Mary Latham, landlord and contributor to the lettingaproperty.com blog, explores a hot topic not unfamiliar to most landlords and tenants – ‘right of access!’
The reason that the legal process for taking our properties back from tenant is called Possession is because once we have given the keys to the property to the tenant that tenant legally Possesses the property.
We continue to own the property but it is now in the possession of the tenant. At the point at which we hand over the keys we have no natural legal right of access and this is something that gets many landlords into trouble. There is legislation that entitles us to access the property in an emergency or to carry out repairs or statutory obligations like Gas Safety Inspections but the legislation that protects a tenants right to “quiet enjoyment” is likely to override our rights of entry if the tenant does not give us permission to enter and we cannot prove without doubt that we had no alternative but to enter the property.
One of the questions that I am asked most often is “has my tenant got the right to change the locks and not give me a key?”
The simple answer is “yes”, a tenant has the right to protect his privacy. If a tenant believes, because of past experience or because of the many stories told about landlords walking into a tenanted property without warning, that the landlord will not respect his legal right to “quiet enjoyment” changing the locks will prevent the landlord from entering without his permission.
To read the full article, go to: http://www.lettingaproperty.com/property-blog/2013/01/how-does-a-landlord-gain-access-to-a-tenanted-property-rights-of-access/