Can we stop the landlords agent doing viewings?

Can we stop the landlords agent doing viewings?

10:37 AM, 7th April 2015, About 7 years ago 38

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I rented an apartment for my son that is studying in Cardiff last September.

A contract was signed for 6 months ending March 25th, all rents are paid and the deposit is secured. All the bills are paid and the property is in better condition than we found it. In addition to that we arranged for the garbage to be picked up because the yard was like a dump.

In February this year the landlord asked us if we are extending the lease and we answered that we will be leaving in April before the month is over. We informed her that we might have trouble in paying the last remaining days and she could use the deposit as compensation. Can we stop the landlords agent doing viewings

There was no negative answer from her until a week ago!

She has been arranging viewings of the house since February and people were coming in the house with the realtor even without our knowledge! A couple of times they showed up unexpectedly regardless the protesting mails from our part for this.

My question is : What can the landlord do, legally and can we for the next 10 remaining days refuse any viewings?

Thank you

Zisis Papanikolaou



Comments

by Romain Garcin

11:48 AM, 8th April 2015, About 7 years ago

I think that on this topic there is some confusion on what 'permission' means.

Yes, the landlord needs permission to access the property. HOWEVER, that permission is what is granted by the right of access clause in the tenancy agreement.

For example, the access right implied by statute for inspection and repairs states that the landlord must give NOTICE, not seek permission: This is because the implied clause grants the permission and there is therefore no need to ask permission again and again.

As such, the tenant is not entitled to withdraw his permission: This is a tenancy term.
The tenant may refuse access but that has no value and does not remove the landlord's right of access.
A tenant cannot freely decide to change the terms of the tenancy.

If the landlord had to explicitly ask for permission every time, which the tenant could freely refuse to give, what would be the point of such access right clause?

That being said, and as previously mentioned, this could open a can of worms in practice and the safer route may therefore be to seek a court order (and certainly to seek legal advice in any case) rather than having to defend against all sorts of allegations and action from a solicitor, council, or police.

by Joe Bloggs

11:57 AM, 8th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "08/04/2015 - 11:48":

hi romain,

thank you for such a succinct and logical explanation.

i suggest that rather than using the word 'permission' which as you say is causing confusion, better to use 'right' instead.

by Rob Crawford

15:00 PM, 8th April 2015, About 7 years ago

This is an interesting trail of views on what I thought(!) was going to be a fairly simple answer. My view is the same as Mark and Julie's. I will add that whatever is written in the AST it does not override statute law (no matter how unfair it appears!). Where is Tessa?

by Romain Garcin

15:04 PM, 8th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "08/04/2015 - 15:00":

"I will add that whatever is written in the AST it does not override statute law (no matter how unfair it appears!)"

What does statute law say, then?
I don't think it says more that what has been mentioned here.

by Elisabeth Gordon

10:31 AM, 11th April 2015, About 7 years ago

A most informative and interesting "conversation". Thank you. This site is improving in leaps and bounds. Well done Mark.

by Steve Masters

13:11 PM, 11th April 2015, About 7 years ago

I suspect what Romain says is true as far as it goes, in that the Tenants has granted permission for the Landlord to enter in accordance with the terms in the AST.

However, the landlord must still give reasonable notice and specify a date and time and allow the tenant to agree or disagree with to that date and time. The landlord cant just walk in and conduct viewings or repairs when the the tenant is in the shower!

I practice an awkward tenant will always be in the shower or have a migraine or something and will perpetually postpone the viewing!!

by Joe Bloggs

13:27 PM, 11th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "08/04/2015 - 15:00":

hi rob

how do you know that mark and julie still have that view?

hopefully they have updated as this is the point of the forum rather than to maintain entrenched views flying in face of weight of rational argument.

by Mark Alexander

14:14 PM, 11th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "11/04/2015 - 13:27":

Good question Joe

Whilst I understand and even accept the legal arguments made by Romain my views on the practicalities and my advice relating thereto have not changed.

A tenancy agreement can say that a tenant can't change the locks but this does not prevent him from doing so. A tenancy might well say access rights are reserved by the landlord in certain circumstances but that does not stop the tenant denying access.

If somebody can show me a case where a landlord has successfully litigated against a tenant for preventing access or changing the locks I may be persuaded to change my opinion.

To quote an age old saying "possession is 9/10ths of the law".

I do accept that a landlord could evict or obtain a Court order to allow entry into the property but that was not my understanding of what is being discussed. Furthermore, please consider the practicalities of a landlord taking such measures when facing a situation such as the one posted in the question that started this thread.
.

by Steve Masters

16:40 PM, 11th April 2015, About 7 years ago

My understanding is that a landlord has the right to enter so long as he gives at least 24hrs notice unless the tenant says "no, make it another time".

The tenant can not say "never" but can say "no", "no", "no"...

by Joe Bloggs

21:19 PM, 17th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "11/04/2015 - 14:14":

hi mark

glad you accept the legal arguments made by romain (which are the same as my legal arguments). i think you would agree that a good a starting point on considering the practical options is a correct understanding of the law.

just because the law is broken, doesnt mean the law doesnt exist or should be ignored. im sure you are not suggesting that because there are murders, we should ignore the law of homicide.

of course in more trivial matters such as rentals, the law is usually the last resort and practical options as you suggest are better. but the ultimate remedy should be understood.

you will recall your first comment stated:
'Tenants have a right to peaceful enjoyment so yes, a tenant is well within their rights to refuse access.’
We all now agree that tenants are NOT within their rights to refuse access if correct notice is given (in certain circumstances as statute and contract).


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