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Mia F

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  1. Thank you @45002I know what you mean. My email was too long I agree but decided to go into more depth about what my concerns were should we need to continue this discussion via email/follow-up depending on further developments. Thank you @CraigMcKThat link is really useful. I spoke with the landlord on the phone following my email, they were reasonable and did not understood why I would be asked to step outside the property either so we agreed if that was demanded from me in order to carry out the survey, they would speak with the company/surveyor directly. Luckily, the surveyor that came over was very reasonable, safe distance was maintained, PPE worn by both of us and all windows were open. The visit was supervised, no problems at all. I am so relieved that was the case, the company's person on the phone was so rude and aggressive with their unreasonable demands I was really worried. Thank you everyone for your help, very grateful for all the comments in the thread
  2. Thank you @CraigMcK and @johnjordan I've decided to email the landlord again to reinforce I will not accept a survey company demand of having to step outside the flat for the duration of the visit while a stranger goes into every room alone and unsupervised. This is what I wrote: "Hi [Landlord] Following up on our text msg exchange on Monday after my email (below) and the text msg I was sent by e.surv today (see attached picture.jpg for reference). They have also provided a link with their own guidelines https://www.esurv.co.uk/coronavirus-information-hub/ As mentioned in my previous email, I am ok with request 1 to 3 on the list below but not demand 4: 1 - keeping safe distance 2m away (ok) 2 - keep all windows open during the visit (ok) 3 - disinfecting all door handles (ok) 4 - asked to be outside the flat while the surveyor is inside with the front door closed - effectively asking me to leave a stranger whose job implies high exposure to a good number of other people, walking around the place I live unsupervised. I find it unreasonable and frankly unjustified to be asked to step outside the place I live while a stranger goes through every room in the flat unsupervised. There are several concerns about this demand. E.surv states that they’re following UK government guidelines (not law) “Following the guidance set out by the UK Government and the RICS, we’ll be asking our customers and our surveyors to take a few extra precautions in these extraordinary times.” yet they fail to provide the direct source of such official guideline. Nowhere on the https://www.gov.uk/ have I found a guideline that demands people to step outside their own home for a survey during the Covid-19 pandemic and while still on national lockdown. Safe distancing, yes. Demanding people staying outside the property for the whole extent of the visit unsupervised, no. It is my understanding this is an e.surv company specific demand not an official government guideline. The fact this is a stranger whose job requires high exposure to a variety of people, environments and homes yet is not required to provide a Covid-19 negative test in the 72hrs prior to a home visit, seems to go against the ‘safety guidelines’ e.surv seems keen to justify themselves with. I’m effectively at a higher risk of exposure with someone coming into my home and walk into every single room in the house. Regardless of the basic DBS checks performed for their employees which is a standard employment requirement for past history, I would still not allow an unsupervised stranger to be left alone in the flat with my belongings. As mentioned before, I’m keen to be as helpful as possible except if it puts my health safety and possessions at risk. If the surveyor is happy with following guidelines 1 to 3 listed above, that’s fine. If they demand for me to step out of the flat during the visit while they stay inside alone, that is a no from me. If they refuse to perform the survey following this unreasonable request, I would suggest finding a survey company that is able to perform the job in a professional and safe manner for all parties involved. Happy to chat on the phone if you like." I feel really torn because I want to be helpful but not at the cost of my own safety...
  3. Hi Everyone, Thank you for your answers. So I decided to email my landlord yesterday to share my thoughts, here's what I wrote: "Hi [landlord] Wanted to follow-up on the e.surv booking regarding the surveyor coming over to the flat this Wednesday, as something they mentioned about the visit is not sitting well with me. When I called the surveying company last week to book the visit to the flat I was asked to agree with a lot of procedures 'to protect our staff': 1 - keeping safe distance 2m away (ok) 2 - keep all windows open during the visit (ok) 3 - disinfecting all door handles (ok) 4 - asked to be outside the flat while the surveyor is inside with the front door closed - effectively asking me to leave a stranger whose job implies high exposure to a good number of other people, walking around the place I live unsupervised. I have a problem with the last request. It's one thing to ask for safe distancing but asking me to step outside my home with the door closed while the surveyor does does or touches who knows what inside the flat is making me very nervous. First, because I would never invite a stranger to be alone in the place I live. And secondly, even I have a careful procedure in place when I go out and come back to avoid any Covid exposure and I'm certainly not comfortable being made to accept being put at risk by someone who unreasonably demands it because they're a 'surveyor' - I want to be of help but not if it potentially can put my health/life at risk during a pandemic. (The surveyor that came over last year was able to do the survey without having to be left alone inside the flat) If the surveyor that comes over is wearing PPE protection (mask) and is OK with performing the survey with the front door open, that's all Ok. If the surveyor comes over not wearing PPE protection (mask) and/or demands being left alone inside the flat with the front door closed while I wait outside, I cannot oblige to that. I'm hoping the surveyor coming over will be reasonable, but wanted to share my thoughts with you in advance." He replied by text msg he couldn't think of a reason why I would be asked to step outside but also stressed that his remortgage is dependent on the surveyor visit, which is really putting a lot of pressure at my end and making me very uncomfortable. I just received a text from the company stating again I'll need to leave the property vacant whilst they make the visit, which I'm really not Ok with. They're justifying it with government guidelines but I'm not buying into it at all. Here are their requirements https://www.esurv.co.uk/coronavirus-information-hub/ On the FAQs they have this question: I'm concerned about leaving the surveyor alone in my property. To ensure that we meet our contractual and legal obligations, all e.surv and Walker Fraser Steele employees (including contractors, consultants and agency workers) are subject to a series of pre-employment screening checks. This includes the completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before employment begins. If the DBS is unsuccessful, the candidate will not be employed. I don't really care if they're DBS checked for past actions. To me they're still a stranger who is not providing me with a negative Covid test which really is what the company should do if they actually care about safety as they say they do. No sure what to do. Don't want to unhelpful to the landlord but putting my possessions and health safety at risk is a no-go for me. Any thoughts are very welcome.
  4. Hi Everyone, My landlord is applying for a remortgage for the flat I'm renting. We have a good landlord-tenant relationship and I'm happy to help whenever I can. When I called the surveying company to book the visit to the flat I was asked to agree with a lot of procedures 'to protect our staff': - keeping safe distance 2m away (ok) - keep all windows open during the visit (ok) - disinfecting all door handles (ok) - asked to be outside the flat while the surveyor is inside with the front door closed - effectively asking me to leave a stranger whose job implies high exposure to a good number of other people, walking around my home unsupervised. I have a problem with the last request. It's one thing to ask for safe distancing but asking me to step outside my home with the door closed while the surveyor does does or touches who knows what inside the flat is making me very nervous. First, because I would never invite a stranger to be alone in the place I live. And secondly, even I have a careful procedure in place when I go out and come back to avoid any Covid exposure and I'm certainly not comfortable being made to accept being put at risk because someone demands it because they're a 'surveyor'. When I mentioned I would not allow the surveyor to be inside the flat unsupervised with the front door closed while I had to wait outside my home, the company was incredibly arrogant and with a threatening tone of "If you don't agree with this the surveyor will not be booked and things will be delayed at your landlord's end. Shall I let the landlord know you refused entry?" Which I found incredibly aggressive, careless and disrespectful, specially in the context of a pandemic. Sure, I want to help the landlord but not if it potentially can put my life/health at risk. Thinking of sending an email to the landlord that if the surveyor demands be left at home alone with the front door, that'll be a no from me. Any thoughts on this? Thank you in advance.
  5. Thank you @ericsbrother and @stu007 It's a two-bedroom property. I initially rented one room and years later wanted to live alone and rented the second bedroom. Each has a separate contract just for the room. I have the original inventory for the first room and subsequent roommate inventories from the second room, all Ok there. The notice period is as it was before, is 2 months on each side. Doesn't feel it needs a term as it's a rolling contract we can stop anytime with the notice period. I've now signed the contract for the flat, rent is the same, no additional deposit, no changes there. The landlord has not gotten in touch for a company to come over and make a property valuation, which is leaving me a bit uncomfortable, because a) he didn't mentioned before and b)I don't feel comfortable with strangers coming into my home, it's an invasion of privacy, and without knowing what they'll be doing So my queries now are: 1 / What does a property valuation comprise? Will they take pictures, look at pipes, go through my belongings? 2 / If they take pictures, can they be used in the context of tenancy? 3 / What will they be looking for? 4 / What should I be on the look out for in terms of what they're doing? Anything in particular I should pay attention to/safeguard? Also, to your knowledge, is there anything else you think I'll be asked by my landlord in the context of the remortgage? Thank you for your time in advance, Mia
  6. Thank you for the answers. @BankFodder - I feel the element of continuity is important too though I don't know why at the moment, it's just a gut feeling. It does sound very strange to be asked to sign a new contract with no immediately perceivable changes other than saying 'room 1 and 2' (it's a 2 bed flat) when I have been at the property for so many years. Should I be asked to produce a rental agreement for employment/applying for citizenship/other I do feel at loss if my rental agreement has a start date of early 2020. Any idea how the consolidation of the two contracts could address that continuity as a safeguard? @ericsbrother What's the blocker here though? Having two contracts (one for each room) in the same property? Attaching the new tenancy agreement landlord sent through. It's a direct tenancy with the landlord (no agencies involved) and we have a good relationship, think asking him to pay me would change the relationship dynamic and I would prefer to avoid it, prefer peace of mind over money in this case. That said I don't mind helping him out as long as doing so doesn't work to my detriment by having a negative impact/cost at my end. I only worry that what seems at first as a nice gesture might result in a future disadvantage somehow. A few additional notes: The tenancy agreement states his wife and him (in this order) as landlords, though I've always just dealt with him to date; Signing a new contract brings up inventory questions too, though he hasn't mentioned it, there has been deterioration of furniture by previous tenants so I would need to cover that too, otherwise he could claim at some point everything was new in the flat? So new contract = new inventory? If this new contract states that I'm renting room 1 and 2, should the amount of rent to pay be split too as in ie. room 1 £500/pcm and room 2 £600/pcm? As in itemised rent per room rather than a consolidated rent ie. £1100pcm? Thank you in advance, Mia F TenancyContract.pdf
  7. Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with the following. I have been living in a flat for about 11 years. It's a 2-bed flat and I rented one of the rooms. My tenancy contract is for the room only (not the flat). I lived with other people renting the other bedroom for years until I decided I wanted to live alone and rented the other room too about 2 years ago. This means I currently have 2 contracts- one for each room. My landlord got in touch saying he now wants a contract for the whole flat for remortgaging purposes for the bank. I find that request odd as there are contracts in place for each room and rent is paid on time every month - wouldn't that be all the bank needs to know? I'm wondering if this request might be related with me being European and with Brexit in place this being actually about my rights since this new contract would be signed post January 31 2020? Are there any red flags here I should watch out for? Feels I might be missing a trick. Thanks in advance, Mia
  8. Hi, Can anyone please help with the following. I am a freelance creative. I started contracting for a company (the end client) through a creative agency. I use an umbrella company to deal with my invoices. I was booked on a daily rate. My initial booking did not include overtime payment. Shortly after I started freelancing the client asked me to do overtime. They got in touch with my agency to confirm this request. My agency asked me if I wanted to do overtime and I said yes. The agency confirmed the hourly overtime rate by email and I informed my umbrella company (with the agency cc´d on the email). I filled in my weekly timesheets with the days (start time and finish time) and the overtime hours per day. The timesheets were signed by the client and sent weekly to the agency. Two of the timesheets including overtime were paid in full. The following week the agency fails to proceed with the weekly payment as confirmed on their booking form (which I interpret as part of their contractual obligations). I ask why I haven´t been paid since the agency received all timesheets and invoices on time. At this point they hold four weekly timesheets that have not been paid - all of them containing overtime. They come back to me saying that they don´t pay overtime and I need to reissue the invoices with no overtime included. I reply asking who decided that and when since I wasn´t informed I shouldn´t be doing overtime - I had been doint overtime at the company for the past 4 weeks, the clientt signed those timesheets and I submitted them to the agency. Surely if I wasn´t supposed to do overtime someone at the company would have told me (they saw me coming in early in the morning and staying late at night) or the agency when they saw my weekly timesheets? Not come back to me after 4 complete weeks saying that they´re not paying my invoices because they have not agreed with overtime?! In addition, on my initial booking it states the start time but not the end time. On the timesheet provided by the agency it says that overtime starts from 6pm to 9pm. When I started I asked to the client what were my daily hours and I was told 10am to 6.30pm. I thought that was fine, although it was an extra 30min after 6pm I was Ok in giving that time to the client, one always ends up staying a bit longer anyway. On top of claiming that they don´t pay for overtime, the agency came back to me saying that since I was working 10am to 6.30pm I wasn´t doing a complete day of 8h of work that I should be doing 10am to 7pm and that they would charge me back 30min for everyday I left at 6.30pm. In my understanding this is not only ridiculous it´s outrageous because: - I was told by the client work hours were 10am to 6.30pm; - I was booked on a daily rate - no matter when I leave for the day the client always has to pay a full day of work; - because I am on a daily rate the agency cannot charge me half an hour of a normal day´s work; - The agency´s own timesheet states that overtime starts from 6pm so if in any case if any is due 30min payment it´s me not the agency; So, they asked for a credit note of all the overtime they suddenly decided is not payable plus the extra 30 daily min they decided I should the working everyday (despite the client signing the timesheets confirming all´s Ok). Because I challenged what I consider to be an extortion (my paperwork is all in order), they took the liberty to withhold all my payments since the beginning of March to force me to agree in asking my umbrella company to provide them with a credit note of the amount they´re claiming. This is completely abusive - it would be bad enough if they withheld the amount they think they´re claiming back but withholding ALL my payments (which is currently about 4 times the amount they´re claiming) is taking a serious financial stroll on me. They currenlty have 7 invoices outstanding (none of them include overtime so there is NO reason for not paying them - I reissued invoices with no overtime for the ones outstanding to comply with their stupid request and accelerate my payments), I haven´t been paid in weeks and I´m in panic as I have to pay my bills and rent. I tried to reason with the agency but the self-absorbed monster that´s making all this trouble could not care less about the impact of her actions. The client´s happy with my work. I am happy with them. The agency is making up all this mess and withholding all my payments. What can I do? Is there a way I can force her to pay?? Can I complain to someone? The agency is seriously affecting my ability to support myself and causing me great distress. Help... Thanks.
  9. Hi, Working in the creative industry, I recently decided to become a freelancer using an umbrella company. I have been offered a one month assignment by a recruitment agency. However they require me to sign a conduct regulations 2003 opt out form Can anyone explain what this is? Not sure if it´s just some bureaucracy or something I truly should worry about? Advice is very welcome! Thanks, Mia
  10. Thanks Becky. My only query is - doesn't all the creative already belong to the company as per previous points in the clause? If they're stating that anything I create is by default theirs why do they need 13.8 demanding power of attorney? And also, this only applies DURING the employment period not after, correct? Thanks.
  11. Hi, I work in the creative industry and about to sign a permanent contract. The contract is quite detailed and I came across a clause that leaves me uncomfortable that reads as follows ( clause 13.8): 13. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS 13.1 The parties acknowledge that You may create Inventions (alone or jointly) in the course of your employment with the Company and that You have a special obligation to further the interests of the Company in relation to such Inventions. You shall, promptly following creation, disclose to the Company all such Inventions and works embodying Company Intellectual Property. 13.2 You acknowledge that (except to the extent prohibited by or ineffective in law) all Company Intellectual Property and materials embodying them shall automatically belong to the Company as from creation for the full term of those rights and (except to the extent prohibited by or ineffective in law), You hereby assign, by way of present and future assignment, any and all right, title and interest therein to the Company. 13.3 To the extent that any Company Intellectual Property does not vest in the Company automatically pursuant to clause 19.2 (and except to the extent prohibited by or ineffective in law), You hold such property on trust for the Company and hereby grant to the Company an exclusive, royalty free licence to use such property in its discretion until such Company Intellectual Property fully vests in the Company. 13.4 To the extent that any Inventions created by You (whether alone or jointly) at any time during the course of your employment are prohibited by or prevented in law from automatically vesting with the Company pursuant to clause 19.2, You shall, immediately upon creation of such rights, grant the Company a right of first refusal, in writing, to acquire them on arm's length terms to be agreed between the parties. If the parties cannot agree on such terms within 30 days of the Company receiving the offer, the Company shall refer the dispute to an arbitrator who shall be appointed by the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The arbitrator's decision shall be final and binding on the parties and the costs of arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties. 10 13.3 You agree: 13.3.1 to use best endeavours to execute all such documents, both during and after your employment, as the Company may reasonably require to vest in the Company all right, title and interest pursuant to this agreement; 13.5.2 to use best endeavours to, provide all such information and assistance and do all such further things as the Company may reasonably require to enable it to protect, maintain and exploit the Company Intellectual Property to the best advantage, including (without limitation), at the Company's request, applying for the protection of Inventions throughout the world; 13.5.3 to use best endeavours to assist the Company in applying for the registration of any registrable Company Intellectual Property, enable it to enforce the Company Intellectual Property against third parties and to defend claims for infringement of third party Intellectual Property Rights; 13.5.4 not to apply for the registration of any Company Intellectual Property in the United Kingdom or any other part of the world without the prior written consent of the Company; and 13.5.5 to keep confidential all Company Intellectual Property unless the Company has consented in writing to its disclosure by You; 13.6 As against the Company, its successors and assigns and any licensee of any of the foregoing, you hereby waive all of your present and future moral rights which arise under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and all similar rights in other jurisdictions relating to the Company Intellectual Property. 13.7 You acknowledge that, except as provided by law, no further remuneration or compensation, other than that provided for in this agreement, is or may become due to You in respect of your compliance with this clause. This clause is without prejudice to your rights under the Patents Act 1977. 13.8 You hereby irrevocably appoint the Company as your attorney in your name to sign, execute, do or deliver on your behalf any deed, document or other instrument and to use your name for the purpose of giving full effect to this clause. I´m specially concerned with clause 13.8 - surely if all creative I produce during my employment is "automatically" company property and I have no rights to it why are they asking me to sign basically what I read as a proxy? Should I insist this is taken off or is it normal to demand this? Think I don´t really understand what the company´s after with it. Is this a red flag? Help! Thanks.
  12. Well that´s my worry - why would a company demand me to sign such clause if they didn´t intend to explore it to its fullest? I know my work will be done on time and I have stayed longer to cover for others. It´s seems to me that´d be self-explanatory to a good employer with good intentions. It´s very odd that it needs to be written down that I automatically agree to deny such a basic right of not being made to work more than 48hrs a week. I requested for that clause to be taken out and the response I got was "We can´t take it out, it´s standard law to have it in the contract therefore it´s not negotiable."...
  13. Hi, I´m a creative that has been freelancing with a company for roughly 6 months. I started as a freelancer with the promise of a permanent contract that took 6 long months to materialise. I have finally been offered a contract that´s almost 20 pages long (my longest one to date had 6 pages) with the weirdest clauses. One of the them regarding working hours states: a) Your normal hours of work are 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday inclusive. You are, however, expected to work such additional hours as may be required for the proper performance of your duties. You will not be paid overtime. b) You agree that the 48 hour maximum working week limit in regulation 4 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 shall not apply to You. During your employment You may give the Company three months' written notice that You wish this opt out to cease to apply. Now, provided I get all materials I need from other departments my work is always done on time, no need for extra hours. I have in the past worked longer hours because someone didn´t do their job and their incompetence dragged to extending my work day up to 2-3 hours making it a 10-12h day- which I don´t intend to experience again. I don´t mind occasionally working longer hours if and when needed but only when it´s my choice to stay late. I have flagged this with HR and also said I wasn´t interested in accepting to work more than 48 hours a week - clause b) The reply I got is that it´s a standard clause in a standard contract and that clause b) is written in the contract as a "default by law" - and that if I wish to refuse I´ll have to give 3 months notice to do so but they cannot take the clause out of the contract. It seems unintelligible to me that I´ll have to be a slave - should the company wish so - for 3 months until I opt out of that clause when I´m flagging it before I sign the contract. Is this really the law or are they bluntly trying take advantage of me? Advice please... Thanks in advance!
  14. Not possible- Any other suggestions? Thanks.
  15. Hi Bigredbus, I don´t know, although some clauses seem to be peculiar like the one I mentioned. It´s definitively the longest contract I´ve had so far so if anything I would lean towards being a specific one. Have no idea what other colleagues contracts look like though. Does it make a difference? Thanks.
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