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Breach of contract?

Hello, 
We signed an AST in December, that was for 6 months until June.
As the landlord is trying to sell the house, this clause was in the agreement:

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
18. Property viewings must be always available at the requested times of the estate agents during the hours of Monday to Saturday
Should someone wish to purchase the property, the tenant must vacate the property within 8 weeks of the initial offer, however this can be negotiated between the vendors, and the purchasers of the property.

We were fine with this, as they agreed not to put it up for sale until March, verbally.

They've already put it up for sale, but are now saying they want to auction the property, that it needs to be empty and that we need to be out in 5 weeks time, giving us 5 weeks notice l. 

I think I'm right in saying that the contract does not mention auctioning, and that they are in breach of the agreement. That we should have eight weeks notice when someone is purchasing the property.

Can anyone weigh in to confirm this?

Thank you. 
«1

Comments

  • Schwarzwald
    Schwarzwald Posts: 437
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    others can elaborate and confirm, but i doubt that such cl.18 overrides your right for quiet enjoyment, i.e. even if this was written into the contract, you do not have to oblige.

    similar to the 5 weeks request ... vendor/LL can request whatever they want, you dont necessarily have to comply with it if you do not agree.

    if i were in your shoes, i probably claim my right for quiet enjoyment, refuse any viewings that do not suit me and work towards finding a new rental form June onwards. 
  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Posts: 14,368
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    The landlord's option for enforcing this clause is to take you to court for breach of agreement (s8 ground 12 I think).  Would take about as long as it would to evict you. Daft clause to put in tenancy.

    You may happily ignore it & refuse any viewings or leaving the place.

    Do you need a reference from him??
  • Sickrenter
    Sickrenter Posts: 10
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    Thanks for the replies, I'm not overly concerned about the viewings. It's more about telling us to leave before the auction. The clause they added was about us leaving 8 weeks after they've accepted an offer to sell.
  • mexican_dave
    mexican_dave Posts: 249
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    BobT36 said:
    Statute trumps contract. Both for the viewings clause (quiet enjoyment / sole use / reasonable notice, times suitable for YOU, not them, and no time may actually be suitable, what a shame), and same goes for the notice period. 

    They cannot contract around the law. You should get two months formal notice before they can begin proceedings of taking you to court. 

    I agree with BobT36, high handed attitude of landlord (and or agent), still can't believe people like this exist! Outrageous!
    Yes, they have to make an appointment for viewings at your convenience and can't ask you to make yourself scarce.
    There is a Statutory Notice period which cannot be overridden by any contract clause, sorry - repeating what BobT36 said!
  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 508
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    I this your FIRST contract with them too, btw? If so then they cannot even serve a notice at all during the first 6 months, I believe? (Do double-check this). 

    If it's not your first then they could potentially serve it on the 4th month to expire on the 6th. (and even then that's just notice that they MAY begin proceedings). 

    Just going from memory here. 
  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 508
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    "The LL has a right of entry as per the TA,"

    Surely that "right" is only for essential maintenance etc. though? Viewings aren't essential, and they also don't benefit the tenant. If it's not reasonable for the tenant at the time, they can decline. Right to quiet & sole enjoyment of the property is statute and trumps anything in the TA contract. 
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Posts: 2,184
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    edited 6 February at 8:45PM
    BobT36 said:
    "The LL has a right of entry as per the TA,"

    Surely that "right" is only for essential maintenance etc. though? Viewings aren't essential, and they also don't benefit the tenant. If it's not reasonable for the tenant at the time, they can decline. Right to quiet & sole enjoyment of the property is statute and trumps anything in the TA contract. 

    No. Tne tenancy agreement is a contract, so the LL has a contractual right as defined in the TA.

    'Quiet Enjoyment' is not in any statute that I know of (please refer me to a statute if I'm wrong!). It is a Common Law right, built up by court decisions over decades/hundreds of years. Common Law does not automatically 'trump' Contract Law.
    Hence the conflict.
    (editted my previous post)


  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 508
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    BobT36 said:
    "The LL has a right of entry as per the TA,"

    Surely that "right" is only for essential maintenance etc. though? Viewings aren't essential, and they also don't benefit the tenant. If it's not reasonable for the tenant at the time, they can decline. Right to quiet & sole enjoyment of the property is statute and trumps anything in the TA contract. 

    No. Tne tenancy agreement is a contract, so the LL has a contractual right as defined in the TA.

    'Quiet Enjoyment' is not in any statute that I know of (please refer me to a statute if I'm wrong!). It is a Common Law right, built up by court decisions over decades/hundreds of years. Common Law does not automatically 'trump' Contract Law.
    Hence the conflict.
    (editted my previous post)


    Interesting, it seems to be a "covenant" under "Common Law" since 1888. I'm not a lawyer so I can't say for definite there, but I do wonder how courts would handle the conflict. 
    Also I wonder how the consumer contracts law point of a contract term being "unfair" if it only benefits one side. Now how could a Viewing Clause benefit a tenant? (Unless the tenant is wanting to voluntarily end the contract early). 
    As far as I can see, such contractual terms (if ceding rights from common law) must be very SPECIFIC and LIMITED. They can't just be open like "you must allow access whenever we please" lol. 

    Can't see that ever getting passed. 


    At least the two-month MINIMUM notice period certainly is statute. They can't enforce less than that. And that's just a notice period & does not end the tenancy. 
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