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breakanegg

Help, Notice & Viewings Disturbing Peace

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Hi there, I was hoping someone could please offer some advice. I'm from Scotland and renting a property in England as was working down here. I do not understand local property laws as they are different.

 

I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement commencing 13/12/08 with an initial term of 12 months.

 

 

It is in Woking area and includes a 1.5 months rent as deposit. I required the property as was working down here in the area, I still have my own place back home. I was made redundant a few weeks ago and obviously no longer need this property and need to move back home.

 

I gave my notice on 11th June and was told I must give two months notice. Obviously this means remaining here and paying rent for longer than expected and when I'm out of work that's not very convenient but they say I have to and so I've just gone along with it.

 

However, it's also this requirement to let the agency have access for viewings. I find this unreasonable two months before I'm due to exit the property. I have to live here, I can't have people in and out all the time on viewings, the agency are calling me repeatedly, sending emails, getting anxious when I don't call them back 'immediately' to let people in for viewings.

 

First, I think one month before I exit is reasonable but not two months. Do I have any rights here?

 

Second, I'm also not working currently and so am in the property during the day and only leave if go to shops or on an errand etc. I'm busy studying and looking for work. Yet this agency act like I should get out of the property to allow them to do viewings and that I should let them whenever they want, respond to their harassment immediately and should have an interrupted tenancy for two months which of course they are making me pay for.

 

Am I not entitled to uninterrupted tenancy? I would be happy with viewings if they were reasonable but I don't think their frequency, the manner in which they demand them and the fact they are being done so far in advance of my exit is reasonable.

 

 

Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. As it is it looks like I'm doomed to final two months in this property of harassment and misery with strangers constantly wandering around, looking in cupboards with my stuff, trailing dirt all over my floors without my say so :Cry:

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Can I just clarify;

 

- you have a 12 month initial term which started on 13/12/08 (and so will finish 12/12/09?).

 

- How are you ending the contract early? - are you using a breakclause? if so what is the exact wording of it?

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Can I just clarify;

 

- How are you ending the contract early? - are you using a breakclause? if so what is the exact wording of it?

 

I found it :) under Special Clauses section, exact wording as below:

 

"Mutual Break Clause

 

Any time after four months of the initial fixed term of this tenancy (or after a similar period following a fixed term extension to the original tenancy) either party may invoke the break clause by providing a minimum of two months written notice to the other (such notice to expire on the last day of a rental period of the tenancy). At the end of such notice the tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the agreement."

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Can I just clarify;

 

- you have a 12 month initial term which started on 13/12/08 (and so will finish 12/12/09?).

 

Yes, sorry missed that bit. It says

 

Initial term of the tenancy will be: 12 months

 

Commencement date; from and including: 13th December 2008

 

Expiry date; to and including: 12th December 2009.

 

I advised of notice via telephone on 10th June, served in writing on 12th. Been given exit date of 11th August.

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Yes, sorry missed that bit. It says

 

Initial term of the tenancy will be: 12 months

 

Commencement date; from and including: 13th December 2008

 

Expiry date; to and including: 12th December 2009.

 

I advised of notice via telephone on 10th June, served in writing on 12th. Been given exit date of 11th August.

 

As your exercising the breakclause then it can basically impose what ever conditions it wants on you/the LL in order to exercise it. This one imposes two months on you so thats the length of notice you have to give in order to exercise it. When you say you served written notice on the 12th June does that mean they actually recieved it 12th June?

 

Have you got this confirmation in writing off them (11th August?)

 

In terms of allowing viewing, thats up to you. I would try and be reasonable. Suggest x2 2 hour blocks a week (Monday afternoon - Thursday evening - Saturday Morning?) when viewings will be allowed with 24/48 hours notice? But rememeber its up to you, you can say NO if you like.

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As your exercising the breakclause then it can basically impose what ever conditions it wants on you/the LL in order to exercise it. This one imposes two months on you so thats the length of notice you have to give in order to exercise it. When you say you served written notice on the 12th June does that mean they actually recieved it 12th June?

 

Have you got this confirmation in writing off them (11th August?)

 

In terms of allowing viewing, thats up to you. I would try and be reasonable. Suggest x2 2 hour blocks a week (Monday afternoon - Thursday evening - Saturday Morning?) when viewings will be allowed with 24/48 hours notice? But rememeber its up to you, you can say NO if you like.

 

Yeah that what thought. To be honest I can live with the two months, I'll spend it relaxing, studying and looking for work. It's the intrusion on my peace with the viewings that's making me question the notice.

 

Agree with you on the set viewings. I've emailed them and said as I'm living here it's not convenient to ask me to vacate the property for viewings. Also that I am happy to accommodate their need for viewings providing the frequency and timings to do affect my quiet enjoyment of the property.

 

So I've asked for notice by email (I don't like constant phone calls and voicemails and I don't always get voicemails immediately), I end up getting jumpy every time the phone rings. Also that viewings do not occur on more than two days each week, so more or less what you said :)

 

Thanks for advice. The landlord is a reasonable chap, it's the agency that are being pushy with me and acting like I'm just some piece of furniture in their way of getting another tenant.

 

I got the letter confirming 11th August. The agency and landlord both received my written notice on 12th, sent recorded. I also emailed both parties and rang on 10th.

 

It's good to know I have some rights regarding viewings, I'm a bit of a coward and so it's been easy for agency to push me around on viewings. I can stand up for myself now that I know my rights :)

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Hi there,

 

Sorry for being such a wimp on this but I'm having problems with the viewings and feel so bullied by both the agency and the landlord and could use some help.

 

I have tried to be reasonable regarding the viewings but feel intimidated and bullied and like I have no say.

 

First a viewing was arranged for 3pm on Thursday. I was waiting until after the viewing to go do chores, shopping etc. At 3.15pm I got a call from agency saying viewers were stuck in traffic. I asked how long they would be but didn't know. I said look I need to go to the shop, I have my mobile in case they arrive. So I went to shop and returned at 4.15pm, still no sign of viewers. Agency arrived shortly after and then viewers at 4.30pm.

 

I was politely showing viewers around, one of whom happened to be in a wheelchair and wanted to see if it would be possible to maneouver around the property in the wheelchair. Agent had another viewing at 5pm and so left, but left the viewers with me! This couple were here for 2 hours and I could hardly tell them to leave. The agent should not have left them with me.

 

Since then the agency are calling me repeatedly, every day for the past fortnight, sometimes 5 times a day, trying to arrange viewings.

 

Last week they rang at 12.30 pm asking to do a viewing at 2pm that day!! I had already sent an email saying I was happy for viewings to take place providing the frequency did not disturb my quiet enjoyment of the property and provided I was given sufficient notice. 1.5 hours is NOT sufficient notice. They also don't "ask", there is a definite attitude of expectation when they call making these demands.

 

5 phone calls later that day, when I had given numerous options at a later date the viewing was arranged for 2.30 pm this Saturday.

 

At 5pm on Friday agency rang and asked if could squeeze another viewing in at about 4pm on Saturday. I said no because I had visitors coming for dinner. The agent got a bit huffy and said would speak to her manager and the landlord. I said I'm happy for viewings but I need notice and I would prefer if we agreed 1 day per week when viewings could be done, not on an ad-hoc basis whenever suits them. I also said I would prefer contact via email because the volume and persistence of telephone calls, as well as my time during viewings (2 hours for the 1st) was inconvenient for me and I am the legal tenant, not there to do viewings for them. I have paid my rent, I am entitled to live here but this is becoming ridiculous.

 

Then on the viewing on Saturday, the couple were nice enough but they were looking in cupboards and in my wardrobe. Now I'm sorry but I don't find this fair and it makes me very uncomfortable. The property is not empty, why on earth does anyone want to see inside of my cupboards with my clothes including underwear etc inside?

 

The landlord left me a nasty voicemail saying it wasn't fair on him the restrictions I was putting on viewings and to call him back. So I rang him on Saturday after the viewing.

 

He was really rude and the conversation was very upsetting for me. He said I wasn't being fair to him and from his perspective he needs to have as many viewings as possible. I stated my concerns regarding volume and persistence of calls and notice for viewings, stating I needed sufficient notice to get organised for a viewing. I am living here after all and so it is reasonable I would have visitors and personal belongings on display that I wouldn't want on display during viewings. His response really upset me, he said I should keep the place tidy and available for viewings at all times. He also said that I told the agency I would only allow 1 viewing a week (which I didn't) and that wasn't enough for him.

 

They seem completely unwilling to allow me any say or any room for negotiation on viewings. If they would just give me some respect and privacy. All I asked for was that they a) do not call me repepeatedly several times a day b) give sufficient notice, at least 24 hours c) make sure viewers are aware that someone lives here and so looking inside wardrobes in my bedroom is highly inappropriate, if they wish to see the insides of wardrobes they will need to wait until the property is vacant.

 

I am so upset by this and jump every time the phone rings and feel completely powerless when it comes to viewings. I want to write them an email with a view to either a) having them organise viewings with my conditions or b) stop viewings all together if a) is not an option but I am not certain of my legal rights.

 

There is a clause in the lease that says I must allow access for viewings in the last 2 months of my tenancy. However surely they cannot exercise that clause if it affects my legal rights as a tenant to undisturbed peace at the property?

 

Could they withhold my deposit on this basis? It is substantial because the landlord required TWO months deposit for this place is it's over £2K and I do not want to lose that money. It is covered by the tenancy deposit scheme.

 

I am sorry for the long winded email and sorry for being such a wimp but I live on my own and feel steamrolled by an agency and an aggresive landlord that wants his cake and eat it too.

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Hi again,

 

I have written the following email which plan to send to the landlord and agency. Hopefully all statements I've made are indeed my legal rights I'm not an expert, not even an amateur, just on previous advice here on forum and what I found via direct.gov.

 

Dear xxxxx,

 

I found myself quite upset following our conversation on Saturday and became motivated to write and communicate my concerns. I believe you feel I am somehow obstructing your efforts to find another tenant for the property, which I find rather upsetting since I think I have been both fair and reasonable. I have not yet obstructed any viewing, but asked for understanding and respect in terms of how they are organised and conducted so that my legal rights as a tenant are not affected, which includes the right to live at the property in peace, undisturbed and free from harassment.

 

Not allowing a viewing to take place at a time convenient only to the viewer and/or on short notice, does not constitute obstruction on my part, it is reasonable that I would want to negotiate a date and time. Not respecting my wishes in terms of when and how they are organised and conducted and stating I am being unfair in doing so, does however affect my legal rights and could constitute harassment. I am sure this is not your intention because I have always found you to be respectful and courteous in our communications and believe this is perhaps a misunderstanding of my position. I appreciate your need to find another tenant and I am happy to assist you in this with some conditions that do not result in me being disturbed at the property. I am saddened that the response to my reasonable requests has instead of cooperation, been to suggest I am obstructing viewings or somehow being unfair to you.

 

A couple of statements made caused me concern; a) that I am being unfair to you and you want as many viewings as possible and b) I should keep the property tidy at all times so that it is always available for viewings. Both of these statements affect my legal rights. You also compared my situation with yours stating that your property is available for viewing on 5 minutes notice, however they are not comparable; you are a landlord seeking a paying tenant, I am a paying tenant seeking quiet, undisturbed enjoyment of the property. There is a legal tenancy agreement in place for quiet, undisturbed occupancy of the property free from harassment, it is not available for viewings at all times but only at times negotiated and agreed with me. I have thus far never refused a viewing, merely attempted to arrange at a mutually convenient time and requested that my wishes in terms of conduct are also respected. However I understand it is my right to refuse viewings if the manner in which they are organised or conducted constitutes harassment, regardless of what the lease might state (I refer to section 2.56).

 

I had hoped that viewings could be organised so as to be fair and reasonable to all parties without the need to exercise my rights. However, this now seems necessary as I believe my rights are being overlooked, and I therefore request that the following is adhered to when organsing and conducting viewings, if not I will unfortunately have to consider this harassment:

 

1) Sufficient notice must be given for viewings. I appreciate and understand that agent are acting on your behalf and are obviously keen to find another tenant for you and that they might therefore contact me on short notice on the off-chance that a viewing is possible. I am afraid however that I cannot honour this and ask for at least 24 hours notice and even then, date and time must not be inconvenient to me. Viewings on an ad-hoc basis are disruptive, and must therefore be planned and agreed in advance. I also reiterate that the property is not available for viewing at all times, and that I also have the right to object if they become too frequent, I refer to your request for as many viewings as possible.

 

2) I would prefer to be contacted in the first instance via email, at (email addres) I have no problem with receiving a reasonable number of telephone calls, the girls at xxxx are always pleasant and friendly. However I'm sure you will appreciate that a 3rd party arranging a meeting with two other parties takes several phone calls to reach a mutually convenient time, and so to reduce the number of calls I would prefer this to take place via email. Your suggestion that I am absent during viewings would not resolve this since you would still need to contact me for access, nor would I be comfortable that my 3rd request would be respected.

 

3) The property is not empty, I am living here as a paying tenant. I therefore must insist that viewers are advised, preferably in advance, that looking in cupboards and wardrobes is inappropriate and invasive, particularly in the bedroom! Cupboards and wardrobes in the bedroom are off-limits. Elsewhere such as the kitchen or bathroom does not disturb me to the same extent, but I still find it rather inappropriate conduct during the viewing of an occupied property.

 

I'd prefer if viewers were notified in advance or that the agent advises them immediately prior to viewing. Reason being is I am sure you can appreciate it makes me uncomfortable having to say this to viewers during viewings; when asked by a viewer on Saturday if he could look inside my bedroom wardrobe the door was already open before I could say no. It also puts me in an awkward position having to say no in the first place and I do not after all want to put off any potential tenants and I make every effort to be courteous and open to viewers during viewings. I do not think this request is at all unreasonable since my private belongings inside cupboards is not included within the lease, therefore this is non-negotiable and if it happens again I will immediately stop viewings since this inarguably constitutes invasion of my privacy and harassment. I do not blame you or agent for the conduct of viewers, but I do believe it is your responsibility to ensure viewers do not invade my privacy.

 

Incidentally if dimensions of cupboards etc are required I am happy to oblige and can take measurements upon request, but if they wish to look inside, they will need to wait until the property is vacant. This obviously does not apply to either the bathroom laundry cupboard or gas boiler cupboard as these contain your property which is included in the lease. In fact I make a point of showing these to viewers myself.

 

I hope this gives you a better understanding of my position and upon agreement, allows us to move forward with viewings.

 

Best regards,

Edited by breakanegg

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Only you can enforce your rights at the property.

 

Be clear of your requirements, you need a minimum of 24 hour written notice and you will provide a written response. No means no and no response means no.

 

Failing that, tell them no viewings whatsoever.

 

Your deposit should not be witheld because of refusing viewings, that doesnt mean they wont try (from their attitude I suggest its likley they will attempt it anyway).

 

Good luck.

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I concur with Planner. Check your AST with regards to viewings. It will normally say 24 hours written notice. If they are then turning up hours early or hours late, I would suggest that is unreasonable.

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Thanks guys.

 

I sent my email yesterday, didn't get any formal response, did have email in inbox this morning from agency asking for viewing today, another tomorrow morning (one booked tomorrow night already!) and what time is property available for viewings (plural) on Wednesday afternoon. WTF?!?

 

Now instead of several phone calls a day I'm getting several emails a day. I said no to today, insufficient notice. No to tomorrow morning, there is one booked in evening at 5.30pm, I suggested alternatively between 4 and 6.30 pm for that one, given it was around the time of the booked viewing, response was no, they will get back to me on that one and the one that wanted to view today. Then they emailed back asking for confirmation of times available for viewings (plural again) on Wednesday.

 

THEY'RE DRIVING ME INSANE!

 

It's not an open showhouse, and I want them to BACK OFF! I'm getting angry now, they're being unreasonable and showing no concern whatsoever for my peace.

 

I thought my email made it clear that I don't want to be harassed and they cannot have unlimited viewings, spread out throughout the entire week and to stop bugging me every day, doesn't seem to have got through though. Why can't they try to organise these viewings in reasonable blocks instead of thinking they can call/email me and demand to have them spread out all over the place without sufficient notice nor negotiation!

 

In 1st email today I said "before can proceed with any viewings I require a response to my email yesterday".

 

Them - "We got your email, have read it and will comply with your wishes".

 

Me - "That's great, thank you, but you've asked me to conduct a viewing the same day, that isn't complying with my wishes, nor is it reasonable to expect to conduct a number of viewings 3 days in a row, i.e. Monday, Tuesday (morning and evening) and Wednesday."

 

There is viewing tomorrow, just had one Saturday. If say yes to Wednesday I know they are going to want to do Thursday, and Friday, then they'll be trying to squeeze one in on Saturday because still haven't came back with alternative for viewing wanted to do today or tomorrow morning.

 

Want to just reply and say Wednesday not possible, gave options for Tuesday which viewer declined. Your viewers will need to show some flexibility as neither I nor the property are available 24/7. You can have 4pm to 6pm on Friday provided I am advised in advance of how many, exact times, who will meet them here etc.

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