Urgently need advice regarding my rental contract

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
11 replies 1.5K views
gpdeathgpdeath Forumite
5 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
Hi all,
If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it as I am allowing this to stress me out so much that my health is taking a severe hit.

I am renting a house through an estate agent in NI. My current lease expires on 19/08/15. The estate agents have been hounding me since January to sign a lease for the following year (7 months in advance). I agreed to sign a new lease as I have done every year for the past four years (same house). They contacted via email on a Friday afternoon to say the landlord wishes to increase rent and I have to give them my final decision by the Monday. This was extremely distressing for me coming into a busy weekend. I rang on the Monday to say this was not possible-I do not know what situation my job will be in by the end of April. They said I have to sign by 13/02/15 (over 6 months in advance). If I do not, they will commence viewing by 1st March. I received a text from the estate agents today to say that if I do not sign by tomorrow morning they will commence viewings. (still over 6 months in advance)
The contract states they can put a sale or to-let sign up during the final five months...that the "tenant shall grant free admittance without any prior notice written or otherwise....for viewings between 9am and 5pm any weekday"
It also states "if the tenants and guarantors have not completed a new agreement....within four months of the termination date.....the agent may show prospective tenants the property without prior notice in the final five months" This completely confuses me, if I dont sign within the last four moths they can allow viewings within the last five? Am I missing something or is this completely illogical?

Ok so....
Does anyone have any idea what my legal rights are?
I feel like I am being harassed.
They asked for a final decision 7 months in advance.
They state they will start viewings if i don't sign 6 months in advance.
As I am female and live alone and have experienced burglary before I am extremely distressed by the thought of having strangers traipsing in and out of my home without prior notice, throughout half a year of my life. What if I fancy working from home/having an early bath, lounging about in the privacy of my own home in the buff, doing anything in my own home during daylight hours? I also dont feel comfortable when someone has been in the house not knowing whether they were supposed to be there or not (in the case of not ring the police!)
AAAArgh. Sorry, I am so stressed I cannot sleep and I am getting ulcers again. fantastic. Please help!
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Replies

  • TickedTicked Forumite
    480 Posts
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    Go to Citizens Advice Centre, on Monday, they will be able to tell you your rights.
  • For this I'd go to Housing Rights instead. Not knocking CAB but Housing Rights are the specialists in this area.

    http://www.housingadviceni.org/?gclid=CPLqkqfR58MCFdMatAodsn0Ayw

    http://housingrights.org.uk/
  • Citizens Advice Center best one stop shop - be careful long waiting time
  • Check your contract for a 6 month break clause.


    You do not have to facilitate viewings if you do not want to.


    It does not matter what the contract says. You have the right to "quiet enjoyment".
  • Sounds like EA and/or Landlord are being Tossers........
  • tara747tara747 Forumite
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    saverbuyer wrote: »
    Check your contract for a 6 month break clause.


    You do not have to facilitate viewings if you do not want to.


    It does not matter what the contract says. You have the right to "quiet enjoyment".
    Sounds like EA and/or Landlord are being Tossers........


    ^^ What they said.

    Name and shame the EA, they're being completely unreasonable!
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  • steveympsteveymp Forumite
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    With the EA / landlord being such tossers it may be worth a small outlay on your behalf to get a solicitor involved, it is not like you are a rent liability having been in the same location for the past 4 years.

    Sounds like the EA is trying to look after their percentage cut in the rental, I don't think a year lease needs signed 7 months in advance, that makes it a 19 month lease then :(

    A letter from your solicitor to the EA should stop them being such !!!!!!s hopefully :o
    I am trying, honest;) very trying according to my dear OH:rotfl:
  • Thanks all, already been on to the CAB, but they left me no less in the dark so ill try the housing advice tomorrow.
  • I would consider reporting the agent to OFT (Trading Standards - consumerline in NI) for unfair terms in a tenancy agreement- see their guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements here. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284440/oft356.pdf specifically points 3.33 on rights of access.

    All tenancy agreements have implied covenant of peaceful enjoyment - so any interference with this is a breach of your rights. Any prolonged activity designed to interfere with your rights that could result in your leaving the tenancy is harassment, prohibited by both the Rent Order 78 and the Private Tenancies Order 2006.

    I would suggest writing to the agent and copying the landlord in on this letter (you have a right to his/her contact details including the address in your rent book, tenancy statement and your prescribed information if your deposit was paid after 1 April 2013) Explain that you're happy to accommodate viewings as long as they work with you to find mutually acceptable times. If they do not agree to this, explain that you will be referring the matter to Trading Standards and will consider making a complaint to the council regarding harassment.

    Agents/landlords have a right to reasonable access to facilitate viewings but, where the tenant refuses permission, they technically have to get an injunction allowing them to access the property (Article 12, PTO 2006). They can only let themselves into the property in the event of a real emergency (fire, gas leak etc). Remember, the landlord is paying the agent to manage the property professionally -might be !!!!ed off if he knows that the agent is threatening to interfere with the tenant's basic rights. You might also want to consider making a complaint to TPOS if the agent is a member. http://www.tpos.co.uk/

    Since the agents must get a court order if they want to evict you from the property, they're being way too keen to minimise risk of voids. I'd suggest they're trying to put the thumbscrews to you so they don't have to do any work and will get their tenancy renewal fee from the landlord. Signing up a new tenant to take over right away from the outgoing tenant is foolish - if the old tenant stays past the notice (as they can do, since they have a right to due process of law and cannot be removed without a court order) the agent could end up having nowhere to put the new tenant.
  • I second the recommendation to contact Housing Rights Service. They really are the experts in this field and know the law inside out.
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