Night shifts vs access requests for viewings

by Readers Question

9:11 AM, 7th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Night shifts vs access requests for viewings

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Night shifts vs access requests for viewings

My landlord has given me notice as he wants to sell the property I am renting. I will be leaving in 2 months at the end of my fixed term contract. My AST has a clause which allows for viewings with 24 hours notice at ‘reasonable’ times of the day. My question relates to what would be considered reasonable if you are a shift worker?

My shift pattern includes 12 hour night shifts which the agents are aware of. I have been accommodating of giving access throughout my tenancy. However, I’m finding viewings tricky – particularly as the agents are keen to book Saturday mornings which don’t always work for me.

I did approach the agents when I was first given notice to see if we could agree a plan for viewings (e.g. a day a week that worked with my roster or even an early release) however, they weren’t interested.

My questions are:

How does this clause work with shift workers who have a different interpretation of a ‘reasonable’ time of day?

The approach I have taken is to offer alternative times & dates that do work around my shifts. Is that reasonable and sufficient?

Because I’m a shift worker I’m being put under pressure to agree to viewings being conducted in my absence. Do I have to agree to agree to this even if I feel uncomfortable?

Thank you in advance

Bella


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Comments

James Barnes

9:25 AM, 7th March 2019
About 2 years ago

I think what you as the tenant consider to be a "reasonable time" given your shift pattern holds as much weight as what your landlord and their agent consider to be reasonable. If you've tried to work with the landlord and agent by providing times that will work for you, and they aren't willing to compromise, if think you're within your right to suggest no more viewings until your tenancy has ended.

Rob Crawford

12:51 PM, 7th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Bella, best way forward is for you to forward time acceptable to your working/rest routine. Otherwise the agent and yourself will just end up frustrating the matter. If you know the agent well, then viewing's should be acceptable in your absence. If you don't have that relationship or if they use freelance people to conduct the viewings (Viewber), I would insist on being there.

Graham Bowcock

15:48 PM, 7th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Bella

I don't think the agent is necessarily acting in the landlord's best interests here. With my agent's hat on, we have from time to time been asked to sell let houses; if the intention is to end the tenancy then we recommend that the marketing commences once the tenant has left. You have highlighted the clear situation that your position is not aligned with your landlords - from the landlord's point of view it would be unwise to permit viewings that he cannot control. Your pizza boxes and beer tins from last night, the washing on the sofa, the bike in the shower; only joking - I don't know you, but you'll get the picture.

Many landlords want their cake after they have eaten it.

I suggest that you show some reasonableness by emailing the agent (this is a case where the written word may carry more weight than a phone call). Explain that you are happy to tidy up to facilitate viewings and that you work shifts. Offer times which suit you. I think it is appropriate for you to be present as it is your home and I suggest you tell the agent this. No viewings without your agreement.

I think it right to acknowledge the tenancy agreement clause, but this does not give the landlord the right to impinge on the overriding right of quiet enjoyment.

Graham

Darlington Landlord

22:33 PM, 7th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Bella
it is within your rights to ask the letting agent to do viewings at times suitable to you. Having said that unless you feel strongly you want to be present I would recommend you ask them in writing to give you 24hrs notice of viewing requests and then provide them with times/dates which are ok/not ok either because you are at work or at home but are happy for viewings. If you want to be there you can refuse. If you are getting lots of saturday morning requests it does suggest that the agent is trying to batch a lot of monday to friday working applicants together for their convenience.

Zoe AM

7:59 AM, 8th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Bella
I manage over 90 properties around the country which have our nurses in them. If the landlord wants the property back it is never in our best interest as we don't want to lose it. So I state to them in writing a week before that they can do viewings on one afternoon per week at 2pm to 4pm. That is it take it or leave it. There is nothing they can do about it, they need the viewings not me and my night shift workers. I make it very clear if anyone enters our property without permission, I will change the locks and report them to the Police. As it is trespass, Connells have a habit of doing this.
But also consider another two options, can they sell with you as a tenant? If you're happy there and paying your rent you are a good investment. In fact we have just done that in Heathfield. Second option can you/do you want to buy it?
If neither of those are any good, then stick to my viewing schedule. Agents are only looking out for their fees, so don't feel bad managing them to suit you.

Anthony Endsor

22:47 PM, 9th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Whilst I understand it is still your house for a couple of months, stone walling viewings will only cause added problems. If you are accomodating to the landlord, there is a possibility you may even be offered another of their houses if they have one available, or they may help you in some other way. If you cause them problems it will just get ugly and there are no winners there. Remember there is obviously a reason why they are selling, and if you don't co-operate with them, things will get difficult for you AND them.

Graham Bowcock

11:24 AM, 10th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Anthony Endsor at 09/03/2019 - 22:47
I'd be interested to know how things can get ugly or what problems may be caused. The tenant has a clear right to quiet enjoyment until their tenancy ends. This overrides the landlord's right within the agreement for viewings.

Bella gains nothing from the sale of the property and will, in fact, be inconvenienced by having to relocate. Ok, the landlord is entitled to end the tenancy and that right has to be maintained (heaven help us landlords if we get a Labour Government!"), but the landlord can't have it all ways.

I can't see that anyone has suggested that Bella should not permit viewings, merely that she is entitled to set down some ground rules with the agent.

Bella1010

6:30 AM, 15th March 2019
About 2 years ago

Thank you to everyone who has commented. It has been very useful to read your suggestions.

I don't believe that I have acted in a way that could be considered obstructive to the Landlord at all. I have allowed multiple access requests and ensured the property was well presented when they came to take photographs to market the property for sale. I will do the same for viewings.

I have advised the agents which weekends will work with my schedule. I have also given them a range of other times and dates (during the day and evening) that are mid week for prospective purchasers who are more flexible and don't want to wait for my free weekends to roll around.

I have ensured this is all captured in writing.


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