Tenant blackmailing to allow viewings?

by Readers Question

16:48 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Tenant blackmailing to allow viewings?

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Tenant blackmailing to allow viewings?

We have rented out our apartment for just over a year now, the tenants have been an absolute nightmare and we have spent a small fortune on redecorating, installing fans, plastering walls etc etc, so we have decided to serve the tenants notice.

We have instructed a new agency as we feel the old agent’s property management could of handled the tenants expectations a lot better. The new agent has since contacted the tenants regarding viewing times and has received the following:-

“Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you regarding your request for viewings.

As it is currently longer than 28 days, you as letting agents have no right to request.
You, as a representative of the landlord cannot guarantee or promise a pre-contract/contract to any prospective tenants for a start date to commence circa 2nd September as you are in no position to assure your prospective tenants that the flat will be available on the aforementioned date ie. Eviction processes/court proceedings might or might not be months in the making. It would be unwise for yourselves to allow viewings for this premises before the legitimate lease end date (2nd September 2017). Neither the landlord nor yourselves representing the landlord may ‘derogate from their grant’.

I appreciate that you are aiming for a seamless transition between us (the tenants in situ) and the prospective tenants so as not to lose the landlord monies.
However, as we are legally entitled to stay ‘undisturbed’ in ‘quiet enjoyment’ of this property until the 2nd of September we put this proposal to you:-

‘That we hereby promise to ensure reasonable and mutually agreed availability for viewings to this premises so as to help facilitate your search for prospective tenants between now (22/07/2017) and the lease end date (02/09/2017) based on the conclusion of a 50% discounted final month’s rent (£585.00p).’

We feel this is a fair amount when you consider the inevitable void of monies that would exist if you were to only allow viewings after our departure date.

Kindly confirm your position by return, this response via email.”

Now we know legally they do not have to allow access although the tenancy agreement somewhat states otherwise, but what they have responded with is clearly blackmail.

Is there anything I can do regarding this or will we just have to let the tenancy expire and wait for them to leave to begin viewings.

Clearly this is not ideal but I would rather lose money then allow my tenant to bend us over backwards like this.

If anyone can provide any advice it would be deeply appreciated.

We have contacted our property management company and they suggest waiting for the tenancy to expire.

Ignazio



Comments

Neil Patterson

16:54 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Hi Ignazio,
We have had lots of articles about how to get viewings done and with the right to quiet enjoyment legislation it nearly always boils down to incentivising the existing tenant unfortunately in this case so you run the risk of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

But if you do hold out and manage to rent inside a month then you are only 50% of a months rent down.

Mark Alexander

17:27 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

I don't think the tenants terms are particularly unreasonable. Think of it from his perspective, you're kicking him out of his home so that you can rent it to somebody else. He's bound to feel a bit peeved about that. He might feel different about the situation if you wanted to move back in or to sell the property. Nevertheless, he's correct about his right to peaceful enjoyment.

Perhaps if you were to explain in what way this tenant has been a nightmare it would help us to understand why you are evicting him.

I appreciate that you want to refuse his offer on the basis that you feel it is blackmail , which doesn't sit well with you, but be careful not to cut your nose off to spite your face. Void periods and evictions are every landlords worst nightmare in terms of cost.

Romain Garcin

19:21 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Legally they do have to allow viewings if that is a term of the tenancy.

They have no right to breach the tenancy's terms and no right to deny access when statutes or the tenancy's terms give the landlord such right.

Are you sure that the tenancy permits viewings?

Eviction through courts would take some time but would cost your tenant several hundreds of Pounds and/or a CCJ.

Paul Shears

3:45 AM, 26th July 2017
About A year ago

I'm bound to say that I agree with Mark on this one although I have every sympathy for your action.
We are in this game to improve our own quality of life and if the existing tenant is undermining this basic requirement, then it is time to sever the relationship.
Personally I would have started out with the intention of accepting a financial hit and doing an overhaul of the property without the encumbrance of people whom you clearly dislike and are unappreciative of your efforts.
Frankly that bridge is now burned.
The intelligence required to generate the response given, which looks like they have taken legal advice on to me, is outside my experience.
Much more common is "Dumb & Irresponsible". The latter scenario opens up the risk of deliberate property damage and all the joys that entails. Of course these people, now that they are clearly alienated, have put some effort into making your life as difficult as possible.
It seems to me that this relationship needs to be severed as soon as practically possible, with the least risk to the property as possible. I would not make maximum income my own priority.
I'm bound to say that your new agents should have advised you to come up with a better excuse to get rid of the existing tenants if they were to put your own interests first. However in doing so they would be reducing their own income as all they will be looking at is maximising their own profit by keeping the rental income stream going.
So a structural conflict of interest there and one to reflect on in the future.

Claire Smith

15:56 PM, 27th July 2017
About A year ago

I would be worried at their suggestion that they will not necessarily be leaving on the date given and that their may be court proceedings or eviction processes. It may be safer to just wait until you do have vacant possession. Alternatively agree a reduction in rent to be repaid by you on the date when given vacant possession.

terry sullivan

19:01 PM, 27th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Claire Smith" at "27/07/2017 - 15:56":

evict

Mark Leach

9:35 AM, 28th July 2017
About A year ago

Hi Ignazio,
I think the tenants suggestion of half the last months rent is fairly reasonable I would agree only on the basis that they do not dispute the eviction notices and actually leave on the section 21 notice date. That would probably save you a lot of money if they feel aggrieved and wanted to be awkward, also bearing in mind that when you serve a section 21 they usually stop paying the rent.

terry sullivan

10:05 AM, 28th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Leach" at "28/07/2017 - 09:35":

i would go for immediate S8 and then escalate to the high court for immediate eviction. i would apply for total restitution once gone and i would notify all the tenant referencing concerns

H B

18:45 PM, 29th July 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "28/07/2017 - 10:05":

As the tenants are still within their contract period and are not in breach of contract, I think that evicting them immediately may be a bit of a big ask. I also cannot see what restitution Ignazio would be entitled to.

Alt De'Lete

3:09 AM, 30th July 2017
About A year ago

Thats s/his opening shot, now negotiate!

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