Tenant leaving before notice period ends - access?

I have a tenant in a non-OpenRent property who has given notice and the tenant is leaving two weeks before the notice period ends. The letting agency (who won’t keep the business as we will move it to OpenRent) has said we can’t have access to the property until the end of the tenancy period as they have to do a final condirtion report at that time. Surely they should do the report on or before the tenant’s last day, otherwise the tenant could say any damage happened after he left? Also we’d like to get in and re-decorate. Can anyone tell me the law on this?

Hi Lyle, I’m in a similar situation where my tenant has left 6 weeks early. I got legal advice and they advised doing the inventory report as soon as possible, as you mention something could happen within 2 weeks and then it would be hard to prove who is liable. Due to covid I’ve taken the advice on OpenRent and will do inventory after 3 clear days and also made the tenants aware of this.
Hope that helps.

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Hi both. I was incensed by Lyle’s experience!

Remember the agent is your servant, doing your bidding: check your agreement with them and then notify them of termination of service.

As for waiting a few weeks for an inventory check, that is a failure of responsibility: they need to perform the check-out as soon as possible after the tenant has left, and the tenant must be given that report as soon as possible afterwards to contest any findings they are not happy with, otherwise any claims against the deposit is not likely to succeed.

If you are happy with the agent undertaking the check-out condition, insist they do it within three days, ideally on the day, of departure, following Covid19 safe procedures.

The agent wants to do an inventory check so they can earn money on it. You can shop around for an inventory check or do it your self. The only problem with doing it yourself is that the adjudicator in the event of a claim against the deposit will treat a third party check-out and inventory check as ranked as more trustworthy than that produced by a landlord.

Good luck.

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Thanks John and Nusha - really helpful. Best wishes.

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In case you arrange the check-out, do invite the tenant to attend. I am sure. with distancing and patience, the checker can read through the findings before the tenant leaves, to acquire the tenant’s comments, before both parties depart, and hopefully they will be incorporated into the check-out report, even if you have to add “the tenant disagrees stating …”

I am also outraged that your agent is trying to prevent access to the property after the tenant has vacated. As @John45 and @Nusha rightly mentions, you risk losing any claims on the deposit if the inventory check out isn’t performed as soon as the tenant moves out (on the day or just after). This is clearly something that an agent should know and be able to advise on. You are right to change agents as they don’t sound like they know what they’re doing! I’d go down the route of using a third party inventory service if you anticipate any issues requiring deposit claims, so that impartiality is assured. I use the inventory services from Openrent which are much more reasonable than what I’ve been quoted by agents in the past. Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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Thanks @John45 and @Mita