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Am I just being awkward?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 14 Nov 2013 09:17

The Council are doing 'surveys' on their housing stock.
This involves a contractor spending between half an hour to an hour wandering around your house, assessing the state of the place and taking photo's.
They didn't give any particular date or time, and they called twice in October whilst I was at work, so I phoned to make an appointment.
This afternoon, I have a sweep coming, so said the survey contractor could also come this afternoon. He asked to come in the evening - I said no, I don't open the door after dark, and quite frankly don't want to get home from work, and hang around - I like my dinner!!
He accused me of 'being awkward' - ie deliberately making the appointment later. I pointed out I had wasted 5 weeks leave in the past 4 years waiting for contractors. He said he'd come after 1.

At ten to nine, he was knocking on my door!!!
I didn't answer, as, had I gone to work this morning, I would have left, so no-one would have answered then.
Also, I intended having a lie-in, but just woke up early - I may have still been in bed. I've taken a day's leave today, and don't see why he should ruin my morning

Has the word 'appointment' changed meaning? :-|

littlelegs

littlelegs Report 14 Nov 2013 09:23

thats what people are like

they only want to come when they want to come

it doesnt matter to them if you got to go to work

you should be there for them

and no you are not being awkward

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 14 Nov 2013 09:49

No, you are not being awkward, you took the time to phone to make an appointment so he should stick to the agreed time. I suspect he called on his way to his next appointment hoping to find you in early. Not very intelligent if you had already told him you worked. And no contractor should expect a female living alone to let them in after dark, working for the council or not. He has no right to call you awkward and I would be tempted to put a word in the ear of his superior.

StrayKitten

StrayKitten Report 14 Nov 2013 09:58

i think an appointment is an appointment, and should be kept, i totally understand you not wanting a night time appointment im the same dont like opening my door on a nighttime,

however if you were awake anyways, i cant see why you didnt just let them in and get it over with, it has to be done, if your renting from someone and they want access to your home you have to give it, obviously better on your terms but sometimes that is not possible, there just doing a job there paid to afterall,

LadyScozz

LadyScozz Report 14 Nov 2013 09:58

You are not being awkward, he is!

You pay the council, so he sort of works for you, not the other way around.

As AnninGlos said, I would be tempted to put a word in the ear of his superior. Quite a few words actually :-|

TheBlackKnight

TheBlackKnight Report 14 Nov 2013 10:02

Hi Maggie
They wish to come into your home & take photo's all around your home just in the name of a survey?
I would be telling them NO on the grounds of your own security, ask them how they would feel if you walked into their houses & took a load of photos of everything & then just walked out again? If he is not willing to play ball with you then why should you play ball with him? It's an invasion of your privacy. Even the Government have a duty of care to you. You have been very good about things so far.

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 14 Nov 2013 10:08

A landlord - private or social - is entitled to occasional visits to assess the state of the property. These must be by appointment and usually 9am - 5pm and later by agreement with the tenant. An appointment must not be morning/afternoon but within an hour of the agreed time eg 10am wait max 1 hr.Weekends only by agreement with tenant.

The frequency of visits must not be such as to constitute harrassment.

The surveyor must have sufficient ID.

No, you are not being unreasonable.

good luck

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 14 Nov 2013 10:16

Stray. my house is a tip at the mo. One daughter moving - so lots of her stuff, and my mum died last December - I still haven't sorted the 8 huge boxes of genealogy and family stuff she left me.
I intend creating some semblance of order before the pics are taken!!

Black Knight, I've asked about the security issues in taking photo's. Apparently, they'll be 'quite safe'!! I really hate being patronised.
Can he tell from a photo that behind the embossed wallpaper in the bedroom the plaster's falling off the wall, and I CAN hang wallpaper, but it's loose because of the limewash - try to wash it off and even more plaster falls off?
Can he see the ivy growing through the floorboards behind the cupboard with a photo?
The hairline crack in the bedroom, will he notice it - will he ask if it's grown, or will he think, as a 'mere woman' I wouldn't realise it's significance?
Who will actually look at the photo's? If I have something of value on 'show' am I leaving myself open to a burglary?

This is the same council that sent round 2 separate 'confidential' surveys.
Both had reference numbers on, and when I didn't send them back, I received a reminder!! :-| :-| :-P

AnotherAnneinGlos

AnotherAnneinGlos Report 14 Nov 2013 10:26

oh dont I just hate those confidential surveys which when you don't send back you get reminded about. I now send them back with how do you know I havent replied if its confidential with lines through all the pages. Never get one back.

Anne

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 14 Nov 2013 10:44

Just thought - maybe I should have answered the door, and told him he couldn't come in, as I'm not meant to smoke for half an hour before a council contractor comes in the house - and I was about to have a cup of coffee and a fag!! :-D

TheBlackKnight

TheBlackKnight Report 14 Nov 2013 11:04

Another good point Maggie is that if a man shows up at a door on his own & you are a woman on your own you should not let him in.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Nov 2013 11:29

Probably I have got wrong end of stick. But he is representing the landlord. You appear to be the tenant.

If it was my house, I would want access when it suited me, not when it suited you. My son was a student in South Wales and four of them were renting a house from a private landlord. Landlord was always there, doing things, checking things. No thought of making appointments - he had their keys. So should council rep have yours.

Is a different principle at play here? If I could not get into my property, I would simply use my key and take a female collegue as a witness. If the key did not work, I would break in, secure the building after inspection and change the locks and make you come down the office and explain why I couldn't inspect the council's property on my third visit.

Porkie_Pie

Porkie_Pie Report 14 Nov 2013 11:45

John, It appears you and your son have not got a clue about such things,

I am a landlord and Rollo is 100% correct,

Roy

Maggie, you are not being unreasonable

Island

Island Report 14 Nov 2013 11:46

Whoa! Wrong on every point John. Please don't ever try to rent out a house.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Nov 2013 12:05

Just had a look at Landlord Zone. Found this:

"It is often asserted that a landlord, even if the tenant has agreed to it in the tenancy agreement or lease, may not enter premises without the consent of the tenant. Whilst on the whole it is wise for a landlord (and especially a landlord of residential premises) to proceed on the basis that that is the law, I do not think it is in fact the law.

There is no rule of law that says that a landlord may not exercise any right of entry he reserves. A tenant must of course not be harassed. "

I can see it is a minefield. But I have always thought that council inspections and action plans drawn up when required would be good for tenants and good for main stakeholders, the poor ratepayers.

And I can assure you, Roy, that I know one landlord quite well. He has 5 houses and 20 students rent rooms in them. And he inspects them daily in term time (usually early afternoon) and has all the keys to all the rooms. And no appointments whatsoever. Is he due to go down for a stretch?

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 14 Nov 2013 12:21

So, John,
Under those 'conditions', I have no right to privacy, and should give up work so I'm available whenever ? (makes me sound like a whore)
The landlord who lets himself in is breaking the law.

As for ratepayers being the main stakeholder - get into the 21st century and stop reading the Daily Fail!!
Council tax hasn't gone up for 2 years - council rents have.
The main reason council houses are upgraded isn't for the benefit of the tenants - it's the mortgage lender.
Yes, councils mortgage council houses to give them 'cash in hand' - so, for example, the council tax doesn't go up!!.

Porkie_Pie

Porkie_Pie Report 14 Nov 2013 12:29

John, Not a gray area at all, Your freind is out of order, As a landlord he is entitled to inspect ALL communal areas as often as he likes but he must not enter the private rented rooms without consent from the tenant who is obliged to give "reasonable" access for inspection and maintenance purposes

The law is clear

Roy

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 14 Nov 2013 13:01

The law is crystal clear.

A landlord has no right of entry except as agreed by the tenant at a reasonable time. Court cases have found weekly inspections to be unreasonable. With most housing associations routine inspections are once a year.

A landlord who lets himself in without the tenant being present is commiting a criminal act.

A tenant is entitled to replace locks at his own expense if he chooses to do so. The landlord does not have a right to the keys. Many tenants do just that.

If a landlord cannot obtain entry for an inspection then his only remedy is to go to court and ask for an access order. Exercise of this will require a court bailiff and payment of fee which the court may or may not order to be paid by the tenant.

Students tend to be desperate for accomodation and accept all kinds of nonsense. That is why they are popular targets of landlords who often don't even bother to register multiple occupancy buildings as they are legally obliged to do.

Whatever is signed up to in any commercial contract including a tenancy is void if it is in conflict with the law or removes or reduces rights granted by the law.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Nov 2013 13:06

I am not a Barrister, Roy. So have no idea whether you are right or wrong. But there is law (as enacted) and stuff that supports that - like Codes of Conduct. Codes are not law, but a landlord would have to be careful not to flout any codes. Many think the Highway Code is the law. No, most of it is codes - though I would never flout it by carrying my whip in the wrong hand.

If the law will not support having keys to your tenants property, and checking it whenever you want, the law is an ass, sir. And it has nothing to do with the Daily "Fail" (4" of snow next week on front page today). It just seems commonsense to me that you lean over backwards to work with your landlord. And, if I was this surveyor, I would have got more than a bit nowty by now.

Susan10146857

Susan10146857 Report 14 Nov 2013 13:16

Good for you Maggie !