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Choose to use letting agent, however landlord not using letting for fixes

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Author Topic: Choose to use letting agent, however landlord not using letting for fixes  (Read 137 times)
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« on: January 23, 2020, 02:26:48 PM »

Have been in the privately rented house for 17 months, we really like the house however for the all the time the kitchen has not been finished.
Have reported many times, from 3 months in.
Decorator from the letting agent has been here twice and done quotes.

However since then the landlord has decided to use someone else to do the do the decorating, could be any one. They have been to the letting agent and collected keys for the house.
As we decided to use a letting agent, I was under the assumption that we would be under better protection against things like this as the letting agent have regular contractors that get used for works.

Where do we stand, I don't like the idea of some random person coming in to decorate.
And I don't feel very safe knowing that some random person has been given the keys to my home.
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 08:26:10 PM »

You don't stand anywhere. If you want to choose who does work in your home don't rent. Sorry.
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 12:04:38 AM »

As they require access to perform a service and it's not for emergency repairs the letting agent needs your permission before they or a contractor can enter your property so you can refuse access to someone if they are for example someone you dislike or a company with a bad reputation. The letting agent will need to find an alternative and ask for permission again. They are legally obliged to give you 24 hours notice so you can arrange to be at the property if you prefer to be.

The letting agent should not be giving your keys to anyone without first asking for your permission and even then I would not be happy if my keys were given to a stranger. They could make copies so you're within your rights to tell the letting agent you no longer feel safe and ask that they put in new locks at their expense.

I'm having a similar problem because I have an insulation company doing some work in my block of flats and I prefer to be there when they are doing the work because my landlord will either not lockup properly which he has done before or give a set of keys to the insulation company so he doesn't have to make the long drive to let them in.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 12:29:23 AM by Chopin »
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 08:33:20 AM »

This input is wrong on so many levels. Firstly, of course you can be present if that makes you feel better - that's your choice, your own wasted time - many Tenants don't want to do this. Secondly, of course you can ask for, demand and expect notice - this is only reasonable and benefits both sides to allow for logistical planning. But you still cannot dictate who carries out work on behalf of the Landlord. You could deny access, I suppose, but then a problem is being invented before it has occurred. At this point it wouldn't change my approach as Landlord (I have already chosen who I believe is the best person for the job so I'll still go with them) but you would have now become a "difficult Tenant" in my eyes. You do not have any right for locks to be changed... but, of course, you can ask. You can also ask for real gold paint to be used.

They are not your keys. They are part of the package you are renting. The notion that having a Letting Agent involved somehow provides better protection for Tenants is an interesting misconception that has me chuckling.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 05:23:46 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 10:14:20 AM »

Agree with Hippogriff.

The tenant has the right to expect notice for anyone to go into the property and if the tenant refuses for any reason then the person legally cannot enter.

However, a tenant has no right to decide who does work in the property.  If there is agreement for the kitchen to be painted and the landlord has decided on a contractor to do the works then the landlord has done his ir her side of the deal. 

I used to work as a property manager and we had agreed contractors.  Some landlords knew their own contractors and used them.  This is not the landlord doing anything wrong.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 10:29:29 AM »

Even before I stopped having full management I used contractors of my choice.This was entirely down to costs.The agents often get the more expensive companies involved,and take a generous commission.If you really like the place and want the kitchen finished,why start nitpicking?
You can be present if you wish,personally I would rather be out of the way when the noise and dust are around.The advice from Chopin is just nonsense.If you cannot trust anyone,nothing will ever get done. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 03:30:37 AM »

It's not nonsense and I wasn't saying to refuse entry to everyone to make life difficult I was saying if they are asking for access by someone and the tenant is not happy they are legally entitled to refuse because this is access for performing a 'service' so the tenant must be informed in advance of the details such as the company name, access times and the work being carried out. Of course it's better for everyone if they get it done and dusted but there are legitimate times when a tenant will object and they have every right to do so. Ideally the tenant should be reasonable and explain their objection to the landlord or letting agent to keep a good relationship.

Giving keys to a trusted and long term contractor is one thing but who knows how long the letting agent have known the people they have cut keys for the OPs flat? They could make copies so the tenant now has the 'legitimate' right to ask the letting agent to replace the locks on the basis that they don't know how many copies of the key there are. It's all very well the letting agent saying how trustworthy the contractor is but that doesn't hold up in legal terms. Extra copies of the key have been made and given to a third party so the tenant has the right to be uncomfortable with that lock. They could return from work or a holiday to discover they have been burgled with no forced entry which would be very difficult to resolve through home insurance and you can imagine how the police would react.

You are legally entitled to change the locks at anytime without the consent of the landlord. Ideally you should inform the landlord to keep up relations but you don't have to inform them. Just keep the original lock and keys so you can replace it when you vacate. You might be in breach of your tenancy agreement if there is a clause that prohibits changing the locks (there is on mine) but the worst the landlord can do is serve an eviction notice and if they have such a problem with you changing the locks despite you maintaining the property and paying rent on time it will be preferable to leave and find a more professional landlord anyway. One who doesn't need to keep a vice like grip over the rented property and need a key so they can come and go as they please. When someone enters your property without your permission they are trespassing and committing a criminal offence. The 'only' exception to this is when they have a court order but so many landlords ignore this serious breach of contract and of trust.

As for trusting letting agencies I've never used them and prefer dealing direct with landlords. They are expensive and I can only assume it's a worse service because these are people who are spending all their time generating business with new prospects so will have little time to deal with existing tenants and ensure they are informed of any access requirements. There will be some who don't bother because it saves on admin costs and be dishonest about tenants rights when dealing with them.

It seems like this forum is mostly landlords giving a landlord's point of view. If I have said anything that is factually incorrect please provide proof.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 03:35:08 AM by Chopin »
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 01:44:51 PM »

Giving keys to a trusted and long term contractor is one thing but who knows how long the letting agent have known the people they have cut keys for the OPs flat? They could make copies so the tenant now has the 'legitimate' right to ask the letting agent to replace the locks on the basis that they don't know how many copies of the key there are. It's all very well the letting agent saying how trustworthy the contractor is but that doesn't hold up in legal terms. Extra copies of the key have been made and given to a third party so the tenant has the right to be uncomfortable with that lock.

You have to take some things on trust, unless you're expecting every landlord to change every lock after every tenancy. Who knows whether the previous tenants might have cut an extra key or two?

When someone enters your property without your permission they are trespassing and committing a criminal offence.

Try telling that to the police: trespass is a civil offence. If somebody has entered a property without force, with the property owner's permission, equipped with nothing more nefarious than a bucket of magnolia, it's not a crime.


It seems like this forum is mostly landlords giving a landlord's point of view.

What part of the landlord forum attached to a landlord blog gave you that impression?  :)
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 06:29:58 PM »

Chopin,are you saying that all tradesmen should have to undergo police checks before they can work in your home? How can you ever be 100% sure of anyone? A friend who is 105 and lives alone,with daily carers,had several hundred pounds stolen last year by one carer.The agency that supplied the woman has top marks in all respects,the woman herself had undergone enhanced checks,and had an excellent work record.She had been her carer for 8 years,and  also confessed to  stealing from many other clients.Sorry,you just have to hope for the best sometimes.
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 07:37:57 PM »

Essentially if a tenant is not comfortable with a contractor attending the property when they are not home then the tenant will need to liaise with the agent or landlord and agree on times and dates for the works to be carried out.

What I am surprised by is how the OP seems to think an agent's contractor is more trustworthy than a landlord's chosen contractor.  Agents generally use 3rd parties, same as a landlord.
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2020, 11:27:05 PM »


Try telling that to the police: trespass is a civil offence. If somebody has entered a property without force, with the property owner's permission, equipped with nothing more nefarious than a bucket of magnolia, it's not a crime.

It's a civil offence but can become criminal if it becomes harassment. The property owner during the tenancy is the tenant assuming they are maintaining the property and are up to date with rent and utilities. The tenant can't sell or sublet the property and are bound by other rules but they are legally the owner of the property when it comes to granting access so every time access is required the tenant must be asked for permission. There is widespread flouting of this especially with certain types of tenants.

What part of the landlord forum attached to a landlord blog gave you that impression?  :)

Good point  ;D
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 11:28:45 PM by Chopin »
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