they should withold the deposit for the place looking like a tip, just that a landlord will be less lenient if there is a bad relationship.

I rented once (for 8 weeks) & tehe checkout guy said that it wasn't properly cleaned, in particular, the soap dispenser in the washing machine.

I said - Don't inventorise that - watch - and just washed it out.

Some people can be really picky and if they are hacked off with the tennants they are mroe likely to be unreasionable about the deposit - but they wouldn't be allowed to withhold it for no reason. (or shouldn't)

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Some people can be really picky and if they are hacked off with the tennants they are mroe likely to be unreasionable about the deposit - but they wouldn't be allowed to withhold it for no reason. (or shouldn't)

My limited experience is that landlords will either view the deposit as a opportunity to further enrich themselves or not. Conduct of the tenant is not usually an issue.

Of course no sensible person would go out of their way to ruin the relationship with their landlord however it is all to common a complaint that landlords continue to treat property as their own, disregarding the tenants rights.

It is however worth restating a point made earlier, most problems seem to occur as a result of agents rather than landlords. I suspect that agencies tend to inflate damages claims as a way of justifying their own fees.

Most agents seem to have very little understanding of housing law. I currently rent through what appears to be a respectable agency and have been astonished by their ignorance, only yesterday I received a letter inviting me to enter into another 6 month tenancy which stated that if I wish to end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, I must give 2 months written notice (see the thread that I started to learn more about this).

My tenancy agreement is littered with terms that either directly contradict housing law or are otherwise considered unfair. I am just about in a position to defend myself through the courts if necessary (being a university graduate & a qualified accountant) but how are the rest of their tenants supposed to cope?

Actually I consider their conduct so bad that I am actively considering complaining to trading standards in an effort to correct this. If I do I will keep everyone updated.

Rant over!

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I'm glad this came up. I'm renting a house that is up for sale. Just last week the estate agent phoned and asked if they could show the house immediately as someone was in the branch who was interested. I told him the place was a tip but if he really wanted to he could .And he said he'd be round with them in 15mins. Of course he was 8 mins! Only when I put the phone down did I think it was a bit unreasonable. Well, it wont happen again. He can give me 24hrs notice!!!

Also, I want to ask about being in the property during the viewing. My mates ID was stolen after someone (whilst viewing her property) stole her bank statements and other documents. I'm really nervous about letting someone in whilst I'm not there. What do you think??

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Is that in all cases or only where adequate notice has not been delivered?

Also, although in theory they can, as many viewings will take place during the week then for most people it will be difficult to prevent entry.

In all cases. The only exception is in the case of emergency, which this obviously is not.

London landlady, you are quite correct, it is prudent not to refuse without genuine reason. I was merely pointing out that the tenant can refuse.

And young goat is correct of course about the state of the property during tenancy cannot, legally, be considered for damage deposit deductions.

No Angel: as I have stated above, you have the right to refuse access for ANY reason, and so you can refuse access unless you are present, absolutely. And this is a reasonable thing to do. Not what you asked, but I would also say that the LL is responsible for any financial loss due to this theft - although you would have to prove theft I assume.

What you say is not neccessarily unreasonable, as long as they did not demand you let them in. There is no harm in them asking you if they can have a viewing, as long as you agree. The 24 hours notice only really makes a difference to this in the fact that prior to 24 hours, they must have EXPLICIT agreement for entry, with 24 hours notice the tenant must actively refuse access.

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what happens if you are on holiday when they send you a letter?

surely it is not enough for them to send you a letter to say they're going to intrude into your house in 24 hours?

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Yes, it is....but I see your point. IMO if I was leaving the property for a period of time(eg holiday), I would drop a letter round stating that any requests for entering the property between x and x dates you are refusing, and that the property is not to be entered between these dates. To be honest though, certainly in my dealings, most landlords/letting agents tend to keep it informal and just phone you and ask your permission.

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Some time ago I was in a similar position & the LL threatened to withhold my deposit, unfortunately for him I new where he lived & turned up on his doorstep the next day.

I got my deposit back no problems.

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The LL decided to sell the last property I rented, and was very unreasonable about access (CONSTANTLY phoning up, asking to bring people around for viewings at the last minute, going back on previous times we'd agreed, wanting to paint the front door and leave it open to dry while we were out etc etc). We were reasonable, but it got to the point of seriously impacting our lives. We had a good agency, who eventually intervened on our behalf and told him that we had a right to use the house as our home whilst paying the rent, which he was effectively preventing us from doing, and that any further requests had to go through them. We then agreed a reasonable set of times each week we were happy to have viewings and he had to fit around us. We received our deposit in full.

Since his behaviour made us extremely cautious about allowing him in when we weren't there, we also requested we should be there and that the viewings be kept as short as reasonably possible. To be honest, most of the other EAs and viewers we had round were understanding of the fact that we lived there and didn't want to sit in our living room talking for hours on end. If they looked like they'd be sticking around for too long, I found wandering around the house singing (tunelessly) usually did the trick.

As long as you are reasonable and if you refuse a particular date, suggest an alternative in the same week, they cannot simply browbeat you into doing what they want.

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I recently handed in my notice and therefore the agent is now wanting to show prospective tenants around. Well, my wife is usually in and she got the fright of her life when a woman and two men appeared out of nowhere when she stepped out of the bathroom. When I found out about it, I phoned them up and told the agent off for it (she claimed she left a message which she didn't and would have been unacceptable even if she did). My thinking is they just guessed no-one was in and couldn't be bothered to get our permission. I've had to hold back a lot of my anger about this for fear of losing slices of my deposit, but this agent (apparently a "reputable" firm) is the scum.

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