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When a tenant keeps cancelling viewings

flatsHere is a question to the blog clinic from Mary (not her real name) who is a landlord:

We are landlords of a flat with a tenant who now after a six month tenancy is on a month by month agreement.

The flat is also up for sale. A viewing was fixed and changed by tenant, two more viewings were made with five days notice. On day of viewing, 15 minutes before one viewing, tenant cancelled the viewings.

This is frustrating for us, estate agent and prospective purchasers, who do not want to make another appointment.

How do we stand?

The first thing is to check the tenancy agreement and see whether it provides for inspections for prospective purchasers.  Not all tenancy agreements do, and it is not something you are entitled to do as of right.

However, even if it is permitted, the tenant is entitled to deny access if the inspection is at times inconvenient to him.

The only real difference therefore between having permission in the tenancy agreement and not having permission in the tenancy agreement, is that if you do, you are more likely to succeed in a court claim for an injunction.  And I am sure you do not want to have to go this far.

If you have permission in the tenancy agreement you can always threaten an injunction though.  Or, in both cases, you can do what I suggested in my post >> here and offer a bonus to the tenants (to compensate them for their inconvenience) if they co-operate.

That suggestions was quite unpopular with some landlords, but if you are desperate to get the viewing done it may be a better way to get co-operation than by threatening injunctions, which is likely to make the tenant even more hostile.

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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3 Responses to When a tenant keeps cancelling viewings

  1. Give them plenty of notice – say two weeks – and arrange one date where all the viewings will take place, a bit like an open day prior to auction. This would have ot be agreed with the estatre agent too of course.

    Failing that, if they really won’t play ball the best thing is to offer some kind of incentive or serve notice. You want the easiest/cheapest resolution – I wouldn’t bother with the injunction.

  2. I agree with JamieT though still not sure about bribery./inducements/gifts to tenants. Otherwise day before check out they’ll want thousands, not hundreds!!

    Point on injunction for access though correct me if I am wrong Tessa but the last time I asked a L&T solicitor about this he said it took a minimum 4 weeks and would cost about £800

    Is that right?

  3. @Industry Observer The cost will be what the solicitors decide to charge you! Apart from the court fee which will probably be in the region of £175.

    As regards time, this will depend on how busy the court are. But this sort of thing will not be regarded as urgent as injunctions against (for example) violent partners, so may get pushed to the back of the queue.

    I don’t do injunction work myself but the solicitors estimate could well be valid.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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