Here is a question to the blog clinic from Alison (not her real name) who is a tenant
We are tenants and have recently given notice to terminate our agreement. The agent has advised us of their intention to conduct viewing as per clause of our contract (please see below).
We explained to the agent that they will need our consent in order to enter the property and we also require to be there when potential viewings are conducted (we do not want strangers looking around at the property).
We also explained that we need at least 24 hours notice period in writing as they were calling us in the past for viewings to be conducted the next couple of hours (they said they will agree on that one – despite being our right – as a goodwill on their part).
Unfortunately agents insist that because they have given notice and they have the keys to the property are entitled to enter the premises without our agreement. We complained a thousand times about it and have received calls trying to persuade us that entering the property without our consent is the right thing (for them) to do under our agreement.
We also explained to them that this a violation of our “quiet of enjoyment” of the property and entering the property without our agreement is potential harassment (not to mention trespassing) but insist in doing it (in one of the cases they left the door unlocked).
We are due to leave the property so changing the locks is not an option (as it is quite expensive for a property that we are going to leave). The landlord is not responding to our calls or emails and we are left with an agent who persists in entering the property without our agreement. Can you please advise what can be done? Thank you.
“To allow the property to be viewed at all reasonable times during normal working hours (between 9am and 8pm) by prior mutually convenient appointment or on reasonable Notice either via the Tenant or with keys, during the last two months of the Tenancy: following a request by any person who is (or is acting on behalf of) the Landlord or the Agent and who is accompanying a prospective purchaser or Tenant of the Property”
As you rightly say, all tenants have the benefit of the ‘covenant of quiet enjoyment’ which provides for tenants to be entitled to be left in peace in the property without disturbance from the landlord (or his agent).
It is customary for landlords and their agents to be allowed to have access to conduct inspections during the last couple of months of the property. However this is subject to the covenant of quiet enjoyment – 24 hours written notice must be given and the tenants are entitled to object and insist on being present.
If there is a history of the agents leaving the property unsecured as in your case then this will strengthen your case for insisting on being present during any inspections.
The clause you quote is not particularly clear, but if it purports to give the agents any rights to enter without your agreement it will be void under the Unfair Terms regulations (now to be found in the Consumer Rights Act).
If you have asked the agents to stop but they persist in entering without consent, the best thing to do is to complain to their Property Redress Scheme. If they find for you (and they should) then they have the power to award compensation.