OpenRent Community

Tenant not giving me access to show prospects

My tenants who happen to be in the lettings industry are reluctant to allow me to show OpenRent prospects.

They have concerns over security related to violence and burglary in the North West London area all related to viewings via OpenRent. Now i appreciate the same level of vetting cannot be done compared to a traditional agent – but surely there is no legal position denying me entry into the property?

They claim agents have liability insurance if anything happens to them or things go missing.

Obviously i don’t have any such liability insurance – and should i get anything like that?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone faced similar concerns?

I had a rather touchy lady who wouldnt let me show people round. Because there can be numerous showings it can be a pain for tenants.
I couldnt force her and just had to wait until she went. But it is really annoying.

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.

Sam

…But, in a nutshell so to speak, clause or no clause, you have no redress. None whatsoever.
Another clear example of the imbalance between rights -and, more to the point, enforceable responsibilties- of tenants against the pile of punitive legislation stacked against the landlord.
As with the ‘5wk deposit max;’ such imbalances actively encourage a lack of integrity and decency from tenants in my view.

They have you by the b****x… and they know all about it.

Peter B
Member NLA

Could you suggest you will retain part of their deposit if they cause you to have an extra void period? They are in breach of the agreement so it might stick. On the plus side, they’ll soon be someone else’s problem.

No, Tony. It’s a damage deposit and even if it were able to be used as ‘penalty retainer,’ imagine trying to prove to a court that you could have rented earlier. Not qualifiable to any degree I e. balance of probabilities.

I hope I never have to argue this, but our agreements state that: "Subject to the Deposit Scheme rules, the Deposit is held to pay for any financial loss suffered by the Landlord because of the breach of any Tenant obligation outlined under this Agreement, including but not limited to [damage, nonpayment etc].

As Peter says, you aren’t in a strong position. However, if it came to it, I’d argue with the scheme’s adjudicator, although I wouldn’t take it to court. I think it’s important not to just acquiesce, as this will only encourage them to try it on again with the next landlord.

That’s interesting, Tony and thanks for advising of the text in your deposit scheme.
Regards,

Peter B