Jump to content


Landlord requested surveyor during the pandemic - wants to be alone in the flat


Recommended Posts

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

 

Edited by Mia F
typo
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't understand why he needs a single contract – but maybe that's the way it happens. I'm not familiar enough with these things. It doesn't flag up anything strange to me – except that I would want to make sure that a new contract definitely refers to an element of continuity in some way and that it is a consolidation of the two contracts the purpose of which is to continuing your existing 11 year tenancy but under a single document.

I don't know why – maybe this approach is completely unfounded – but it seems to me that your history and the continuity of your tenancy needs to be properly established and agreed in writing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

his mortgage provider will be wanting this  as they wont lend money on a HMO, whether registered or not so he is in a jam.

Ask him to send you the proposed tenancy and then ask him how much he is willing to pay you for the consideration. i would have thought a couple of months rent would be the correct amount.

 

Brexit absolutely nothing to do with it, he just wants to save money on his mortgage and nothing wrong with that but he needs your co-operation so you are entitled to receive some of the godd fortune as well

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

it is about renting a room or rooms and that make the property harder to get a mortgae on as it will be treated as a House of Miltiple occupancy by the mortgage co even though the numer of peopel living there dont mean it has to be registered as such. He clearly wants to get a better mortgage deal and the lender wont give him one with thngs as they are.

 

Look, you dont need to do anything at all but do ask yourself what is in it for you.

you are now being made responsible for things that may well be out of your control.

It isnt an AST, there is no start date and end date, it appears to be a rolling cntract with 2 months notice and I am not sure that is legal for lets of over 6 months. Stu007 will advise on that

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Just so I have it clear.

 

You initially had a contract/agreement to rent one room in the property then decided to take on the other room by way of another agreement?

 

Are their any other rooms in the property or are you now the sole occupant of the entire property?

 

Could you just clarify that the PDF you posted is  a copy of the New Agreement the Landlord wants you to sign?

 

Just to clarify if the Landlord when renting a room only can use an AST, simple answer is yes they can if they are a non resident Landlord that rents out an individual room to a tenant in a shared house or bedsit. have a wee look at this
link: https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/documents/tenancy_agreement/assured_shorthold_tenancy-room_only.shtml

 

As this is an AST (your PDF posted) for rooms only the Landlord has clearly stated under Property to rent: 1st and 2nd Bedroom (so their is no need for 2 separate agreements)

 

That Agreement states under 4 Mutual Agreements about deposits you need to question this.

(what deposit do you need to pay? If you have already paid a deposit for either or both rooms with the agreements you already have will this be added to this agreement and are they at present protected in a tenancy deposit scheme and you have been given a copy of the prescribed terms):

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection 

 

I would also ask where is a Break Clause within that Agreement as I do not see one. (you could ask/haggle with the Landlord for one to be added to the Agreement).

 

Now my but when you mention the inventory and certain damage by previous tenant what you need to remember is you should have raised any damages that were caused by the previous tenant before you decided to sign the agreement for the second bedroom and I hope you did and have evidence of this.

 

I have to Agree with EB that the Landlord wanting this in place is more than likely the Mortgage Providers requirement.

 

Note: most private Landlord are now required to be registered with the local council

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

depends on the size of the mortgage, the valuation may be done by just driving past the property and looking at the general state if the loan to value ratio is low.

 

No-one will ask you anything, this has nothing to do with you, they are not a letting agency concerned with the condition of the carpets as they are not on the mortgage

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with EB that the valuation on the property is between the Homeowner and the Mortgage Company not you the Tenant.

 

The change to get the Tenancy Agreement instead of 2 agreements into one agreement would more than likely been a restriction placed on the homeowner by the Mortgage Company as the homeonwer would have had to inform them and more than likely provide the Mortgage Company with copies of the Tenancy Agreements to get the Mortgage.

 

 

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...

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.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a similar issue, whereby the landlady requires an individual to do a electricity safety check.

 

We agreed thinking he was only going to check the consumer unit, when he turned up with no PPE and a hanky covering his face it was a very short visit.

 

We informed the estate agency that it was unacceptable and they agreed to push the check back to the end of March.

 

IMHO unless it is a requirement in law, electrical safety check being one, then I fail to see why you need to vacate the premises.

 

I'd stand fast and inform them that you won't allow this individual to wander round on their own, who knows if they're going go round licking door handles! :noidea::pound:

 

When our chap comes back, we've already instructed the agency that he will wear full PPE, suit, mask, visor, gloves and he has to wipe down everything he touches.

 

As you say, you have no idea how many other houses they have been in prior to yours, I'd simply tell your LL that you're happy for this to be carried out BUT you will be in attendance AND they will require to wear full PPE.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you do, make sure you are the first person to tell your landlord. If your landlord gets it from the surveyor first – it will be told to him/her in a way which gives a particular slant on it and risks damaging your relationship with your landlord.

Best thing to do is to telephone your landlord first and explain so that you have got telephonic personal contact. After that, if necessary confirm in writing. However, if you've got a good relationship with your landlord then a friendly telephone call expressing some concern and a bit of anxiety would probably be all you need.

Of course you have read our customer services guide haven't you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mia F

 

It's your home.

 

If you are happy showing whoever around tell the LL/LA subject to Covid-19 rules so on.

 

But you Will not be allowing unsupervised visits to your home by any strangers.

 

If LL/LA/surveyor are unhappy with that.

 

That's their problem not yours.

 

Good luck, keep us all updated on CAG

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Old and new threads merged for complete history

 

DX

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

How dare that lot booking the surveyor treat you in such a manner, it is your home and doesnt belong to them and for them to basically tell you to stay outside with the front door shut while a complete stranger inspects the inside of the property ah No I wouldnt even consider agreeing to that myself.

 

You have every right to be in your property when they do this supposed survey as long as you follow COVID-19 Guidance and keep 2 meters distance

 

I have to agree that you need to speak to the Landlord and let him know the dreadful actions of the surveyors that has been employed to do this survey. 

 

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.
 
Link to post
Share on other sites

They would not be getting into my home alone. The landlord does not even have that right. 
They may have chosen to do this as part of their COVID safe practice, but it does not mean you have to accept it. 
This is the statement from the Gov website that covers this scenario

’You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’

It is clear that you are expected to wear a mask, but certainly does not suggest you go outside. 
 

I would tell them that they need to follow your rules on entering your home and you need them to sign for having a negative lateral flow test in the last 7 days and if they wear the PPE you prescribe they can then come in, but you will be there at the time. It’s not your problem they are doing this and you being out of the building will not offer any realistic safety benefit. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Email too long..........Bit late know

 

Dear LL

 

I have no problem showing joe blogs around on .. .. ..

 

All I ask is hand sanitizers be used before entry, facemasks be worn by everyone at all times,  2-meter distance be kept and all windows kept open during visit.

 

joe blogs Will be supervised at all times by myself during the visit.

 

Yours Sincerely

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve had a look over the Gov website again. I think they must be basing it on the second last paragraph in section 2.4

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-landlords-and-tenants#repairs-maintenance-and-health-and-safety

But this is based around the assumption multiple people will be viewing the property (paragraph 3). But even so it’s a recommendation within a guide, at best they could recommend you left the property, they can’t enforce it!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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 🙏

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...