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View Full Version : what constitutes harrassment?



aranel
18-05-2007, 11:39 AM
My landlady has put my house on the market with a local Estate Agent.

The first we knew was when the EA manager turned up on our doorstep to take photographs. We'd just got back from holiday and the house was a mess, but he was insistent that he be allowed in to take measurements at least, and my boyfriend let him. Later that day he telephoned out LL and told her the house was "not fit for viewing", which has made her angry.

After getting advice on this forum, I wrote a stern letter clearly explaining our conditions for viewings, eg only when we are home, only with verbal consent, prior warning, etc. I followed this up with a phonecall to the manager.

They have called us every day since to arrange viewings. They call on our mobiles, though we never gave them the numbers. I think they got them from our letting agent. Sometimes they leave messages saying they are coming unless we call and tell them not to, despite my expressly forbidding this in my letter.

On Saturday a very close friend of mine died suddenly, and I am still in a state of shock and grief. On Monday I called to decline a viewing on the day of the funeral, but today we got an answerphone message reminding us they were still coming, so we've had to cancel it again.

They are aware of the situation, I have been on the phone to them in tears, yet their attitude is always pushy and rude.

My doctor has suggested I take time off work to come to terms with my loss but I don't feel like I can do this, because there are strangers wandering through the house and I don't want to be on show. I feel like we have completely lost the "quiet enjoyment" of our home.

I am really at the end of my tether. "harassed" is exactly how I feel.
What doesa the law say? Is there anything we can do?

99sc1610
18-05-2007, 11:44 AM
The law basically provides that one must not pursue a 'course of conduct' and the term harassment includes 'causing alarm and/or distress'. So yes, if they have acted more than once in a way that is causing alarm and/or distress etc then you could take action. I would suggest writing to them informing them that they are acting contrary to the provisions of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997

Steve

jeffrey
18-05-2007, 11:44 AM
Do you know landlady's name /address/telephone number? Why not contact her direct? She might not be aware of her agents' turpitude.

aranel
18-05-2007, 12:00 PM
thank you for such quick responses.

We do have the landlady's telephone number, but to be perfectly honest, I am too scared to call her. She can be quite aggressive/confrontational, and I don't imagine she would be very understanding of my situation. She wants the house to sell quickly and any disruption of viewings is not going to go down well. It is an option, but at the moment I think i would probably be pretty incoherant anyway.

If I write to the agents, do i need to detail the events? i can tell they just think i am being uncooperative and it feels like thats why they are not taking any of my concerns and requests seriously. i am wary of exacerbating the situation but I panic every time th the phone rings now and desperately need some space.

99sc1610
18-05-2007, 12:13 PM
I had a similar situation with my landlord/agents who were demanding unreasonable access for viewings. I was being called on my mobile every other day sometimes at 9-10pm. I wrote a letter to the agents and to the landlord informing them that i have been keeping a log of all the incidents that i deemed as harassment and if they continued such a course of conduct i would take legal action. It soon stopped them. The law is behind you, you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property and have a legal right not to be harassed.

99sc1610
18-05-2007, 12:14 PM
By the way you should know that im no expert, just a law student who happens to be studying criminal and tort law.

RichieP
18-05-2007, 18:36 PM
Change the locks.

J4L
18-05-2007, 18:47 PM
Change the locks.

good advice.

Hey richieP love the website by the way. Do YOU do this or are you just plugging someone else?

RichieP
19-05-2007, 09:54 AM
Thanks for the feedback J4L. It's me that does it. I'm being a bit cheeky and linking to my site to boost the rankings ;)

aranel
19-05-2007, 12:10 PM
the advice is really appreciated.
locks changed this morning, keeping the old one to change it back when we leave. about ten minutes later two girls came for another viewing we had been told nothing about. when i called to complain the manager said it 'wasn't on the system' :rolleyes: . He is so rude and insensitive, I am tempted to call another branch and see if I can get a number for head office.

I have taken your advice and written a list of every event so far, with names and times. It almost looks worse on paper - they have called three or four times every day since it went on the market last week. I explained to the manager on the phone that i was keeping this list and that we genuinely felt harassed, so hopefully that will nudge him into acting more appropriately.