The landlord/agency wants to initiate viewings, we're going on a 20 day holiday

Hi there,

My partner and I are within the last two months of our tenancy and the landlord/agency has started viewings. Initially, we wanted to continue the contract but the landlord wanted to increase the rent by £700. We’ve facilitated these viewings within reason, only declining when I’ve been working night shifts, but offering up alternate dates.

Our contract stipulates that we allow viewings and I have no issue with this - we’re generally on decent terms with our landlord and I make an effort to clean the flat properly and “pretend” like the issues that exist living here don’t exist when the people viewing ask how I like living here.

However, we had a 20 day holiday booked for the beginning of November. Our tenancy ends at the beginning of December; however, we’ll be vacating on the 24th of November. We haven’t told the agency yet because we’ll know what they’ll ask - “Can we have your keys to allow people into your flat for viewings?” The obvious answer is - why on Earth would anyone want to allow that when you live in a bad area of London?

All our valuables are in this property, including our sensitive work documents, thousands of pounds worth of computer equipment and stray credit cards in drawers, etc. I imagine when we tell them, and we say no, there’ll be hell to pay. Do they have any legal right to demand the keys from us or deduct our deposit? Although it states we must allow viewings on reasonable grounds in our contract, is it “reasonable” if we’re literally not in the country?

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