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badgerboy
18-11-2005, 21:25 PM
I have recently moved into a housing association property and my tenancy agreement includes a clause about the LL or their agent being able to inspect the property at regular and agreed times to carry out maintenance etc.

My problem is this:

I agreed for the LLs advocate to enter the premises using their office copy key. I also asked for the LL to make some repairs to a radiator tap in the bedroom that was not working.

My partner, being paranoid, was not happy with this and was worried that our privacy would be unduly invaded by the agent. My partner set up several "traps" in the bedroom for the LL - marking of drawers, pieces of paper stuck across cupboards etc. to ensure that our personal effects had not been routed through (the drawers & cupboards are our own furniture)

On returning home that evening it became apparent that either the LL or their agent had looked in these areas as the "traps" had been tripped suggesting to me that the LL or their agent had looked in these areas. It also seemed (though I cannot prove) that some files containing personal data - bank statements and the like - had been tampered with.

In addition the fixing of the radiator tap involved taking the tap from the bathroom and putting it in the bedroom meaning that the bathroom radiator now leaks and remains permanently in the 'on' position. Adding insult to injury, the LL did not lock the door properly.

My questions:

Does the LL have the right to inspect personal belongings? Or indeed enter particular areas of the property ( I know I agreed to this re. repairs in this instance but can I refuse entry to certain areas of the property in future?)

Do I have the right to refuse entry to the LL or their agent without me being present? I am willing to provide access but can I choose a time and date for inspection etc?

Do I have any comeback with relation to the fact that my property was left in a vulnerable position (ie doors being left unlocked)

(How) Can I complain to my LL without this affecting the renewal of my tenancy in April?

Many thanks in advance

Jim

RichieP
18-11-2005, 21:49 PM
Does the LL have the right to inspect personal belongings?
The landlord has no right to touch your personal belongings.
Or indeed enter particular areas of the property ( I know I agreed to this re. repairs in this instance but can I refuse entry to certain areas of the property in future?)
It's difficult to deny access to certain parts of the property if you're not there

Do I have the right to refuse entry to the LL or their agent without me being present? I am willing to provide access but can I choose a time and date for inspection etc?
Yes you do have the right to refuse access, unless it's an emergency. However, I used to find this very frustrating. We used to have tenants that wanted to be there but at difficult times. Either they want their problem fixing or they don't

Do I have any comeback with relation to the fact that my property was left in a vulnerable position (ie doors being left unlocked)
Yes. Ask for the Housing Associations complaints procedure and complain to them. If you're not happy with the outcome, take it to the next stage.
(How) Can I complain to my LL without this affecting the renewal of my tenancy in April?
If they are a registered Housing Association they can't victimise you for complaining. If you complain via the correct procedure it will be on record and you can refer to that if you feel you are being unfailry evicted.
Many thanks in advance

This sounds to me like you have had a bad experience that is down to the individual that entered your property, rather than it being typical of all Housing Associations or landlords in general. Don't let it cloud your judgment.

However, you have every right to be unhappy about this and complain. I would also co plain about the swapping of the taps, as the repair hasn't been carried out correctly.

Are they a registered Housing Association? If so, take your complaint to the Housing Corp if you don't get a satisfactory outcome from the HA.

MrWoof
18-11-2005, 21:52 PM
I am curious about your last sentence, you say that you are with a housing association and yet you are worried about them renewing a tenancy agreement. Some HAs are now using ASTs but only to enable them to get rid of real troublemakers. Everything in your post, you should complain about to the HA, if one of their staff is not doing their job and invading a tenant's privacy, they are looking at a P45. Please confirm that you are actually with a housing association and the type of tenancy agreement you are on.

PaulF
18-11-2005, 21:57 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not too conversant with Housing Associations, but they are classed as "social landlords" and as such are bracketed in the same vein as Local Authority housing.

As such the "tenant" is merely a licensee, but enjoys the same rights as any tenant. I think your tenancy agreement will not be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy as such, but if it is please let me know as I'm always on a learning curve!

Energise
18-11-2005, 22:03 PM
I know 2 people in Housing Assosiation properties both on Assured Tenancies [not shorthold].

RichieP
18-11-2005, 22:12 PM
Depends who it's with and the type of property Paul. I worked with one association the issued licences, AST's and Assured tenancies.

MrShed
18-11-2005, 22:14 PM
badgerboy, I am curious as to which housing association it is. Can you please PM me their name?(Not a good idea to post it here, could be seen as libellous). I have several connections with housing associations and could find out some specific policy/complaint info if it is one of the HA's I know someone in.

badgerboy
19-11-2005, 11:24 AM
Thanks to all for your comments.

I have done some checking and although the company is advertised as a HA, they are in fact agents acting on behalf of the LL and class themselves as property managers/estate agents and my agreement is an AST

Does advice re following complaints procedure still stand?

Might I be considered a 'troublemaker' if I complain

Thanks again

RichieP
19-11-2005, 19:41 PM
That changes a lot really.

You can still complain to the agents, but it sounds that they may be a bit dodgy if they advertise themselves as a HA. See if they are a memebr of any recognise bodies such as ARLA.

Unfortunately, complaining may mean you are seen as a troublemaker, and your legitimate complaint may not go down well.

You have to balance how much you are bothered by this incident and the potential for it to happen again, against how much you want to stay in that particular property.

SteveP
20-11-2005, 14:21 PM
I have done some checking and although the company is advertised as a HA, they are in fact agents acting on behalf of the LL and class themselves as property managers/estate agents and my agreement is an AST

If you want good advice you need to tell us whether this is a Housing Association or Not and what type of tenancy, if any, you have.

I work with lots of HA's and, as has already been suggested, they would most certainly discipline any employee or workman who invaded your privacy in that way (although you must appreciate that without hard evidence it is difficult for them to do anything)

No HA is going to think you are a trouble makers if you make a complaint, so long as you realise that they cannot simply accept your word for what happenened and without someone admitting they have done wrong, or good evidence of it, they may be able to do no more than say....sorry if that happened, but there is nothing we can do. In fact most would want you to tell them about hat happened, even if they cannot do anything immediate it may prevent it happening in future.