Hi Suresh, We’re not aware of a problem with violence at viewings!
We generate 200,000 leads every month and speak to thousands of landlords every month. If someone was intending criminal activity at a viewing, I’m not sure that estate agent ‘vetting’ would be able to do anything about it. Referencing almost always happens after a viewing, not before.
Agents may have liability insurance, but I’m not certain that an agent’s policy would cover damages made by the prospective tenant viewing the property. This seems like a red herring.
The main point is that while tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property during the tenancy, landlords do have a right of reasonable access to the property for the purpose of viewings and repairs. More than 24 hours’ notice are required.
If they are agents, they will know this (one would hope…).
OpenRent makes this explicit in our ASTs with a clause describing the landlord’s right to access the property in the last 60 days of the tenancy to perform viewings.
The tenants can reasonably refuse a request to access at a specific time, but can’t blanket-refuse you entry to carry out viewings. E.g. they can say “Sorry, you can’t visit at 8pm next Sunday”. But if you offer a range of dates and times and they refuse them all, offering no alternatives then that would be a step towards being unreasonable.
If you announce you will be entering for a viewing, and they receive that more than 24 hours beforehand, and you attempt to enter, then the tenant’s final recourse would be to claim you’ve breached their right to quiet enjoyment and could in theory seek redress, but it would be much more fuss than letting you into the property for 10 mins.