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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9075
Experience:  Solicitor
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Out of the blue my landlord emailed me that the property is

Customer Question

Hello there,
Out of the blue my landlord emailed me that the property is marketed for sale and there will be a viewing tomorrow. WTF!
There was no notice to terminate the tenancy at all.
I have been living in the flat six months so far and the contract is one year.
Can landlord do like that?
After some research, under the law with Saction 8 of the Housing Act 1988, notice has to be given first and they can conduct viewing during the last 28days. Does it apply to my situation as well?
FYI, landlord's break clause says - The tenant agrees that landlord has the right to terminate the tenancy after the first eight calendar months by giving the tenant not less than two calendar months' notice in writing to end the agreement.
Does it mean I can stay minimum 8 months or 10 months?
There is another dispute with the landlord.
Do you remember the weather the end of Feb to early March, very cold and lots of snow.
I came back in the flat in the evening and found the boiler stopped working.
I called the landlord and he said he would try look for someone to send over and call me back. (The landlord lives far away from London.)
I had been waiting one hour and a half but still no call from the landlord. I started calling and messaging him and his wife but the both neither answered the call nor responded the messages.
I got very angry and just tried to call local plumbers and found out all of them were fully booked and next available service would be next monday. There was no way I could stay in freezing room for 3 days. I finally found one service provider and booked for next morning.
Still no response from the landlord. it was about 10:30pm
I left them messages that I booked an engineer to fix the boiler tomorrow morning.
After freezing night passed, an engineer came about/before 8am.
Still NO RESPONSE from the landlord!
The engineer fixed the boiler and I tried to call the landlord about 10:30am. He answered finally and told him the result. He said that was fine and I sent him invoices. I paid the engineer 220pounds.
HOWEVER!, now they call it a breach of contract.
The below is what they say to me. I can't get bothered/stressed with the money and I can forget that but they are saying I made alterations while they ignored all my calls and messages during the severe weather. Can I ask them to send their very certify engineer to re-fix?
This is from the landlord.
It is the contractual agreement between us and
yourself. We all initialled each page and signed making it a legally binding document. It has been
bought to our attention that several of the clauses within the tenancy agreement have been and
are being ignored. This is formally known as a ‘breach of contract’. Please see below:
Breach 1
On Saturday 3rd March 2018 you instructed an individual by the name of ‘Kirk’ to make
adjustments to the boiler. ‘Kirk is said to be an employee of ‘Peckham Plumbing and Heating
Services’ the company does not appear on the gas safe list and are therefore Kirk was not legally
authorised to carry out any works to the boiler. This is a breach of clause 7.1 found on page 5
Any obligation upon the tenant under this agreement to do or not do anything shall also require the
tenant not to permit or allow any licensee or visitor to do or not do that thing. To be responsible and
liable for all the obligations under this agreement. Clause 14.9 Not to decorate or make any
alterations or additions to or in the Premises without the prior consent of the Landlord which will not
be unreasonably withheld. Laura has written to you and Peckham Plumbing to request written
confirmation of the works carried out to our boiler. It has been 30 days and this information has still
not been provided. We have seen from the invoices that 2 hours of labour was billed, it is not
unreasonable to ask what was done to the boiler during those 2 hours. We have a legal obligation
to ensure that any works carried out to the boiler are conducted safely by a certified engineer.
Breach 2
On 20th March 2018 Laura contacted you via email to advise that the property is currently being
marketed for sale. Laura explained that the agency would be showing prospective buyers and
informing them of your tenancy. She gave 24 hours notice prior to the planned reviewing. The
agency act on our behalf and have their own set of keys. We have been working with Acorn
Lettings since 2013 they are the agency that introduced you to us. Acorn have informed us that
they were unable to conduct the viewing due to your objection. We are aware this has occurred
twice, firstly on Wednesday 21st March and secondly on Thursday 29th March resulting in two
missed opportunities.
Page 9 of the tenancy agreement lays out the regulations regarding Access and Inspection. For the
purpose of this letter I will relay these for you:
12.1 To allow the Landlord, professional advisors, or authorised contractors to enter the premises
with or without workmen and with all necessary equipment. Except in an emergency, the Landlord
will give the tenant no less than 24 hours written notice.
• A professional advisor has been appointed by or authorised by the Landlord to visit or inspect the
premises.
• The landlord wishes to inspect the premises
Page 10 of the tenancy agreement also lays out the regulations regarding Access and Inspection.
12.2 To allow the premises to be viewed by prior mutually acceptable appointment, at reasonable
times during normal working hours, and upon the tenant being given at least 24 hours’ notice in
writing, following a request by any person who is (or is acting on behalf of) the Landlord and who is
accompanying a prospective purchaser or tenant of the premises.
The agency have their own keys and have the right to access the property provided we have given
you 24 hours notice. If you deny or obstruct viewings it is considered a breach of the contractual
agreement. Page 4 of the agreement states in clause 6.5 and 6.6 that the deposit may be used to
compensate the Landlord for any losses relating to ‘breach of contract’. Page 5 of the agreement
states within the Obligations of the Tenant ‘If any of these terms are broken, the Landlord may be
entitled to claim damages from the tenant, or seek the courts permission to have the Tenant
evicted from the premises because of the breach.
It is our understanding that you are a working professional and we are happy to schedule viewings
at your convenience. However, we are entitled to sell the property and the agency are authorised
to act on our behalf. Viewings will be brief and can take place without you being in the property.
Acorn have received a request to view this Tuesday 3rd April at 12:30pm, we are asking that you
offer your cooperation.
I look forward to your advice.
Best regards,
Ian
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with your question today. I am reviewing it, please give me a moment.

Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

When did you move in?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Jamie, I moved in at 29th, Sep, 2017
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'm at work and prefer email answer please.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

Ok. Looking at it there is a break. So you can stay a total of 10 months. Once 8 months is up then 2 months notice is required.

He can’t get you out before this. The landlord also has a duty under the Landlors and Tenant Act 1985 to provide hot water and heating. If not, then he is in breach and you can sue for breach of contract.

You can’t withhold rent but can issue for breach.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I need more clarifications about viewing for sale.
Can they do this now or not? If they can't do now, when they can possibly start, last 28 days of tenancy?About the boiler fix, did I make breach of contract and alterations?
Or did I have to wait at least 24hours until the landlord would come back with a solution. Not that I think they even tried any.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

If it is permitted in the contract then yes. Otherwise no. They can. They can not rely on a general inspect clause.

You would be entitled to 24 hours with the boiler issue.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
In the contract, it says 'To allow the premises to be viewed by prior mutually acceptable appointment, at reasonable times during normal working hours, and upon the tenant being given at least 24 hours' notice in writing, following a request by any person who is (or is acting on behalf of) the landlord and who is accompanying a prospective purchaser or tenant of the premises.'However, by the law, it can be only allowed during the last 28days of tenancy?
https://homelet.co.uk/landlord-insurance/tips/your-rights-for-inspecting-or-viewing-a-property-as-a-landlord
Can I Take Other People Into the Property?If your tenant has given notice that they want to end the tenancy and move out, you have the right to both conduct visits and show the property to prospective new tenants. However, this only comes into effect during the last 28 days of a standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement.The same right exists whether you’ve served a Notice to Terminate (essentially, a notice of eviction) or your tenant has given notice that they’re moving out. If you’ve served notice before the end of the lease agreement, then this must have been done in accordance with Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Plus again, about the boiler fix, did I make breach of contract and alterations or not?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

Yes, 28 days only. You can’t have other people renting. But you can have overnight guests.

No, Re the boiler.

Does that assist?