How to politely refuse viewings?

I’m currently on notice for my property and am due to move out on about 3 weeks. I just had a voice message from my letting agents saying there is a viewing of my property tomorrow at 11am!

Now firstly, I am very uncomfortable with this. I value my privacy and the idea of strangers entering my house is not something I am happy with. I tolerate the 6 monthly inspections but having total strangers in the property is a definite no-no.

Secondly I am preparing to move out. My house is a mess and filled with piles of boxes and piles of clothes and other possessions ready to be packed. Lots of furniture has been dismantled and I certainly wouldn’t be happy with people poking about and passing judgement in its current state.

No I understand I have the right to refuse, but I’m unsure as to how. I don’t want to appear aggressive and uncooperative but I still want to make it clear that I don’t want viewings to commence until after I am gone. I think I would prefer to refuse in writing but I understand that I have only 24 hours to make sure this gets called off. Do I start quoting laws and referring the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ or do I start with a polite request for the view to be cancelled.

Any suggestions?
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Replies

  • edited 1 March 2011 at 1:43PM
    IncyderIncyder Forumite
    2K Posts
    edited 1 March 2011 at 1:43PM
    valten wrote: »
    Do I start quoting laws and referring the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ or do I start with a polite request for the view to be cancelled.

    Either. Do you hope for a reference from them in the future?
    Maybe be polite if so.

    Email them, You could say you are very very sick with flu for the next 3 weeks and dont want to infect the viewers, so refuse all viewings on that basis.
  • slyracoonslyracoon Forumite
    428 Posts
    Just be polite.

    You have the right to refuse all viewings but don't expect the landlord to be cooperative with your deposit once you leave. Refusing to allow viewings will cause the landlord to have a longer void period once you leave which will cost them. They will try and recoup that from tyour deposit by picking up every minor/fault detail on check out.

    Its in the LL and Tenants interests to cooperate to enable a smooth checkout. Just write an email saying you do not want a viewing tommorow because you have friends round etc. Let them know which days you are happy for viewings to take place and how many days notice you want in advance of viewings.
  • In the first instance contact them and tell them that the viewing they have booked is not convenient and therefore you are not giving your consent. Follow that up in writing and ask them to contact you in writing to request further viewings. If you're certain that you don't want any until you have left the property then this is the time to say so. Don't expect the landlord or the agent to take this kindly. Many do not understand the concept of a tenant's legal right to "quiet enjoyment" and won't enjoy being told. If you don't care whether you get a decent reference then go ahead and refuse all viewings. If you're not confident that they will respect your position then I would advise you to consider changing the barrel of the lock and replacing it with the old one one the day you hand the property over.
  • mchalemchale Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    valten wrote: »
    Do I start quoting laws and referring the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ or do I start with a polite request for the view to be cancelled.

    Any suggestions?


    You could try, but AFAIK the is no legal precedent for "quiet enjoyment" its a opinion in legal terms (I hope some one can point to a court case defining it) and dare I say much banded about on this and other LL/Tenant forums.


    "as he ducks below the parapet's now" :rotfl:
    ANURADHA KOIRALA ??? go on throw it in google.
  • edited 1 March 2011 at 1:48PM
    G_MG_M Forumite
    52K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 1 March 2011 at 1:48PM
    mchale wrote: »
    You could try, but AFAIK the is no legal precedent for "quiet enjoyment" its a opinion in legal terms (I hope some one can point to a court case defining it) and dare I say much banded about on this and other LL/Tenant forums.


    "as he ducks below the parapet's now" :rotfl:
    Now is the time to duck!

    Tessa Shepperson is a respected property lawyer. She covers this aspect of tenants' right to quiet enjoyment here.

    Valten - your options range from:
    * allowing the LL/agent to come in for viewings as and when they want
    * to refusing ANY viewings, backed up by a written statement confirming that refusal and changing the lock barrels to ensure your right is not compromised

    Obviously neither option is ideal. A compromise is best. Offer a small number of specified days/times which you will make available for viewings. When and how many is up to you. You can then a) plan and have a tidy up and b) ensure you are available to be present

    Again, this offer should be in writing. A letter IS a bit formal, but it CAN be worded reasonably and diplomatically.
  • abbadon3abbadon3 Forumite
    73 Posts
    Be polite.

    Think slyracoon sumed it up best :)

    Don't listen to BitterandTwisted - you'll end up with everyone hating you and getting into arguments.

    The best way to approach anything first time is through politeness nto aggression.

    Only resort to drastic messures if the situation is drastic. It doesn't take a fire engine to put out a match.
  • valtenvalten Forumite
    32 Posts
    No I personally don’t need a reference, however my flatmate might. I’ve no idea if they have spoken to him or not and by tonight it may be too late to get it called off.

    I’ve mailed them and refused a viewing tomorrow. I have however said that they can conduct all the viewings they like during the final week of the tenancy as we will have largely moved out by then anyway. Hopefully that will be nice compromise.

    Arranging a move is stressful enough without having to make sure my place is tidy all the time!
  • missilemissile Forumite
    11.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I would not tell lies, simply refuse stating the reasons you have given here.

    Some EA can be very pushy and it may be difficult to say no. It may state in your contract something about access for viewings etc and if they simply go ahead with viewings when you are not at home I don't know what to advise. Changing the locks seems a bit drastic.

    If it were me, I would let them do viewings in my absence.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • edited 1 March 2011 at 1:52PM
    punky__56punky__56 Forumite
    79 Posts
    edited 1 March 2011 at 1:52PM
    Your tenancy agreement should state the rules you agreed to by signing the agreement at the start of your tenancy.

    Standard would be the letting agent to be allowed access for viewings in the last month of the tenancy with 48 hours notice in writing, so her telephone message would not suffice if yours said this.

    Estate agents should co-operative if you say tomorrow is inconvenient however you are available Saturday at X time. Please be aware that someone is booked in to view your property so they will have to rearrange the appointment with the viewer so let them know asap that its inconvenient.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: You dont need the property to look like a show home, viewers realise that you are moving out and expect the property to be half packed and a mess! If you're worried about people going in when you're not there then let the agents know and they will arrange viewings for when you can be present, estate agents should never leave viewers in a room alone.
  • abbadon3abbadon3 Forumite
    73 Posts
    @valten - seems like a good compromise to me - i'd imagine the LL would be happy with that :)
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