I’ve been living for a couple of years in the same flat without any trouble. In the past few months the landlord has started to want things back from the inventory, giving the reason it had sentimental value, I gave back everything he wanted. He asked to come to the property to collect “his” belongings which I declined and asked to be present.
Few months later, he wants to sell the property, which is fine by me, but he wants to do the visiting with only 24h notice without giving me the two months notice (to get the best possible offer while still collecting the rent), which is a breach of contract. He then wanted to let an agent come in the flat, asked me if I was okay with it and when would be convenient. I said during the weekend and he replied to me that the appointment would happen on a Thursday but that they did not have to enter the property. I expressed again my concern, and that I wanted to be present if they entered the property. I have just found out he entered the property anyway and I now fear he will do it again on a regular basis without my consent or might have already done it in the past.
My question is, is there any legal recourse available to me to prevent that?
Many landlords who are planning to sell their properties will try to keep the tenant for as long as possible during the process so that they are not losing so much money. This is a business so that is a legitimate aim and not the landlord just profiteering. However, it should always be a negotiation with the tenant to accommodate their needs. It is not acceptable for a landlord to enter the property without the consent of the tenant unless in an emergency. As to what is appropriate notice, you should check the terms of your tenancy agreement as you may already have agreed to allow access for the purposes of selling the property and it may specify the terms.
You could insist on being present or even on the visits being whilst your not present, but some flexibility is usually needed as viewings are not always under the control of the agent or owner.
You could ban all visits that are not about maintenance and tell the landlord that you will not cooperate. He would then be guilty of harassment if he went against your wishes. However, I would strong suggest that this would be a bad idea for you. You don’t want to get into a tit for tat with the landlord where he then puts the rent up to recover his losses etc. You also don’t want to get a reference saying that you are deliberately obstructive, particularly given how difficult tenants are currently finding it to secure accommodation.
I would suggest you have a look at your agreement, speak to the landlord to express your concern and then offer to negotiate something of mutual convenience.
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