Hybrid estate agency Yopa has apologised to a tenant who has claimed she was bullied by her landlord into allowing strangers into her home to do viewings arranged by the firm.
Theresa Upton and her 11-year-old daughter moved into the £700-a-month property in Norwich (pictured) seven months ago but the landlord, who has decided to sell the property, appears to have also broken Covid eviction laws by giving her just three months to vacate the house.
The landlord has now said an offer has been accepted on the property, even though they are unable to start possession hearings in the courts for a further six months under the Covid evictions ban.
Upton has accused the landlord of bullying her into the viewings and that she was given little option but to accept the Yopa-organised bookings.
“I feel like I was given no choice but to allow the viewings,” she told local media. “On Friday night I got a message from the landlord saying there was a viewing at 5.30pm on Saturday. I felt I couldn’t say no.
“I was then told there were back to back viewings booked on Sunday. I went out for about two and a half hours and it was raining and cold, I felt physically sick when I came home.
“I said to the agent I felt really unhappy and uneasy that strangers had been in my home.”
The regional representative of Yopa, Ben O’Neill (pictured), has said he was aware that Mrs Upton was unhappy with the viewing arrangements after they took place, and that he was sorry if he had made her feel like that.
“Every step I made sure it was Covid secure. The viewings were arranged between Mrs Upton and the owner of the property.
“I then gave her a call to confirm and she was happy for them to take place. It was only afterwards she raised concerns.”
Yopa also says the Sunday viewings were not ‘back to back’ and that Covid guidance was followed at all times.
Government and Propertymark guidelines stipulate that landlords should be aware that some tenants may still want to exercise caution and respect this when engaging with their tenants, and that tenant’s safety should be the priority of letting agents and landlords.