It’s nice to have visitors, isn’t it? Tea and biscuits, friendly chat etc. One common form of visitor is totally unwelcome - even dreaded, presents of biscuits or not. No, not burglars, or termites, but letting agents, on inspections.
This is a relatively new occurrence. It used to be that tenants found a home, moved in, and unless there were problems, might not see the rentier (never, ever a letting agent) until they moved out. Not anymore. Now tenants are plagued by regular ‘checks,’ every six months at least, often as frequently as three months, even monthly. Perhaps agents want to be seen ‘doing something…anything’ to justify their inflated and bizarre fees.
Landgirl divested herself of agents, but I have fond memories of them arriving, doing their level best to look official, professional, and frankly, relevant, standing awkwardly, asking about repairs. On one occasion, they simply admired my plants before leaving asap.
I’ve suffered from the other side of this high and heavy handed practice. In a previous home, I found a note on the floor close to the communal back door (they couldn’t be bothered to climb stairs and post it to me.) Eventually, visits increased in regularity, but no repairs were done, no matter how many times I raised the problems. Finally, I withdrew consent, and said enough was enough. They stopped.
I wonder when frequent ‘inspections’ can be considered harassment, even with correct notice? I know of people, in dispute with rentiers and agents, who have been met with weekly, even daily ‘inspections.’ One was told it was because the owner was worried he’d sold the fridge on ebay.
The most annoying phrase related to this is: ‘Your presence is not required while the inspection is in progress.’ Erm, I think you’ll find it is. How would rentiers and agents like strangers wandering around, opening cupboards (this happened to me, I checked like a spy with thin sellotape on the bottom of a door), rifling through drawers, looking at the post on the doormat?
Sometimes inspectors comment on the tidiness of the place, which is none of their business – it’s the state of the property when tenants leave that matters. Even if renters are staging a minor dirty protest, providing they clean up afterwards, there’s little owners can do, although they would probably issue notice, because that’s always possible.
I’ve heard of owners arriving at weekends, wishing to inspect on the ‘wrong’ day and hammering on the front door demanding entry, of sending round clueless, nosy friends in their place, arriving with a posse, even taking photos of both the home and the renter – legally suspect, and also intimidating. Some of this behaviour is caused by owners failure to understand that they no longer have the right to saunter in and (land)lord it over their tenants.
Since owners must be notified of their landlord’s name and address, why not ‘notify’ them you intend to inspect their home, during the day, when they are out, and turn up with a few mates and a camera. Not nice. So don’t do it to renters.