Landlord’s Right Of Entry

Landlord's Right Of Entry

It is in fact illegal for a landlord or agent to enter the property without permission from the tenant. Ultimately, a landlord has no right of entry unless the tenant grants them access or the landlord is given permission by the courts.

The office of fair trading document oft356 reads as follows:

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.

Irrespective of what maybe written in the agreed contract between a landlord and a tenant (e.g. a clause that states the landlord is allowed to enter the property without permission), it is still the tenant’s statutory right to live in quiet enjoyment, therefore any clauses that conflicts with that right will not be legally enforceable.

A landlord (or anyone acting on behalf e.g. agent) does have the right to ‘reasonable’ access to carry out repairs for which they are responsible, but a written notice at least 24 hours must be served and then the tenant must grant access.

Emergency exceptions

Section 11 does make it clear that if there is an emergency the landlord can enter without permission. That is the only exception as far as I am aware. Section 11, however, does not specify what constitutes as an “emergency”, but I’ve always been under the impression that it’s something glaringly obvious and disruptive, like a fire or a heavily leaking/burst pipe.

Harassment

Tenants have the right to live without unnecessary interference from the landlord, and also prevent them or anyone on behalf of the landlord to enter the premises. If a landlord disregards the law and enters the property without permission, they could be prosecuted for “harassment”

The law that sets out the definition of harassment in this context is the Protection from Eviction Act 1977::

The landlord of a residential occupier or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if—

(a) he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household, or

(b) he persistently withdraws or withholds services reasonably required for the occupation of the premises in question as a residence,

and (in either case) he knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that that conduct is likely to cause the residential occupier to give up the occupation of the whole or part of the premises or to refrain from exercising any right or pursuing any remedy in respect of the whole or part of the premises.

The important take away for landlords, just because you don’t believe your actions to be a form of harassment, it doesn’t mean that the law would agree with you. So be diligent.

Some of the most common complaints of landlord harassment that I hear about are as follows:

  • My landlords keeps calling me for rent
  • My landlord wants an inspection every month, it’s too much
  • My landlord keeps threatening to throw me out unless I pay rent
  • My landlord keeps entering the property without my permission

In reality, it can often be difficult to prosecute a landlord for harassment. Harressment cases are usually handled by the local authrity, not the police. Most of the high damages are awarded in civil cases, where the tenant has taken the landlord to court for breaking their statutory right of Quiet Enjoyment This means that the landlord should leave tenants to live in the property in peace!

My tenant won’t allow me access

If you’re in the unfortunate possession of being refused access to your property, whether it be for a regular inspection or maintenance work, find out what options are available and what steps to take next over at the “My Tenant won’t let me into the property” blog post.

Legal advice

If you require legal advice on the matter, I highly recommend contacting your local Citizens Advice for free legal advice!

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560 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 510 - 560 comments (out of 560)
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Rach 18th July, 2015 @ 10:29

I do sympathise with you as I have been renting for a long time. You could try the agents too. However do bear in mind that it is in the agents' benefit to have you move out as they earn part of their lettings income from charging new tenants all those fees - they also charge the landlord fees for finding them new tenants too - so in effect your landlord stands to lose out if you move out (unless you are a problem tenant, which I am in no way implying you are!)

I'd say try to come to an amicable resolution with your landlord directly if possible. There is little the agents can do about it anyway even if they are good agents and the landlord is bad. The landlord calls the shots.

If you feel your landlord is still being inconsiderate and unreasonable even after you have tried to come to a mutual resolution with her, then perhaps it is best to start looking for a new place to move into.

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James 19th July, 2015 @ 08:14

Pippa
Rach has given you some good advice. It is completely unacceptable for a landlord to turn up unannounced and expect access. I'm guessing here but is this property the landlord's only property and was it their former home or similar? Such landlords - let's call them 'accidental' or 'convenience' landlords are often very poorly acquainted with the law and it comes as a complete shock to them that they have such limited rights to access the house that they own. If the property is actually being managed by a letting agent, one wonders why they are visiting at all as the agent is typically contracted to complete the requisite inspections.

Just to add to the points made by Rach: You say you've just moved in, if you have a fixed term in your AST - typically 6 or 12 months - then regardless of the landlords 'wish', a Section 21 cannot be used to terminate your tenancy. The only way for your tenancy to be ended would be through a section 8 which requires (good) reason. This has to be issued through a court and from what you describe there is nothing to suggest you could be evicted in this way. In fact, the landlord's actions to date would actually reduce the likelihood of a court siding with the landlord. As a rule of thumb - if you are within your fixed term period and are paying your rent, unless you are a really terrible tenant, then it is a virtual guarantee that you cannot be evicted.

Also on the point of the garden - strangely this doesn't form part of your 'home' so the landlord doesn't need to provide 24 hours notice to access these areas (unless it requires access through the house). That's not to say that by doing so she wouldn't be guilty of harassment if she was popping up outside your kitchen window every other day (or even week). See my response to Gian in post 483 above.

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peter 20th July, 2015 @ 12:32

Hi I rented out a property on a six months lease which ran out at the end of June I can't get hold of the tenant who is now two months in arrears she won't answer any letters and the neighbours say that they haven't secanen her for at least two months can I enter the property

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James 20th July, 2015 @ 13:27

In the circumstances you describe I would suggest that you can but ensure that you serve written notice of your intended entry through the letter box at least 24 hours in advance of your planned entry and state the exact time/date you will be entering. Ensure you announce your presence before entering and be prepared to leave if you are asked to do so.

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Cindy 20th August, 2015 @ 21:48

Hi James,
My Daughter & her partner have been renting, what I can only describe as an extension on their landlady's house, for nearly 3yrs, but they had recently been looking for somewhere else, as they no have a Daughter & there's no bedroom, just a landing/bed space at the top of the stairs. They don't even have control over their own electricity or gas, as it's controlled from the landlady's house. It is a private rental & I don't actually believe that it's legal. The landlady decided to renovate her garden & used my Daughter's tiny garden as a dumping ground for all of the slabs, gravel, decking etc, which has meant that my Grandaughter has not been able to play in the garden at all.
When they asked her, what notice they would have to give, the Landlady said that she was in the process of buying another house, a 2 bedroomed, with a slightly bigger garden & a communal car park, just around the corner & as soon she had she had completed the sale, they could move in there & they agreed a price, after seeing the house details. The problem is, that, as she was showing them around, she had a builder there as well & was making plans to start building a garage/outbuilding at the bottom of the garden, which is going to cut the garden in half. She intends to use this, for her own use, for storage, which she will be able to access from either the communal car park, or the garden. This work will commence as soon as my Daughter was intending to move in & so, they will not be able to use the garden, whilst this is going on & also, they have agreed a price, based on a bigger, accessible garden & a communal car park, but yet they realise now, that this is not the case.
I understand, that they don't have to move into the house, but the Landlady already has another tenant lined up for 'The Hobbit's Lean-To' & they will not have time to find another house, nor the fees that it will require.
Is the Landlady allowed to do this & if so, can they apply for the house to be 'fair rented' because of tge changes?
Warm Regards
Cindy

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James 21st August, 2015 @ 15:50

Cindy - quite apart from the fact that your post does not relate to a "Right of Entry" issue, from what you describe it sounds like the landlady can pretty much do as she wishes and the prospective tenant (your daughter) has the choice to accept the tenancy or not. If the agreed price was discussed based on certain conditions and these have now changed then the price should be re-negotiated accordingly.

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Cindy 21st August, 2015 @ 19:49

Hi James,

Many thanks for your reply. I'll let her know.

Warm Regards

Cindy

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steve 27th August, 2015 @ 15:04

I am a Landlord and I need to access the property to allow a gas engineer to carry out the anual gas safety check before the current certification expires. Unfortunately it appears the tennants are on holiday and all my attempts to contact them via email, telephone and post have been unsuccessful. Does this consitiute an emergency, should I allow the gas engineer access to the property carry out the check?

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hanna 27th September, 2015 @ 18:57

well, my agency just let me know one day before they have to enter the property due to fix fire alarm. I have asked to visit me next day for I am away. I only got the answer they have keys and I don't have to be present in the house? I just do not want anybody to enter the house while I am not there. I really want to be there while some people walking around the place I am renting. Something wrong with me?

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Justin witt 13th October, 2015 @ 17:52

Is it okay for a letting agency to just show people around my flat without telling me?

I got home today from work all cold and wet hoping to have a bath and found that the agent had opened the door and turned on all the lights waiting for viewings. As I'm a working young man my flat wasn't in the tidiest state there was a sock in the bathroom sink and comdoms on the bedroom floor etc. I felt really embarrassed to be honest.

Is this right for a agency to do this?

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James 13th October, 2015 @ 18:52

Justin - in a word no, they have no right to enter without notice. You could have told them to leave immediately.

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Stephen Jones 17th October, 2015 @ 10:47

We are a RTM company. A resident In the middle floor reported that he was not getting a signal from his aerial socket. The aerial cable runs in line from the top to the middle flat and then the ground floor, inside the walls. The aerial system was installed when the block was built.

The resident in the top floor is refusing access for us to test his signal. We believe he is currently using a sky dish. So is interested in the communal aerial.

Are we responsible for the maintenance of the communal aerial system? If so then can we gain access as long as 24 notice given? If he still refuses what is the next step?

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chelsea 20th November, 2015 @ 00:01

hi ive recieved an email off the letting agent saying that because ive not stuck to appointments for her to inspect the property that she is just going to come and use the office keys. shes not once gave me a appointment instead just turned up. ive stated my daughters in hospital for a operation shes just 2 years old I dont want her to just come into my home whilst I am out but shes not taking no for an answer what should I do pleasd

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James 20th November, 2015 @ 10:44

You should send a strongly worded letter/email along the following lines

Dear Si/Madam, You have indicated that you intend to visit and undertake an inspection of my home by gaining entry to the property against my wishes and while I am not present. Please take this email as confirmation that you may not enter the property while I am absent and that by doing so against my wishes you will be committing trespass. I suggest that you contact me to agree in advance a mutually acceptable time for the inspections to take place - this could be x, y or z (provide some suitable dates here) Note that in line with the The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 you must also provide me 24 hours advance notice before you intend to visit and future requests for entry without this notice will be automatically denied. I trust that we can come to a mutually acceptable inspections date, however please contact me if this is a problem. Regards

Be polite, firm but also acknowledge that they have a job to do and need to do an inspection (it's one of the things the landlord pays them for) so you should try and be accommodating where possible. The following link follows a similar vein as the advice provided on this site: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2013/07/23/which-is-the-most-important-legal-rule-re-landlords-right-of-entry/

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:10

Reading through the comments here I notice that Rach above has said that:

"The law does not say you are entitled to the landlord's real address or phone number."

The Housing Officer who you spoke to is incorrect. Section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that a tenant may make a request, in writing, for the landlord's name and address (but not telephone number). They may send this to the landlord's agent or anyone else who last received the rent. It must then be supplied within 21 days.

The phrasing of the clause is such that if you paid rent directly to your landlord but they withheld their address (which would be fairly unusual, but not unheard of if they don't want to be served), you could request it via email and I think a court would consider this to be fair as no address was supplied and that's the entire point.

I am not a lawyer, however and you'd have to get your own advice on that.

The penalty for non-compliance with this clause, without reasonable excuse, is a fine of up to £2,500 (level 4 on the Standard Scale as it stands).

Of course, it may be that the landlord is in fact a company, in which case you'd receive that name rather than the name of a person, but you should still be able to get the name of the company and a postal address. A landlord who is a company can be served documents as you would serve an individual.

Full section for reference: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70

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The Landlord 1st December, 2015 @ 15:14

@matt

From what I'm aware, the tenant is legally entitled to a postal address to contact the landlord- it doesn't necessarily have to be their residential address.

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:28

Following up on the above, section 2 of the same act says that if your landlord is a company ("body corporate") you can make further requests (to the landlord) for the disclosal of the name and address of "every director and secretary of the landlord."

So you should be able to identify the key individuals involved in the running of the company, to whom you could write directly. Or you could just address the letter to the company "Dear Sirs... etc" and hope it gets passed to the right person.

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:32

@The Landlord - the act says "the landlord’s name and address", not just an address for service. I think the wording implies their personal (or business, in the case of a company) address, not that of an agent.

And I think this because if you were writing to the agent to request the address of the landlord, and they then wrote back to give you their own (the agent's) address, that wouldn't be a particularly helpful exchange!

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 15:33

That is because the law cannot be understood simply from its actual wording.

I'm no lawyer either but I understand that all laws are applied with the spirit or the intention/reasoning behind the wording of them.

The reasoning behind this law was, as I understood it to be, to provide the tenant with an address to serve legal notices and termination of tenancies to the landlord.

Now if a landlord chooses to utilise an agency to deal on his behalf, then the agency's address will suffice for serving legal notices, termination of tenancies, etc.

So as long as the agency provides an address for the tenant to send these legal notices to the landlord, it doesn't matter if it is the agent's address or the landlord's address. What matters is that the tenant is given an address that, should he wish to serve legal notices to the landlord, will actually reach the landlord.

That is my current understanding of this.

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:40

I disagree - both for the reason I stated in 527, and also the reason that a tenant may wish to know his landlord's address if the agent is not doing his duties properly and the tenant has reason to complain about this.

If mail addressed to the landlord was sent to the agent, they may not feel compelled to pass this on, particularly if they suspected it contained a complaint about them. That's why the penalty exists, to make sure that agents comply and provide the name and address of the landlord.

While the Housing Act concerns itself with an address for service, the Landlord and Tenant act states "the landlord's name and address," in a section headed "Disclosure of landlord’s identity." I think the spirit behind this is so that a tenant can seek to come to a resolution directly with the landlord where an agent is failing to take action.

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:41

Sorry, while section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, not Housing Act, requires an address for service, section 1 says you have the right to know the identity (name & address) of the landlord. ;)

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 15:46

If you think the law says tenants must be entitled to their landlord's home address even if the landlord uses an agent, then what could be the spirit or reasoning behind this sort of legislation?

I am a tenant myself and even I have to concede that the reasoning that this law is just to provide tenants with the means to serve legal papers and notices to landlords makes more sense.

I don't think the law was thinking ahead about what agents may do (i.e. suppress information to landlords) in its formulation of this law, because this law was made in the 80s or something, at a time when the use of letting agents was probably not as prevalent as today.

The housing officer who spoke to me had a law degree himself and was a tenant once.. I will concede I don't know as much as he does and this is all conjecture at this point as none of us are lawyers.

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:48

Because the tenant may have reason to complain about the behaviour of the agent, so would need the address of the landlord...

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 15:48

All legitimate agencies provide tenants with the landlord's name. But they usually only give the agency's address to the tenant. Can't see that they are breaking the law by doing this as all tenants are entitled to the landlord's name, and an address to serve papers to...

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:50

I disagree - why would the act have two different sections (1 & 48) concerning this if they were one and the same?

If anyone else is reading this and knows of any cases relevant that'd be good? :)

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 15:51

Well Matt, like I said before, I don't think the law was thinking ahead in that regard - that agents may suppress info to the tenants - that law was created the 80s. Agencies weren't as prevalent as today.

But since none of us are lawyers, is your guess as good as mine?

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Matt 1st December, 2015 @ 15:54

If I click the little head at the bottom that says 'Legal', does that make me right?

Let's agree to disagree, and hope that neither of us is put in a situation by an agent where we'd have to put it to a court!

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 16:02

Well I hate renting because of the way laws are right now. But I'm lucky I have a good landlord now. I have spent a lot of time researching that issue previously when I had agent/landlord troubles. I could not find a single instance where an agent got in trouble for supplying the agency's address rather than the landlord's address. And agencies surely would have their backs covered by making sure this little detail does not criminalise them and cost them in legal fees when challenged.

If a tenant really wants to find out where their landlord lives, look up the property's Land Registry details. That might give a clue. Or send a letter to the landlord with an envelope stamped private and confidential. These aren't fool proof ways to get around it but unless there is a major overhaul in legislation to address the issue of dodgy agencies, renters will always be at a disadvantage.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st December, 2015 @ 16:08

@Matt
I disagree. From the landlord law blog:

Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987

The reason behind this section is that there will sometimes be circumstances under which a tenant will need to sue his landlord. However in order to sue someone you need to have an address for them, in this country (ie in England / Wales) so the court paperwork can be served on them.

If a landlord fails to provide his address to his tenants, or lives outside ‘the jurisdiction’ (as we lawyers call it), then this puts the tenant at a disadvantage. He will not be able to bring a claim.

So Parliament has helped the tenant by making it a legal requirement for all landlords to provide their tenants with details of an address, in England and Wales, where their tenants can serve notices on them, including notices in Court proceedings.

That alone implies it doesn't need to be a residential address. But also, I believe an agent's address would not be suitable either.

Section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985
Under this section, where a tenant does not know his landlords name and address, he can request this in writing from the landlord’s agent or the person who collects the rent.

Just a contact address in England or Wales.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st December, 2015 @ 16:13

@Rachel

The tenant is entitled to the landlord's contact address- an agent's address does not count.

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 16:27

Yes but that falls under criminal law, and to get prosecuted, it has to be processed by the Magistrates Court. It is not a civil matter and not many ordinary people know how to bring a prosecution case to a Magistrates Court. You could get the police or the local authority to do this for you. Unlikely that police would want to get involved in such matters, and local authorities will not likely entertain such requests - their resources are pressed and they will only take on the most serious cases of lawbreaking, not a case like this.

I had this same discussion with the housing officer and he confirmed this.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st December, 2015 @ 16:31

@Rachel
But my point is, the tenant is entitled to their landlord's contact address and failure to supply it is a criminal offence.

How to prosecute or whether it's worth prosecuting is another issue. I'm just saying, by law, the tenant is entitled to the landlord's address.

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Rachel 1st December, 2015 @ 16:41

I appreciate all that you're doing here and it does hearten me a bit to know that the law is... On my side... In spirit. But in practice it helps me not one single bit when I had to deal with a belligerent, obstructive and inconsiderate agent.

I'm just glad I'm done with agents now and deal with a lovely landlord directly. It is like gold dust and I will hang on to it. Do not want to move again or have to deal with agents.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st December, 2015 @ 16:46

@Rachel
Ha, yeah, tenants have some nice laws protecting them, the only problem is 99% of tenants (and landlords) don't know the law. But also, enforcing the law can be a right pain, and often it's not even worth relying on. That's my experience anyways.

In practice, Landlord & tenant law is horrific, truly.

Having a great landlord is key (it's not knowing the law). Equally, the quality of my life is so much better when I have good tenants.

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help 7th December, 2015 @ 14:55

can any one help,i have been served with a section 8 I have had no court paperwork yet,the letting agency have sent a builder in who has just lethimself in is this allowed .cheers

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margo 8th March, 2016 @ 18:32

hi need some advice my landlord is one of the bad ones doesnt do repairs we have to pay for them ourself ie. new window got a free boiler and insulation wouldnt pay us back. now he is selling proprty that we rent never told us this we found out we agent arrived to take phots. do we have to let agent in to let people view house when we still renting any advice would be great.

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Bambi89 10th March, 2016 @ 00:30

Hi,

I moved in to my property in 2014 which is part of a large house/office/barn conversion - now stands as one 4bed house, one 1 bedroom flat, one 2 bed house (mine) and then also a "studio" apartment.
To cut a long story short, when I signed the tenancy with the agents, I was not notified that the studio is in actual fact connected to MY main electricity meter by a sub meter (put in by the landlord and his leccy). I had been paying for two properties bills!
Eventually, May 2015, once the properties had been passed on to a new agent (who also didn't notify of the sub meter) had worked out that this was the case. Due to the conversion, I do not have access to my own meter. All meters are held within the main 4 bed house.
It was agreed that the agents would come on 21st each month and take my meter reading, as well as the sub meter reading and work out how much each property has used. They would then invoice the tenant of the studio and pass the payment to myself so that I can credit the energy account - long winded, but easy enough I guess! Well, the past 2 months, readings have been taken on 21st Jam and 23rd Feb aaaand.. Only part payments have been made to myself. This now leaves the energy account (which is in my name only - and cannot be changed as they weren't even made aware of a sub meter!) in arrears.
I've tried endless to ask the agents when payments will be made and to enquire about setting a definite date each month for sub meter payments to cover usages but I just keep getting told "we'll update you soon", "it's getting looked into" or no response at all.
As if that's not bad enough, I had a few requested with regards to maintenance issues... All had been raised with both sets of agents and I just continuously get told that, the landlord is out of the country or we're waiting to hear back.
One of the problems was the skirting boards were falling off of the wall.. These are approx. 12inch+ tall. I finally got a response after a few attempts to be told one of the maintenance guys would be out to me on Wednesday (today). I emailed them straight back advising I was working, wouldn't be home until 7pm and could they please rearrange. I had to reply, again. I came home from work tonight to find they'd let the maintenance person in to the house whilst I was not here. Am I right in thinking that this is illegal? I specifically asked them to rearrange. I have email proof.
I'm very, very meticulous about things and noticed they'd moved my (rather large) fridge freezer which (due to floorboards that are completely uneven - something raised prior) took my father a great deal of effort to place in just the right way, with a lot of heavy lifting, adjusting and the use of wooden blocks. This is incredibly noticeable to me.. I completely understand that most others would not have noticed.. But it now doesn't sit right and wobbles. I know, I know! It seems such a small detail to get antsy about - but it really got to me! If I'd have been here whilst the guy was fixing, I could have made sure it was done properly. I'd also like to add that I'm 5ft2 and a single mother to a 3 yr old!

Please can someone offer some advice - I feel as though I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place! I've already had a face to face meeting with the agents after giving them 1 week to adequately reply to my queries and all seemed fine.. However, I'm just continuously getting fobbed off again.

Thanks in advance for any help or guidance! (And sorry to waffle!)

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James 10th March, 2016 @ 09:00

Bambi
So that's the short version is it?! You ask, is this 'illegal' well technically, perhaps, but as 'The Landlord' states in post 543 above, Landlord and Tenant Law is no Sunday afternoon jaunt and certainly not something to be considering based on your description which appears to be mainly down to poor communication. Sorry to sound unsympathetic, but a fridge left a few inches out of alignment because of a fix to skirting boards that you requested, while being an annoyance is hardly the basis for a court case! But by all means ask your landlord to provide help in moving the fridge back to it's original position.

Margo
They will need to serve notice 24 hours prior to each viewing. Read the above posts and article, the answers are all there - you can refuse entry if you wish. How you act will be based on how awkward you want to be, but if many agent viewings or confrontations with your landlord are going to bother you, maybe it's time to find a better property and landlord.

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Bambi89 10th March, 2016 @ 09:23

@James thanks for your input. Just to clarify, I'm most certainly not looking to raise a court case, simply asking for other outlooks and whether or not it was right for them to allow access to the property despite my asking for them to rearrange. Thanks though.

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cheryl 18th April, 2016 @ 08:52

Hi iv been served a section 8 and give me 2 weeks notice but he chang the looks on the last day before I could get the rest off my staff I than not is that he have put it all up on Gumtree and sold it all ther was no court proceedings can he do this

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James 18th April, 2016 @ 09:05

Cheryl - most Section 8 notice questions are detailed here: http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/section-8-evicting-tenants/
He cannot 'forcefully' gain possession without a possession order from a court.

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Bev mummy Laura 18th May, 2016 @ 18:34

Hi I'm seeking advice on my landlords behaviour and the fact she has refused repairs, faulty boiler won't turn on when pressed, eg won't start and 75% o time won't give hot water. I have two very young daughters so it is vital. This has been for two months. My landlord when contacted replied please not to contact her on small matters and as she is landlord with several business this was a small matter. She has given no receipts of money 550 deposit and has now text for a months rent we have withheld the rent on request of boiler and other repairs such as black sudden mold in bathroom and single pain windows that are not air tight. Her reply was now we have four week to move out and this was written notice, as she is now selling house it was a text message on mobile is that legal and can u help me please. Me and my partner do not receive housing benefit he is in full time work and we pay our way in life. She has today arrived I opened door as she said it was to inspection for damages, she arrived with partner and entered, on entering spoke high toned and aggressive were is her money and I replies when were the repairs getting done she said your havin a fucking laff, i then replied can you calm Down and stop shouting your scaring my children she then said I don't fucking give a shit as my two daughter and my brother and his partner was present in regards for my brother and partner also the landlords partner was all witness she then proceded with telling him to tak the blinds down off my front and top floor of house . An then left she was screaming I want you out by Friday enphasise screaming also she only text me with regards to message about she selling and we have four week we only received that Friday 3days ago. We are now unsure and feel threatened and also are fearful about our daughters future place of residence eg family home. Thanks and this has left me feeling intimidated and unsure of what is now to happen and our best plan of action please please please help thank u x

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James 20th May, 2016 @ 07:22

Laura - Let's cut to the chase! If your landlord has acted in the way you describe there are several problems (for her). The principal problem for you seems to be that you have a landlord who is either an amateur, an idiot or both, and one who themselves may be acting unreasonably because of financial pressures.

That said take some responsibility yourself to find out your own rights so you know when to tell you landlord to do their job properly. If you take the trouble to read the posts above and this website more widely then then most of your questions are likely to be answered here.

Here are the basics you need to know:

Your landlord cannot just tell you to leave they must serve you written notice - either using a Section 21 or Section 8 notice.

If your landlord does not serve notice correctly the notice is void.

If your landlord has not placed your deposit in the DPS then the notice is void.

The notice period to terminate a tenancy is 2 months. This period starts from when the landlord issues correct notice - not the first notice date (if that notice was incorrect or the deposit wasn't in the DPS)

Your landlord must give you 24 hrs notice to enter your home - you can refuse entry if you wish.

Her selling the house has no bearing on your rights as a tenant.

Do not let her into your home again until she has calmed down and is acting and speaking reasonably and lawfully. There are plenty of posts in this forum alone that can tell you about the law and reasonableness.

If she tries to forcibly evict you (she won't if she has a brain) call the police.

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Sarah Hunter 7th June, 2016 @ 23:53

Hi there. Some good advice here, but am looking for just a bit more!

My tenancy agreement stipulates access for "inspections" as long as they give me 24 hours notice. I've seen this clause in previous tenancies and it has never been even referenced during the tenancy. I now come to understand that the agent intends to absolutely use this as they have contacted me to "inspect" 1 month after I've moved in! This is my first time living in Manchester and I don't know if it's commonplace here.

After reading up, this is a new build property in perfect condition and my reading of the law indicates that a right of access to repair or investigate to repair has to be based in reality. It can't just be for the sake of it. They also want to take photo and video and they couch it as being, "there to protect me."

This to me is such an invasion of privacy and I've refused them access. Am I within my rights? Will they evict me??

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Matt 8th June, 2016 @ 08:50

@Sarah Hunter - So long as they give you 24 hours notice and it's in your contract, it's probably lawful BUT if they intend on doing it every month it's excessive.

That's not a legal standpoint (necessarily, though it's a bit of a difficult argument) but a common sense one. Personally, I'd let them in the first month, and once they've finished poking around and seeing everything is fine, I'd ask them as to the number of inspections they intended.

If they said it was going to be every month I'd be having a firm talk and suggesting that they only come every quarter or half year, reducing over time as they saw that the property was in a reasonable condition.

I wouldn't like allowing agents (ugh) into my home either, but if you can put up with them once and they see everything is fine, it might be beneficial.

Like I say, I wouldn't like it either, but if they think you're being difficult they might recommend to the landlord that you get given your notice.

If you have told them that they can't come in, they shouldn't - if they do they MIGHT be committing trespass, but a judge would have to take a stance on that after looking at the contract and specific circumstances. And that's probably not a fuss you want to bother with?

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Will 8th June, 2016 @ 12:34

Hi Sarah,

Have to say I disagree with Matt there. Sounds like they're very much overstepping their bounds. I get that Landlords and Agents love to poke around and document things, but whether that jives with the law is another matter entirely.

From my experience, you have to be pretty horrible with rent arrears or being a real nuisance to your neighbours to ever be evicted. And yes, any clause that grants them automatic access by giving notice to you wouldn't stand up in court.

However I agree with Matt on one principle, that being if you let them in once and they see all is well, that would go a long way to showing you were cooperative and that there's nothing for them to worry about. Definitely wouldn't let them take photos/video though!

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James 8th June, 2016 @ 13:15

Sarah

If you have told the agent (or anyone) that they may not enter your home, it is not that they 'might' be trespassing - by definition they WILL be trespassing. Note however, that trespass is a civil not criminal offence so how useful/relevant this fact is for a single violation is questionable.

Since you've only been in the property for a short time it is likely you are within your fixed term (6 months or 1 year?) and this means that the only way an agent/landlord can seek possession is through a Section 8 notice. As Will suggests, you would need to be in serious arrears or a real problem tennant for a court to grant a possession order to your Landlord - once outside your fixed term though your tenancy can be ended for no reason using a Section 21.

Ultimately I would say an inspection after a month is an annoyance rather than abusive and as Matt and Will suggest - for the sake of good will and cooperation it would likely be better for all concerned if you don't deny access just because you can. That said, I would point blank refuse permission for them to photograph or video where you live. Not only do they have no right to do this but had they wished to photographically document the property, they should have completed this prior to you moving in and will also be able to do the same once you have moved out. It is the condition of the property, not how you wish to live in it (within reason!) that is relevant. Do not allow them to persuade you otherwise.

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joe 30th June, 2016 @ 06:29

I am a great tenant I pay on time I keep the place clean and in good condition and I allow any reasonable access . However my landlord ( which is a company) justs lets itself in without my permission as it likes. They send me ( and the other tenant in the development) a letter saying something like "we need ongoing access over the next three weeks" then they just let themselves and their contractors in whenever they want to. I have asked for 24hrs notice and they say yes of course but then they just carry on. Yesterday I came home and the front room was open with rain pouring in the wide open windows and my things were on the floor -they had been in again. I don't want to be a problem but can I change the door locks? I would still let them in but I could chose to be there also.

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James 30th June, 2016 @ 09:19

Joe
Firstly remember it is your home not theirs! That is a starting point. Secondly they are failing in their obligation to provide you correct notice. They have ignored your request (hopefully you made this in writing?) to do so. Based on your reasons I would say you could justifiably change the locks, but to make your case more strongly I would write to the landlord again stating their requirement to provide correct notice and listing the occasions when they have not done so.

If following that letter they continue to ignore their obligation then for sure consider changing the locks. Note however, it will likely cause significant ill feeling and you will have to return the door and locks to it's original condition when you depart. Changing the locks is really a last resort but justifiable if it would be viewed by others as a 'reasonable' course of action.

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Chris 25th July, 2016 @ 13:57

Hi, I have been in my flat for three months and the agency wants to do an inspection, this is fine by me but if they see something they don't like whatever I may be, can they kick me out. Thanks.

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Matt 25th July, 2016 @ 15:13

Hi Chris,

No, they can't. If the landlord wants you out they need to follow proper procedures. And if you have a fixed-term tenancy they likely can't ask you to leave before that's over.

It's not in their interests to do that anyway, as finding tenants can take time. And if you've just moved in, they're unlikely to want to do it all over again.

You probably shouldn't worry - they'll likely step inside for less than a minute, if they bother to come at all! Vast majority of agents in properties I've lived in have been incredibly lazy. If they did actually turn up, they stepped into the hallway, peeked into each room and left.

Just clean and tidy before they come. Think you're overthinking it a bit :)

-M

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