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Background

I am the sole tenant of a rented apartment. Periodically the estate agents managing the property perform visits to check the state of the building. I work away from home for extended periods (~ 3 weeks) and use the apartment for storage and washing. I rarely have time to tidy.

Events

I recieved an email from the estate agents informing me of a routine property visit in a weeks time. I am planning on calling (by phone) the representative for my building and requesting the visit to be postponed until after I return so I can prepare the apartment for viewing. The issue is that on the previous visit they were unhappy with the tidyness of the apartment. I feel that by asking for the visit to be delayed I am admitted that it is in a similar condition now. I worry they will deny my request due to the results from the previous inspection.

Questions

How can I phrase my request to give the representative little to no leverage over the outcome?

What reasons (or "excuse") can I use to improve the chances of postponing the visit?

How can I respond to the following questions/statements?

  1. "Why do you need to delay the visit?" - after I make my request
  2. "The tidyness of the property is unimportant, we are looking for damage"
  3. "What have you got to hide?"

I would most likely become flustered and stutter when encountering the above whilst on the phone, having a script, or answers to these, prepared would help me.

Result I managed to contact them via email and said the following:

I spoke to REDACTED this morning in regards to postponing the property visit on the 14th until the week after (20th – 24th). She advised I contact you via email to discuss this.

I am requesting this because I am often away from REDACTED for extended periods and rarely have time to tidy. I would like the opportunity to prepare the apartment for your viewing.

It worked I successfully rescheduled.

  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this looks like a phrasing request. Such questions are off topic for this site. – sphennings Aug 6 '18 at 19:48
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    Where are you located? At least in some areas I believe you have a legal right to not have people enter your apartment when you are not present, unless it's an emergency. – DaveG Aug 6 '18 at 19:51
  • @DaveG The UK. They do have the right to enter as long as I'm given notice – xvk3 Aug 6 '18 at 21:52
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Why not just respond with the truth?

Can we postpone the visit until [date that works better]? I won't have a chance to tidy up the apartment for viewing until then.

You have a right to enjoy your apartment (and that means leaving it untidy to an extent) and if the agents don't mind the mess then they'll let you know, otherwise you've already let them know that it's not tidy and they can't take issue with you not telling them.

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Simply inform them that you are not in town for a viewing until whatever date. Your absence is enough of a reason - if that doesn't cut it, clarify that you would prefer to be present when people enter your home. This request is reasonable, and in general, unless there's a leak or some other time-sensitive issue, property management should be receptive.

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  • I don't want to be there for the property visit, just to have an oppertunity to make sure everything is in order before they come round. That I've not left anything personal out etc. – xvk3 Aug 6 '18 at 21:56
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To me it seems like the perfect time for a viewing is when you're out of town and won't be disturbed. Te only downside for them is that it might be messy. I suppose there's a downside for you that they might complain it was messy, but I don't see what consequences there are other than hearing a complaint.

I would call and say

I got your notification that you're planning to come on the 13th for a viewing. Right now the apartment is quite messy, and I am out of town and won't be back until the 27th. You're welcome to show it while I'm gone, but I wanted you to know what sort of state it is in.

Then let them make their own decisions; they're adults.

Note: I'm assuming your rental agreement doesn't include keeping it tidy at all times, and they want a viewing either to show it to the tenant after you, or to look for damages they need to repair. It being messy makes these things harder for them, so they should be motivated to choose a different time. If in fact you are obliged to keep it tidy, then I'm afraid you need to live as though there could be inspections any time, and don't go out of town leaving it messy. If you get a delay this time, don't ever need one again.

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