Viewing Clause vs Right to Quiet Enjoyment

by Readers Question

15:39 PM, 28th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Viewing Clause vs Right to Quiet Enjoyment

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Viewing Clause vs Right to Quiet Enjoyment

Currently renting a property and only a few months into the 12 month contract.quiet enjoyment

There have been viewings arranged and undertaken for the last several weeks every day (Mon-Fri) and most of the time there are multiple viewings a day.

The AST contains a clause stipulating the following: The tenant shall permit the property to be viewed by prospective tenants with reasonable notice (24 hours) at all reasonable times during the term of the tenancy for the purpose of reletting the property for the following year.

I’m not against allowing viewings, but the frequency and number of viewings is becoming absurd. Does that particular clause over rule my right to refuse viewings under the right to quiet enjoyment; or will I be in breach of my contract if I refuse viewings which have been given the 24 hours notice?

Thanks!

Chaz



Comments

Gary Nock

17:00 PM, 28th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Chaz,

First of all I can't understand why a few months into a 12 month contract multiple viewings are being arranged to let the property for the following year. Is this a student let? Is the property in so much demand that there is a queue of people for it?

And quiet enjoyment is one part of your AST and the viewings one is the other. As such in this case they can be in conflict. But statute law over rules AST clauses and you are also covered by the clause in my current favourite act of the moment - the Protection From Eviction Act 1977:

"Subject to subsection (3B) below, the landlord of a residential occupier or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if—

(a)he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household, or

(b)he persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises in question as a residence,

and (in either case) he knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that that conduct is likely to cause the residential occupier to give up the occupation of the whole or part of the premises or to refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the whole or part of the premises"

So if persistent and multiple viewings are preventing your right to peaceful enjoyment - then you might wish to keep this as the "nuclear option" in the event that the landlord or agent does not begin to arrange a reasonable schedule of viewings worked out between the two of you over a coffee.

Gary Dully

21:04 PM, 28th November 2016
About 2 years ago

If you are objecting, then your right to quiet enjoyment is being breached i.e.: you ain't enjoying it are you?

Is there some information or dispute you haven't mentioned yet?

Why not reach a compromise and suggest a 4 hour window each week, that you are prepared to grant access?

Daily access seems excessive and is on the verge of harassment.
How far are you into your fixed term?

Your landlord should only have a tenancy agreement clause that is fair,
My agreements state that access should be given during any notice period and final month of the fixed term, but it can't be seen to override your statutory rights as a tenant.

I hope that helps.

Romain Garcin

8:41 AM, 29th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Quiet enjoyment is a tenancy term in the same way as any terms granting the landlord a right of access.

As long as it is reasonable, and used reasonably, using a right of access does not breach quiet enjoyment.
Moreover, the tenant has given permission through the tenancy and is not entitled to refuse access.

Here I think that the term might be seen as a little to extensive as it applies during the whole tenancy, and the frequency of viewings may be unreasonably high: The tenant could restrict viewings to a more reasonable level.

Mike McDonagh

9:11 AM, 29th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi,
To me this begs a few questions. Did you let through an agent and who is arranging the viewings? Is the landlord even aware? Are the viewings to let or sell.
It could be that the landlord is being forced or deciding to sell.
In the first instance I would speak with the landlord to establish what is going on and why. I have never arranged or allowed any viewings in any of my properties (landlord) until a contract termination date has been agreed with a tenant.
Good luck Mike

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:09 AM, 29th November 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Chaz.
I assume this is a student let and I know that my letting agent will be showing people around now as this is the time of year for this. I have a tip - please don't take offence as it might not be relevant to your circumstances - but it is a really good idea to make the house look as clean, tidy and welcoming as you possibly can as then you are more likely to get a quick taker and the viewings will stop. Obviously, you may in any case keep it like a palace.

Rob Crawford

18:57 PM, 14th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Chaz, to respond to your issue more fully we need to know if this is a house share and whether rooms are let separately. It is possible that you rent a room and have a licence that permits your access & use of other rooms that may also be shared by the other tenants. The landlord/agent would only require permission to access your room and the rooms of other tenants, permission is not required for the landlord/agent to access the shared areas although I agree it would be nice and polite to advise you when such viewings are planned.


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