Tenant refusing viewings after being served Section 21?

Tenant refusing viewings after being served Section 21?

11:19 AM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago 53

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Hello, Three weeks ago I instructed my managing agent to serve a Section 21 notice on my tenants.

I have been emailed by my agent stating that the tenants have asked that no viewings go ahead until the move out date. The agent has emailed the tenants stating that their request is a breach of the AST (citing the terms and providing a copy of the AST) and has requested a range of dates / times to work with.

My fear is that the tenants may refuse to vacate the property as they don’t appear to be looking for an alternative property and would struggle to meet the affordability criteria for properties in the immediate area.

What if anything can the agent do to ascertain the tenants’ true intentions? Is it inappropriate for the agent to remind the tenants of the consequences of failing to honour the AST or “staying put” (https://www.property118.com/are-councils-acting-illegally-when-telling-tenants-to-stay-put/)?

What should I do now to prepare for a worst-case scenario where the tenant refuses to leave?

I would like to engage a specialist that manages the process end-to-end but am struggling to find a short list of tried and tested firms.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


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Graham Bowcock

11:40 AM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Your tenants are within their rights not to permit viewings, irrespective of what the AST says. In any event, viewings with tenants are not great as their interest is not aligned with yours.

We have several s21s in place where landlords want to sell, but we will not do viewings until the property is vacant.

Your tenants may well refuse to vacate, in which case you will need a Court Order to force them to leave. They may even want to vacate, but be stuck with lack of supply as landlords are selling up.

As for finding out their intentions, if they don't co-operate there's not a lot you can do. They are not obliged to tell you what's going on.

Was your s21 valid? Have yoiu done all the pre-start compliance stuff correctly?

I doubt that even a specialist posession firm can help you yet.


11:59 AM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 14/03/2023 - 11:40Hi can you explain why the tenants are 'within their rights' not to permit viewings if it is part of the contract that they signed?
Don't disagree though that it is pointless to do a viewing with a tenant who might be less than positive about the property and the landlord though. Interesting that you indicate that landlords selling up (so reducing local supply) is a potential reason why some tenants might just not vacate.
Damned if we do and damned if we don't. I'll be exiting in the not too distant. Despite the upsurge in compliance and regulations, this is still a game of Russian roulette and it is rarely the tenant that suffers the consequences.


12:03 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

AJ what exactly is your reason to serve S21 on your current tenants, are you selling or are you seeking new tenants?

Graham Bowcock

12:06 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Londonlandlord at 14/03/2023 - 11:59
Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment.

Although ASTs generally require access for viewings (amongst other things) there is no practical way to enforce this. If viewing numbers mount up tenanst tend to say (understandably) that their right to quiet enjoyment is being abused.

Tenants' co-operation is toally required, so landlords are stuffed if the tenant will not readily agree.


12:09 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Quiet enjoyment is not precluded by allowing viewings unless there are non-stop viewings every day, which is unreasonable. If it is in the agreement and they break the terms of the agreement it is the same as if they break any other term of the agreement. But yes, landlords are always stuffed when it comes to their rights vs tenants.

Luke P

12:16 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Londonlandlord at 14/03/2023 - 12:09
Work it through, logically...they refuse the viewings (not forgetting you have no right of entry). Even if this constitutes breaking the terms of the tenancy...what you gonna do about it - serve them notice? They're already under notice!

Seething Landlord

12:35 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Londonlandlord at 14/03/2023 - 12:09You seem to have misunderstood quiet enjoyment, which actually means having the exclusive right to uninterrupted occupation of the premises and the same right to allow or refuse entry as would apply in the case of an owner occupier.


12:37 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

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16:11 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

basically you are stuffed until they are evicted. If they don't leave of their own accord then it will be once Bob the Bailiff knocks their door.

To be honest, its a bummer, BUT if there was a viewing the place might be a right mess and put off a tenant anyway, (they may assume living conditions are due to LL neglect (even if this is COMPLETELY WRONG) plus you can't even tell them when it will be vacant from either.
Wait till the current tenant has left and then make it look appealing.

I often send out photos of the property pre start of the tenancy if required to prospective tenants before the current one vacates/evicted so they get an idea of layout size etc. If they like your property they may well hang on as there may be nothing else to let/in that area/in their price range. You might even be offered a holding deposit if they are that keen just to secure something.

BTL Property Owner

16:37 PM, 14th March 2023, About 3 months ago

Hi AJ,
Serving S21 is just the first step. You may potentially have to take legal action/bailiffs before you can get vacant possession of your property. This could take months. So, I suggest, no point in arranging viewings at this time. Even if the tenant agrees to viewings, they could play silly buggers and thwart access by cancelling at the last minute or may pretend to be not in at the time arranged. You'll probably give up after they do this a few times. Also, you'd want to make sure potential tenant(s) see your property in the best light which will not be possible with the current tenant still in-situ. And, you may need to tidy up/re-furb prior to re-letting. All best done after you get vacant possession. The only disadvantage may be is the void period and hence loss of rent if re-letting gets delayed. Trust this helps.

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