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Agency Wants a New Fixed Term Tenancy or Viewings Will Commence


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Hi all, this is quite similar to the thread 298034-Letter-to-Landlord-Periodic-Tenancy but differs in that the agency wants to commence viewings for other prospective tenants if I don't sign a new fixed term contract, rather than raise the rent.

 

My Assured Shorthold Tenancy was signed on the 28th of November last year and will therefore automatically become a Periodic Tenancy on the 28th of May, as according to the law.

 

The agency first called me to ask if I was staying and will sign a new contract on the 14th of March, which is a little early. My feelings about this is that they were asking me to essentially give 2.5 months notice if indeed I was planning to leave; which isn't right. Also, as agencies typically do; they want to charge a fee for the contract renewal (which is obviously their entire motivation).

 

They called again today to say that the property will now be 'put back on the market' unless I commit to staying.

 

Essentially I am undecided as to how long I will be staying and do not want to sign a new fixed term contract. I don't like being pressured into making decisions when I'm at liberty not to. It is my understanding that once the contract becomes Periodic then it is fairly easy for the landlord to give 2 month's notice; which I am perfectly fine with.

 

I don't know what the LL's stance on this is. They live in Hong Kong and for all I know are quite happy to continue with a Periodic Tenancy. The agency represents them in absolutely everything; including repairs and inspections; so I'm guessing the LL would prefer them to take care of everything and they just pay and forget about it. If I were to write to the LL directly, it would be airmail around the world; I don't expect it to be a speedy process.

 

My biggest objection at this point is having prospective tenants doing viewings of the property without me having received notice. I work from home, and if the worst came to the worst I would simply tell any viewer that as far as I'm concerned, the property is not available as advertised and they are therefore wasting their time. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to put it 'back on the market' without anyone stating that the contract is ending?

 

My contract contains the following clause:

 

4. The Tenant agrees with the Landlord:

...

4.10 To permit the Landlord or the Landlord's servants or agents to enter the Premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of inspecting the Premises carrying out necessary maintenance or repair or any work required by law or escorting prospective tenants or purchasers.

(Emphasis mine)

 

I have done some confirmation research and only ever find that a tenant must give reasonable access to perform maintenance; or to provide viewings for prospective purchasers; but not for prospective tenants. Considering that performing viewings is obviously an expression of intent, I would expect that they can only do such a thing if notice to quit had been served.

 

Aside from all this, we have been good tenants; pay rent on time; with no other grievances.

 

My questions are:

  • Do we have the right to refuse entry for viewings for prospective tenants?
  • How best should I refuse to sign a new fixed term contract without aggravating the LL or agency?

 

Note: I would much rather communicate my denial of entry rather than physically obstruct it. As permission is required, is stating my objection enough?

 

As a side note, I also noticed this in my contract:

 

4.1.8 To give the Landlord two calendar month's notice in writing of the date on which the Premises will be vacated at the termination of this tenancy.

 

Isn't the statutory requirement 1 month for the tenant and 2 months for the landlord?

 

Thanks in advance,

Darren

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I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you seriously overplay your hand.

 

If you do not sign the fixed term, then the landlord/agent can indeed basically put the property back on the market, find a new tenant, and evict if they so choose.

 

You cant have the security of the tenancy without actually signing up for the security of it - and thereby ensuring that the LANDLORD has no security.

 

In terms of viewings, you can refuse them if you so wish.

 

But, in my personal opinion only, I think you are actually being somewhat unfair in your position.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

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Then surely if the LL is unhappy with me not signing a new fixed term contract they should serve a notice; and then start viewings? Not the other way around...

 

Which I said I would happily accept.

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But in reality that makes no difference.

 

I still dont understand why you wish security of tenure without actually going through the actions to follow this up?

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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It does make a difference. Where is the loss in security for the LL if they have a good tenant in the property paying rent, beyond the minimum term that they required to justify their costs (and mine) in agreeing the tenancy? They hoped for a good tenant in the property paying rent for at least 6 months, and that's what they got.

 

Why risk having the property sit on the market with nobody paying rent? Why risk having a new tenant that is not amicable, or who fails to pay rent? And why pay administration fees to do that? It seems like jumping in the fire to avoid the heat. I don't see that changing a good tenant, for a wildcard is in anyway adding security for the LL.

 

Anyway, it's all pretty much irrelevant as I have no indication of whether the LL wants to actually do this or not. The only motivation I see for it is for the agency to rebill for even more fees; nothing more. For all I know, they've told the LL that I've given notice to quit.

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Agree, does not sound reasonable to me that the Agent is pushing for this new contract; The tennant is not asking for any more security than the two months notice!

If the LL wants to show people round, then providing its at a reasonable time and convenient, then let them, its their time/money.

But he will not be able to say when the flat will be available as you have no plans to move out, also even if they have a date in mind, you have not agreed to it.

Therefore dont see there is any benefit for them to do this? unless it is a form of blackmail.

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I actually received notice for possession now. It's not signed by the LL, only by someone from the agency.

 

I really think they are playing games.

 

So now, I'm going to write an amicable letter to Hong Kong, just to confirm what the LL really wants to do.

 

/hates agencies.

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My thoughts on your position aside, the LL/agent thing is a red herring and you are focussing too much on it.

 

From your perspective, and the legal perspective, the agent and the landlord are the same entity.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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You cant have the security of the tenancy without actually signing up for the security of it - and thereby ensuring that the LANDLORD has no security.

I don't think OP has a problem signing. Rather it's the payment of the agent's fees that is the issue. I suspect that the LL, were they to be aware of the circumstances, would be quite happy to allow the periodic tenancy to continue. To me this situation smacks of the all too common practice of the agent bullying the tenant into paying unneccessary fees

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  • 3 weeks later...

My advice is applicable only if the rented premises are entirely within England and Wales, and only if you were granted a shorthold tenancy (under which you [and your spouse/partner/children if any] had exclusive use of at least a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom, none of which were shared with another tenant nor with the landlord) and you were over 18 years of age when the tenancy was granted.

 

 

You don't give much in the way of detail, so I'm reading between the lines; but do bear in mind that, if applicable, the landlord cannot validly give notice to end a fixed term tenancy, unless the tenancy agreement contains an express provision to that effect - called a 'break' clause.

 

Once the fixed term has ended, the Landlord can give notice - under section 21 of the Housing Act - to end the periodic tenancy that typically arises where the tenant holds-over, i.e. remains in occupation and continues paying the rent.

 

But the landlord cannot give a valid section 21 notice unless he has protected your deposit, under the TDS scheme.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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The reality of the situation is that agents earn some of their money by charging renewal fees. Often they will charge both LL and tenant. Therefore it is in their interests to compel tenants to periodically renew.

 

Because your LL is in Hong Kong it seems likely that the agent will feel confident that the LL will follow the agent's line as LL knows that agent will serve his property less well if they are earning less money from it. There is nothing to stop you contacting LL but don't expect much.

 

While the tenancy is in the fixed term the agent can (arguably) request two month's notice. Once it becomes statutory periodic, then the 2 months doesn't apply.

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My questions are:

• Do we have the right to refuse entry for viewings for prospective tenants?

 

 

Sorry, I was asleep at the switch! :-)

 

Please read this FAQ -

 

Access to the Property by the Landlord

 

In summary it boils down to this: if you have a shorthold tenancy, the landlord only has a right of entry in order to carry out repairs, not for any other purpose.

 

Bear in mind that if you are a shorthold tenant, you can be evicted from the premises by simply being given 2 months notice, in writing, taking effect after the fixed term ends. No reason has to be given. Where a dispute arises, concerning any matter, the landlord can simply end the tenancy in that way.

Edited by Ed999

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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