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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have moved out out of one rented property and into another.

Resolved Question:

We have moved out out of one rented property and into another. We have not handed the keys back on the first property yet as we still have some belongings and mail going to the property - we are still under contract and paying for the property so no rush.
We have been checking the property regularly to ensure no issues.
We have discovered that the Landlord has been entering the property despite the fact that we informed the agents that under no circumstances did we want them or anyone else in the property without our knowledge and supervision due to our belongings and mail being there, plus we fear damage may be done to affect our bond return or use of gas/electricity etc..
We also suspect the agents have been doing viewings as they have not requested any from us in weeks. We did catch them turning up to do a viewing while we were moving out.
We have brought this to the attention of the agents but over a period of 2 weeks they have ignored all emails and the appropriate people are never available on when we call - and we never get a call back. They are obviously hoping to wait it out until we have no choice but to hand the keys back.
What can/should we do about this? Our understanding is that the only circumstances in which the Landlord can gain immediate entry to the property is in an emergency which clearly there is not.
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : What does your contract say about the Landlord gaining entry please?
Customer:

Hi,

Customer:

That the Landlord or any person authorised by the landlord in writing may at reasonable times of the day on giving 24 hours' notice in writing to the occupier enter the property for the purpose of viewing its condition or state of repair

Customer:

During the last twenty eight days of the Tenancy to allow the Landlord or the Landlords agents to enter and view the property with prospective tenants at all reasonable times of the day.

Customer:

I had not noticed that clause previously but surely it is not without notice?

Alex Watts : Have they ever given you 24 hours notice?
Customer:

no

Customer:

we wouldn't have known he had accessed the property if it wasn't for the fact that the alarm was not set when we entered on one occasion. The neighbors have verified that he has been in.

Customer:

Here is the main body of an email we sent to the agents which includes a bit more detail on the situation.

Customer:

We have called your office numerous times last week with regards ***** ***** unpermitted entry of the property, but are yet to hear back from you or any other of your colleagues on the matter.



As we informed your colleagues last week, we entered the property to check everything was ok and collect more of our things to find that the alarm was not set. This has disturbed us greatly as not only does this mean that the property has been entered without our permission, but that our possessions were left unsecured also.



We were very clear in our previous email that we did not want anyone entering the property without either us or one of our family members being present given we still had some possessions there and more importantly that our business post had not yet been fully redirected. Given the way we’ve been treated so far by both yourselves and the landlord, we have zero trust or confidence in either party and have genuine concerns with regards ***** ***** property remaining as we left it, the security of any mail and use of gas/electric and the like. At the very least we think we are owed an explanation regarding the matter.



We do know that the landlord has been at the property, as he has been seen by neighbours and we are very concerned about this and seriously considering taking this further. We understand there are certain grounds unto which the landlord can gain immediate entry to the property, however there has not been nor is there any evidence of an emergency at the property and regardless of which we should have been contacted.



The reason given by your colleague in our last conversation was that the landlord had entered the property supposedly to check the shower. All parties know that this was not any kind of emergency as the leak was only related to the drainage of the shower (which is not in use) and this wasn’t considered important enough to be fixed whilst we were living in the property and having to avoid using it.



Under any circumstances we should have been notified so that we could have arranged supervision.



We've been to the property again this weekend and removed the last of our things, so once this matter has been dealt with accordingly we are ready to handover.

Customer:

We have just received the following from agents...

Customer:

We have in accordance with our clients instructions carried out regular inspections of the property and carried out regular viewings, we have notified all members of our staff you have private items within the garage and we are not entering that area of the building. You have vacated the property and we are undertaking viewings in accordance with your agreement. Obviously if you believe we have completed something illegal we are happy to liaise with your solicitors or the police as you choose, we have now completed the inventory and your bond will be with you within 3 working days.

Alex Watts :

Thank you - bearing in mind they are going to return the deposit, what is it you want to achieve please?

Customer:

The deposit was a concern - although we know there is no reasonable grounds for them to withhold or deduct as the place was left in good condition.

Customer:

As long as the deposit is returned then we will not try to pursue legal action, however I'd still like clarification on whether they can do what they are doing. Just because we aren't sleeping there currently, how does it entitle them to do as they please without notifying us or gaining consent? Why should we have to trust that our things and mail is not being tampered with?

Alex Watts :

No they can't do it.

Alex Watts :

The agreement requires 24 hours notice and that is what they must give.

Alex Watts :

If they did give 24 hours then there would be very little you could do as the agreement says that is all they need to give - in reality you can't insist someone is home

Alex Watts :

But they must give 24 hours notice

Alex Watts :

If they do not then the Landlord is in breach of contract and indeed a clause that you probably have that says you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property.

Alex Watts :

But yes this is a breach of contract

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thanks. Presumably they are aware that any legal action is prohibitively expensive and the repercussions insignificant enough not to deter them from breaching contract. Is that the reality of it?

Alex Watts :

Sadly yes given they are returning the deposit.

Customer:

OK, good to know where we stand at least. Thanks for your time

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

I think that's all thanks. I just hope the bond is paid back in full and we can move on.

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go. The button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

OK, thanks again. Goodbye

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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