Check out report – can a landlord insist on being there?

Check out report – can a landlord insist on being there?

11:50 AM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago 38

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We are about to check out at the end of a tenancy.

The landlord is insisting that he attends the checkout inspection.

We feel this will produce a potentially confrontational situation and do not want to agree. Check out report - can a landlord insist on being there?

What are our/his rights in this regard?

Thanks

Stephen



Comments

by Industry Observer

11:58 AM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

This is a common situation and in effect yes the Landlord does have the right to be there. Whether this means instead of the agent or as well and you turn out mob handed is an interesting question, but at Law they are one and the same person so the Landlord has every right to be there. But if he has an agent I’d ask why.

What the Landlord cannot do is delay the deposit return process to the tenant because he is abroad for the next 3 weeks (or longer!) and wants to see the property first before authorising the agent to release the deposit. Landlords used to try that one, impossible now with DP and its initial at least 10 days requirements for settlement.

by

12:20 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Hi Stephen,

Curious as to why it might be a confrontational situation? Have you had issues throughout the tenancy?

Just wanted to say the the whole inventory process is fair to all parties and protects you as much as it protects the landlord.

Having the landlord attend could be an opportunity to question any of his potential claims for delapidations there and then.

Just be pleasant and calm and work with the process knowing it is the last time you will have to interact with this individual and that, if you have not done any damage or excessive wear and tear to the property, you have nothing to fear.

by Stephen Frame

12:31 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "28/01/2014 - 11:58":

just read the comment from industry observer.

Interesting - as our Landlord wants us to check out 2 weeks in advance of the end of the tenancy. (we have left the property during the term, he is about to re-let, we are liable for rent until he does so). We have said we don’t object to handing back early (although we’ll still have to pay rent until the end of the term), but are being pressed for an earlier date than we can manage on the basis that it’s the only date the landlord can attend the check out.

The letting agent (**Name removed by moderator - see http://www.property118.com/what-property118-is-not/**)) has threatened us with either (a) extending the term by an extra week (at a cost of £600 to us) or (b) potentially aborting the incoming tenancy, no rental agreement having yet been signed (making us liable for additional rent until such time as they can find another tenant…).

Neither option appears very reasonable to us. Can Industry Observer advise whether we can insist on a check out date, whether or not the Landlord can be there?

Many thanks

Stephen

by Romain Garcin

12:39 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

The landlord has a right of access upon 24 hour notice for inspection purposes, so in principle you can't refuse him reasonable access during the tenancy.
In practice you can physically refuse him access on the day of the inspection. But that would serve no purpose apart from alienating him further, and he will still be able to access at will after the tenancy has ended (at which point _you_ will have no entitlement to be present at the inspection). Ie. probably best to follow Vanessa's advice.

by Industry Observer

12:40 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Vanessa

Answer probably lies in your last few words and maybe on past experience Landlord wants to be there.

Stephen you are the tenant originally I read it as "doing a check out" nd thought you were the agent!!

Is there an agent - if so have any interim visits/inspections thrown up problems that may have been reported to the landlord?

by Industry Observer

12:53 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

@Romain my old sparring partner.

Back to Statute overriding contract. The Landlord's rights of access are contractual and whilst supported by implied rights they only exist for repairs, not casual visits.

Proitection From Eviction Act 1977 is the trump card here, and right to peaceful occupancy. Unless the LL doesn't mind being sued of course

by Romain Garcin

13:09 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "28/01/2014 - 12:53":

😉

The right of access ito the premises is "for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair" (s.11 LTA 1985). That seems exactly what the landlord intends to do here.

Re. Statutev. Contract: the landlord would have to unreasonably enforce his right of access for the tenant to have himself a reasonable reason to deny him based on his right to peaceful occupation.

by Mark Alexander

13:15 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stephen Frame" at "28/01/2014 - 12:31":

Hi Stephen and welcome to Property118

Sorry, just spotted your first comment in the moderation queue.

This opens up a whole new can of worms!

First off, your landlord has no right whatsoever to force you to terminate your contract early, let alone pay for the entire length of the contract despite you agreeing to his request. What a cheek!

Second, you can move out whenever you wish if it is before the end date of your tenancy and then the tenancy will end on the last day of your fixed term without you having to give any notice whatsoever, that's the law. If you landlord or agent tell you different they are wrong!

Third, you are at liberty to remain in the property until such time as your landlord obtains get an eviction order from the Courts. Before he does this he must serve you notice.

Fourth, I think you might have a case for harassment. Not because your landlord wants to attend the check out, as has been said, he has a right to do that. However, he has no right to demand further money from you if you move out on or before the fixed term tenancy date providing you pay up to the date the tenancy ends. Further, it is debatable whether your landlord can insist upon a check out inventory being completed until on or after the end of the fixed term tenancy date without getting your agreement unless you and your landlord agree to a formal surrender.

I would never treat a tenant the way you have been treated. If I had a new tenant lined up and you were being so accommodating I would definitely let you off paying the last two weeks rent and for my own protection I would be asking you to sign a surrender of tenancy form.
.

by Romain Garcin

13:27 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stephen Frame" at "28/01/2014 - 12:31":

If you vacated 2 weeks before the end of your tenancy (ie. either the fixed term tenancy expires in 2 weeks or you served a valid notice to quit to expiry in 2 weeks):
- Your tenancy will end in 2 weeks, along with your obligation to pay rent, no matter what. They cannot "extend" it.
- You should tell your landlord that if they want to re-let before that, that's fine, but then they refund you any rent you already paid to cover these last 2 weeks.

by Stephen Frame

13:33 PM, 28th January 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "28/01/2014 - 12:40":

We have had a number of debates about what constitutes 'fair wear and tear' with this landlord. Generally, it has been his position whenever anything fails, we must be in some sense liable. (Part of the reason that we have chosen to terminate the agreement).

We are landlords in our own right and feel confident in our own understanding about what is and what is not reasonable. However the owner of this property is a novice landlord; this is their only rental property and previous to our taking it on was their own home.

We don't feel they have an understanding of how wear an tear works and we do therefore consider a that there is a risk of dispute.

We therefore want (and feel we should be entitled to) an objective check out report, prepared in a measured way. If the Landlord attends and takes a position that we don't consider to be reasonable, it seems to us as if the clerk is effectively being asked to be an onsite arbiter, which can't be a very comfortable for them to be in and must bring into question the validity of the process.

Surely it would be better for no-one to attend in the event that the outcome may be contentious?

Stephen

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