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alaphent

Possibly illegal visits by landlord's agent

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First post.....please don't bite :-)

 

After doing some research around this site and reading the relevant Acts of Law, I'm fairly certain that my landlord's sister is not complying with both the law and our tenancy agreement.

 

A bit of background...

 

My housemate and I have a seemingly fairly standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement and have been living here since July '11. In February this year, I was away for several weeks, however my housemate stayed. While I was away, my landlord's sister let herself in on a weekend morning while my housemate (actually ill at the time) was still in bed. This visit was entirely unannounced. She then took many pictures of the inside of the house and send them to our landlord. To be fair, my room was a tip, however the landlord's solicitor sent us a letter informing us that due to the untidyness in my room we were in breach of the tenancy agreement. No action was to be taken, and my room is normally tidy!

 

Last week, the sister told (NOT asked) my housemate in a text that she'd be showing prospective tenants around here on the weekend of 28th/29th between 10am and 6pm. The tenancy agreement mentions that this will only happen in the last 2 months of the tenancy - after May 16th. Saturday morning, my housemate and I text her to ask what time she would be coming and were told 13:30. At 14:30, we text to ask if the prospective tenants had cancelled. It's her reply that really got me researching.She didn't give us any times; she informed us that the house was being advertised and she would be showing people around, if we weren't in then she'd let herself in.

 

She's presumably coming round today, I'd prefer to be in as I'd like to talk to her about this as I'm pretty ****ed off, I've had to cancel plans for the weekend as she persists in not giving times.

 

Where do I stand and what should I be doing?

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Change the locks. As long as you put the original ones back on when you move out theres not a lot the LL can do about it. (except mabey throw their toys out their pram.)


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Tenancy agreement says we cannot change locks without permission and must provide keys to the landlord. If this is unfair and unenforceable under oft356, I will be going ahead.

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A landlord must give at least 24 hours notice of any visit and if it does not fit in with you being there then it needs to be arranged for when your there unless your happy for them to go in when your not.

 

Landlord has no rite to enter the property without giving any notice at all. From what i can remember, if you were to get home and the landlord was in the property and refused to leave when asked you can get the police to come and remove them as its trespass.

 

Has your landlord given notice to you that they want you to leave or have you given notice that your going?

 

The condition your room was in is nothing to do with them so long as it wasnt a mess due to holes in walls or carpets stained and ripped. We all have an odd day when a room is upsidedown for one reason or another.

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Changing a yale lock takes 5 mins and solves access outwith TA problems.

 

Normally its three screws on the internal bit with the handle - then two long slim bolts to clamp the outside of the lock to a small plate behind the handle assembly on the inside side of the door.

 

There's no need to change the wall side, and a metal rod (already cut to length) inside the old lock (joining the key to the internal handle) should work with the new one.

 

Its not illegal to do - but they may claim its not permitted in your TA.

 

The landlord forcing entry is 'breaking and entering' - call the police.

 

Suddenly you bargaining position is far stronger.

 

In Scotland and England/Wales they need a court to end your tenancy if you choose to stay.

 

Where are you? The mobile site does not include location details.

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I'm in York probably should have mentioned that to start with....not using the mobile site :???:

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But I am so could not see if you stated a location or not. Sorry. :D

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Change the locks. As long as you put the original ones back on when you move out theres not a lot the LL can do about it. (except mabey throw their toys out their pram.)

 

Tenancy agreement says we cannot change locks without permission and must provide keys to the landlord. If this is unfair and unenforceable under oft356, I will be going ahead.

 

Hello alaphent

 

Go ahead and change the locks and don't give LL spare set,only problem is at the end of your current contract,they could just issue you with a s21 notice,if your moving out at the end anyway it wont matter...

 

After you change the locks,tell LL if they want to view there property,they must give you 24-48hrs written notice time and date that is convent to you the tenants and not the LL.

 

Once you agreed time and date stick to those arrangements and tell them LL No cameras.

 

If they complain your in breach of your TA,ask them what the hell they are doing coming into your home taking pictures without notice,you can refuse LL entry if they just turn up without notice.

 

It may be the LL property but that does Not give them the right to walking any time and start taking pictures of your home.

 

If you dont change the locks and the LL carries on coming in with No notice,it is Harassment which comes under 1977 Protection from Eviction Act..

 

Any court action against LL for harassment and LL could end up with a criminal record !

 

Keep us posted on how you get on.

Edited by 45002

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Even if you do not changes locks, you can still refuse entry.

Write to LL explining how his sister has breached the Contract, by entering without Notice and arranging viewings before the Contract allows.

State if & when you will allow viewings at times convenient to Ts eg 1 weekday & 1 weekend day between 6-7pm or 2-3pm by pre-arranged appointment. Any visits outside these times will be considered harrassment due to lack of 'quiet enjoyment'.

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Has your landlord given notice to you that they want you to leave or have you given notice that your going?

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Yes - but without changing the locks you cannot refuse entry when you are out.

 

If they are openly breaking the rules you need to protect your property.

 

I would never just chance entering a property, without giving notice, and would only then pass a lock if notice had been given and the tenant appeared to have done a moonlight.

 

Even if a tenant has massive arrears, its their home even though they don't own it.

 

At the other extreme, its claimed you should not enter without a court order. But normally if someone is uncontactable, they have just done a moonlight - and the neighbours/taping the door/not answering their phones confirms this.

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Hi

 

Agree with all advice given.

 

I would also follow up any conversation you have about the landlord given you 24hrs notice and if that it not suitable they will have to rearrange viewing to suit you but put this in writing and send recorded delivery to landlord. (Keep a record and paper trail of everything that is happening)


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Am I right in thinking that this is a student let which is why they want to show prospective tenants round for next year in which case I assume you will be leaving after exams?

if this is the case just be a bit careful when changing locks etc as it is quite common for student landlords to claim property has been damaged and refusing to hand back depposits without a shedload of hassle.

Having said that if you are students keep it simple for now, txt or phone LL saying he and his sister must give you notice of visits and times and dont be difficult as the sooner he has relet the quicker the problem will go away. If he dosnt stick to this then change the locks.


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Hi again,

 

Thanks everybody, and I mean that!

 

She never appeared in the end today, I'm writing to the landlord atm and I'll be phoning her in the morning (no address or email for her). It isn't even as if I object to her coming round (she's a nice enough young lady just not the brightest), it would just be nice to have some say in when that is!

 

So, does a letter to landlord and phonecall to her outlining the situation and the issues with their conduct, concluding with sayin I'm changing the locks and any continuation could result in legal action sound ike a good plan of action?

 

Bang!, could you please say who claims no entry without a court order? I'd quite like to read up further on that.

 

This is kinda a student let. I graduated last year (MChem 1st :-)) and now work fulltime, my housemate is a final year student. Neither of us have expressed any desire to leave though; given that I can solely afford the rent and my job's in the area, I'd quite like to stay.

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Don't contact sister, tell LL & let him sort it.

Wouldn't bother informing LL you are changing locks, just state you withdraw any and all previous permission to enter property, except in an emergency, UNLESS an appointment is made at a time suitable to Ts at least 24hrs in advance.

Access by LL or agent, without any T present, is strictly forbidden, except in an emergency or Court order .

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Neither of us have expressed any desire to leave though; given that I can solely afford the rent and my job's in the area, I'd quite like to stay.

 

If neither of you are leaving are there empty rooms in the property to let?

 

If theres no rooms that are going to be let then ask your landlord what he's playing at as theres no reason to show people round.

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have you told the LL that you want to stay? he may be pleased that he hasnt got to have the hassle of finding another tenant.


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