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Letting agent entering house share without notice

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Author Topic: Letting agent entering house share without notice  (Read 196 times)
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« on: October 19, 2021, 04:33:18 PM »

I'm renting a room in a house share. Often my letting agent or people I don't know enter the house without giving notice.
I've had situation when after coming back from work I saw my letting agent was trying to enter my room.

I work nights so those visits result in waking me up and annoy me.

So I went next day to their office, told them about that and they have said that they will always send 24h notice first. Seems they have ignored me.

Can they enter communal area of the house share without giving notice?
Can they enter my room while I'm at work without giving notice?

To me they can enter the house only after giving notice or in an emergency situation such as gas/water/electricity problem/police situation not whenever they want.

For everyone interested which letting agent was that:
G8 Lettings and Property Management 40-42 Sheffield Road Barnsley S701HP
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 04:35:12 PM by js1200 »
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 04:52:23 PM »

Is this a HMO,or is it just you and another  housemate? If the former,as I understand it the landlord or his agents can go into the communal areas without prior warning.I cannot think of any circumstances other than a real emergency where anyone can let themselves into your bedroom without prior warning. That is really offensive.and could cause much embarassment.I would complain in writing,and keep your door locked when you are in there. If they persist I would get the lock changed.Out of interest,why are they doing this,have you reported repairs that are needed?
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 05:10:44 PM »

Yes. This is HMO.

I have changed door lock to my room because of their visits. Once they had find out about it they told me to change it back to the old lock or they will do it and charge me for that.

Couple of weeks ago I have reported an issue with our property but latest visit was made by older people and I don't think they were here to solve the problem.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 11:58:12 PM by js1200 »
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 09:38:39 AM »

You should replace the old lock when leaving,but you are at liberty to keep your own lock while living there.There are things you could do,but you will probably be told it is a civil matter,and end up having notice served on you.I would be looking for somewhere else,keep quiet until you get your deposit back.
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 01:11:49 PM »

They have told me that changing door locks of the room is illegal. I couldn't find any details about this in signed agreement.

I've only found this:
Quote
We may keep keys to the property and the building.

Allow us or our agents to come into the property at all reasonable hours of the day to inspect
the condition of the property, to carry out repairs or to do work which we must carry out by law.
We will give you at least 24 hoursí written notice if we are going to enter the property. You must
let us enter the property immediately if there is an emergency.

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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 01:23:14 PM »

I don't believe changing the locks of internal doors is illegal. If you are up for a scrap, ask them to justify that...

I don't even believe changing the locks of external doors is illegal (certainly not in a normal exclusive possession type tenancy)... but in a HMO situation I can imagine there are nuances. And I can't imagine anyone ever does it. In fact, most of your problems come from this being an HMO, right? We have to understand the typical occupants of an HMO will be... well... at the lower end of society... or young... or be just generally naÔve... and just "do as they're told", which you won't. It's not right... but typically it would be true. The Agent obviously thinks they have power. The debate is whether you push back and risk not having your room as soon as you can imagine... or you accept.
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2021, 04:42:25 PM »

This is the text that I have received after changing door lock:
Quote
Dear tenant, Today the contractor will change the lock to your bedroom as we don't have any access. Yesterday the police were inspecting the house and they couldn't get access. The handyman will leave you note where the key is if you wont be at home.
I didn't receive any text before they were planning to check the locks despite the fact I'm "lead tenant". So it looks that what is written in the agreement and what they do is two separate things.
They have told me this was an emergency situation.

I will share what they gonna do in the future so the world will know who they are. Annoying people...
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 06:19:45 PM »

Why were the police checking the place? Are they just fobbing you off?
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 12:59:57 AM »

I can't confirm that police officers were visiting the house because I didn't see them. Neither my housemates who can't speak english at all. I guess I will never know.
Quote
Why were the police checking the place?
Because one of the agents was checking the rooms couple of days earlier (without notice of course). He found out that the door locks in two rooms were replaced. 
I have changed my door lock back to the old one but my housemate didn't so they have sent contractor to drill his door lock and change lock insert. Of course they were doing that about 10 o'clock in the morning. I was after 12h night shift. So they woke me up and I went from my room to tell them about it:
Quote
Me: Guys you woke me up. What is going on here?
Contractor: We're replacing door lock.
Me: I'm after night shift.
Contractor: Go to sleep then.
At this moment I was tiny bit thrown off balance but I managed to treat this as surreal situation.

I have noticed that this letting agent has rotation of employees and those people don't fully understand how they should work with their clients. Very often they are sending new agents for inspection and those people ask if they can enter rooms on the spot. It might be difficult for tenants to trust new faces and let them enter private space. How can you treat long term clients like that?
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2021, 08:01:41 AM »

An Agent of this nature will not have any interest in the care of long-term clients. Their client turnover (as well as employee turnover) will be so high it will be difficult to achieve, even if they were minded to try. Their Facebook page is littered with glowing reviews, though.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2021, 09:31:11 AM »

If I woke up and found a total stranger standing in my room I would lash out with whatever came to hand.They sound quite disgraceful,pig-ignorant and unprofessional.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2021, 01:29:32 PM »

@Hippogriff-
They didn't have that many reviews on google maps one year ago so I'm wondering what have happened that people started writing about them on webpage much less popular than fbook.
I don't believe I'm the only person who's having problems with them. Majority just keep quiet.
@heavykarma-
I'm sure they are aware about that. But even if - the manager sends his employees to do inspections. He stays in the office.
However they have never entered my room when I were sleeping. They were only checking locks once but they did that in odd time - around 6 o'clock in the evening when most offices are shutdown for at least 1 hour. That was when I came back home and I saw that.
If at any point they will enter my room I will seek legal support.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2021, 02:31:23 PM »

However they have never entered my room when I were sleeping.

Not that you know of.  :-\
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 07:58:17 PM »

Today I have received an email from them:
Quote
There will be a property valuation tomorrow between 9am-5pm.
We will require access to all your rooms.
You do not need to be present.

And my question is this legal? They are giving notice but to me they are forcing this.
I'd like to be present during that valuation.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:02:20 PM by js1200 »
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2021, 09:25:55 AM »

To me the time slot is much too broad. That said,if you are going to be out at work and can lock valuables away it might be worth letting it go. You will never get full rights to privacy in a HMO. Really,you need to look for somewhere else.
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2021, 08:04:55 PM »

My camera has recorded that visitation. It had nothing to do with valuation. Two ladies had opened the doors, took a picture of the wall and they were talking about the keys. Visitation took 20 seconds.
Some may say that I'm a bit capricious but all I ask for is a bit of decency.

@heavykarma - You're right. No point to be tilting at windmills. As soon as they will raise the rent I will look for something else.
Meantime I will keep this thread updated.
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