Landlord enforcing house viewings

We are 4 hospital workers with shift patterns living in a rented house. Our tenancy finishes at the end of the month and our landlord has put the house on the market. In the last few weeks they have been conducting house viewings.

2 weekends ago a house viewing was planned for 3pm on the Saturday, and someone was on night shifts. We requested for the viewing to be postponed or moved to the morning as it would disrupt their sleep and also the viewers wouldn’t be able to see their bedroom. The landlord did not agree to this but ultimately the viewing was cancelled.

Last weekend a further house viewing was planned for the Saturday and someone else was on night shifts. We requested it be moved to the morning, but if not able that it could go ahead but they could not enter the sleeping persons bedroom and try to minimize noise. They said they would inform the estate agents, and then booked a further viewing for during the day time.

Our landlord however forget to inform the estate agents and the estate agent entered the sleeping persons room which was a huge invasion of privacy and also disruption of sleep.

When we confronted our landlord they apologised saying they were busy and forgot. However we still felt disrespected that this had been forgotten when we didn’t want these viewings in the first place, and suggested they wait until we leave to continue viewing or get the estate agents to liaise with us directly for viewings.

Their response to this was to say they have no obligation to accommodate our night shifts, so if we’re going to feel disrespected anyway then they will continue with house viewings including all bedroom access at 24 hours written notice regardless of our schedules.

Are landlords allowed to do this? In our contract it states “Allow possible new tenants, valuers, and buyers access to the Property (on at least 24 hours written notice) during the tenancy” but this feels like a complete invasion of privacy and rights.

Please help with advice!

They have every obligation. Its you that have no obligation to accommodate their viewings. I suggest you give them an ultimatum.

User58 there is a term in most contracts to allow viewings in last 2 months of tenancy st 24 hours notice and although not stated in this way in yours there is a provision for prospective tenants visits. An empty void period is an expense for a landlord and all tenants need to serve at least one month’s notice and so viewings in the last couple of months can minimise the void assuming most rentals are from people who currently rent elsewhere. So I think that the visits are permitted in the spirit of your agreement st 24 hours notice. Plus they take place at the w/e which to be fair is the time most working people can view.

There are grounds to postpone entry for example quarantining with Covid and indeed the only statutory provision is to inspect damage. This is therefore a non statutory provision but it is not an unreasonable nor an uncommon one - indeed almost all ASTs I have seen have it and you signed up to it. The fact that most agreements have this and it is normal practice I would suggest make it reasonable.

It is usually in mutual interest to show on the basis the quicker an offer the sooner the nuisance of viewings will stop and a full reference from the landlord will be based on your relationship until the end.
If you want to make your point there is of course nothing to stop you leaving the flat in a mess at the viewing time that doesn’t suit. That should work.

Regardless of what your tenancy says you can tell them you are not allowing viewings and they then have no choice but to respect this.

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that is true but you must expect to lose any goodwill which of course you may consider in this case is not needed anyway

I am no lawyer but it would be interesting to hear from one as to whether let’s say there is a firm rejection by the tenant of any visits without a valid explanation (not the case here) and the ll can demonstrate that the moarketing therefore had to be postponed resulting in a loss and a breach of contract claim

sounds like the way of the world “not open to any agreement”

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I agree that its best to be as accommodating as possible to preserve goodwill. However, the landlord should not be allowed the free reign described above. The compromise would be to allow viewings, but only at mutually agreed times with at least 24hrs prior notice.

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the renters know that they can get away without a landlord reference, lots of options, agents offer choices. Tenants can refuse, landlord can’t contest this.

landlords should take references and with the likely law changes in dealing with bad tenants are likely to do this more and more. A typical reference would include a comment on whether you might let to the tenant again. Not the case here but if there is an absolute refusal to allow viewings and it is in the agreement the reference could include the fact that the tenants were in breach of contract. It doesn’t seem worth falling out.

At the end of the tenancy there is often leeway on moving out parking vans etc. In one case I forward post after more than a year. Goodwill for some including me is vitally important. I don’t want bad karma in my business if it can be avoided.

This holds no weight with the DPS as they say there is no proof that the property would have been let in that time. My claim for this was rejected.

If refusal to allow viewings was for no real reason but hospital night workers is surely slightly different.

Sleep and having to work is hardly optional, personally I think it’s selfish of the landlord. Unless they have changed their jobs since moving in, the landlord would know of their situation.

The poster has said viewings have been happening over the last few weeks so it doesn’t sound as though they have been refusing.

It works both ways, if there’s a valid reason landlord should be reasonable in return.

The house is being sold just wait until they’ve left, surely.

How else do you expect the LL to rent out the property without viewings.
It seems to me that whatever times were arranged there would have been someone in bed.
Some tenants are just awkward and unreasonable.

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you have reminded me of the time i was doing a loft conversion. We were putting the stairs thru the ceiling to the loft in the bedroom and the customer was in bed in the same room till midday , We just carried on

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There has to be some degree of compromise by all parties. If this is a business eg a ProCo and the ProCo has salaries and other overheads to cover they cannot afford delays and / or long times in reinvestment of their cash. On the other hand if it’s somebody doing a side hustle from their day job that’s a different story. The term LL needs to disappear in the day and age and the act needs updating to reflect modern times.

I doubt this very much. Otherwise why on Earth have tenancy agreements, & or any contracts​:thinking::thinking:. The property is NOT theirs to wilfully cause an obstruction to how that business is run.
The property is on a let for a certain period. Tenants have the option to stay on, or LEAVE af that time period.
The same way the current tenants got that property via VIEWINGS, is the same right & expectations others will have, before deciding to take on the contact, & live there. :woman_shrugging:t4:

I can assure you that this is the case as have had it happen to me!

If you actually read the post, there’s been no ‘obstruction’ and it hasn’t been 'wilful '.

However, regarding what you claim, how are you going to deal with it then? Just barge in?
Take them to court as you ‘doubt this very much’? And claim for what exactly?
Deposit Schemes/Courts need proof of loss, so how are you going to prove that the property would have been let in this time?

This being what I was told by the DPS, so I speak from experience and if you actually stop to think about it, as unfortunate as it is, from a legal standpoint, it is correct that there is no proof.

This particular property is being sold, so really do not see what difference a couple of weeks make.

If Landlords want their rent they, in turn, have to allow their tenants to work and sleep.

If tenants have been accommodating as the OP suggests, then the LL has to meet half way.

A good one would anyway.

There should be some sensible dialogue and ’ give & take ’ - understanding from all parties.
A simple question to the tenants, bearing in mind the different shift patterns, - is " What time is best for us to arrange viewings "
That’s not hard ( unless the answer is complex ? )

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I suggest you call Shelter tomorrow and ask them. Then you can post their response here.

user58 who originally posted this thread has not checked back, we are all commenting, may be time to :zipper_mouth_face:

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