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Lawcruncher
08-03-2010, 15:27 PM
What follows is my analysis of the position. It should not be treated as gospel.

Part 1

It is often asserted that a landlord, even if the tenant has agreed to it in the tenancy agreement or lease, may not enter premises without the consent of the tenant. Whilst on the whole it is wise for a landlord (and especially a landlord of residential premises) to proceed on the basis that that is the law, I do not think it is in fact the law.

There is no rule of law that says that a landlord may not exercise any right of entry he reserves. A tenant must of course not be harassed. Apart from that he has a right to quiet enjoyment, but that right needs to be read as if it were qualified by any right reserved that allows the landlord to enter, so long as he behaves reasonably. It is not easy to say what is reasonable. Since the exercise of the right is not dependent upon a court saying it can be exercised there must be circumstances, apart from a case of genuine emergency, where it is not unreasonable for a landlord to enter without consent and even where consent is refused, but it is a brave landlord who thinks he knows what the circumstances are.

If you want a more detailed consideration of the question, read on.

To put the question is a wider context, no interest in land, whether freehold or leasehold, is ever absolute in the sense that the whole world can be excluded or that the law permits you to do what you like on your own land. First and obviously you cannot commit a crime. The law allows aircraft to invade your airspace. The ownership of mines and minerals such as coal, gas and oil is determined by statute and such as gold and silver by the common law. You may not do anything on your land which interferes with any natural rights of drainage or support enjoyed by your neighbour. The law does not allow you to commit a legal nuisance on your land. Certain activities or changes may require the permission of a competent authority. There are any number of statutory rights of entry.

When it comes to land law, which is private and not public law, rights exercisable over land may be agreed (and in some cases implied) and a landowner may agree to restrict the use of his land in some way. In particular, rights of access (not to be confused with rights of way) may be granted or reserved.

If the owner of a property wishes to go onto his neighbour's land to carry out repairs there are two possibilities:

A. He has an easement that allows him to go onto the land. The easement can only be exercised for the purposes stated and according to the terms of the grant and must in any event be exercised reasonably. If the neighbour declines to allow or prevents access an application may be made to the court to enforce the right.

B. He does not have an easement and the neighbour refuses consent. In that case, if certain conditions are fulfilled, the court may, if asked, make an order allowing access under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. Access is then allowed for the purposes specified in and subject to any conditions imposed by the order. Once the works permitted have been carried out and all conditions complied with the order effectively becomes a dead letter and any future access requires a new order.

The difference between A and B is that in A the right of access exists without the intervention of the court, even if it may prove necessary to ask the court to enforce the right, but that in B the right only exists by virtue of the court order. This distinction should be kept in mind.

When it comes to tenancies the starting point is this: a tenancy is an arrangement in which the landlord gives up his right to exclusive possession (that is possession in the sense of occupation) and hands it to the tenant in exchange for (usually) money. Ignoring the intervention of statutes such as the Protection From Eviction Act 1977, the tenant's right to exclusive possession is strengthened by two things:

1.The landlord's covenant for quiet enjoyment, which if not express is implied. (Theoretically, I suppose it may be expressly excluded, but I have never heard of this being done.) This covenant is essentially a promise by the landlord not to interfere with the tenant's enjoyment of the property. It is a right that arises as a matter of contract; a breach by a landlord of his covenant for quiet enjoyment is not a tort. The distinction is important because the remedies are different. Whilst in an action for both breach of contract and in tort the court may make an order restraining the defendant from repeating the action complained of, the measure or quantum of damages is different. Simplifying and without going into the matter in detail (something I am in any event not competent to do since I was never a litigator) where there is a breach of contract the measure of damages is the financial loss suffered. It is important to bear this in mind.
2.The rule that a landlord may not derogate from his grant, that is that he cannot give something with one hand and take it away with another.

There is some overlap between a breach of a covenant for quiet enjoyment and derogation from grant, and some actions may amount to both. However, no discussion is required for the purpose of this post and any further reference to a breach of a covenant for quiet enjoyment should be taken to include a reference to a derogation from grant.

In a tenancy agreement or lease a landlord may do one of two things, or may do both:

(a) impose an obligation on the tenant to allow access for specified purposes

(b) reserve a right of entry for specified purposes.

The effect is the same, which is that the landlord has what we may call “the landlord's right of access” - or at least that is what I hope to show.

There is no statute or any common law rule that says that the landlord's right of access is void or unenforceable. Indeed, in certain cases the law implies a landlord's right of access into the terms of a tenancy. It would be nonsense for statute to imply a right that was void or unenforceable. It cannot be the case that the right only exists where the court says it exists (like a right granted by the court under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992) because there is no statute that allows the court to create such a right. Further, it cannot be the case that you can ask the court to enforce a right that does not exist. I think therefore that we can say that the landlord's right of access exists by reason of it having been agreed, whether expressly or impliedly, and that it exists from the moment that it is agreed.

Lawcruncher
08-03-2010, 15:28 PM
Part 2

If it has been established, as I hope it has, that the landlord's right of access must exist if it is agreed, we can then ask how that right is to be reconciled with the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment and, if some reconciliation can be made, what restrictions may be imposed on the exercise of the right. I think the two questions are related and can conveniently be dealt with together.

The right to quiet enjoyment is, like most if not all rights, not absolute. It has to be subject to exceptions, even if not agreed. Where an exception is agreed, whilst a landlord can with some justification point out that it was agreed, I think it comes down to whether the exception strikes at the heart of what a tenancy is – the right to enjoy exclusive possession in substantially the same way that a freeholder would enjoy it. However, discounting long leases of houses, the fact is that being a tenant is not the same as being a freeholder. It is therefore a question of whether the right is intrinsically reasonable and, if it is, whether the manner in which the right is exercised is also reasonable.

Landlords may require their tenants to allow access for two main reasons.

The first is to allow access (including access for inspection) for some estate management purpose connected with:

(i)carrying out such maintenance as is necessary to preserve the value of the property
(ii)complying with the repairing obligations owed to the tenant
(iii)complying with statutory obligations

It is not too difficult here to assess whether a landlord's right of access is being exercised reasonably. I cannot imagine a court refusing a landlord an order requiring the tenant to allow access if it is reasonable to do so.

The second is to allow access for inspection for some purpose connected with a proposed dealing with the property by the landlord which requires:

(i)allowing prospective tenants to inspect
(ii)allowing prospective buyers to inspect
(iii)allowing a valuer or surveyor to inspect

Apart from (iii), which should not be frequent, this is more problematic. For a right to allow prospective tenants and buyers to inspect to be useful it has to involve allowing all prospective tenants and buyers to inspect at short notice. A succession of people calling is soon going to amount to a significant annoyance even if you are easygoing; it is annoying enough when you have a vested interest in selling. A reasonable compromise may be to agree viewings should take place on only one day a week during an agreed period of an hour or two. It would be interesting to know what a court would decide.

Obviously in either case there is no problem if the tenant allows access, but what if he does not? Clearly a landlord or anyone acting on his behalf is ill-advised to force his way in. Whether when the tenant is absent and has objected to entry a landlord or his agent should let himself in is difficult to answer. I think it has to come down what the tenant can do about it. As I said above, the tenant can only ask for damages equal to his loss and it is difficult to see what the loss is if the premises are left as they were found. Whether if a landlord without permission but having the right to enter for a specific purpose persistently, but not unreasonably, enters for that purpose a court would order him to refrain from further entry I would not like to say.

All the above is all very well, but in practice and in the absence of harassment by either party, when the tenancy is short term no one is going to take the time and trouble to go to court. It really has to come down therefore to the parties behaving reasonably and not adopting entrenched positions, each bearing in mind that if he goes too far he may end up paying the other damages.

The above applies to residential property only – different considerations may apply to non-residential property.

jeffrey
08-03-2010, 16:10 PM
Sorry but too long to read. Are you asking us anything or just telling us the position, please?

Lawcruncher
08-03-2010, 16:27 PM
Sorry but too long to read. Are you asking us anything or just telling us the position, please?

Just setting out what I think the position is. A short summary precedes a longer exposition.

islandgirl
08-03-2010, 17:17 PM
But who would be stupid enough to risk going in - just in case! Whatever the letter of the law (not read all the above, sorry) I would rather not be in a position to have to defend myself from an accusation of harrassment etc by entering the house when the tenant had refused.

asquithea
08-03-2010, 18:19 PM
I think this needs boiling down into some short easy-to-understand paragraph that we can trot out whenever the question arises, the most common topics being the LL wants access to do gas certificate / repairs / inspection / viewings.

timothytaylor
12-03-2010, 09:16 AM
As a landlord of an HMO the local authority have quite forcefully told me that they WILL be visiting both the common areas and all the tenanted flats on a certain day and at a time that suits themselves.
The common areas are not a problem.
But previously, whenever I have needed access to any flats, out of courtesy I always arrange a mutually convenient time and give the tenant the opportunity to be in attendance should they wish – also gives them an opportunity to have a bit of a tidy up – or am I being cynical?.
If now a tenant does request being present can I request a time that will suit – even if that means outside of normal working hours.
Personally I would not want a third party wandering around my bedroom if I was not there, and as I do enjoy a good working relationship with my tenants I do not want to lose it by a heavy handed approach.
I’m not too sure how tenant’s human rights are affected if they wanted to be awkward anyway.
Thanks in anticipation.
TT

PaulF
12-03-2010, 10:45 AM
You are supposed to make inspections/visits at reasonable times of the day so that might exclude evenings, or even Sundays.

bablatrice
15-03-2010, 21:20 PM
Hi there

We are newish landlords on a steep steep learning curve!! We've read Lawcruncher's guide on landlords rights of access, which is really helpful, but we are still unsure as our tenant isn't blocking our access, but just not responding to calls/texts/notes. We need access this week to get a survey done. We advised them last week this would need done at some point the following week, and advised them at the weekend that it would be in tuesday. This was done by text, which is how we normallly sort things out (very amicably). There was no reply, so we popped a note through the door this morning, and left a voicemail tonight when we phoned. A neighbour of the propertyhas said that one of the tenants have moved away, and their partner is staying to finish work, then will be moving also, but as yet they haven't gave notice and the rent is being paid. We've checked our tenancy agreement and it says:
The tenant will permit the landlord and his agents, with or without workmen and others, with all necessary appliances at all reasonable times, to enter upon and examine the condition of the property, fixtures and effects and to execute repairs to the same.

Sorry for the long post, but can't seem to get a definitive answer in much of the info available.
Our question therefore is, can we enter the property tomorrow morning with the surveyor? Thanks muchly for taking the time to read this.

islandgirl
15-03-2010, 22:07 PM
Not unless you wish to open yourself up to a whole boatload of trouble! What is in your agreement cannot be enforced unless you were to go to court. If it were me, I would certainly NOT go in.

Preston
16-03-2010, 00:18 AM
Sorry to be late to this particular discussion, but I agree this is a very interesting explanation. I also agree that it will probably require (some of) us to vary slightly the advice we have given in the past.

The relative absence of caselaw on the specific issue of access tends to support LC's argument I think.

It would be interesting, though, to see the explanation extended to deal with the related Protection from Eviction Act and Criminal Law Act issues.

Incidentally, I have worked for organisations which apply for many court orders every year requiring the tenant to allow access for essential maintenance or repairs and never once has a judge said to us "why didn't you just let yourself in?"

As LC points out, caution remains the best policy.

Preston
16-03-2010, 00:49 AM
Sorry for the long post, but can't seem to get a definitive answer in much of the info available.
Our question therefore is, can we enter the property tomorrow morning with the surveyor? Thanks muchly for taking the time to read this.

The difficulty is that if you let yourself in you risk breaching the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment but more importantly you may be committing a criminal offence under the Criminal Law Act 1977 (if there is someone on the premises who doesn't want you to enter and, for example, you force a lock) or the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (if your actions could be construed as likely to cause the resident to give up possession or to refrain from exercising some other right which they would otherwise enjoy).

It is quite possible that none of the above would apply in your case, but the cautious approach is to enter the property (assuming it is let entirely to the tenant) only with the tenant's permission or with a court order.

mjbfire
16-03-2010, 11:04 AM
As previously said there are professional tennant who will try it on.
Either by claiming( Breach of Quite Enjoyment, Haressment or Illegal eviction) even if you done everything right, but are you that sure unless you hire a lawyer, which will cost you money.

To get access you need to go to court, and therefore need documentation that you have given reasonable notice and your need is reasonable and the court will give you access. But by then the teannant would more likely have given you access and either one of you have given notice.
But as soon as you start going down the court route, I guess if he doesn't want to give you access, he will get legal advice and to justify their fee will start claiming ( Breach of Quite Enjoyment, Haressment or Illegal eviction) or tell him to let you in.

So.
I would now.
Write him a letter and send it by registered post(see other posts on how to serve notices, basicily two differant post offices) and ask him to agree in writing(Give him a stamped, self addressed envolope) that the person can visit.
Make sure you have protected the deposit and all other paper work is upto date(S3,S48, Tennancy agreeement, inventory)
Serve him also with a S21( at the same time) notice to regain the P(Read up about it on this forum or get legal advice) as will take at least 2 for notice and at least a month for the court and baliffs, or longer if still in the fixed term and in E&W.
And just wait( as mite just be holiday ), don't even vist the P, and let him contact you, but i guess you will hear from the T or LHO, CAB or lawyers in a few days. But least you know where you are.

Also if the fixed term is coming to an end, he may not have to give notice, again arrange a check out as normal and get him to sign a surrender doument(again can be found on this forum)

Don't forget a house is one of the most expensive things you every buy, then your wife and then a car.
You wouldn't give you car to a man of the street, without knowing all about the person and having all the legal bases covered, but we all do it with our P and then pay the price.
Some T who use this fourm may say he only claiming his legal rights, which is true but I say doing above is nothing more than claiming yours(Of which as LL have very few).

But of course what could be the case is :
Partner moved away, husband fixing the P over weekend before handing it back to you after the fixed term, and just have forgot to get back to you.

Lawcruncher
16-03-2010, 12:05 PM
It would be interesting, though, to see the explanation extended to deal with the related Protection from Eviction Act and Criminal Law Act issues.

I sort of tried to avoid that as my aim was to show that statements such as: "A tenant can refuse his landlord access even if the tenancy agreement says he can have access" has no basis in law. Whilst it is a statement that a landlord is wise to assume is true, it is not wise for a tenant to rely on it being true.

In practice of course the Protection from Eviction Act and other legislation may come into play. It is better though to think of this as running in parallel even if there is some overlapping.

wilfred
16-03-2010, 14:05 PM
What would be the situation if you lived in a house with communal parts, i.e hall, stairs, landings, rear garden? Does L still require permission from T's to let himself in and walk around these parts? It's not nice or secure knowing people have let themselves in and are walking around outside your rooms or flat unannounced, even if it is the L.

Lawcruncher
16-03-2010, 14:33 PM
What would be the situation if you lived in a house with communal parts, i.e hall, stairs, landings, rear garden? Does L still require permission from T's to let himself in and walk around these parts?

Probably not.

jeffrey
16-03-2010, 14:35 PM
Probably not.
I agree, because the common parts are not demised/let.

Mars Mug
16-03-2010, 14:55 PM
...... As I said above, the tenant can only ask for damages equal to his loss and it is difficult to see what the loss is if the premises are left as they were found.

I think that for many people the idea of having unknown visitors looking round their house while they are at work is seen as not just an invasion of privacy, but also a security risk. You may need to rely on the landlord or agent keeping accurate records of who they show round and at what times. If you come home from work knowing that someone has been looking round the house that day is it reasonable that you should then need check round the house to see if anything is missing or broken? If you do find something missing or broken and complain to the landlord / agent will they pay up or replace? Even if you are present during a viewing it’s quite possible that the person looking round is a professional burglar, if you find you are burgled the following weekend then I assume that’s tough luck because you may not be able to link back to the viewing, but what if the burglar is caught, is the landlord / agent still not responsible (I expect not)?

I have seen posts on this forum where people who are planning to end their tenancy at the end of the six months AST have decided not to give any notice simply to avoid the situation where the landlord / agent tries to force a number of viewings on them, maybe while they are out at work.

wilfred
16-03-2010, 15:43 PM
I agree, because the common parts are not demised/let.

Fair enough, most common parts such as stairs, landings, hall are probably not on a T. Agreement but if both tenants have `rear garden' on their
T. Agreement, does that still allow L access to it whenever he likes?

jeffrey
16-03-2010, 21:18 PM
If the rear garden is:
a. all let to one or other T, they have exclusive occupation and L has no right to enter it; or
b. all unlet but one or other T (or both of them) have access rights equivalent ot easements, L has the right to enter it as for other common parts.

Robinson
17-03-2010, 08:41 AM
Hello

I wonder if you can offer me advice about my landlady/letting agents

Our tenancy ends in just under two months and we've given notice so we can move out. Our letting agents think they can show other people to view the property when they like and are getting a key so they can let people in when they want even if we are out.

We have asked for 24 hours notice of viewings but they said this won't always be practical. Our contract states we should have 24-hours written notice for access for repairs or inspection (not even viewings!).

Can we insist on 24-hours written notice?

Even when given this notice are we within our rights to say that a time is not good for us. For example can we say no to visits after 6pm, or no to visits when we are not home. I sometimes write from home - on these days can I reasonably say they can only do appointments between 4pm and 6pm to give me peace? I'm not sure I want people stomping round my home when I am relaxing in the evening, working or even while I'm out. Especially with little notice and on a regular occurrence. Can they let themselves in when we're not here?

I don't want to stop viewings but it would be nice if I could say something like come at these times or on these afternoons so they can make appointments and we can be peaceful the rest of the time. It'd be nice for us to be able to agree. They don't seem to want to though!

They have been pretty terrible agents/landlady throughout our two-year tenancy so I just want to be sure of my rights.

Some background...

The landlady's cousin has turned up unannounced before to check the make of the boiler (it wasn't an emergency just for routine). She seemed very shocked to find me working from home that day and demanded to be let in. It made me wonder how many times they've turned up when my husband and I have both been out at work and happily let themselves in!

I do know that our landlady and her cousin visit the property regularly. We live in a small block of lats, which have postboxes for each flat by the entrance door. The landlady and her cousin have a key for this box, which they use to collect mail in their name all the time. This has always concerned us - especially because we've had mail go missing! Is this allowed?

The letting agents tried to call us when we were on holiday last week to check if we wanted a new tenancy. They called on Monday and I missed the call. I had many voicemail messages and felt it was fair of me not to have to spend time or money checking them all and calling them back. We don't call them when they're on holiday! So, to keep them informed, I quickly sent a message explaining that we were on holiday renewing our wedding vows and that I would contact them on Friday when I had returned. They sent an email to my husband, which mentioned acknowledgment of us being away so they definitely got the message and have since admitted they did. And yet they still kept calling us! Then at 11am on Friday they called both of us. I had said I'd contact them that day, they could have given us more time I feel. Blimey. The calls woke us up as we'd got home so late the night before. We checked our messages which said please let us know if you want to renew your tenancy and I sent them an email (they wanted it in writing) telling them we would not be renewing our tenancy within half an hour of them calling us. But we soon found out they had called my mother, father and mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was very confused and concerned she thought it was an emergency (she's very old and English isn't her first language). The agent was very rude and urgent to her.

So even though I had said I'd contacted them on Friday, they called me once, my husband once and then used our emergency numbers. It wasn't an emergency and I said I'd contact them that day. It wasn't even lunch time yet! I know 11am is office hours but if someone told me they'd contact me on a certain day I'd give them much later than that. I think they may have even called our parents after I sent the email. Perhaps they didn't check.

By the way, we gave notice to move out before the date that the letting agent told me we had to tell him by. So why the rush I don't know! I guess they wanted it earlier.

Is this right? Can they do this? They greatly distressed my mother-in-law, who speaks mostly Italian, as she didn't understand and thought there was some kind of emergency.

You can see why I'm worried they'll harass us over the last two months of our tenancy, bearing in mind their past behaviour and their insistence that notice of viewings isn't practical.

It feels so unfair. We're still paying them for this flat. It's our home.

They have never given us the service we pay for. We reported hot water problems many times, which they've never fixed. They never took or returned our calls then (funny how there was urgency when they wanted something!!). The same goes for when we reported an unsecure entrance door and a bad mattress/bed that is giving us bad backs. None of these things were fixed and they didn't want to know. In fact the letting agent said to my husband once "You might as well give up, it's never going to get done". Unbelievable!

We pay them a lot of money each month not vice versa! Why do they condescendingly treat us like rubbish and refuse to do their job then hassle us like they're the boss of us or something? I can't think of any other industry who could get away with being like this!

We have always paid our rent on time and taken care of the property and been co-operative and nice to them and have never broken our contract.

If I don't give them access when they want with no notice, can they give me a bad reference to future landlords even though we've been good tenants?

I'm really worried and losing sleep over it. I know I shouldn't but they concern me so much.

Thank you so much for your time and help. I really appreciate it. :)

Lawcruncher
17-03-2010, 08:51 AM
If the tenancy agreement does not provide for the landlord to have access to show over prospective buyers or tenants then you do not need to allow access for that purpose.

islandgirl
17-03-2010, 09:54 AM
and at risk of starting the whole thing off again, received wisdom is that even if it does allow for this you don't HAVE to allow access. (sorry everyone...)

westminster
17-03-2010, 13:44 PM
It feels so unfair. We're still paying them for this flat. It's our home.

They have never given us the service we pay for. We reported hot water problems many times, which they've never fixed. They never took or returned our calls then (funny how there was urgency when they wanted something!!). The same goes for when we reported an unsecure entrance door and a bad mattress/bed that is giving us bad backs. None of these things were fixed and they didn't want to know.

Your main question has been answered, so I'm just going to comment on the above. You pay rent in exchange for exclusive possession of the property, not for a 'service' per se - though the landlord is indeed responsible for making repairs. See this link (http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-factsheets/factsheets/factsheet-11-landlords-repairing-obligations.html) for LL's statutory repairing obligations.

He is not, however, responsible for replacing what you perceive to be an uncomfortable bed.

See also this link (http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets) about things you can do if the landlord refuses to carry out repairs for which he is responsible.

Robinson
17-03-2010, 23:26 PM
Sorry I was talking about the letting agent giving a service not landlord. More about them intruding on us and demanding so much of us when they gave nothing than just what you quoted. Hope you understand. They're the worst rudest most condescending useless nasty agents I've ever encountered. Words can't describe how much stress
one correspondence causes.

The bed isn't just uncomfy it's crippling. Years old. Unfit for purpose. We both are in agony not just discomfort. The matress is years old. Unsafe even. She won't replace it or take it away, that is not fair, if we throw it we lose deposit and we have no storage so we can't replace. So unfair to have a bad back and lose earnings over this. I'm freelance so don't get sick pay and would never claim benefits!

My father in law is a LL. He redecorates and gives new matress to every new tenant. The more LLs I meet the more I respect him!

Robinson
17-03-2010, 23:33 PM
Ps flat is rented fully furnished. You'd expect a decent bed or at least for her to take it away so we can fit our own in!

Robinson
18-03-2010, 00:01 AM
Thank you so much for your reply.

Do you know if the landlady having a key to our postbox is fair? As I said post had gone missing.

Also are the harassing calls our agents made to family emergency numbers with no good reason fair? When they'd had fair instruction wed contact them that day?

We deal with agents not LL. LL won't speak to us even though she and cousin let themselves into our property and locked postbox.

thank you again

rebecca.483
18-03-2010, 01:01 AM
I am just a tenant like you so couldn't really advise you but I suggest looking on CAB website they have tons of fact sheets and info or call them up have a chat with some one they tend to be quite helpful most of the time I use them a lot,
or (depends how peeved you are) start threatening stuff like going to property ombudsman if they are a member/ trading standards/ solitcitors maybe not solitictors up to you ombudsman is your best bet I would have thought, its not like you are worried about them kicking you out as you are going anyway, it just might get them to take you seriously, I don't know if you have tried speaking to LA before about their behaviour or just let it ride for the "easy" life but I would start kicking up a fuss now.
Some LA are rubbish to put it mildly have just escaped a nightmare LA myself. They seem to go hand in hand bad LA bad LL. good luck hope you find the answers you need.

westminster
18-03-2010, 11:42 AM
Sorry I was talking about the letting agent giving a service not landlord. More about them intruding on us and demanding so much of us when they gave nothing than just what you quoted. Hope you understand. They're the worst rudest most condescending useless nasty agents I've ever encountered. Words can't describe how much stress
one correspondence causes.
So bypass them and follow one of the options in the link to the Shelter website I provided. Either contact the environmental health officer re the lack of hot water, or follow the procedure in the link under "Tenant doing repairs" and address all the necessary letters for this to the LL. (Note that it is essential to follow the procedure to exactly, and to keep copies and proof of posting of everything you send to LL - a free certificate of posting is sufficient evidence).

BTW, it is the LL who pays the agent for a service. You do not have a contract with the agent. This isn't to say that it's acceptable for them to be rude or to fail to remedy reported disrepair on behalf of the LL.


The bed isn't just uncomfy it's crippling. Years old. Unfit for purpose. We both are in agony not just discomfort. The matress is years old. Unsafe even. She won't replace it or take it away, that is not fair, if we throw it we lose deposit and we have no storage so we can't replace. Is there a fire safety label on it? If not, this is something else you could report to the EHO. If there is, I'm afraid the answer is the same, that the LL isn't legally obliged to replace it.

You could just buy a very cheap mattress and leave it behind when you go? (or look for an 'as new' mattresses on ebay, or even free via Freecycle). Was an inventory check-in carried out when you moved in because if not, the LL would struggle to claim any deductions; and if there is one it presumably describes the mattress as very old - in which case replacing it with a newer one isn't going to result in deposit deductions. Assuming this is an AST in England/Wales, has the LL protected your deposit?

westminster
18-03-2010, 12:00 PM
Do you know if the landlady having a key to our postbox is fair? As I said post had gone missing.
I don't know; perhaps if the contract specifically mentions the postbox and key it would give you 'exclusive possession', but if not, I doubt it. Postal theft is a criminal offence, so you could always report it to the police. I think what I might do in this position would be to immediately re-address/forward any post which came for them, to deter the visits, and/or have my post re-directed to a friendly neighbour.


Also are the harassing calls our agents made to family emergency numbers with no good reason fair? When they'd had fair instruction wed contact them that day?
It is annoying behaviour and it would be reasonable to write to the agent and state that you do not wish your family to be contacted except in the case of a genuine emergency.

kristel10589
27-03-2010, 14:08 PM
Hi, i'm new here. Been browsing the forum for a while so thought it was time to register :D

We have just given 2 months notice to our landlord that we want to move out.

Literally a couple of days later we were being bombarded with voicemails from estate agents saying that they have arranged viewings at a certain time without even checking if it's ok with us first! and that if we don't respond to the voicemails that they leave they will simply let themselves in with the key that the landlord has given them to use (the landlord didn't even inform us that they had given someone a set of keys to the property!)

My o.h is on night shift for 3 weeks and therefore sleeps in the day, which is not ideal when there are people wanting to let themselve in to view the house!

We raised these concerns with the landlord and simply got a reply stating that:
a) it's not their fault that he has to sleep
b) they have every right to enter the house as long as they give us notice that they are going to do so 24hrs in advance either by voicemail or other means.
c) They have every right to access with 24 hours notice at all reasonable hours of the day 7 days a week in the last 2 months of the tenancy as in our tenancy agreement it states.......... '3.28 during the last 2 months of the tenancy to permit the landlord or their agent on reasonable notice to enter the property with prospective purchasers or tenants at all reasonable hours of the day to view the property'

We have explained our situation about being on night shift etc and have suggested alternative dates and times for viewings. The landlord's reply was that it is unacceptable and if we continue to deny access at all reasonable hours of the day they will look to recover any losses incured due to us denying them access and take legal action!!

My questions are:
1) Does our right to have 'quiet enjoyment' of the property whilst we are still paying rent override the clause about allowing access at all reasonable times of the day?
2) What is considered 'reasonable times'? as to us reasonable times on a night shift would be when my o.h is not asleep in bed!
3) How will they be able to calculate any 'losses incured'?
4) Are we within our rights to deny access completely as the 'viewings' are nothing to do with repairs or to inspect the state of the property by the landlord?
5) Will any of this affect getting our deposit back at the end of our tenancy?

Sorry for the long read, just thought it'd make it easier to put as much detail in as possible! lol

Many Thanks in advance

westminster
27-03-2010, 15:36 PM
My questions are:
1) Does our right to have 'quiet enjoyment' of the property whilst we are still paying rent override the clause about allowing access at all reasonable times of the day?
2) What is considered 'reasonable times'? as to us reasonable times on a night shift would be when my o.h is not asleep in bed!

Here's a quote from one of our legally qualified members, lawcruncher, on this issue. It's not wholly black and white.

"There is no rule of law that says that a landlord may not exercise any right of entry he reserves. A tenant must of course not be harassed. Apart from that he has a right to quiet enjoyment, but that right needs to be read as if it were qualified by any right reserved that allows the landlord to enter, so long as he behaves reasonably. It is not easy to say what is reasonable. Since the exercise of the right is not dependent upon a court saying it can be exercised there must be circumstances, apart from a case of genuine emergency, where it is not unreasonable for a landlord to enter without consent and even where consent is refused, but it is a brave landlord who thinks he knows what the circumstances are."

In your situation, it is perfectly reasonable to request that viewings do not take place when your husband has to sleep (and, for example, a viewing every hour while he was trying to sleep would be a breach of quiet enjoyment); the agent is being unreasonable in refusing to accommodate such a reasonable request. There needs to be a degree of compromise on both sides - you've already done this by offering alternative viewing days/times.


3) How will they be able to calculate any 'losses incured'?
So long as you are reasonable, and allow access for, say, at least a couple of two hour viewing slots per week, I doubt they could claim any losses whatsoever.


4) Are we within our rights to deny access completely as the 'viewings' are nothing to do with repairs or to inspect the state of the property by the landlord?
Not exactly, given clause 3.28 of the tenancy agreement, but you'll note the use of the word reasonable in it. You have much less to lose by refusing access than the agent has by insisting on access against your wishes. Be firm and do not let the agent bully you into viewings which are either inconvenient or excessive. You would be within your rights to change the lock (provided you keep and reinstate the original lock before you leave); some locks can be cheaply and easily changed just by replacing the barrel which would cause no damage to the door or doorframe. Note that you do not need the agent's or LL's permission to do this.


5) Will any of this affect getting our deposit back at the end of our tenancy?
If the LL tries to claim any unreasonable deductions, raise a dispute with the deposit scheme (if the deposit is protected). Alternatively, you can issue a county court claim, which would be allocated to the small claims track and is easy to DIY.

kristel10589
29-03-2010, 12:26 PM
Thanks ever so much for your help, it's much appreciated! With regards to the locks, it states in our tenancy agreement that we aren't allowed to change the locks, is this a standard thing that to put in tenancy agreements? and is there any way round this?

Mars Mug
29-03-2010, 12:29 PM
Thanks ever so much for your help, it's much appreciated! With regards to the locks, it states in our tenancy agreement that we aren't allowed to change the locks, is this a standard thing that to put in tenancy agreements? and is there any way round this?

Change the lock mechanism, keep the existing one, and swap back over before you leave. The only way they will find out is if they attempt unauthorised entry.

Soot2006
29-03-2010, 12:45 PM
We had this a few years ago.
LL ended up letting himself in after I'd forbidden him to do so (I knew he would - by then it was personal) and found himself confronted with dirty laundry on the floor, my husband in bed with all the lights off/curtains drawn, and me in the shower screaming bloody murder and ready to call the police.
After that he became reasonable and arranged viewing for the times we had set out (hardly ungenerous, either - we said every evening between 7 and 8 and Sat mornings would be fine! But he was too greedy) ...

jbuckingham
30-03-2010, 09:05 AM
Can landlords, who have let their property through an Agent, gain access to the rented property using a key and tidying up the house whilst they are there - without consent from the tenant.

We are wanting to sell the property and took estate agents round yesterday without the tenants knowledge and had pictures taken. We had to move their stuff and unfortunately we threw away some tomato and pepper plants whilst tidying up the garden and pruning and chopping down bushes which were the tenants.

We were planning on going round there on Thursday to take the estate agents round to do a HIP but we haven't told the tenants.

They have threatened us with harrassment as we move their personal belongings around in the house just so we could take photos. Are we being unfair? What rights do the tenants have? We have not served a Section 21 notice as yet.

moanygit
30-03-2010, 09:15 AM
Do you have an AST in place? if 'yes' then read on.


Can landlords, who have let their property through an Agent, gain access to the rented property using a key and tidying up the house whilst they are there - without consent from the tenant.
As far as I know, No


We are wanting to sell the property and took estate agents round yesterday without the tenants knowledge and had pictures taken. We had to move their stuff and unfortunately we threw away some tomato and pepper plants whilst tidying up the garden and pruning and chopping down bushes which were the tenants.
The very least you should do is replace the missing property
By pruning the tenant' bushes you have damaged their personal property.


We were planning on going round there on Thursday to take the estate agents round to do a HIP but we haven't told the tenants.
You have to give reasonable notice. The tenant is entiled to peaceful use of the property with out you wandering at anytime day or night without warning


They have threatened us with harrassment as we move their personal belongings around in the house just so we could take photos. Are we being unfair? What rights do the tenants have? We have not served a Section 21 notice as yet.
yes you are being unfair.

It's landlords like you that get the rest of us a bad name.. :mad:

jbuckingham
30-03-2010, 09:22 AM
Thank you moanygit. We are actually the tenants but didn't think anyone would reply to this message if they knew who we are.

Now that you have said that the landlords are being unfair can we do them for harrassment? Does anyone know the law for tenants.

Surely they have to give us a Section 21 Notice before they can invite estate agents round to view and promote the property?

Have we got the right to finish our agreement and move out considering they are in breach of their agreement with us.

moanygit
30-03-2010, 09:31 AM
the thought did cross my mind.... seemed a little too honest.

If you have an AST in place, your privacy is protected.

There are Legal bods on here who can advise you better with regard to your harrassment concerns.

For now though I would make clear, with reference to you AST, to the Letting agent that any further access to your accomodation must be through prior arrangement with you at an agreed time.

Keepa detailed list of the plants removed, and any damages caused.

jbuckingham
30-03-2010, 09:43 AM
Thanks for the advice moanygit. Yes we have an AST in place. The Landlords have only started to get funny now that they want to sell. We guess they will issue a Section 21 Notice on 3 April (which is legally when they can) giving us two months notice. I think they just want to sell now and are annoyed that they can't so are coming in sorting stuff out as if they live there. We can't legally change the locks so they can come and go as they please!

I will try and get legal advice from bods on here. thanks again.

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 10:21 AM
Well even if they give you a S21 they can't come in without your agreement,
Yes you can change the locks as long as you put the old ones back when you move out.
It be more "breach of quite enjoyment" that they are breaking, more than haressment.
To get it to stop, the easiest way is to write to the landlord and contact the local council housing officer, who will tell then to stop, and if they don't, which would be stupid on their part, but you then also have some proof that you disagree with them coming in.

Getting lawyers involved at this time will cost money, so it then comes down to your motive, whether you just want it to stop or you are trying to get some finanical gain from it.

Snorkerz
30-03-2010, 10:21 AM
You can legally change the locks to keep the agent/landlord out - so long as you cause no damage by doing so and replace the original lock (the landlords property) when you leave.

Please remember that if you are served a s21 notice, that is 2 months warning that...

If you don't go by the date shown the landlord will commence court proceedings to regain possession of the property. You do not legally have to leave at the expiry of a s21, you can legally wait until the landlord obtains a court order. HOWEVER, if the landlord has to go to court to emove you, you may be liable for the cost of doing so - a minimum of £150. The court process is likely to take around another 2 months.

jbuckingham
30-03-2010, 10:28 AM
Thank you for your replies. We are not after any financial gain - we just want to be sure that people are not wandering around our home whilst we are not there. I have a daughter who is around on her own after school and I don't want some stranger letting themselves in! We feel like our home has been violated! Thank you - we will change the lock and replace when we leave.

We are happy to move once they serve the S21. Actually we would rather go now so we don't have to put up with them doing what they like. Can we actually leave early without giving notice because of what they are doing? Perhaps that is what they want so they don't have to wait two months?

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 10:58 AM
If you are still within a fixed term, you have to pay rent upto the end of the fixed term unless the LL agrees to a surrender.

If not then you can give at least one month notice, ending on your rent date.(Check your contract).

The easiest procedure

1) Change locks and write a letter to the LL/LA, stating times when and how they can come in.( Shows you are being reasonable).
If that doesn't stop them.
2) Write letter to Local Council Housing officer.
If that doesn't stop them.
3) The Council will take action or get a lawyer envolved.

Snorkerz
30-03-2010, 10:59 AM
From your earlier post, I am guessing you are still in the fixed-term of your tenancy agreement. You can leave whenever you want but will remaain liable for the rent until the end of the fixed term.


You can leave on the last day of the tenancy agreement without giving any notice
To leave on any day after that, you need to give one months notice, ending on the last day of a tenancy period (ie, if the original AST ended on the 3rd June, your notice must end on the 3rd of the month)
You can leave whenever you agree with your landlord. If they want you out, and you want to go, you can agree an early surrender - but make sure you get it in writing that no further rent will be due once you leave.

Mrs Jones
30-03-2010, 12:41 PM
Don't ever think that you cannot post here as a tenant. Much good advice is given to tenants on this forum.

I was amazed at the downright cheek of the landlord/agents. It is illegal for landlord or his agent to enter the property without having (a) given the tenants 24 hours written notice; and (b) tenants giving permission for them to do so! And to take photographs which will include your private possessions is totally unacceptable.

To actually interfere with your things and destroy your property - even if it is plants in the garden - is outrageous. This IS harrassment and you should write to landlord and tenant telling them in no uncertain terms that the property is your home and that they DO NOT have your permission to enter it at any time. Tell them that further harrassment will result in you taking legal action and that harrassment and illegal eviction carry heavy penalties. Change the locks as previously advised.

Be prepared to be issued with a s.21 notice, but also remember that you can walk out on the last day of the tenancy without giving any notice at all.

I think you would be wise to look for somewhere else to live - if you find somewhere you might even get LL to give you a consideration for moving out early (i know - and pigs might fly....)

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 12:59 PM
The reason I said "Breach of Quite enjoyment" is that I beleive for it to be haressment there must be intent to haress, which I think it more wanting to sell the P, than to haress you.

As per access, as per many other posts, it's more the agreement of the T is important than the 24hrs. As if the toliet doesn't work, how as a T would you feel if a LL says sorry can't come round or send a plummer for 24hrs, due to this 24hrs rule.
I believe the 24hrs is more a guideline, so a LL can go to court and say the T agreed that 24 hours notice is reasonable notice but they are not allowing me to enter the P.

But anyway they shouldn't be doing it, and just let them know, they may not know they are doing anything wrong.

albertwigs
31-03-2010, 06:51 AM
It is perfectly reasonable to request that viewings do not take place when your husband has to sleep (and, for example, a viewing every hour while he was trying to sleep would be a breach of quiet enjoyment); the agent is being unreasonable in refusing to accommodate such a reasonable request. There needs to be a degree of compromise on both sides - you've already done this by offering alternative viewing days/times. I want to know certain facts and figures regarding the concern process.

SW2010
24-05-2010, 22:42 PM
I wonder if anyone can help with a concern I have regarding my landlord and my AST agreement.

My partner and I were resting mid afternoon having just returned from a vacation in USA. Our landlord, who knew we had been away, surprised us both by gaining access to the flat causing us both to wake up in fear at first, at the thought of being burgled before ascertaining that it was our landlord who left quickly once challenged without completing whatever they had come to do - which is still unknown.

During our vacation I had been in contact with our landlord 2 days prior to the above incident and at no point did they notify me of the need to enter the flat (and there was clearly no emergency on the day itself) thus breaking the term of the AST which states:

"Other than in the case of an emergency, the landlord shall give the tenant not less than 24 hours written notice."

The relationship we have is poor with our landlord to the extent we would like to end our 1 year AST early - approx 5 months. Do the actions outlined above give due reason for my partner and I to provide 2 months notice of our intention to cancel the agreement? This would leave ample time for replacement tenants to be found.

Would our deposit be protected?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

jeffrey
24-05-2010, 22:57 PM
1. Well, did L protect your deposit or not? Don't you have any record?
2. No, you cannot unilaterally end the letting, unless the Agreement includes a Break Clause.
3. Warn L that any recurrence will lead to a civil action for harassment and/or prosecution [Protection form Eviction Act 1977 or common-law trespass].

mind the gap
24-05-2010, 22:59 PM
Regrettable as his action was, I doubt it could be considered reason enough to break your contract early without your LL's agreement. Write to him telling him how distressing your found his intrusion of your privacy - you have a right to quiet enjoyment of the property, which is your home - and tell him that if he needs to gain access again he must request your permission in advance.

If he does it again, change the locks.

Yes, your deposit should have been protected in a scheme and he should have supplied you with the details of the scheme.

Anuket
20-07-2010, 13:14 PM
Hi,

I've read the post below which states that a tenant does not have to grant acces to the LL for the duration of the tenancy if they so wish.

I have tenants in my property at the moment who are being a bit difficult to contact ( not responding to any form of written or phone contact) regarding permission to access. I need to get the central heating boiler serviced and the annual gas safety certificate done. Obviously I have a legal obligation to do this as the LL but if the tenant won't respond to my requests for access where do I stand?


thanks

Poppy35
20-07-2010, 20:03 PM
I would write to your tenant and inform them thats it in their interests to allow access to ensure that they have a fully working boiler before winter arrives and legally the gas supply to the house can be turned off by the appropriate authorities if they do not allow access.

I am sure they will be ringing you if their boiler breaks down!

thesaint
21-07-2010, 09:34 AM
Hi,

I've read the post below which states that a tenant does not have to grant acces to the LL for the duration of the tenancy if they so wish.

I have tenants in my property at the moment who are being a bit difficult to contact ( not responding to any form of written or phone contact) regarding permission to access. I need to get the central heating boiler serviced and the annual gas safety certificate done. Obviously I have a legal obligation to do this as the LL but if the tenant won't respond to my requests for access where do I stand?


thanks

I would write to the tenant on at least 3 occassions(keep copies, and get proof of posting) stating the importance of the checks.

If after this they choose not to contact you, send the letters to your local enviromental health dept to keep on file.

Alison James
24-08-2010, 10:43 AM
I wish to redecorate two bedrooms in a property I own. The tenancy is up for renewal in 4 weeks time so I would like them done before I start showing prospective tenants round
The tenant refuses to let me in to do this even though in the lease it states I must give 24 hours notice to carry on repairs.
He says he wants to be in when the work is carried on. Whilst I have no objections to this I have given him sufficient time to arrange his attendance (6 weeks)
Am I within my rights to give him 24 hours notice and just send someone?
If he is in when I send someone and he refuses access what are my rights?

roryl
24-08-2010, 11:02 AM
The tenant doesn't have to allow access no matter how much notice you give (except in emergencies). The Tenant has a right to 'quite enjoyment' and is allowed to dictate if and when a person enters their home. The only way you can gain access outside of an emergency situation is either with permission or by getting a court order.

Anyhow, redecorating isn't a repair. Reading your Agreement strictly, you wouldn't be allowed access.

Alison James
24-08-2010, 11:05 AM
Is that even if the tenancy agreement says that I can have access by giving 24 hours notice.
Also, the TA says that I can show prospective tenants around. Can the tenant refuse to do this?

Springfields
24-08-2010, 11:30 AM
Is that even if the tenancy agreement says that I can have access by giving 24 hours notice.
Also, the TA says that I can show prospective tenants around. Can the tenant refuse to do this?

Your tenant hasn't refused you access to view, he has refused access to redecorate. The work is not to his benefit and you would be hard pushed to find a tenant to allow a LL access for this type of work when its not to his benefit.

Painting can cause a lot of disruption. Moving personal possessions, fumes, spills etc.

Plus what if the walls are damaged with him moving out personal possessions? As often they can be with scuffs and scraps, he best wait until he vacates and just tell your potentials what you intend to do.

Alison James
24-08-2010, 11:36 AM
The tenant is also refusing access to view.
The bedrooms where the redecoration will take place are completely empty so there will be no disruption or inconvenience. Even if that were not the case, I would rectify any damage.
He is just a very difficult person and I bitterly regret allowing him the tenancy.
A previous landlord told me after I accepted him that he had caused difficulty for numerous landlords in the past.

westminster
24-08-2010, 11:55 AM
The situation is that you are entitled to access for viewings and to make repairs, however, the T is also entitled to 'quiet enjoyment' (i.e. non-interference from the landlord). So, if the T refuses, you would need to obtain a court order to enforce the access, and it's extremely inadvisable to enter without a court order against the express wishes of the tenant, as you'd risk allegations of breach of quiet enjoyment, or worse, illegal harassment.

Also, as has been pointed out, redecoration is not the same as making repairs. It may be unlikely that you'd obtain a court order allowing access for this.

I note that you say "the tenancy is up for renewal in 4 weeks time so I would like them done before I start showing prospective tenants round". Do you mean the T has given notice and is planning to move out in 4 weeks' time?

Alison James
24-08-2010, 12:03 PM
Also, as has been pointed out, redecoration is not the same as making repairs. It may be unlikely that you'd obtain a court order allowing access for this.

I note that you say "the tenancy is up for renewal in 4 weeks time so I would like them done before I start showing prospective tenants round". Do you mean the T has given notice and is planning to move out in 4 weeks' time?

There is a stain where there was a roof leak so I would like it done as soon as possible now that the leak has been repaired and the wall dry.

The lease is a twelve month one and he moves out then. I will not be renewing.

westminster
24-08-2010, 14:52 PM
There is a stain where there was a roof leak so I would like it done as soon as possible now that the leak has been repaired and the wall dry.
That is decorating, not repairing.


The lease is a twelve month one and he moves out then. I will not be renewing.
As theartfullodger has pointed out, that does not mean he will leave at the end of the fixed term.

muz379
07-09-2010, 11:29 AM
Hi there ive got a very quick question , or more would like something confirmed

Renting a student property , one joint AST . Had a falling out with the landlord over a number of issues . Would just like to confirm what my right is to completely deny my landlord access exccept for cases of emergency

I dont want to completely cut them off but i have fallen out with my landlord and would rather deal with one of his employees who manages most issues to do with the property already(scheduling repairs delivering any required paperwork etc) as i find my landlords tone rude and argumentettive at every level and refuse to be spoken to like that i would also like to exclude his builders unless i am present as last time they came round they where drilling a wall and left without cleaning up the considerable ammounts of dust left behind

I know i am entitled to my right to quiet enjoyment but in the AST there is a clause saying i have to afford him access on receipt of 24 hrs notice , ive read that regardless of what it says in the AST if i say no then that means no
Basically where do i stand and what are my option s if i say no and he still enters or permits one of his employees to enter and how would i notify him that i no longer afford him access to the property

islandgirl
07-09-2010, 12:06 PM
you can deny access and change the locks as long as you restore original locks when you leave. Write and tell him that access will be given at mutually agreed times only. Search here for MANY similar threads.

muz379
07-09-2010, 12:22 PM
Is this also mindfull of the fact that the AST which he is replying on states that we must grant him access on receipt of 24hr notice

thesaint
07-09-2010, 13:27 PM
Be mindful that there is nothing in housing law allowing you to change the locks and restoring them, and if the tenancy agreement forbids it, you will be in breach of it. Choose to do it as a last resort, and no the actions that can be taken by the person who owns/manages the property.

You do not have to comply with anything you've agreed to, but expect to be evicted.

Snorkerz
07-09-2010, 16:13 PM
Be mindful that there is nothing in housing law allowing you to change the locks and restoring them, and if the tenancy agreement forbids it, you will be in breach of it. Choose to do it as a last resort, and no the actions that can be taken by the person who owns/manages the property.Thesaint is right, there is nothing that says you CAN do it, funnily enough there is also no law that says you CAN smile on Tuesdays (but you can :D). The law tends to prescribe what we CAN'T do or what we MUST do. There is no law that says you can not change the locks. So it comes to a contractual issue.

All tenancy contracts have an implied obligation to return the property in the same condition as when you move in - what you choose to do in between doesn't affect that.

If a tenancy agreement has a stipulation that you must not change locks, or you must allow access, if you ignore that your landlord could seek possession under section 8 (ground 12) of the 1988 Housing Act. If he did so, he would have to convince a judge that whatever you had done wrong was a sufficiently severe breach of your tenancy agreement to warrant evicting you. IMHO, neither of these breaches are likely to be regarded as sufficient to warrant eviction.

Of course, as per my signature, none of the above is an issue if your landlord is in a position to issue a s21 notice and not renew your agreement.

dominic
07-09-2010, 16:50 PM
Thesaint is right, there is nothing that says you CAN do it, funnily enough there is also no law that says you CAN smile on Tuesdays (but you can :D). The law tends to prescribe what we CAN'T do or what we MUST do. There is no law that says you can not change the locks. So it comes to a contractual issue.

All tenancy contracts have an implied obligation to return the property in the same condition as when you move in - what you choose to do in between doesn't affect that.

If a tenancy agreement has a stipulation that you must not change locks, or you must allow access, if you ignore that your landlord could seek possession under section 8 (ground 12) of the 1988 Housing Act. If he did so, he would have to convince a judge that whatever you had done wrong was a sufficiently severe breach of your tenancy agreement to warrant evicting you. IMHO, neither of these breaches are likely to be regarded as sufficient to warrant eviction.

Of course, as per my signature, none of the above is an issue if your landlord is in a position to issue a s21 notice and not renew your agreement.

Also, just to add to the snorkerz's comments above, in addition to LL seeking redress by having grounds to evict you* if you breach the contract (i.e. the tenancy agreement) by changing the locks when it says you mustn't, or not letting the LL access the property when it says you must, you risk being sued for breach of contract. HOWEVER, the LL would have to prove he suffered a loss. In both scenarios, it is hard to see how, unless access was requiered to fix a leak or repair something critical.

As to the point about having an absolute to refuse the LL access (even though you risk being in breach of contract for doing so), I am not sure where this prohibition comes from. There are provisions in s.1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 relating to harrassment by a LL entering the premises to try and cause the occupier to give us his occupation of them, and possibly an Art.8 human rights claim, but otherwise nothing else as far as I can tell.

*which is unlikely by the way, and more unlikely that he will be successful for such a trivial breach

muz379
08-09-2010, 00:26 AM
Also, just to add to the snorkerz's comments above, in addition to LL seeking redress by having grounds to evict you* if you breach the contract (i.e. the tenancy agreement) by changing the locks when it says you mustn't, or not letting the LL access the property when it says you must, you risk being sued for breach of contract. HOWEVER, the LL would have to prove he suffered a loss. In both scenarios, it is hard to see how, unless access was requiered to fix a leak or repair something critical.

As to the point about having an absolute to refuse the LL access (even though you risk being in breach of contract for doing so), I am not sure where this prohibition comes from. There are provisions in s.1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 relating to harrassment by a LL entering the premises to try and cause the occupier to give us his occupation of them, and possibly an Art.8 human rights claim, but otherwise nothing else as far as I can tell.

*which is unlikely by the way, and more unlikely that he will be successful for such a trivial breach

Well changing the locks is not prohibited as part of my tennancy agreement ive checked that ,But i didnt want to have to do this as its costly and time consuming on my behalf

Im aware that the relationship between me and the landlord has now broken down and I am simply trying to live out the remaining 10months of the tennancy agreement in peace . Only contacting his letting manager when repairs are required or I have to provide them with any information

gardeningmad
08-09-2010, 02:20 AM
Oddly enough I just changed my locks today. It cost me a fiver [inc postage] for a new barrel lock off eBay and I got instructions for measuring for right lock and fitting it on YouTube. Amazed at how quick it was - 3 mins to measure and 10 mins to fit. Have kept old lock and keys to replace when I go.

Snorkerz
08-09-2010, 08:00 AM
Well changing the locks is not prohibited as part of my tennancy agreement ive checked that ,But i didnt want to have to do this as its costly and time consuming on my behalf
As gardeningmad says, it is neither expensive nor difficult. Here are the instructions for the 2 most common types of lock:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXAo7zSN-9o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c12wWNG9ams

muz379
08-09-2010, 23:21 PM
Id rather not antagonise him more by changing the locks .unless he carries on with his bullying tone both every time he comes round or emails us in which case ill see it as no other option . I really don't want this stress and argument with him its not positive for anyone

My thing is he is claiming we are in breach of contract for 2 reasons

1) its a student let and 2 of us dont have money till student loan comes through . We contacted him a while back to tell him and he seemed ok for us to pay late as long as all late payment charges where made
2)the contract states we are to keep it in reasonable condition . Admittedly it was slightly messy last time he attended to carry out some repairs . But that was because we hadnt been in the property for a few days after having a gas leak and the gas turned off me and my housemate decided to go home and so we didnt have a priority of cleaning a house we werent in

Now I have today cleaned the house and emailed him photos he is still trying to get us to acknowledge a breach of contract

But he himself has also admitted a breach of both contract and our right to quiet enjoyment by saying he had a gas engineer round to carry out a safety test in july after the start of my tenancy however I have no record of recieveing notice or giving consent to this access

thesaint
09-09-2010, 05:25 AM
But he himself has also admitted a breach of both contract and our right to quiet enjoyment by saying he had a gas engineer round to carry out a safety test in july after the start of my tenancy however I have no record of recieveing notice or giving consent to this access

By getting a gas check done, he is meeting the requirements set out by law. You would have nil chance of getting him "done" for breaching your right to quiet enjoyment.

I don't understand how he's admitted this if he says he sent notice?

Snorkerz
09-09-2010, 08:01 AM
1) its a student let and 2 of us dont have money till student loan comes through . We contacted him a while back to tell him and he seemed ok for us to pay late as long as all late payment charges where made Him seeming alright doesn't change the fact that he is right, you are in breach of contract.
2)the contract states we are to keep it in reasonable condition . Admittedly it was slightly messy last time he attended to carry out some repairs .How you live your life is not his concern. So long as you return the property in good condition when the tenancy ends, that is all that matters. Tidyness is subjective anyway.

muz379
09-09-2010, 10:08 AM
Basically the issue regarding him saying someone came round without my consent arrose because I made a query regarding why there was a month gap between the old certificate expiring and the new one just being issued . He said someone came round in july to check but forgot to issue a certificate. As for the notice he isnt saying he sent notice and none of us have any record of such

As per me being in breach . I am aware I am in breach I do not deny this however I am saying wont he look unreasonable if he agreed to let us pay 2 months rent in october .and now he is saying that we are in breach and he has made no demands for the rent and is just seeking to make problems for us with our other housemates and gurantors which he has partially suceeded in doing

thesaint
09-09-2010, 10:39 AM
Basically the issue regarding him saying someone came round without my consent arrose because I made a query regarding why there was a month gap between the old certificate expiring and the new one just being issued . He said someone came round in july to check but forgot to issue a certificate. As for the notice he isnt saying he sent notice and none of us have any record of such



So he didn't admit to breaching your right to quiet enjoyment then.

muz379
09-09-2010, 11:07 AM
So he didn't admit to breaching your right to quiet enjoyment then.

im saying he has admitted this .

he said someone come over in july

i said i didnt have notice of this nor give my permission to this

he said do what you wish

thesaint
09-09-2010, 11:18 AM
im saying he has admitted this .

he said someone come over in july

i said i didnt have notice of this nor give my permission to this

he said do what you wish



What does the tenancy agreement you signed say regards to him gaining access for repairs etc?

Roy_Solomon
09-09-2010, 11:28 AM
ok for us to pay late as long as all late payment charges where made

What late payment charges is he refering to?

muz379
09-09-2010, 23:03 PM
What does the tenancy agreement you signed say regards to him gaining access for repairs etc?

24hrs notice , unless emergency
This isnt something I actually want to pursue with him just would like it confirmed that Im right .

He's the kind of landlord who seems quite happy to remind us of our contractual and statutory obligations yet he has no interest in being reminded of his .
For instance today he sent in email the The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007

Duties of occupiers of HMOs

Listing the duties of an occupier of a HMO .

This stems my next question . If im in a house with 4 other Tenants all on one joint AST is it a HMO? .And if it is what are his duties in order to keep the details of the HMO licence up to date . Particularly the address and contact details of the manager of the HMO


Also late payment charges are as per the contract

mind the gap
09-09-2010, 23:09 PM
It is definitely an HMO, but it may or may not be a licensable HMO.

I think you are on a hiding to nothing with the 'breach of quiet enjoyment' issue for the gas safety certificate. What would concern me more is the continuing lack of the certificate. Have you asked him to get the gas engineer to issue one? It sounds very odd, as the gas engineers fill the certificate in as they do the check.

muz379
09-09-2010, 23:20 PM
I know im onto nothihng with the breach of quiet enjoyment issue and even if I had a valid case I wouldnt pursue it anyway due to the time and effort that would be required and the ammount that it would antagonise him for the little to no reward it would bring . However knowing that he has also breached his obligations would go some way to appeasing my mind that he is in fact a bad landlord

The certificate is now issued but I was naturally concerned about the safety as we had a gas leak about a week ago

As for the HMO issue could you possibly explain further ?

muz379
09-09-2010, 23:23 PM
well the contact details for the manger of the HMO are not up to date as per the HMO licence . And what is the difference between licensable and unlicensable HMO

This is not anything I want to pursue either but just for future reference id like to know the difference

mind the gap
09-09-2010, 23:38 PM
well the contact details for the manger of the HMO are not up to date as per the HMO licence . And what is the difference between licensable and unlicensable HMO



Contact details for the manager : complain to the HMO dept of the council. They can contact the LL about it. Or you could, if you know the LL's ddress.

A licensable HMO is a rental property of three or more floors which is let to five or more unrelated sharers. There are quite strict regulations about fire safety measures, etc. and the LL must have a CRB check. Failure to have a licence when one's required carries a hefty fine.

Otherwise an HMO just means it's a house of multiple occupation, ie two or more unrelated sharers live there. It may or may not need special safety measures installing - it's up to the local council, who have the power to insist on such things if they see fit.

CHIPPYFLAT
23-09-2010, 21:31 PM
Hi there. I am a new Landlord and wanted to do right by my tenant. However, found out that he had tampered with and stolen money from the coin operated meters. He gave notice to go (which I verbally accepted), packed and went, but a few days later I was served with an injunction saying I had illegally evicted him and I was forced to return the keys to him! Now in the hands of solicitors etc but he is not paying rent and gas and electricity (because he broke meters). My question is, I have given him 24 hours notice as I intend to enter the property tomorrow to add new security tags to the electricity meter and view meter readings on both the gas and electricity meters. I posted the notice through the letter box and stuck one to his door which was independently witnessed. If he doesn't answer the door when I knock tomorrow, can I legally enter? Can he refuse my request?

mind the gap
23-09-2010, 22:18 PM
Is your property in England/Wales and does your tenant have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

CHIPPYFLAT
24-09-2010, 05:27 AM
Yes the flat is in England and he has a short tenancy which started on 16th June.

property mongrel
24-09-2010, 08:32 AM
Who owns the meter, you or the utility company?

If the meter is yours, have you reported the criminal damage and the theft, abstraction, of your electricity to the police?

If the meter is the property of the utility company, have you informed them?

Is he the only person in the property? Is he the only person who could have had or would have had access to the meter, and is he the only person who would benefit from interfering with the meter?

pm

westminster
24-09-2010, 09:28 AM
If he doesn't answer the door when I knock tomorrow, can I legally enter? Can he refuse my request?
Yes, he can refuse access. Inadvisable to enter without his consent when he has already made allegations of illegal eviction.

Disillusioned
20-10-2010, 12:52 PM
Hi All,

Tenant not allowing electrician to complete works.Really paperwork now, maybe a few checks required. Can I enter or am I risking harassment? Tenant made appointment, now all phones not taking messages and didn't keep appointment.

Thanks,

A.

thesaint
20-10-2010, 14:01 PM
What will happen if it is not done?

Disillusioned
20-10-2010, 14:09 PM
Hi TheSaint,

Thanks for replying. What will happen, probably nothing. The electrics are safe as far as we are aware, I was asked to ensure they met 2008 regs, so we've done that by a competent person.I'm crossing t's and dotting I's i guess. Tenant is difficult, so I guess I'll forget about getting access and continue to court to have her removed, due to all her other misdemenas.
A.

hannahx200
21-10-2010, 11:08 AM
Hello,

Want some advice of how to manage the letting agents who are letting the flat I am leaving. We are not leaving the flat until 20th Nov so there's no major rush on them to re-let it currently.

Basically I have had a very nasty call from them because we can only offer them evening viewing slots until Tue 26th Nov as my other half works nights. They got very angry on the phone about this and even hung up. Made me feel really upset actually. I'm trying to help as we've said from 4.30pm and evenings until Tuesday is okay and then they can do pretty much anytime with a bit of notice.

How do I proceed with them? They don't think his night shift and need to sleep are important e.g. he can wake up at random times for 20 or so minutes just to suit them.

Thanks!

westminster
21-10-2010, 11:20 AM
I'm trying to help as we've said from 4.30pm and evenings until Tuesday is okay and then they can do pretty much anytime with a bit of notice.
A couple of two hour windows for viewings per week is perfectly reasonable. You can, if you wish, refuse access completely; LL would need to obtain a court order to enforce any provision for access for viewings in the tenancy agreement (you might be liable for his legal costs, though).


How do I proceed with them?
Complain about the agent's unprofessional behaviour to the landlord, and if the agent is a member of a professional body such as ARLA, complain to them, too.

hannahx200
21-10-2010, 11:27 AM
Thanks, as we are only asking them to hold off for 3 working days now guess it would be easier as I only have postal address for landlord to ride out the nasty behaviour and keep fingers crossed it improves when we can help them out.

westminster
21-10-2010, 11:48 AM
Do write to the LL. He may be completely unaware of the agent's behaviour and in his shoes I'd definitely want to know about it.

theartfullodger
21-10-2010, 11:50 AM
Sounds like you just want peace/time - as Westminster says above, you can refuse all & any visits. You could offer to be more flexible for a reduction in rent..

Sounds to me that the behaviour you describe might be considered harassment (see...
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/harassment_and_illegal_eviction/what_counts_as_harassment
)

In your shoes (I'm not, I'm a landlord) if it happened again I'd verbally then formally complain to the agent., LL and trade association. You are also entitled to change the locks as long as you change them back before you vacate.

Do you already have any references you may need?? (the tricky point sometimes...)

Best wishes

Artful

hannahx200
21-10-2010, 12:04 PM
Do you already have any references you may need?? (the tricky point sometimes...)

Best wishes

Artful

Really good point, I'll phone my new landlord and find out. As you say I don't want to cause problems. But if it's all gone through I'll know I'm okay to be a bit more stroppy.

kissirani
23-10-2010, 17:11 PM
Hi, just after a little advice...
I rent a property via a letting agent whom I pay my rent to and contact for any problems etc. When I agreed to rent the property the garden and off road parking were included but the garage wasn't as it was used for storage by the landlord's brother-in-law.
Shortly after moving in the landlord came round (without prior warning) to check everything was ok and to ask to keep access to the garage clear as his brother in law runs a buisness from there and would need access once a fortnight. I explained I'd rented the property with off road parking and if I'd known that wasn't included I wouldn't have agreed to rent it. We came to a compromise and I gave the brother in law my number so he could let me know when he needed access to the garage.
Things worked well for a number of months but now the brother in law comes round 3-4 times a week without letting me know. he often arrives at 6-7am and will hammer on the door until I get up to move the car. He will then be at the property for 3-4 hours. If I'm out I get nasty phone calls from the landlord's wife (his sister).
The landlord also comes round 3-4 times a week to tend to the garden which I wasn't aware of when I signed the agreement. This is also at random times without notice. There have been incidences where I've been sunbathing or having a bbq with friends in the garden and he's turned up.
My AST is up in a month and I've already given notice to quit.
I'm really at the end of my tether with it all.
Just want to know if there is anything i can do to make it a little easier? or if I just have to put up with it?

Thanks

mind the gap
23-10-2010, 17:33 PM
Hi, just after a little advice...
I rent a property via a letting agent whom I pay my rent to and contact for any problems etc. When I agreed to rent the property the garden and off road parking were included but the garage wasn't as it was used for storage by the landlord's brother-in-law.
Shortly after moving in the landlord came round (without prior warning) to check everything was ok and to ask to keep access to the garage clear as his brother in law runs a buisness from there and would need access once a fortnight. I explained I'd rented the property with off road parking and if I'd known that wasn't included I wouldn't have agreed to rent it. We came to a compromise and I gave the brother in law my number so he could let me know when he needed access to the garage.
Things worked well for a number of months but now the brother in law comes round 3-4 times a week without letting me know. he often arrives at 6-7am and will hammer on the door until I get up to move the car. He will then be at the property for 3-4 hours. If I'm out I get nasty phone calls from the landlord's wife (his sister).
The landlord also comes round 3-4 times a week to tend to the garden which I wasn't aware of when I signed the agreement. This is also at random times without notice. There have been incidences where I've been sunbathing or having a bbq with friends in the garden and he's turned up.
My AST is up in a month and I've already given notice to quit.
I'm really at the end of my tether with it all.
Just want to know if there is anything i can do to make it a little easier? or if I just have to put up with it?

Thanks

Probably not at this stage, I'm afraid. If the tenancy agreement makes provision for B-i-L to access the garage (what's the exact wording?) then I suppose you have to allow it, although it sounds highly inconvenient and it wasn't acceptable (in my view) for the B-i-L to demand access at 6 a.m.

I would be tempted to park my car on the roadside for the last month, to be honest - Make sure you make it clear to your LL what's happening, though, and that it's the reason why you're leaving. If he ends up with a void period or a succession of Ts who leave as early as they can, he will have to ask himself if his brother-in-law's business is worth more to him than the income from his own tenants.

kissirani
23-10-2010, 17:48 PM
There is nothing in the agreement at all about the brother in law having access to the garage. It does however say I have use of the driveway. I wasn't aware of the situation until after signing contracts.
I'm more than happy to move the car for when he comes if he lets me know about it. Its more that he turns up when he feels like it and if I'm not there I get an ear bashing from LL's wife.
Thought I'd probably just have to put up with it. 2 prospective tenants have been shown round so far and both have been put off when I've mentioned the situation with the garage and gardens

mind the gap
23-10-2010, 17:59 PM
There is nothing in the agreement at all about the brother in law having access to the garage. It does however say I have use of the driveway. I wasn't aware of the situation until after signing contracts.
I'm more than happy to move the car for when he comes if he lets me know about it. Its more that he turns up when he feels like it and if I'm not there I get an ear bashing from LL's wife.
Thought I'd probably just have to put up with it. 2 prospective tenants have been shown round so far and both have been put off when I've mentioned the situation with the garage and gardensThat changes things! If no provision for access is allowed for in the agreement, then I do not think you are obliged to allow it and you would be within your rights to refuse it. Does your LL know his B-i-L is being so unreasonable?

swan2010
09-11-2010, 13:28 PM
I hope this is an easy one to answer.

We have a tenant who we have contacted on several occassions to gain access to the property to carry out some maintenance issues (ceiling in bathroom mouldy and falling down), but the tenant is never there when the LL calls. The issues was informed to us by the tenant themselves.

The LL has some concerns about the state of the property, when he arrived to inspect what works needed to be done he said that the blinds and curtains were black with mould and that from what he could see from looking in through the window the property was disgusting (I know that we can't judge how other people live, but the LL has been told by the LA that is trying to let the LL flat above they can't do so because of the smell that is coming from the property downstairs). I was just wondering if, giving fair warning and notice along the lines of 'You may wish to be present during this visit, but should you have a prior commitment, I will use my keys to the property', if the LL could let themselves into the property to carry out an inspection and also to allow them to look at the bathroom ceiling and the works that need to be carried out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

PaulF
09-11-2010, 16:22 PM
I've given advice on this a few times. You can state that despite previous attempts to arrange a mutually convenient appointment that there are issues that you need to resolve by entering the premises using your own key. State this in writing and go on to say that you will be coming at such a time on such a day, and that unless you hear to the contrary you will be.......(whatever it is you want to inspect). Remember you cannot enter the premises if the tenant contacts you and tells you not to, for whatever reason. Your only other way if this fails is to apply to the court possibly under S.8.

Snorkerz
09-11-2010, 20:58 PM
I've given advice on this a few times. You can state that despite previous attempts to arrange a mutually convenient appointment that there are issues that you need to resolve by entering the premises using your own key. State this in writing and go on to say that you will be coming at such a time on such a day, and that unless you hear to the contrary you will be.......(whatever it is you want to inspect). Remember you cannot enter the premises if the tenant contacts you and tells you not to, for whatever reason. Your only other way if this fails is to apply to the court possibly under S.8.Paul, this seems to contradict the majority view on here that non-contact by the tenant can not be taken as giving express permission to enter.

mind the gap
09-11-2010, 21:08 PM
Paul, this seems to contradict the majority view on here that non-contact by the tenant can not be taken as giving express permission to enter.

I was just thinking that. Although in practice, on this one occasion, I doubt LL would be likely to be sued - harassment is by definition repeated annoyance/unauthorised access. Breach of contract, maybe.

Springfields
09-11-2010, 22:16 PM
If the ceiling is as TT says coming down its an emergency repair situation. Send a letter with date and time a contractor will be attending and go with them to allow access.

PaulF
10-11-2010, 11:20 AM
Paul, this seems to contradict the majority view on here that non-contact by the tenant can not be taken as giving express permission to enter.If you have written to the tenant on at least two occasions with a reasonable interval in between, to make an appointment, and both have failed to elicit a reply then it's perfectly acceptable to use the method I have suggested. The landlord is entitled by implication to inspect in order to carry out essential repairs and this is what this is all about here, as he is trying to maintain his property which he is lawfully obliged to do. I feel that most if not all judges would support the landlord in such cases. This method of entry by the way was consided to be a reasonable solution by Pain Smith solicitors as a result of non-contact from a tenant.

Scrungy
10-11-2010, 13:13 PM
If the ceiling is as TT says coming down its an emergency repair situation. Send a letter with date and time a contractor will be attending and go with them to allow access.

I think the ceiling coming down could be an urgent/important situation that is desirable to be fixed, but I don't think its an emergency, like a fire or serious water ingress.

Also, to the OP, did the tenant tell you what is happening exactly, as the ceiling cannot keep coming down. Is it bits and pieces keep falling?

Docspaff
31-12-2010, 14:51 PM
My tenant is 5 months in arrears, refusing access for me to inspect the house and has moved out of the area but refusing to give up his tenancy saying he still lives in my property.He has visited the property a few times in the last few months. He has informed the city council that the house is unoccupied for the purposes of council tax and a recorded letter I sent him was returned after 1 month. I have served section 8 and 21 notices upon him. Last week I visited the property and found water flowing from the attached garage. I tried to contact the tenant tell him that I needed to enter the garage to sort the problem but was unsuccessful. I entered with a witness and turned the water off. The tenant now says he is returning to the property next week and wants the leak repairing but refuses me access to any area other than the garage.he has also changed the house locks. What would you do about the repair? Is there anything else I can do to get rid of him other than the section 8 and 21

mk1fan
31-12-2010, 15:38 PM
Write a letter stating that in order to arrange for any repairs you'll need access to the property to assess the required repairs. This is in accordance with you obligations under the L&TA. Refusing entry to assess the required repairs prevents you from complying with your obligations.

Post one through the door and fix one to the front door.

jta
31-12-2010, 17:47 PM
My tenant is 5 months in arrears, refusing access for me to inspect the house and has moved out of the area but refusing to give up his tenancy saying he still lives in my property.He has visited the property a few times in the last few months. He has informed the city council that the house is unoccupied for the purposes of council tax If he has done that then he has told the council he no longer lives there.

and a recorded letter I sent him was returned after 1 month. Bad move to use recorded delivery, send letters by ordinary 1st class post and get a certificate of posting from two different post offices I have served section 8 and 21 notices upon him. Last week I visited the property and found water flowing from the attached garage. I tried to contact the tenant tell him that I needed to enter the garage to sort the problem but was unsuccessful. I entered with a witness and turned the water off. The tenant now says he is returning to the property next week and wants the leak repairing but refuses me access to any area other than the garage.he has also changed the house locks. What would you do about the repair? Is there anything else I can do to get rid of him other than the section 8 and 21

If he is living elsewhere, and is paying CT there, then I think it's good evidence he has abandoned the property. Do a search on abandonment procedures on the site and follow those. You should also start a money claim online, that might encourage him to surrender the keys to you.

Snorkerz
31-12-2010, 20:37 PM
If he is living elsewhere, and is paying CT there, then I think it's good evidence he has abandoned the property. Do a search on abandonment procedures on the site and follow those. You should also start a money claim online, that might encourage him to surrender the keys to you.I don't think you can assume that as the tenant has specifically refused to give up the tenancy.

However, as T is no longer using the property as their primary residence, then they no longer have an AST - just a common law tenancy. In that case, OP can apply to the court for possession without section 8 grounds or 2 months notice on a section 21 as these only apply to an AST.

mind the gap
31-12-2010, 20:41 PM
I don't think you can assume that as the tenant has specifically refused to give up the tenancy.

However, as T is no longer using the property as their primary residence, then they no longer have an AST - just a common law tenancy. In that case, OP can apply to the court for possession without section 8 grounds or 2 months notice on a section 21 as these only apply to an AST.
Snorkerz, do you mean 'can', or 'cannot' here?

Snorkerz
31-12-2010, 20:46 PM
'Can' MTG. The tenancy is no longer an AST so the tenant can be evicted in the same way as any other non AST tenant (eg, rent over £100k). Sadly, not as simple as a lodger eviction.

So far as I understand, and this may be very wrong, the landlord applies to the court on a N5 form (not an N5b) with the appropriate fee.

sedgewick
22-01-2011, 23:28 PM
Hi

I've read a number of threads about difficulties in getting access to undertake a gas safety check. Tenant is refusing to answer calls, mail or the door. I understand from NLA that the only legal way to go about this seems to be to get an (emergency) injunction. They indicated this was quite a straightforward process. However, on visiting the county court, it all sounded much more complicated. Has anyone done something similar and can advise? Solicitors I have contacted cost in the region of £1000 and I can't afford that so ideally would like to do myself.

Apart from the application form (what exactly does the use of the term 'order' mean? is that a legal term, or simply a layman's description of what you want done?), the clerk mentioned an affidavit (assuming that's where I set out details/evidence?) and a claim form. Do I need to fill in the latter? I want access, not to claim money.

Any advice welcome.

Many thanks
Sedgewick

mariner
23-01-2011, 03:33 AM
Tongue in cheek

A LL is entitled to inspect the property/undertake essential maintenance if Notice of such is received 24 hr prior to visit (some debate if LL/contracter can enter without tenant present or without a chaperone)
A valid annual GSC is an essential Statutory requirement so if the GSC is about to or has expired I would regard that as an essential inspection.
I would serve notice of essential inspection (allow 2 postal delivery days for service if posted First Class with free Certificate of Posting) and allow the tenant a further 14 days to contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time by post, email or tel, otherwise subsequent entry will be effected whether they are present or not.
Remind them that a valid GSC is a Statutory requirement for their own safety.

Keep a record of your communications to show any gap in GSC is not your fault
entry will be effected after <date>

sedgewick
23-01-2011, 09:20 AM
Thanks Mariner. I have done all you set out over the last few weeks. NLA advice, however, is to get an injunction to 'cover myself' (though I understand there is some debate about it). I fear if I go in, the tenant would have me for trespass.

Tenant is on periodic tenancy, has been there a year, failed to pay rent due start of Jan 11 (and owed a small amount from the Dec rent). I've served S.21, and will be serving S.8 G.8 after the Feb due date has passed. Tenant is on HB but Council won't pay me directly until after second payment has been missed (got letter from them yesterday).

Many thanks

Interlaken
23-01-2011, 09:35 AM
Yes, agree if you go in the tenant could have you for harrassment - has happend to me and judge was not sympathetic even though gas safety cert had expired 2 months previous.

I would inform council that HB tenant is not allowing access (if you haven't already) by letter and phone so you are backing up your case. All you can do is wait for S21/S8 to kick in and get rid. I find there is no going back once tenants start this sort of mullarkey.

jjlandlord
23-01-2011, 10:26 AM
A LL is entitled to inspect the property/undertake essential maintenance if Notice of such is received 24 hr prior to visit

LL is not 'entitled'. LL must give notice to T and T must consent.

sedgewick
23-01-2011, 12:57 PM
Thanks all. Any advice on the injunction process itself, or do other LLs in similar situations not tend to go there? Alternative is to rely on the S.21 and S.8, but that could take months, I understand.

Regards

theartfullodger
23-01-2011, 13:08 PM
In your shoes I'd go for injunction (to protect myself against suggestions of not being willing to get safety cert & do repairs etc..)

as well as actively pursuing both S21 & S8 (which if they ever get to court will have the lack of gas safety cert raised by T or I'm a banana...)

Lawcruncher
23-01-2011, 13:21 PM
In your shoes I'd go for injunction (to protect myself against suggestions of not being willing to get safety cert & do repairs etc..

The Regs provide that a landlord is not guilty of any contravention if he can "show that he took all reasonable steps to prevent that contravention".

westminster
23-01-2011, 14:30 PM
Any advice on the injunction process itself, or do other LLs in similar situations not tend to go there? Alternative is to rely on the S.21 and S.8, but that could take months, I understand.

You don't need an injunction. The official advice from the Health & Safety Executive (who enforce Gas Safety regs) is that LL must make at least three attempts to gain access for the check. You cover yourself by making the requests for access in writing, keeping copy letters, and obtaining proof of posting in the form of a free certificate of posting.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm


How far do I need to go if the tenant prevents access for a gas safety check?
A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. HSE recommends the following best practice in these circumstances and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:


leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details;
write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenants own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment;
HSE inspectors will look for at least three attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.
It is a good idea to include arrangements for access in the tenancy agreement.

Always Problems
25-01-2011, 12:56 PM
Although no stranger to Commercial Lettings I am about to rent out a house and I notice that in one of the forums a landlord who wants to visit his property accompanied by an electrician to effect a repair is being denied access by the tenant.

I want to know if domestic letting laws have changed as in the late 70's I rented a house and I particularly remember that in the lease it mentioned that the landlord required access for "decorating and improvement" purposes and I was not allowed to change the door lock. And to that effect I noticed that about once a month when I returned from work the landlord had been into the house and painted a door, or a wall, obviously entirely without notice.

So my question is, can I do this and incorporate this provision in the current laws which govern the drawing up of a lease for private accommodation.

PaulF
25-01-2011, 15:47 PM
It doesn't matter what you put in your AST - the tenant is still entitled to refuse you entry (emergencies excepted). BUT if it's concerning an essential repair then you have an implied right of entry and if T refuses then you can hold them responsible for the cost of subsequent damage (easier said than done I know).

Make sure you don't offer an initial fixed term of more than 6 months so you can monitor your tenant to see if they behave in a "tenant-like" manner. Don't forget to carry out proper and thorough references beforehand.

sedgewick
26-01-2011, 10:35 AM
Just to throw something else into the debate: I spoke with the Council's Housing Department (Private sector team). Their advice was to give notice in writing (at least 24 hours, but as much as poss) that I would be entering property with gas engineer in order to comply with the regs. I will be his witness and he will be mine. Undertake the check, and leave a copy of the certificate. Their view is that I would be well within my rights to do this. Person I spoke with double checked with a colleague.

The AST contract states that the tenant agrees "To permit the Landlord or Landlord's Agents upon a minumum of 48 hours notice (except in an emergency) and at all reasonable times to enter upon the Premises with or without workmen or equipment and to view the state and condition thereof and if necessary, to carry out any repairs, alterations or other works."

The Agent had these terms drawn up by solicitor, so I would have hoped they would carry some weight? Is this not explicit permission to go in?

Is there any caselaw that shows a landlord has been prosecuted for following a reasonable strategy such as this?

Many thanks

westminster
26-01-2011, 14:02 PM
The Agent had these terms drawn up by solicitor, so I would have hoped they would carry some weight? Is this not explicit permission to go in?
Not 'permission' as such. The LL already has an implied right of access in law to carry out repairs. The clause in the tenancy agreement makes this explicit. However, the T has competing rights (exclusive possession, quiet enjoyment). If you followed the council's advice, and entered without T's express consent, you could be breaching T's rights. It would certainly be highly inadvisable to enter against the express wishes of the T (e.g. if he's at home when you arrive, and tells you to leave).

There's a previous thread on this subject - link here (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?26719-A-landlord-s-right-of-access).


Is there any caselaw that shows a landlord has been prosecuted for following a reasonable strategy such as this?

To commit the offence of unlawful harassment, the LL must be acting with the intent of causing the occupier to give up occupation; I think it's extremely unlikely you'd be prosecuted. However, if T is entitled to legal aid, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a civil claim for damages for breach of quiet enjoyment.

jjlandlord
26-01-2011, 14:11 PM
In addition, if LL disregards T's refusal to grant access, T still has the possibility to change all the locks in which case discussions on giving notice will be moot.

Ericthelobster
28-01-2011, 08:03 AM
In addition, if LL disregards T's refusal to grant access, T still has the possibility to change all the locks in which case discussions on giving notice will be moot.And also what happens if the T is in the property and physically prevents entry: are L and gasman going to shove him out of the way? I think not.

I think provided L has completely covered his butt by writing umpteen letters to T, with proper documentation and proofs etc, I can't see how a court can ever prosecute for failure to carry out the gas check.

On the other hand, if entry is gained without express permission, a vexatious T could easily bring a legal aid claim against L which is not going to be a happy experience whatever the outcome.

Consider also that it's pretty unlikely that T is going to complain to the EHO about having no gas certificate if he's received L's umpteen letters! So really the only risk to L of prosecution for failure to carry out the check is if T is injured by CO poisoning. And without wishing to belittle that - realistically, what are the odds of that happening?

wilfred
28-01-2011, 12:13 PM
Our house is being sold and the agent is demanding we allow people in for viewings. The agent is under the impression that a letter giving 24 hours notice is all that’s required, and they can enter our rooms whether we are there or not, regardless of the fact that our tenancy agreements do not mention anything about viewings or permission to enter or take photo's of our rooms.

Could someone please point out where it actually states that if you are a regulated or assured tenant, a L can only enter a T's rooms with the T's permission.

jeffrey
28-01-2011, 12:37 PM
Ignore the precise tenancy status. L and L's Agent cannot force you to allow entry.

Snorkerz
30-01-2011, 16:01 PM
You have exclusive use of the area defined on your tenancy agreement - so if it is a room, the landlord / agent / prospective purchaser may enter the communal areas, but not your room. If you rent the whole property on a joint tenancy, then you have exclusive possession of the WHOLE property. However, if your tenancy has any clauses regarding viewings then note this comment by Westminster from a different thread

if the contract says that you must permit viewings as from 4th January 2011, then technically you will be in breach of contract, so technically the LL might claim against you for any loss suffered as a result of the breach. The best approach would be to allow a small window for viewings, even as little as one hour per week would be enough to fulfill your obligations.(my underline)

sedgewick
30-01-2011, 20:02 PM
Thanks. As regards outcome, that's still ongoing. I found a solicitor in the week who could help with injunctions forms (c.£200). However, I decided to see what the outcome of a visit this weekend might be - when I went to serve S.8.

As usual, no answer to doorbell. I visited neighbours who told me tenant had not been seen for a couple of weeks - and tenant had been talking to them about potentially moving back up north. Furniture etc still there, however.

The agent who originally installed the tenant (without my agreement, incidently) had passed over to me documents including references. One of them was a local resident, whom I visited. Turned out to be tenant's cousin (agent really checked tenant out, didn't they... ). Cousin claimed not to know much about tenant's intentions, but did have a key to the property. Am waiting to see if they agree to letting gas man in this week. Not holding my breath!

Two weeks time and I can start court action. In the meantime, I'm applying to Council to have LHA paid directly to me (tried this last week but they said would have to apply after 29th).

I do feel pretty well covered after all this though, so may not pursue injunction after all.

wilfred
31-01-2011, 11:57 AM
Ignore the precise tenancy status. L and L's Agent cannot force you to allow entry.

Is at least 24 hours notice required for L. to enter the communal parts, or can he enter the communal parts without any notice?

jeffrey
31-01-2011, 12:52 PM
As communal parts aren't any T's, by definition, why would any Notice from L be needed?

wilfred
31-01-2011, 13:15 PM
As communal parts aren't any T's, by definition, why would any Notice from L be needed?

Well I am using the term loosely. But what if you have a T.A that states you share the bathroom with tenant of the other flat? Is one to assume that technically that is classed as a communal area or do the words communal and shared have two different legal meanings?

jeffrey
31-01-2011, 15:07 PM
Focus on whether a specified area is part of anyone's tenancy or not.

purplecurly
31-01-2011, 17:35 PM
You have no right to refuse the home owner from entering his property for an emergency etc if he gives you adequate notice. Further, you will contractually obliged to permit entry with adequate notice of such - Check your contract.
You do not have to stay in and wait for him though, just tidy the place up, remove any valuables and go out for the day. He will probably only want to check that you are not wrecking the place - which he has every right to do.
There is a fine line between a fair inspection, [which our agents carry our at least twice a year] and harrassment. If you feel entry is being sought as a means to harrassment then you can take action against the LL.

jjlandlord
31-01-2011, 18:41 PM
You have no right to refuse the home owner from entering his property for an emergency etc if he gives you adequate notice.

What sort of emergency allows to give adequate notice?

wilfred
31-01-2011, 19:28 PM
You have no right to refuse the home owner from entering his property for an emergency etc if he gives you adequate notice. Further, you will contractually obliged to permit entry with adequate notice of such - Check your contract.

There is a fine line between a fair inspection, [which our agents carry our at least twice a year] and harrassment.

No. If you are a Regulated Tenant you are not entitled to permit viewings unless there is a clause in your tenancy agreement allowing this.
And no one can enter rooms/flat without T's permission unless it is an emergency, which only allows access for emergency services.
Entering the property without the T's permission is harrassment.

mind the gap
31-01-2011, 22:57 PM
Well I am using the term loosely. But what if you have a T.A that states you share the bathroom with tenant of the other flat? Is one to assume that technically that is classed as a communal area or do the words communal and shared have two different legal meanings?

I think they mean the same thing in this context. Since they are shared, nobody has exclusive possession of them, and the LL is therefore entitled to enter them without the Ts' consent. It is only their individual (bed)rooms he cannot enter without consent, assuming they are AST tenants.

byterider
01-02-2011, 10:40 AM
HMO's are completely different to a "standard" family let. The communal areas (any area that is not exclusively private as stated in you AST) can be accessed by the LL at all times.

Side question

Just out of interest.... could a LL grant exclusive access to a bathroom in a HMO to two people on each of their separate AST's? Or would the tenant who had the older AST technically have the full right of access? But, if the AST's were signed on the same day would this mean they both had equal rights to the bathroom in question?

HMO Landlord
11-02-2011, 02:07 AM
Sorry but i've not read all of the post but i really believe that if you change the locks you are adding fuel to the fire. In his head it is his property and if you lock him out i think he may just see that as an act of war and just kick down the door anyhow. Changing the locks will not make for a more peaceful tenancy.

Also how can he enter in an emergency as was mentioned earlier. He may need to at some point. On new years day i was called out to a HMO and the police needed access to the house and then a room to check on the safety of one of the tenants. I had keys they got in quick and everything went the way it needed too.

What happens when you lose your keys, what happens when another tenant loses there keys. Who does the locked out tenant call if the rest of you are away or on holiday. Tenant could break in maybe, but landlord going to be even more annoyed and then you have a door or window to replace.

Don't change the locks it may not work in your or other tenants favour.

I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.

mariner
11-02-2011, 03:11 AM
Devils Advocate

External door locks are fixtures and fittings, hence property of LL and no change can be made without express prior approval of LL or provision of duplicate key set.
I believe there is a court judgement suggesting a LL cannot be deprived of inspecting his property / investment subject to reasonable notice that cannot be reasonably witheld. Currently the Law recognises 24 hr written notice as 'reasonable'
Changing locks would signify depriving LL access for duration of tenancy, even in an emergency.
I appreciate the pronciple of 'quiet enjoyment' but would suggest the T would have to pursue any harassment/illegal entry through the Courts

Discuss

jjlandlord
11-02-2011, 08:30 AM
External door locks are fixtures and fittings, hence property of LL and no change can be made without express prior approval of LL or provision of duplicate key set.
I believe there is a court judgement suggesting a LL cannot be deprived of inspecting his property / investment subject to reasonable notice that cannot be reasonably witheld. Currently the Law recognises 24 hr written notice as 'reasonable'
Changing locks would signify depriving LL access for duration of tenancy, even in an emergency.
I appreciate the pronciple of 'quiet enjoyment' but would suggest the T would have to pursue any harassment/illegal entry through the Courts

Discuss

HMOs might be different, but in a standard AST the tenant has obsolutely the right to change the locks and to refuse to provide a key to the landlord.
The landlord has to give notice to visit the property, and him having the keys or not is irrelevant. On the other hand if the tenant explicitely refuses to give permission following a notice the landlord cannot enter.

mind the gap
11-02-2011, 10:06 AM
HMOs might be different, but in a standard AST the tenant has obsolutely the right to change the locks and to refuse to provide a key to the landlord.
The landlord has to give notice to visit the property, and him having the keys or not is irrelevant. On the other hand if the tenant explicitely refuses to give permission following a notice the landlord cannot enter.
I agree that Ts can do this (e.g. in response to harassment or breach of their quiet enjoyment by LL/agent) but I am not sure whether 'absolute right' is correct. If the TA allows for access (but T refuses/changes the locks), and were the LL to apply for a court order for reasonable access to his property, it would probably be granted, which suggests that the right to refuse access is not 'absolute'. In practice, though, by the time the case came to be heard, T would probably have moved on, anyway.

mind the gap
11-02-2011, 10:19 AM
Changing the lock does not imply unreasonably withholding access.
I think perhaps it might, especially if the contract allows for access.

jjlandlord
11-02-2011, 10:25 AM
I think perhaps it might, especially if the contract allows for access.

No because in any case the landlord must give reasonable notice to the tenant before entering. A reasonable tenant will make arrangements to be there to open the door, or will lend the key to the landlord.

Moreover, I think contract clauses granting blanket authorization for access are dubious (c.f. link in my previous post).

mind the gap
11-02-2011, 10:44 AM
No because in any case the landlord must give reasonable notice to the tenant before entering. A reasonable tenant will make arrangements to be there to open the door, or will lend the key to the landlord.

Moreover, I think contract clauses granting blanket authorization for access are dubious (c.f. link in my previous post).

I do not think we disagree in principle that if the TA allows for LL access subject to prior request, then it would be unreasonable of T to refuse unless the requests were unreasonably frequent, or it was highly inconvenient to T and LL was inflexible about re-arranging, or T felt harassed/threatened by LL, or LL had gained access without permission in the past. In the absence of any these factors, I maintain that a LL would in theory be likely to be granted a court order (to be able to access his property with 24 hours' written notice) in the face of a T's refusal, although as I said, in practice it rarely comes to this.

To some extent it will also depend on how the TA is worded.

I may be wrong!

Lawcruncher
11-02-2011, 12:22 PM
I may be wrong!

You are nearly right (pace Jeffrey who will not accept that possibility).

I would amend what you wrote to read:

if the TA allows for LL access subject to prior notice, then it would be unreasonable of T to refuse unless the requests were unreasonably frequent, or it was highly inconvenient to T and LL was inflexible about re-arranging, or T reasonably felt harassed/threatened by LL, or LL had gained access without notice in the past. In the absence of any these factors, I maintain that a LL would in theory be likely to be granted a court order (to be able to access his property with 24 hours' written notice) in the face of a T's refusal, although as I said, in practice it rarely comes to this.

jjlandlord
11-02-2011, 12:59 PM
I maintain that a LL would in theory be likely to be granted a court order (to be able to access his property with 24 hours' written notice) in the face of a T's refusal, although as I said, in practice it rarely comes to this.

I agree. My point is just that, in itself, the fact that the tenant changes the locks without providing a key to the landlord is not relevant as it is not a refusal to allow access: It is just a way to ensure that the landlord has explicit permission before he enters the property.

HMO Landlord
11-02-2011, 15:23 PM
The cucumber sandwiches...are they heart shaped ones that are on sale for valentines day :)

Someone asked earlier about HMO and landlord entry.

As a HMO landlord (now my tenants are on individual tenancy agreements not 1 single agreement for all) I or my management is expected to have an active role in the running of the property. I, my management, my cleaners, my handyman can enter without prior notice. But obviously we do this at reasonable times and don't cause any nuisance. Now this is only access to all common (shared) arrears as these are deemed to be my property. Access to the tenants rooms is another matter altogether as they have sole use of there rooms.

Now i would also think that any alterations to say a front door lock could be seen as tampering with an escape route. That's just one way of looking at it. (but this is different when a tenant has sole use of the property and maybe different with a shared agreement too).

Obviously just because a landlord puts his rules into a tenancy agreement doesn't mean they are enforceable by the landlord as they may be in breach of The Housing Act anyway.


I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.

tashbell
04-03-2011, 12:20 PM
On Wednesday just gone, I had a letter hand delivered to my tenant with 48 hours notice, telling her I would like to please inspect the property, (today).

Just last night she text me to confirm what time I was attending to which I replied the time. (no objections returned etc.)

I have just driven over, banged on the door, called through the letter box etc. The windows were open, light on and key in door (I can see this through the window), and actually took a picture of it, with a witnesss there too. She was blatantly at home and now decided to deny me access.

I am absolutely steaming.. I had an agent meeting me over there to value the property for rental and to sell, I also arranged childcare etc.....

What do I do next... do I ring mortgage company? DSS?

She is about 6 weeks in arrears

I have already issued section (21,4a)

I just wish I had more rights as a landlord.. from what I can see I don't have many..it's so frustrating..

Help!!:mad:

staycalm
18-04-2011, 19:07 PM
An estate agent was telling me today that a Tenant has the right to refuse the Landlord's requests to show property during Tenant's notice even if Landlord gives 24 hours notice. Is this correct?

LesleyAnne
18-04-2011, 19:17 PM
Just re-read your OP and you don't make it clear if you are tenant or LL, so I am assuming you are the Tenant in this scenario?

During the whole of your tenancy, it is your home, even when in the notice period, and you can refuse anyone entry - including LL, Agent or prospective tenants.

However, depending on your relationship with the LL and as you are probably expecting LL to give you a reference at the end, it might be an idea to suggest a compromise. For instance, you are prepared to accept viewings on a Saturday between 10.00am and 12 noon, and one evening a week between 6.00 and 8.00pm. Obviously amend these suggested days/times to suit yourself. Also, insist that if the LL accepts this suggestion, they confirm any viewings they have arranged in advance, and not just assume they can turn up at those times.

Up to you if you want to take this option, or refuse altogether, which is your right.

staycalm
18-04-2011, 19:45 PM
I'm the Landlord. If Tenant can refuse entry, how is the Landlord able to establish a new tenancy immediately after the current Tenant has left?

jghomer
18-04-2011, 19:56 PM
With difficulty if you cannot get your existing tenants to agree to accomodate your viewings.

Have you yet tested the water with your tenant?

LesleyAnne
18-04-2011, 19:59 PM
I'm the Landlord. If Tenant can refuse entry, how is the Landlord able to establish a new tenancy immediately after the current Tenant has left?

You cannot guarantee not to have voids in your lettings. I'm afraid it goes with the territory. As LL you can perhaps make the suggestion I made above under the "Tenant scenario" and see how the T feels if you agree only to offer viewings on certain days/times.

However, having tried to arrange viewings with a Tenant in situ in the past, it doesn't always work in your favour anyway. You cannot "gag" the tenant and stop them talking to the "viewer" so if they decide to tell them the neighbours are noisy, the property is damp and the LL is a "pain in the bum" they will, and scupper your prospective T anyway! (Not saying any of that is true in your case by the way, and it wasn't in ours either, but our T had a grudge as we were evicting him through unpaid rent, and he wanted to make things difficult for us).

Between tenants we always have a couple weeks void, to do any repairs/refreshing and present the place at its best. You need to allow a contingency fund in your cashflow to allow for this sort of situation.

Brb
18-04-2011, 20:01 PM
Factor it into your business plan that you will suffer voids occasionally.

Although if you treat ppl nicely then you'll get nicely treated. Sometimes LLs and LAs get really shirty with Ts that resist any potential viewing stating they will use their own keys if T cannot be there and such. Whereas if you ask the T in advance what times/days they would find the most convenient for them it sounds better no ?

Some LLs offer their Ts a financial incentive to allow viewings and keep property shiny like a new penny. Personally I've a massive amount of pride and generally don't mind doing both (have never been offered moolah for it though, maybe I not awkward enough lol). I did get annoyed though at one estate agent handling the sale of a house I rented. So annoyed I said I wouldn't allow the EA round anymore and just to send the ppl and I would show them around myself! can't have done a bad job, I sold it for him.

staycalm
18-04-2011, 20:06 PM
Fortunately, my Tenant hasn't refused entry, but nor does she reply to my written requests to show the flat to prospective tenants. Can I still enter the property in spite of a lack of response?

Brb
18-04-2011, 20:08 PM
Nope you can't, sorry. Unless in an emergency. IE water escaping from property.

staycalm
18-04-2011, 20:17 PM
I accept the law is the law, but this is a bad law as it is totally one sided. I simply don't understand how it can argued as justifiable.

If this rule is common knowledge amongst solicitors, estate agents and professional landlords, why then do tenancy agreements clearly state that the Landlord has the right to enter the property with 24 hours notice? Even the off-the-shelf agreements from the local stationers say this. Is it any wonder that many Landlords are oblivious of their real rights when the contracts they are given or buy say the exact opposite?

Lawcruncher
18-04-2011, 20:24 PM
I accept the law is the law, but this is a bad law as it is totally one sided. I simply don't understand how it can argued as justifiable.

If this rule is common knowledge amongst solicitors, estate agents and professional landlords, why then do tenancy agreements clearly state that the Landlord has the right to enter the property with 24 hours notice? Even the off-the-shelf agreements from the local stationers say this. Is it any wonder that many Landlords are oblivious of their real rights when the literature they buy and sign says the opposite?

The point is that the law does allow entry and that is why agreements provide for it. The idea that a tenant has the absolute right to refuse access is misconceived and believed by many because it has been repeated so often on the internet. I am not saying a landlord can just waltz in at will, but rather...well read the thread referred to above.

LesleyAnne
18-04-2011, 20:31 PM
The point is that the law does allow entry and that is why agreements provide for it. The idea that a tenant has the absolute right to refuse access is misconceived and believed by many because it has been repeated so often on the internet. I am not saying a landlord can just waltz in at will, but rather...well read the thread referred to above.

But I would still suggest that if T has not agreed to a particular viewing appointment, then LL is taking a big risk in entering anyway. Counter-claim of "where is the £1000 cash I had in my kitchen drawer" or the "antique 24carat necklace on the bedside table" etc, comes to mind.

OP - when you say that T has not refused entry, have you spoken to them and discussed it? If so, could you phone to follow up your written notice of viewings? They may be assuming that by not replying, they have not refused, rather than by not replying they have not agreed!

staycalm
18-04-2011, 22:14 PM
LesleyAnne - I see your point. I suspect my Tenant isn't refusing entry when she doesn't reply, but I don't want to clarify this matter with her for fear of what kind of answer I might get.

Having read all the comments in this thread, I have to admit, I am totally confused. Some of you say that the Landlord has no right of entry (except for emergencies) and others say that the Landlord has a right of entry.

jghomer
19-04-2011, 06:58 AM
If you take someone round to view and your tenant insists you must not enter the premises then you must not.

a 24hr notice clause in the tenancy is unlikely to affect their absolute right to enjoy their own home in peace and quiet.

staycalm
19-04-2011, 07:41 AM
This is definitely a grey issue. I will leave this thread with the view that the Landlord cannot enter if the Tenant categorically refuses entry to the property, but the Landlord can enter if the Tenant agrees or says nothing.

Grrr
19-04-2011, 07:42 AM
Having read all the comments in this thread, I have to admit, I am totally confused. Some of you say that the Landlord has no right of entry (except for emergencies) and others say that the Landlord has a right of entry.

Having read (most of) the other thread referred to, I would say that the consensus of the legal opinion is that you probably ARE ok to enter, but that there isn't adequate case-law to prove it. Most tenancies are so short that people don't bother taking this specific point to court. Therefore tread carefully.

In most of these cases anyway, the sensible thing to do is not to revert to the law, but keep a reasonable dialogue going with the tenant. Ask in writing, follow up with a phone call. If it's a maintenance issue they will probably more readily agree. If it's you coming round with an agent or potential new tenant, they may be less inclined. With the latter, I would probably just let it go and not insist. They are unlikely to leave the place tidy or looking at it's best anyway, and a property full of other people's possessions rarely looks that inviting.

The usefulness of the 'the landlord may enter the premises' clause is that it reminds the tenant that this will happen so they are less likely to refuse when it arises as they already previously agreed!

Finally, if you really want to push it, you could try (having exhausted all other forms of contact) sending a message to say "I will be coming round on x (24+ hours hence) unless I hear from you otherwise"

jjlandlord
19-04-2011, 08:07 AM
My understanding is that you are not OK to enter without T's consent.
You may have a clause in your agreement stating that you may enter on 24 hours notice, but my understanding is that if T refuses you'll have to seek an injunction in court.

Therefore, if tenant has given his notice to quit, the only practical option seems to be reasonable when asking for visits and hope the tenant will be reasonable too, or to wait until he has left.

Mrs Mug
19-04-2011, 11:32 AM
the Landlord can enter if the Tenant says nothing.

Then don't be surprised if on the second occasion you try that tactic, you find that the tenant has changed the locks.

bbva
19-04-2011, 13:47 PM
My tenant has no problems with my one bedroom flat being viewed. However it appears that there are now about 6 people staying there and on quite a few occasions, prospective clients have walked in to find 5 girls asleep in sleeping bags on the lounge floor at midday!

Hence it hasn't been rented. I have now stopped all viewings until she has left and the flat has been cleaned as it was pretty pointless!

Moderator1
24-04-2011, 14:36 PM
Several largely similar questions on separate threads have been merged into this thread (hence the repetitive nature of answers).

Ana7
02-08-2011, 17:28 PM
Hi not sure if I am allowed to post on here as am a tenant not a LL but very interested in this thread. I have been given notice at the end of my initial 6 months as LL now wishes to sell (when I took up property was told available for long let and initially that LL would only accept tenant who signed 12 mth contract)
So it is not my choice to move and is causing a lot of financial and other stress, however do wish to be co-operative but don't want people coming into my home when I am not in.
I certainly don't want to lose any of my deposit over this (although my tenancy agreement already states they will take £120 from my deposit when I leave even if no damage and in perfect state, just as a cost for them checking it?) - can I give times, say Saturday mornings, when they can arrange viewings?

westminster
03-08-2011, 19:22 PM
Ana7 - repost your question as a new thread. You'll get a better response.

But, short answer, yes, you can dictate what days/time are acceptable to you for viewings.

The £120 deduction may be the cost of the inventory check-out; some contracts say that LL is liable for the check-in and T for the check-out.

Lawcruncher
07-08-2011, 17:26 PM
Hello to bill65 on HPC.

Anyone puzzled by the above should go here (http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=138346&st=75&gopid=3078156&#entry3078156)

bill65
07-08-2011, 19:13 PM
I shall post this here, as it is a landlord tenant forum, and should be of interest to members:

The right to quit enjoyment was granted out in the course of the Salisbury parliament 1086, it was signed by the personal hand of the conqueror when he granted the lands back to the English and is the most sacred act in English law, moreover, no parliament could altered it, for it established the constitution England. Thenceforth the land upon which an Englishman dwells he dwells upon sacred ground, which no man could violate.

The great end for which men entered into society was to secure their property by the laws of England such rights are preserved sacred and incommunicable.
Lord Camden Entick v Carrington (1765) 2 Wils 275.

The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose.
Semayne’s case (1604) 5 Co Rep 91a.

The Earl of Chatham put it in the next century:( william pitt senior 1776 in the house of lords),

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.
In other words it is the crown which protects quite enjoyment ( the lords grants and the tenant takes the protection of the crown) or, to express the above foregoing matters in an other way, it is not for private persons to instruct the crown, that is the fuction of parliament. Parliament is sovereign subject to the will of the conqueror. You cannot reserve a right of access in an agreement, you must have the personal consent of the tenant.


Judges go to great lenghs to explain what the law is,moreover they choose words very carefully,it pays to study those words equally carefully. I suguest you read the words of lord camden and learn about quite enjoyment- a most learnered judgement.

I know you have got it in your head that a right of access can be reservrd but, the courts time and again,have decided ortherwise.

Regards Bill

westminster
07-08-2011, 20:44 PM
@bill65 - it's 'quiet' enjoyment, not 'quite'.

westminster
07-08-2011, 20:56 PM
The great end for which men entered into society was to secure their property by the laws of England such rights are preserved sacred and incommunicable.
Lord Camden Entick v Carrington (1765) 2 Wils 275.

Your quote is incomplete and therefore misleading:

"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances, where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. The cases where this right of property is set aside by private law, are various. Distresses, executions, forfeitures, taxes etc are all of this description; wherein every man by common consent gives up that right, for the sake of justice and the general good. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass. No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment."

As I understand it, Lord Camden is saying that the right to quiet enjoyment is not unassailable.

bill65
07-08-2011, 22:28 PM
Whilst a great constitutional judgement, lord Camden missed the fact of The will of the conqueror which cannot be altered, you should read the whole of his judgement, that parliament restored the ancient constitution.That is an abstract from wikipedia.

mind the gap
08-08-2011, 06:24 AM
Whilst a great constitutional judgement, lord Camden missed the fact of The will of the conqueror which cannot be altered, you should read the whole of his judgement, that parliament restored the ancient constitution.That is an abstract from wikipedia.

Quite so. Which is why we would all be advised to trust Lawcruncher's considered and erudite interpretation of the statute in question as it applies to the landlord-tenant relationship today and not a miscopied chunk of Wikipaedia, mildly interesting as it is for its historical content.

Plus, having ploughed through that thread on HPC I can only say that I am in awe of Lawcruncher's/Damocles' patience and tact when dealing with his detractors, some of whom are truly buffoons.

Snorkerz
08-08-2011, 08:43 AM
EDIT to post #183

Westminster, I am sorry, I have cited you in post #183, whereas it should have been MTG.

westminster
08-08-2011, 08:54 AM
Whilst a great constitutional judgement, lord Camden missed the fact of The will of the conqueror which cannot be altered, you should read the whole of his judgement, that parliament restored the ancient constitution.That is an abstract from wikipedia.
Er...from which you quoted in support of your assertion that LL cannot reserve a right of access. Naturally, I assumed you were quoting from the judgment, since you included a citation (and that paragraph is quoted extensively across the web, including an extract on the Swarb legal website).

Having found the judgment on bailii http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/KB/1765/J98.html, it says:

"...our law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can set his foot upon his neighbour's close without his leave; if he does he is a trespasser, though he does no damage at all; if he will tread upon his neighbour's ground, he must justify it by law."

My point remains the same, that the right to quiet enjoyment is not unassailable. The case turned upon the validity of a warrant; if it had been ruled valid, the entry would have been lawful, just as, today, a court bailiff has the legal authority to execute a warrant of possession obtained by a landlord.

In addition, if, as you claim "You cannot reserve a right of access in an agreement, you must have the personal consent of the tenant", then how do you explain s.11(6) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which says:

"(6) In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair."?

jta
08-08-2011, 09:01 AM
Unless my memory is playing up, Bill65 is a proponent of the 'respected' FOTL faction. In which case this argument would be better transferred to TaB.

mind the gap
08-08-2011, 09:15 AM
Unless my memory is playing up, Bill65 is a proponent of the 'respected' FOTL faction. In which case this argument would be better transferred to TaB.

You're not wrong. See #32 et al:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?18060-What-s-all-this-quot-Freeman-on-the-Land-quot-business/page4&highlight=Freemen+agent46

bill65
09-08-2011, 09:23 AM
With respect, you are becoming confused between a contract between parliament and the crown and one between private persons.The reason I said to read lord Camden judgement, it gives great insight into how the courts are thinking.

AS i understand the issue the thread is decussing a landlord right of entry reservrd in an instrument creating a term certain. If such a clause where enforcable it would distroy the concept of exclusive possession, and a person or persons would be enjoying nothing more than a contractual license, and not a right in rem, protected by the crown holding good against the whole world. In other words a landlord cannot derogate from grant i.e give with one hand and take with the other it is a tenancy or it is not and this matters not what is contained in any statutory act.You need the personal consent of the tenant to enter his land.Let that be the end of the matter.

We do not deny that Parliament has the right to make laws for us by virtue of the fact, among others, that it is elected by us. If that is so, if Parliament does something contrary to the principles that give it meaning as a legislative body, it is acting ultra vires.
LJ Laws.
Regards Bill.

VictorKilo3
09-08-2011, 09:57 AM
What about this clause in my tenancy agreement which says:

"The landlord may re-enter the property and immediately thereupon the tenancy shall absolutely determine without prejudice to the other rights and remedies of the landlord if the tenant has not complied with any obligation in this agreement or should the rent be in arrears by more than fourteen days whether formally demanded or not."

and I am still waiting for the bailiffs who told me they have a queue of 8 weeks before they can physically get in! And it has taken me over 16 months to get this far!

theartfullodger
09-08-2011, 09:58 AM
VK: Your clause is unenforceable and not worth the paper it is written on., Where did you get the agreement??

Bill: weird, seriously weird...

Cheers!

jjlandlord
09-08-2011, 10:06 AM
VK: Your clause is unenforceable and not worth the paper it is written on., Where did you get the agreement??

I remember that such clauses have been discussed before, and they seem to be fairly common and to actually have a legal use.
Legal experts could comment.

Jeffrey said:


It's called a Proviso for Re-entry. It has to be present as a triggering mechanism. As others have posted, it is subject to a host of statutory overlay. Nevertheless, it can operate literally if T is no longer resident.
c.f. http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?36331-Proviso-for-re-entry-%28...14-days-after-becoming-payable%29

theartfullodger
09-08-2011, 10:22 AM
Thanks JJ, I stand corrected!!

VictorKilo3
09-08-2011, 10:24 AM
Chicken and egg problem isn't it. If I do not gain entry I cannot determine if T is still resident and if not then to exercise the proviso. Have there been any legal precedent to cases like this where LL actually exercised the clause and T then sued or LL criminally charged and what were the judgement in these cases. Not that I would like to risk that of course but would be interesting to know.

Lawcruncher
09-08-2011, 10:46 AM
It is a cornerstone of the British Constitution that Parliament is supreme and can accordingly never act ultra vires.

If this idea that a landowner enjoys absolute exclusive possession of his land come what may is taken to its logical conclusion then it follows that no one can grant a right of way over his land. Nay more, none of us would be entitled to use a public highway without the consent of the owner. And yet again, it renders the very concept of a tenancy untenable because how can a man retain an interest in land and yet purport to grant an exclusive right of occupation to another?

VictorKilo3
09-08-2011, 11:00 AM
And your answer to my question is?

bill65
09-08-2011, 12:43 PM
I shall say one thing only: the court has no option but to enforce a persons will. Parliament is sovereign subject to the conqueror's will, for it was his will which created it. parliament cannot alter,amend or otherwise re-write it-That is the law.
Regards Bill

mind the gap
09-08-2011, 13:16 PM
I shall say one thing only: the court has no option but to enforce a persons will. I think that is where you are getting muddled.

leaseholdanswers
09-08-2011, 14:26 PM
Unless my memory is playing up, Bill65 is a proponent of the 'respected' FOTL faction. In which case this argument would be better transferred to TaB.

So are we; we strongly believe in local Libraries being supported through groups like Friends of The library.

45002
25-09-2011, 14:30 PM
What Court in UK is going to grant a injunction to a LL,just because the T wont let the LL in.

Has anyone come across such a court case !

Only option would be a possession order and only after the correct notices and so on have been served on the T.

Lawcruncher
25-09-2011, 15:54 PM
Possible scenario:

L grants a seven year lease to to T. There is an obligation on L to comply with gas regulations. T refuses access for three years.

Is court going to:

(a) order forfeiture of lease for failure to allow access

(b) order T to allow access

(c) make no order at all?

45002
25-09-2011, 18:20 PM
Possible scenario:

L grants a seven year lease to to T. There is an obligation on L to comply with gas regulations. T refuses access for three years.

Is court going to:

(a) order forfeiture of lease for failure to allow access

(b) order T to allow access

(c) make no order at all?

OK,then

what about tenancy then

AST OK after 6 months,they can be served notice and so on

There are still a huge amount of Assured tenancy's and Regulated tenancy's left in the UK.

what if they refuse access to a LL.

There also council and Housing Association tenancy's who could refuse access !

What then...

45002
27-09-2011, 19:49 PM
Forgot about this thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?41629-Entry-into-property-can-landlord-agent-enter-if-tenant-forbids-us&p=333888#post333888

theartfullodger
30-09-2011, 19:12 PM
Found this case which was partially about LL getting access, but it went to mediation so nowt definite..



Kahlon v Isherwood
A clause in a Tomlin order settling proceedings
between an existing assured tenant and the
landlord did not amount to statutory notice
that the new tenancy would be an assured
shorthold tenancy.
Court of Appeal
19 May 2011
Source: Transcript [2011] EWCA Civ 602.
Mr Isherwood (Mr I) had been the assured tenant
of Mrs Kahlon (K) since 1994. There had been
several sets of possession proceedings, the
most recent of which was started in 2007 on the
grounds of rent arrears and alleged failure by Mr
I to provide access to the property. The dispute
went into mediation and a settlement was agreed



Interesting perhaps from an AT/AST perspective... if I read it right T, with AT, was persuaded to sign AST but then found still to have AT...

Cheers!

Lawcruncher
10-10-2011, 20:06 PM
Whilst looking for something else I found this in Megarry & Wade:

Landlord's right to view. The tenant is under an obligation to permit the landlord to enter and view the state of repair in cases where the landlord is liable to repair them. The landlord may also have a statutory right to enter and view in other cases. But apart from these, unless he has reserved a right of entry, he has no right to enter the premises during the term, however good his reason, for he has given the right of exclusive occupation as long as the tenancy endures. (My italics)

This confirms the point I have made that the tenant's right to exclusive occupation is not absolute and is subject to what the parties agree. I just add that the right reserved must not be such as to undermine the basic requirement of a tenancy that there must be exclusive possession so that what is granted is a licence and not a tenancy.

MDC74
11-10-2011, 15:27 PM
I shall say one thing only: the court has no option but to enforce a persons will. Parliament is sovereign subject to the conqueror's will, for it was his will which created it. parliament cannot alter,amend or otherwise re-write it-That is the law.
Regards Bill

Ummmm, ok........not heard of the Bill of Rights 1689 then? To clarify, "Under parliamentary sovereignty, a legislative body has absolute sovereignty, meaning it is supreme to all other government institutions (including any executive or judicial bodies as they may exist). Furthermore, it implies that the legislative body may change or repeal any prior legislative acts."

Enforcing an individual's will against all other considerations pretty much amounts to anarchy, as far as I can tell....

The Court has no option but to uphold the LAW. That includes the law relating to rights to privacy, rights to enjoyment of peaceful life (both within the HRA1998) and also the common law of trespass.......relevant because where by contractual agreement the tenant occupies a premises as his HOME, any unlawful entry is considered trespass.....and in answer to some earlier comments about damages, trespass can incur damages which are not in fact related to actual personal losses.

It should be noted that where a tenant has failed to honour statutory rights of a landlord, in respect of the Landlords and Tenants Act, or in respect of contractual rights agreed at commencement of tenancy, the landlord is in a position to challenge the validity of that contract, or gain enforcement of those rights, through a court - but not off his/her own back without following due process. Due process CAN include, as mentioned by an earlier poster, advising in writing on at least two occasions that the landlord will be entering on a given date at a given time UNLESS hearing to the contrary. Obviously sufficient notice should be given.

The same applies in reverse - if a landlord has, at any time, breached contract by entering without notification and/or agreement, the contract can be challenged in the courts.

One thing that did interest me was the statement by a poster that their landlord's brother-in-law operates a business from the garage........you may want to report that, as if you're the tenant, he's operating from YOUR place of residence. Plus I'll bet that your contract states you won't use the premises as a place of business. BIL's actions may be illegal, check it out.

kevT
13-10-2011, 13:34 PM
Hi All.

I haven't read through this extensive forum about viewing or inspection a premises but would like to kindly ask advice about it if anyone would be so kind to help me with?

I have requested of my tenant to view the property for inspection. This is the first time in a couple of years and because the property is located nearly 2 hrs drive away, I don't get down there very often. However, I have reason to visit next week so have given 9 days notice for the visit.

The tenant tells me they will be going away on holiday that day convenient?) but I am not likely to be able to visit again very soon.

My question is, can I enter the premises if they are not there and do I legally require their permission to enter if they are not there?
I had some work done on the boiler recently and really want to see what was done but as said won't get another opportunity to visit for a while to come.

I would appreciate any help on this. Many thanks
KevT

Mr. Private
13-10-2011, 13:56 PM
...when the tenancy is short term no one is going to take the time and trouble to go to court.


As a tenant with experience of this, I would like to share my opinion with the landlords and tenants on this forum:

I have (and would) take you to court. Having once had a simple 6 month contract for a flat, I was paid £800 by my then-landlord for entering my premises after I expressly told him "Not on that day...", and he let himself in anyways.

I took him to court not only for harassment, and breach of contract, but for a missing item on the same day. Like most contracts, it left the whole 'right to landlord access' mostly as-is. There were no specifics attached to that part of the contract, however I made my case to the court that he had, in fact, breached it anyways. I won't go into detail, but I would warn all landlords who feel 'brave': If you mess around like this with the wrong tenant, you won't be the one who wins.

Although this particular landlord in question attempted to hide behind the law (or rather, lack-there-of), he still paid out when I challenged him on it. It would be more-beneficial if there was more of a law to actually follow; as it is, it's all of a mostly-implied nature with few specifics. That being as it is: it's not difficult for a tenant to claim harassment.

Noting the 'stolen' item: The landlord, of course, claims he never took it. However, I, of course, forced him to pay out for it anyways. He had the audacity to enter onto a premises I paid him for, without my express permission, so in all fairness he brought that upon himself - and I made sure it was.



But who would be stupid enough to risk going in - just in case! Whatever the letter of the law (not read all the above, sorry) I would rather not be in a position to have to defend myself from an accusation of harrassment etc by entering the house when the tenant had refused.


I 100% agree with you, islandgirl. That's exactly the point. As it is, the law is, I believe, inadequate. It allows, too often, for landlords to bend and break it. I'm sure they, themselves, believe tenants are constantly breaking it (which I'm sure is true), but the point is BOTH parties must be EXTREMELY wary of breaching any contract, implied or explicit.

My warning to Landlords: Do not even dare to enter a property you own while under tenant contract - you gave up your complete right of ownership and access the minute you put it up for rent. Work with your tenants on a mutually agreed upon time and date, and understand that they really do not want to ever see you. We (tenants) understand once in awhile you will need to come around, but other than that: we don't want to see you, just like you don't want to see us.

My warning to Tenants: Do not be so unreasonable as to force your landlord to act like an idiot. However, if your landlord is harassing you, in any way shape or form, REPORT THEM immediately. If this means taking them to court, DO SO. Preferably call and/or write a simple note to your landlord to say his/her behavior is not acceptable first; although this is often hard due to their not giving out their personal information. The main point is that it is your responsibility to refuse to be harassed, and to do something about it if you are.

Some of you may think I take a hard-line against all this; I do. However, I've found most landlords to be very averted to modifying their contract to be more-reasonable. Adding in such simple clauses as: "The landlord may only enter the property after giving at least 24 hrs notice in writing AND AFTER MUTUALLY AGREEING WITH THE TENANT" - such modifications would be oh-so-simple, yet many do not want to change the contract at all. Point is: work with each other, full stop. Never do what you know is wrong. You do not enter anyone’s home without their agreeing to it. As a human being you should understand this very natural ‘law’. To thwart or ignore it is to bring down a ‘house of bricks’ when you meet a tenant who will not stand to be treated so poorly.

In my opinion, landlords need to think of it like this: it’s no longer your house. The house is yours only after the tenancy ends for whatever reason. Until then, it’s not your house, it’s someone else’s. You have certain reasons for which you could enter the property, but ONLY EVER if you have agreed with your tenant’s schedule. They’re the one’s paying ‘you’. Not the other way around.

As it is, Landlords / Agents charge £30-50 for a replacement key (of which costs about £4-6 for them to purchase); they charge £30-50 for every 5-minute telephone call they answer to talk to the tenant’s next home agency/landlord about the tenant (that’s around £480 an hour just for answering simple questions). Point is: until we, as the tenants, can charge you £50 for every CORGI certificate you don’t have up-to-date, £50 or for every time you change your flat-viewing date on me, or £50 for every time you are late with responding to my urgent letters, and £50 for every time the boiler blows up due to the landlord not having it inspected, then I simply will not tolerate you to expect such perfection from us as tenants.

Contracts such as these are meant to be give-and-take; two-lane roads.

Mrs Mug
13-10-2011, 14:08 PM
I have (and would) take you to court. Having once had a simple 6 month contract for a flat, I was paid £800 by my then-landlord for entering my premises after I expressly told him "Not on that day...", and he let himself in anyways.

Hi Mr Private,

Would you mind letting us know or providing a link to your court case, so that we can refer to it in future when trying to explain to landlords why they can't just enter their tenants home.

Ericthelobster
13-10-2011, 18:30 PM
Hi Mr Private,
Would you mind letting us know or providing a link to your court caseHe wouldn't be Mr Private then though, would he? :(giggle):

Ericthelobster
13-10-2011, 18:35 PM
My question is, can I enter the premises if they are not thereThat would depend on whether they give you permission or not...


and do I legally require their permission to enter if they are not there?That would be a "Yes"

If you have a reasonable working relationship, hopefully you can explain the problem and situation to the tenant, and they'll let you go in to have a shufti. I'm sure that over the years, the vast majority of my tenants (but not all!) would have had no objection in this scenario. But if not, then understand that 'no' means 'no', and you should accept that with good grace.

islandgirl
14-10-2011, 08:47 AM
Thank you for your post Mr Private - very interesting reading and some very good advice...

jamesvince26
14-10-2011, 10:11 AM
Hi there

We are newish landlords on a steep steep learning curve!! We've read Lawcruncher's guide on landlords rights of access, which is really helpful, but we are still unsure as our tenant isn't blocking our access, but just not responding to calls/texts/notes. We need access this week to get a survey done. We advised them last week this would need done at some point the following week, and advised them at the weekend that it would be in tuesday. This was done by text, which is how we normallly sort things out (very amicably). There was no reply, so we popped a note through the door this morning, and left a voicemail tonight when we phoned. A neighbour of the propertyhas said that one of the tenants have moved away, and their partner is staying to finish work, then will be moving also, but as yet they haven't gave notice and the rent is being paid. We've checked our tenancy agreement and it says:
The tenant will permit the landlord and his agents, with or without workmen and others, with all necessary appliances at all reasonable times, to enter upon and examine the condition of the property, fixtures and effects and to execute repairs to the same.

Sorry for the long post, but can't seem to get a definitive answer in much of the info available.
Our question therefore is, can we enter the property tomorrow morning with the surveyor? Thanks muchly for taking the time to read this.

See following link: http://www.lawpack.co.uk/landlord-and-tenancy/tenancy-agreements/item1780.asp

Access for the landlord: This is important, as you will need to visit and inspect the rented property from time to time, to ensure that the buy-to-let property is in good condition, and to do any landlord repairs and gas safety checks. You, as landlord, will retain your keys to the rented property, but you should never use these to gain access to the rented property without the tenant’s consent, except in an emergency.

Depending on the inspection, you need to decide whether this is classed as an emergency. Failure to complete annual Gas Safety check is a criminal offence with possible penalties of six months imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine. Plus it is a direct health and safety issue to the tenant living in the property. For emergencies it's usually 24 hours notice to enter. I would submit this in writing and keep a copy so that you have proof if you really have to gain access.

However, your relationship is currently amicable so why don't wait for the tenant to get back to you first. Is the survey that important?? Rest assured if your survey is a valuation for further borrowing, this will never be classed as an emergency so you have been warned!

westminster
14-10-2011, 10:52 AM
My warning to Landlords: Do not even dare to enter a property you own while under tenant contract - you gave up your complete right of ownership and access the minute you put it up for rent.
Simply not true.

LL may retain a right of access. That right is also implied by statute if the repairing covenant is implied: see s.11(6) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11):

In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Nothing about 'mutual agreement'; albeit, obviously, if T refuses access, then LL would need a court order to enforce that right of access in order to avoid allegations of breach of quiet enjoyment/harassment, but the fact remains that LL may retain a right of access and that right is enforceable.

westminster
17-10-2011, 15:38 PM
And I've today discovered:*

s.16 Housing Act 1988 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/section/16

It shall be an implied term of every assured tenancy that the tenant shall afford to the landlord access to the dwelling-house let on the tenancy and all reasonable facilities for executing therein any repairs which the landlord is entitled to execute.

s.8(2) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/8

The landlord, or a person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable tinmes of the day, on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the tenant or occupier, enter premises to which this section applies for the purpose of viewing their state and condition.

*Thanks to theartfullodger and mariner

theartfullodger
17-10-2011, 16:00 PM
Ah, we're famous mariner!!

can't remember if it's been mentioned before but my understanding re "notice in writing" is that it must be in writing - not email, not 'phone, not TXT, not verbal discussion on't doorstep, writing-on-paper... Yes, aware there have been cases about email being accepted by courts but in this contentious area it would seem prudent to go by the book if expecting trouble...

Lawcruncher
17-10-2011, 20:43 PM
obviously, if T refuses access, then LL would need a court order to enforce that right of access in order to avoid allegations of breach of quiet enjoyment/harassment, but the fact remains that LL may retain a right of access and that right is enforceable.

I think the position is somewhat similar to that when you have a right of way which is blocked. The law allows you to abate the obstruction, but does not encourage it.

If you have a right you ought to be able to exercise it otherwise it is no right at all. If you have no right how can you apply to the court to exercise it?

mariner
18-10-2011, 03:42 AM
Approbation from westminster is praise indeed.
LCs response is confusing. If I have right of way which is blocked I have the right to remove (abate). It would then be upto person causing blockage to prove my actions were unlawful. Whilst the Law will not encourage civil disobedience, it can only prevent based on existing precedents and public consent
eg Poll Tax 'riots' changed the Law.
Reasonable is oft defined as the opinion of the average person on the Clapham omnibus. Why not Liverpool or Grimsby omnibus?
I hope we have demonstrated T cannot prevent reasonbable, occ LL access to his property without need for Court access order and 'quiet enjoyment' only relates to freedom from LL harrassment

Lawcruncher
18-10-2011, 05:58 AM
What I meant was that a landlord has the right to enter when he reserves it, but that he needs to be careful how he exercises it to avoid any breach of the Protection from Eviction Act or otherwise causing a breach of the peace

jjlandlord
18-10-2011, 15:20 PM
can't remember if it's been mentioned before but my understanding re "notice in writing" is that it must be in writing - not email, not 'phone, not TXT, not verbal discussion on't doorstep, writing-on-paper... Yes, aware there have been cases about email being accepted by courts but in this contentious area it would seem prudent to go by the book if expecting trouble...

Prudent yes. But I believe that service in electronic form is perfectly fine if the medium has been agreed in advance (from Civil Procedure Rules).

45002
20-10-2011, 14:45 PM
Simply not true.

LL may retain a right of access. That right is also implied by statute if the repairing covenant is implied: see s.11(6) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11):

In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Nothing about 'mutual agreement'; albeit, obviously, if T refuses access, then LL would need a court order to enforce that right of access in order to avoid allegations of breach of quiet enjoyment/harassment, but the fact remains that LL may retain a right of access and that right is enforceable.


Approbation from westminster is praise indeed.
LCs response is confusing. If I have right of way which is blocked I have the right to remove (abate). It would then be upto person causing blockage to prove my actions were unlawful. Whilst the Law will not encourage civil disobedience, it can only prevent based on existing precedents and public consent
eg Poll Tax 'riots' changed the Law.
Reasonable is oft defined as the opinion of the average person on the Clapham omnibus. Why not Liverpool or Grimsby omnibus?
I hope we have demonstrated T cannot prevent reasonbable, occ LL access to his property without need for Court access order and 'quiet enjoyment' only relates to freedom from LL harrassment


What court in the UK is going to grant a injunction to LL !

Only option is possession order,which is easy when it comes to AST

There are still a huge amount of Statutory Assured tenancy's,Assured tenancy's,Regulated tenancy's,Council and Housing Association tenancy's in the UK,which vastly out number AST...

what if they refuse access to a LL.

What then...

leaseholdanswers
28-10-2011, 08:12 AM
What court in the UK is going to grant a injunction to LL !

Two that I can recall in my career; one a long leasehold and one AST, neither for arrears purposes, but repair and inspection/breach matters.

45002
28-10-2011, 13:35 PM
Two that I can recall in my career; one a long leasehold and one AST, neither for arrears purposes, but repair and inspection/breach matters.

Hmmmmmmm

Must have been expense for the LL then to get theses injunctions !

Do you know which courts theses injunctions where granted ? so i can ask for a transcript of the cases...

or a link,if theses cases are documented on the www

Thank you

theartfullodger
28-10-2011, 15:06 PM
Just fell over this OFT position in OFT356 (yes, I know, guidelines not law...) -


Rights of entry to the property
3.32
We would object to a provision giving the landlord an excessive right to enter the rented property. Under any kind of lease or tenancy, a landlord is required by common law to allow his tenants 'exclusive possession' and 'quiet enjoyment' of the premises during the tenancy. In other words, tenants must be free from unwarranted intrusion by anyone, including the landlord. Landlords are unfairly disregarding that basic obligation if they reserve a right to enter the property without giving reasonable notice or getting the tenant's consent, except for good reason.


3.33
The same principles apply to terms giving excessive rights to the landlord to demand access for prospective new tenants or purchasers to view the premises.

3.34
A term dealing with rights of entry is unlikely to be challenged if it reflects the ordinary legal position. This recognises that a landlord who is responsible for carrying out repairs to the property needs reasonable access for two specific purposes: firstly, in order to check whether repairs are necessary,19 and secondly, to carry them out.20 Reasonable access means access at reasonable times, and with at least 24 hours notice in writing, unless there are exceptional circumstances.



Sounds a reasonable position to me......

19 & 20 refer to these footnotes (must getalife...)


19
Section 11(6) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 allows a landlord with repairing obligations
under section 11(1) to enter the premises on 24 hours notice in writing in order to inspect them.
.......

20
There is an implied term in a tenancy agreement that the tenant will give the landlord reasonable access if the agreement imposes liability on the landlord to carry out repairs (see Saner v Bilton (1878) 7 Ch D 815). In relation to assured tenancies, section 16 of the Housing Act 1988 implies a similar right.

Lawcruncher
30-10-2011, 18:34 PM
I think the OFT is confused.

We have to distinguish between the terms in which the right is granted and how that right is exercised.

The point can be made by considering section 11(6):

In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Interpreted literally, the implied covenant allows the landlord to enter as often as he likes so long as he does so at a reasonable time of the day and gives at least 24 hours' notice. However, being phrased as such does not undermine the basic requirement that a tenancy involves exclusive occupation because it is implied that the right will be exercised reasonably. There is no breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment or derogation from grant until the landlord actually does something.

I do not see therefore how a right of access for prospect tenants to view phrased similarly can be an unfair term

Pobinr
20-11-2011, 14:53 PM
I really don't see how a tenancy can be viable if the T denies LL access.
If any T were to deny me reasonable access to inspect the property or do a repair or gas check at a time convenient for them, then the only notice they'd get from me would be an S21.

mind the gap
09-03-2012, 22:10 PM
I really don't see how a tenancy can be viable if the T denies LL access.
If any T were to deny me reasonable access to inspect the property or do a repair or gas check at a time convenient for them, then the only notice they'd get from me would be an S21.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'viable'.

It might be inconvenient and perturbing for the Ll to be denied access in the short term (he can always gain it eventually through due legal process, of course), but it doesn't mean the tenancy cannot proceed. It will proceed for a time, whether he serves a s21 or not.

Pobinr
29-04-2012, 00:06 AM
vi·a·ble   [vahy-uh-buhl] Show IPA
adjective
1.
capable of living.
2.
Physiology .
a.
physically fitted to live.
b.
(of a fetus) having reached such a stage of development as to be capable of living, under normal conditions, outside the uterus.
3.
Botany . able to live and grow.
4.
vivid; real; stimulating, as to the intellect, imagination, or senses: a period of history that few teachers can make viable for students.
5.practicable; workable: a viable alternative.


Isn't it obvious!

Not Viable as in not workable or practical. If a T won't let LL inspect then must have something to hide & would ring alarm bells. Why would any LL not serve S21 in such a circumstance.

Snorkerz
29-04-2012, 11:35 AM
What is practical for the landlord may not be practical to the tenant.

mind the gap
29-04-2012, 11:38 AM
vi·a·ble   [vahy-uh-buhl] Show IPA
adjective
1.
capable of living.
2.
Physiology .
a.
physically fitted to live.
b.
(of a fetus) having reached such a stage of development as to be capable of living, under normal conditions, outside the uterus.
3.
Botany . able to live and grow.
4.
vivid; real; stimulating, as to the intellect, imagination, or senses: a period of history that few teachers can make viable for students.
5.practicable; workable: a viable alternative.


Isn't it obvious!

Not Viable as in not workable or practical. If a T won't let LL inspect then must have something to hide & would ring alarm bells. Why would any LL not serve S21 in such a circumstance.

Given that the meaning of 'viable' is - as your exhaustive etymological research suggests - to do with organic life rather than social structures such as tenancies, it was probably the wrong word in the first place.

I do not disagree with you that in practice a T's refusal to allow reasonable access will probably mean the tenancy ends sooner rather than later. But it does not mean that it can be (to continue your metaphor) aborted at will.

Lawcruncher
29-04-2012, 11:55 AM
I do not think it necessarily follows that a tenant who denies access has something to hide. He could just have had his brain addled by the nonsense spewed up on the internet by barrack room lawyers.

Ericthelobster
29-04-2012, 14:52 PM
How about this for an 'interesting' clause which I gather my 18-year-old student son's just signed up to:

"The Tenant shall:
...Permit the Landlord or the Landlord’s agents at reasonable hours in the daytime to enter and view the property with prospective tenants, without prior notice"

I did flag it up to my son in advance of him meeting the landlord, but the bloke apparently said to him and his flatmate 'oh don't worry about that it's just to make it easier for one day in the year when all the students are viewing'; Yeah, right. He didn't alter anything, they went ahead and signed up. Cue LL Dad here bashing his head against the wall... I suppose we'll see how it pans out, won't we?

(Oh, and don't get me started on

"The Tenant shall:
...Pay for a regular window cleaning service during the tenancy. Regular constitutes monthly"

And this is in a standard two-up/two-down student terrace - WHAT?!?)

Lawcruncher
29-04-2012, 15:02 PM
Pay for a regular window cleaning service during the tenancy. Regular constitutes monthly

Only needs to pay for it; does not matter if the windows get cleaned.

Snorkerz
29-04-2012, 15:08 PM
Only needs to pay for it; does not matter if the windows get cleaned.And doesn't state which windows need to be 'serviced' anyway. Cue deal with local window cleaner to wipe a specific bullion window in the front door.

mind the gap
30-04-2012, 18:58 PM
As the student T, I would be tempted to advise the LL that if he turns up unannounced to conduct viewings, he may find himself in a house full of naturists.

jjlandlord
30-04-2012, 19:12 PM
As the student T, I would be tempted to advise the LL that if he turns up unannounced to conduct viewings, he may find himself in a house full of naturists.

Ah so extra incentive to call unannounced!

mind the gap
30-04-2012, 20:51 PM
Ah so extra incentive to call unannounced!

Ha! I suppose that would depend on the gender of the tenants and the orientation of the LL.

Personally, I'd find it very off putting - I have never been able to get my head round the idea of going round starkers in company.

Pobinr
03-05-2012, 16:25 PM
I do not think it necessarily follows that a tenant who denies access has something to hide. He could just have had his brain addled by the nonsense spewed up on the internet by barrack room lawyers.I agree.
Either way a T that won't let me inspect my property is a T I most certainly do not want, so I'd serve a S21 on them.
BTW I can't believe some of the drivel & gratuitous pedantry on these forums!

Lawcruncher
14-07-2012, 20:24 PM
I have just found this thread: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2011/03/07/tenants-legal-help-when-the-police-unjustly-support-your-landlord/

Here is what a barrister says:

The third example is of an (assumed) decent landlord. He asks what his position is and the answer is (i) read your tenancy agreement; (ii) tenants don’t have a freestanding right to exclude you from the property; (iii) you have a limited right to enter (and may have more if your agreement says so) but you can’t go in if the tenant is trying to stop you, and its wisest to be aware of that.

It is something of a relief to read point (ii) as it confirms what I have been trying to get across. Point (iii) also confirms what I have said.

The whole thread is worth reading as it covers not only a landlord's right of access but also sets out when a tenant may change the locks.

45002
14-07-2012, 21:06 PM
Surprised you only just found that page March 2011....

it's just One Barrister

There are still a Large amount of tenancies in the UK with no TA what then !

Lawcruncher
14-07-2012, 21:24 PM
Surprised you only just found that page March 2011....

It is not a site I frequent. I came across the thread looking for something else.


it's just One Barrister

But apparently one specialising in landlord and tenant law. Anyway, the point is that there is at least one barrister who agrees with me.


There are still a Large amount of tenancies in the UK with no TA what then !

Where there is no written agreement only the statutory rights of entry will apply*; there will be no question of the tenant being required to allow applicants to inspect.

*Though in theory there is no reason rights of access cannot be agreed orally as part of the agreement for the tenancy.

Lawcruncher
14-07-2012, 21:33 PM
Just remembered two other barristers (one Professor of English law in the University of Oxford) also agree with me - see post 202.

leaseholdanswers
18-07-2012, 18:39 PM
Just remembered two other barristers (one Professor of English law in the University of Oxford) also agree with me - see post 202.

I am not a Prof of Law and I see it is as simple.

The landlord (may) have a contractual right of entry and does have a statutory right of entry , while a tenant has their contractual rights,a right to quiet enjoyment and statutory protection from harassment.

They are competing rights.

Should either assert those rights over the insistence of the other and then go onto exert them- tenant changes locks- landlord enters anyway- then, based on the facts and circumstances of each case, it can be resolved in discussion mediation and arbitration, or in court, where penalties can also be sought.

Therefore as I see it the landlord has the right to insist and the tenant has the right to refuse, but given the consequences, should be resolved before any action is taken.

Lawcruncher
19-07-2012, 00:07 AM
We assume a reasonable right which a landlord is seeking to exercise reasonably giving all requisite notices etc etc

I do not think it is right to say that the tenant has the right to refuse. The tenant has granted the right and cannot withdraw it. Rather it is the case that if the tenant prevents access the landlord cannot press forward, at least not without risking committing an offence. It cannot be the case that the tenant can refuse because if he could the landlord would not be able to go to court to enforce the right. That is indeed the point. If there is a right the court can enforce it must be capable of being exercised without being enforced. You only need to enforce the right if you are prevented from exercising it.

The barrister says this:

Now, the difficulty (for landlords) is that a residential occupier who is in occupation of premises at the time you try to enter can oppose your entry. If you then use force to enter, you commit a criminal offence.

Tessa is therefore not quite right in saying “However if they get in touch and say they don’t want you to go in any more unless they are there, then you can’t go in unless they are there.”. Provided you act reasonably and don’t enter when they are there you and you are acting under a right in the lease or under statute, then you don’t commit a crime or a trespass.

theartfullodger
06-08-2012, 17:08 PM
I am grateful to the Garden Court Chambers bulletin for alerting me to this morsel..

Worth signing up for this, at
http://www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk/bulletins/send_bulletins.cfm
an excellent regular newsletter with info on aspects of housing, not just PRS.

From 1st July 2012 Section 8(2) of LL&T Act 1985 has been repealed by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Schedule 2 para 12(1) : So what?? Well, that's the one gives LL or agent right on 24hrs written notice to inspect..


12 (1)
Omit section 8(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (power of landlord to enter premises to view their state and condition).

see...
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/2/enacted

The repeal is (apparently) part of a package of measures designed to remove rights of third parties to enter residential premises.

Did I understand that all correctly??

Hmmnn. didn't spot that one coming... Interesting.

I'm still of the view LL&T should endeavor to remain on good terms and a wise T would allow a wise LL/Agent to inspect to ensure any issues are identified early.. but, as of 1st July, they have no right to.. or did I interpret that rong agin???

Wish someone would point out any Scottish implications ...

Cheers!!

Artful

Lawcruncher
06-08-2012, 18:23 PM
The repeal of section 8(2) LTA 1985 can hardly be said to have far reaching consequences.

Snorkerz
06-08-2012, 21:06 PM
From 1st July 2012 Section 8(2) of LL&T Act 1985 has been repealed by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 Schedule 2 para 12(1) : So what?? Well, that's the one gives LL or agent right on 24hrs written notice to inspect..

If I'm reading it correctly, that only applied to tenancies with (annual) rents of under £80 per year.

However section 11(6) says:

In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Interestingly, if you rent a house to the Queen, that doesn't apply.

Lawcruncher
10-08-2012, 10:07 AM
Posted in another thread:


I would tend to interpret the LL's perceived right of entry is fine for inspections, repairs etc, but right of entry for viewings is a little different. LL has a right to inspect the property to ensure it is being looked after and not unduly neglected or being used for nefarious activities. LL also has a right to enter to carry out repairs and maintenance, particularly when a tenant has requested it.

However, I would suggest that entry for viewings for a potential sale is neither essential nor should be considered a "right" under the terms of a tenancy, and should therefore be treated a little differently than the normal LL access permissions.

Just my own thoughts ...

In my initial post I did suggest that there was some difference between entry for estate management purposes and entry for viewings connected with dealings by the landlord. It would be difficult to argue that a landlord should not have access for estate management. Access for viewings connected with dealings is a bit trickier. I do not though think we can go far as to say that a term reserving such access is intrinsically unfair. The OFT says it will object to "terms giving excessive rights to the landlord to demand access for prospective new tenants or purchasers to view the premises." The snag with putting it that way is that it seems to require the frequency to be specified. I think it is not so much how the right is phrased that is important, but how it is exercised. After all if taken literally the covenant to allow inspection implied by the LTA 1985 would allow the landlord to inspect daily. A provision in a contract cannot amount to a breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment; only actions can be a breach.

Pobinr
29-09-2012, 10:42 AM
It's so simple. If the T won't grant permission to enter property to inspect then the LL can only enter with a court order. So if you have to apply for a court order to check your property you may as well apply for a court order to evict starting via the usual protracted section 8 or 21 route. Ultimately as I understand it, the LL can expect the legal process from seeking court order to actually gaining it be as long as 6 months. How utterly ridiculous. The LL is the owner who has all the maintenance responsibilities, finding the money for the mortgage etc. Yet the law is totally biased against the owner!
Any T that won't let me inspect my property, given reasonable time period of notice of inspection of course, is a T I most certainly do NOT want.

Lawcruncher
30-09-2012, 10:53 AM
But I do not think it is that simple.

If an agreement contains a provision (express or implied) which allows a landlord to enter then permission has already been given and need not be sought.

To repeat what I think I have already said, rights exercisable over property may be divided into three kinds:

1. Rights which only exist when a court grants them. An example of such a right is a right under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act. If you need to go on your neighbour's land to repair your property and do not already have the right and your neighbour refuses access, you can go to the court and ask them to grant access.

2. A right the exercise of which requires the court's permission. An example is the exercise of a right of re-entry or forfeiture of residential property where the tenant is in occupation.

3. A right which you are entitled to exercise without the court's permission but which you can get the court to enforce if you are prevented from exercising it. An example is a right of way over land.

Rights of access reserved by tenancy agreements and leases are of the third kind. Naturally any conditions attached must be complied and the right exercised reasonably. However, it is unwise for a landlord to seek to enter when his way is barred. I repeat the words of the barrister:

Now, the difficulty (for landlords) is that a residential occupier who is in occupation of premises at the time you try to enter can oppose your entry. If you then use force to enter, you commit a criminal offence.

Tessa is therefore not quite right in saying “However if they get in touch and say they don’t want you to go in any more unless they are there, then you can’t go in unless they are there.”. Provided you act reasonably and don’t enter when they are there and you are acting under a right in the lease or under statute, then you don’t commit a crime or a trespass.

theartfullodger
30-09-2012, 12:12 PM
Thanks LC!! That's the best, clearest, analysis I've seen of the position...

Pobinr
01-10-2012, 12:26 PM
What if the tenant doesn't physically stop you entering.
I think the most common scenario is if the T doesn't grant you permission after reasonable request/s to enter to inspect or show prospective new T's .What then ?
The court order or repo route is the only option perhaps ?
If this is the case then LL's legal right to enter amount to nothing!
If so then the law is so fuzzy & grey it's next to useless!

Lawcruncher
08-10-2012, 23:03 PM
The basic position is that if the terms of the tenancy give a landlord a right of entry for a specific purpose the landlord may enter for that purpose and that purpose only so long as (a) the right is reasonable, that is the right does not of its nature amount to a breach of the landlord's covenant for quiet enjoyment or derogate from his grant (b) the manner in which the right is exercised does not amount to a breach of the landlord's covenant for quiet enjoyment or a breach of his duty not to derogate from his grant and (c) any conditions attached to the exercise of the right are complied with.

The basic position is qualified if the tenant is at home when the landlord calls. If the tenant bars entry the landlord cannot force his way in. If allowed entry the landlord must leave if asked. Obviously entering before taking reasonable steps to check that no one is in is unwise. Over all the landlord must not do anything which may lead to a breach of the peace or which would amount to a criminal offence.