Landlord’s Right Of Entry

Landlord's Right Of Entry

It is in fact illegal for a landlord or agent to enter their property without agreement from the tenant.

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; the law will ultimately overrule the clause because it would be seen as unfair and therefore void. Not even a contract will help a landlord in court if he/she steps into their property thinking they can do so because of what is agreed in a contract.

A landlord does have the right to ‘reasonable’ access to carry out repairs for which they are responsible, but they still always need to ask for the tenant’s permission, and give at least 24 hours notice.

A tenant has the right to live without unnecessary interference from the landlord. Most tenants have the right to prevent the landlord from entering the premises unless they’re specifically given permission. 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!

325 Comments - join the conversation...

Showing 276 - 325 comments (out of 325)
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James2013-11-08 16:36:57

Dan,
Please read the posts above! If you state that they may not enter and they enter your home without your consent, they are trespassing - simple. If you don't wish them to enter then you should write/email stating that they may not enter your property when you are not present. If they do enter against your wishes they are committing an offence. The 24 hours notice does not give them a right to enter against your wishes (unless in an emergency). You could prove this point by physically preventing entry in some way if you believe they will ignore your request. That said, it's best to be diplomatic whereever possible.

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Dan2013-11-08 17:40:27

Thanks for the reply, James.

I have read quite a bit of this thread, but I wanted to make double sure that, in order for my landlord to carry out an inspection, they must give 24 hours notice and they MUST have my consent to let themselves in.

I've tried to be diplomatic throughout, and polite - sadly, my landlord is abrasive and seems to think she is doing me a favour by letting the flat to me, and is insistent that she will do as she pleases, regardless of whether I agree.

I'm sure she will ignore my request, despite me saying that I am not comfortable with anyone being in my flat without me being there. The sad thing is that I'm happy here, but I feel I will have to move because of this sort of nonsense.

I'm tempted to leave a note on the table saying 'As an experienced landlord, you are no doubt aware that you MUST have my consent to enter the property. As you have entered this property without my consent, you are now trespassing and I shall be reporting this incident to the Police and the local authority'

I know it will mean an eviction, but unless I let her do what she wants, don't see another outcome...

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Fauxkingphill2013-11-08 19:05:29

Dan,

Letting a property runs so much smoothly when both parties act in a reasonable manor. Sadly I feel for you, as from what you describe your Landlord has obviously not. But alas being unreasonable in return may lead to an ever spiraling path.

Most LL's will write into their tenancy agreement that periodic inspections are required. Whilst quite correctly this does not give the LL the right to enter whenever or without reasonable notice nor disrespect your right to 'quiet enjoyment'. Being unreasonable in accommodating these inspections may lead to 'breach of tenancy' proceedings.

I am sure you will make the right decisions and if your still unhappy with how the LL treats you, then there is always the option of finding new, good LL's and Lets, do exist !

Just one more point, a LL is essentially trusting you (the tenant) with a huge personal asset. Is it unreasonable for them to periodically check on it?

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Dan2013-11-08 19:14:55

I'm more than happy for them to do an inspection, it's to be expected. My issue is that they want to come between 11-2 on a Saturday when I'm at work. I've offered to be available on any other day, at any time, or before 10 or after 6 on Saturday, so I feel I've been as accommodating as I can...but it seems one way.

What can I actually do if she does make the visit without my consent?

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Dan2013-11-08 19:16:34

I've been here for 4 years btw, never been late or light with the rent, and there's never been a problem with anything when they have done an inspection in the past. I think I'm a good tenant lol!!!

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Fauxkingphill2013-11-08 19:34:47

Yes, I hear you ('Sadly I feel for you, as from what you describe your Landlord has obviously not').

I don't think your being unreasonable insisting that your present during the inspection. You describe already trying to arrange a mutual time. I guess the only other thing possible would have been a written letter to this effect stating quite clearly 'your right to quiet enjoyment' and privacy and under no circumstance the inspection was not to take place in your absence.

You would be within your rights to report the access as a trespass but I doubt the police would do much and the chances are the LL would only respond in time making life more difficult for you.

Unfortunately there are minority of LL's and agents who don't treat their tenants with the deserved respect but equally there are bad tenants (not saying that you are). It is a shame!

If you let through an agent, most reputable ones will have a complaints procedure. However from what you describe it sounds you deal direct with LL. So your choices are limited, unless anyone can advise different?

You can always move out and warn future potential tenants of the LL or agent you have had problems with.

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Miss Scarlett2013-11-13 14:38:15

Hi,

I found my flat on rightmove which ive been rented for 3 years is up for sale on my lunch break. When I asked the lettings agents they had confirmed it is up for sale and they had written a letter the night before to advise. The letter did not arrive until after the weekend and had I not of seen the ad online, I wouldnt of known the flat was for sale.

anyhow,

I am a night worker, they have given my number to an estate agents who keep hounding me to view property to take pictures,measurements & viewings.

Can I refuse them entry? I have given my one months notice and for most of that month I am working unsocialable hours. Also, they have left a bitter taste in my mouth about selling the flat. I just want to leave and not be bothered by the letting agents/estate agents and viewings.

Thanks for looking.

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James2013-11-13 15:39:29

Miss Scarlett,
It sounds as if this could have been handled a bit better. As per the posts above, you can refuse entry but I think you need to be somewhat accommodating. For example had you simply handed your notice it would be fairly normal for a LL/Agent to want to show prospective tenants the property.

If you wish you could blanket refuse but you will leave on bad terms - you may not care? If this were me, one thing I would specifically refuse, is to take calls from the estate agent directly. It is the job of your landlord or his agent to deal with the estate agent and give you the correct notice. IMO it should not be the tenant who fields calls for viewings etc. If this were me, I would politely but bluntly tell them that they are to refer to the letting agent and that you will not liaise with them directly unless the letting Agent has provided the required notice to you in writing. Once an appointment has been arranged through your letting agent I don’t think it would be unreasonable for the Estate Agent to call you directly in relation to that particular appointment (if they were running late for example)

It would probably be easier for all concerned if they just wait until you move out and the keys can then simply be handed to the estate agent for them to do as they wish. If they try to do as they wish while you are still living there; put your foot down!

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James2013-11-13 15:42:31

Third paragraph, I meant....it would NOT be unreasonable for....!

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Miss Scarlett2013-11-13 18:40:31

Thanks James :)

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Jenia2013-11-17 20:04:32

Hi,

Me and my flatmate rent a 2 bed apartment from private landlord, who lives abroad, but still keeps some of her personal items, like clothes and shows in the apartment. We pay rent on time and keep the place clean.
Every time she visits UK(every few months) she turns up with 30 min notice or without it to collect/store some of her stuff. Sometimes her mother comes with her. Packing takes 3-4 hours, they help themselves with a tea/coffee. Check out the fridge.
When I ask them to remove their clothes, hey can criticise my personal belongings(e.g.suitcases being empty)and advise me to send it to my parents/ through away.
Visits happen during weekend, (about 4 visits every few months) I can not relax, as I work Mon-Fri
My flatmate prefers to stay with friends during these visits.

Please advise

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James2013-11-18 17:59:58

Jenia
Do you have a signed tenancy agreement? What is it? Are you responsible for all the bills at the house or does your landlord pay these? Are you a lodger? Was the situation explained to you when you moved in? I used to live in a house where the landlord would keep a room for himself and would occasionally turn up and stay. However, it was explained at the start that we were lodgers even though when he wasn't around (most of the time) we used the house completely as our own. All bills were in his name and the rent was cheap so we were happy with the arrangement.

From what you describe though you are not happy and your landlord sounds like a class amateur with no idea of her legal obligations. If you are not lodgers then you have a right to quiet enjoyment of your home and your landlord is breaching this.

As in the posts above, your landlord has NO right to enter your home without 24 hours’ notice, regardless of what she may or may not have stored there. And using your kitchen and fridge to make drinks! – sounds like she is treating the place as HER home, except it is not hers, it is yours and I think you need to tell her that! Has she complied with her other legal obligations – gas safety checks - she is breaking the law if she hasn’t?

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Jenia2013-11-18 19:44:42

Thank you for response.

We had an written agreement, I am a tenant and rent one of the bedrooms. £700+bills for a bedroom
I asked her to reduce the price and she agreed to include all bills in the price, but to keep it £700

It's a 2 bed flat, when I moved in I shared with landlord, and she stayed here from time to time and invited her relatives to stay in the living room, when they visited.

After 6 months, she moved out of UK and let her bedroom to a different person(my current flatmate) to stay full time.

She is visiting UK this week and next week, and coming in every second day now to collect her stuff, go through the mail(opening and reading here) also on Tuesday she has doctors appointments, and she wants to use Wifi and stay in the flat between appointments. (Probably will help herself with drinks and snacks again)

I love the place, it's close to the station, only a few stops from the office, I get along with my current flatmate, but those visits annoy me.

I know she will leave again, but I am afraid talking to her, she will remind me it's her flat

I feel, that it's her home

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Jenia2013-11-18 19:50:48

I don't know about gas, but Fire alarm does not work.
If anything gets broken, she suggests I have to find a male friend to fix it

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Sinead2013-11-18 21:19:35

Hi,

I've recently moved into a Lady's house as a Lodger. This was my fist time lodging and I'm a typically private person who even when living in my parents house or with my Boyfriend always had a room which was considered my space. The issue is the Landlady enters my room on an almost daily basis. She opens windows, tidies up if she feels the need does my bed and sometimes even does washing without asking, even washing bedding without notice. She also asks visitors to the house and other lodgers to enter my room to close the window.

I have asked her not to do so her response is "she doesn't need permission" I'd like to know where I stand legally as a lodger.

I was also not informed she owned pets before I came to the house, (on later inspection I noticed she'd ticked the box on having pets on flatmaterooms but was never told or it was never mentioned in the ad)the 2 dogs she owns stink and I have unfortunately been sick twice because of the smell. They live in the kitchen and we the lodgers are banned from taking food anywhere else in the house leading to some very stressful meal times!

A week ago I and my fellow lodger were asked to sign a 2 letter document of "Rules" a sort of longer version of our tenancy agreements some of the rules had I known before moving in I would not have come, do they have any legal standing since they were presented to us after being there for 2 months?

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WNOL Westminster News Online » Survivors guide to renting in London2013-11-20 18:31:28

[…] you’d be right, they couldn’t. It is illegal, but they often do it and claim it was an emergency. If this applies to you don’t be afraid to […]

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kim2013-11-25 15:21:48

Please help.. we rent a room from our landlord who does not live at the property. we are the only people living in the 3 bed house. what are the rules for landlord to enter the property?

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James2013-11-25 17:36:18

Kim - do you rent a room only? If so you are likely to only have exclusive possession of that room - in which case I don't believe the landlord is required to give notice to enter communal areas of the house - i.e. the areas in the property that you do not rent – i.e areas which are not your room.

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Catherine Skala2013-11-26 21:22:07

We have been at loggerheads with our landlord from the first day of tenancy. We have repeatedly, for five months, asked him to repair a radiator. He has refused and instead gave us 2 months' notice. We accepted and moved out 1.5 months before the end of the notice period but are still paying rent for the old flat. We have accepted that the landlord's agent brings potential new tenants to the flat for viewings after first informing us of when and obtaining our consent. When I went to the flat today just to check mail and such I saw that repairs (paintwork) had been undertaken to the radiator and paint cans and tissues had been left in the flat. It is clear that the landlord and agent have entered the flat, without informing us and without obtaining out consent, to carry out repairs that the landlord refused to carry out while we were still in the flat, while we are still paying the rent. We are now considering taking him to court for unlawful entry, trespassing and/or harassment. Has anyone got any advice to give?

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James2013-11-27 08:02:51

Catherine,
Given that you have moved out, is this really worth the hassle? While technically your landlord may be in the wrong, if you no longer live there, then claiming harassment is rather tenuous. My advice, forget about it, get on with your life and find a better landlord!

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Catherine2013-11-27 08:38:16

The important thing here is that we are still legally responsible for the flat. If various people are let in to it without our knowledge they can cause a number of problems and we will be held liable.

Also, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have had several problems that the LL refused to address, among them a faulty and even dangerous boiler that it took him three months to replace, despite us not having any hot water or heating in the flat.

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James2013-11-27 09:24:22

Catherine, on your first point I completely agree - you should write to your landlord stating that he may not enter without notice and raise your concerns over unrestricted entry to the flat.

My first response was primarily related to your enquiry over taking legal action against your landlord, if you raise this with the police I doubt in the circumstances they will take action - they may caution the landlord. This leaves you needing to take civil action against him. There is nothing stopping you from doing this but you will need to claim some form of loss (normally financial) and give reasons. If your landlord did not provide a Gas Safety Record (which he must keep for two years) this may support your case, see: http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqtenant.htm . However, the legal costs will be yours to pay unless your landlord loses the case. Court cases equal: time, money and hassle - only you can decide if it's worth it.

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Catherine2013-11-27 14:34:02

Thanks, James, we appreciate your input! It is very hard to just accept that the LL does what he wants when we're footing the bill..

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Anon 4 Legal Reason2013-11-27 23:26:08

Has anyone on here had experience with complaining to the Property Ombudsman about issues similiar to those on here?

In brief: I was living in a flat in a building with major problems which were aggravated by the involvement of many different parties: management firms dealing with maintenance and repair of the overall property, private owners of individual flats subletting to others, and letting agents renting out specific units. Due to the lack of coordination between all of these, I was subjected to a large amount of harrassment and surveillance and intrusions into my flat. Ultimately, the agent let themselves in when I wasn't at home, discovered a personal cannabis supply and then instigated a police raid which completely turned my life inside out.

They later claimed multiple false stories about supposed attempts to give me notice, but not only are none of these stories substantiated by evidence, none of them even constitute legal written notice anyway.

Obviously, if I had received notice and/or given consent for them to enter in my absence, there would not have been any "contraband" on the premises! Incidentally, I was not prosecuted for the cannabis, which the cops could see was personal and the entire debacle was a ridiculous waste of everyone's time and energy, including the police.

I lost thousands of pounds worth of property and earnings as I had to scramble to sell my belongings in order to finance a move by the date I had negotiated, one month earlier than the end of my (prepaid) tenancy in order to avoid an eviction hearing, and in addition had basically no income during the final weeks as I could no longer maintain my self-employed business while dealing with all the legal hassles that ensued.

I know that the landlord broke the law in what they did and everything I have read so far confirms my understanding of the law. But there is something on this thread that bothers me and I don't see how it can be true: one of the seemingly well informed commenters on here has written on more than one occasion that consent may be "implied" if a tenant does not contest an email that requests access.

First of all, it is my understanding that legal written notice is a physical paper document. Secondly, it is my understanding that permission to enter in the tenant's absence must specifically be granted and is not a matter where an implication may be assumed due to lack of response. That seems the opposite of any kind of normal logic.

That it could be allowable for a landlord or agent to enter an occupied flat in a tenant's absence merely because they claim to have sent an email to which no reply was ever received seems utterly ridiculous to me; without acknowledgment I don't see how it can be reasonably assumed that the tenant ever received or saw such an email.

My reason for being concerned is that one of the numerous lies that the agent has come up with to try to cover their bum after the fact is that they sent an email regarding an inspection to me 3 months prior to their visit, which I most certainly never received and they probably never sent.

It seems like a way too easy dodge around the law if a landlord can just say "well we sent him an email with the date and time we intended to come and walk through the property and he didn't respond at all...so when we came at the specified appointment and he wasn't home, we just let ourselves in reasonably assuming that this was OK...". If this excuse is honestly sufficient to let a landlord off the hook for illegal entry then there may as well not even be a law prohibiting illegal entry!

When I make an appointment with someone, I don't just send a message into the great cyber void and assume that this means the appointment is OK with the other party! Whether a voice mail, an email, or even a handwritten note, it is standard no-brainer logic to insist that both parties must OK an appointment in order for an appointment to exist!

I would like the commenter who has made the claim that "implied" consent may be construed by the non-response to an emailed notice (!) to justify their viewpoint.

Further to this, I would like to know if anyone else has any experience of taking harrassment and illegal entry cases to the Ombudsman and what the result was. I am claiming significant financial damages for my losses and also a refund of a large portion of the rent for other misrepresentations regarding the condition of the property.

Finally, can the fact that I was in possession of a banned substance be used to invalidate my case? It would seem that it is irrelevant as the landlord broke the law in order to discover that I was in breach.

I am most grateful for any knowledgeable responses to this.

Stand up for your rights, renters! Otherwise we still live in a class society where the rich (property owners) are entitled to privacy rights that are denied to the (non property owning) poor.

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James2013-11-28 00:32:39

Anon,
You make some valid points but this appears quite tricky and includes questions I really think you need to direct to a knowledgeable lawyer. My gut feel here is that you missed your opportunity to put forward these points in court by moving out before the section 8 possession hearing was heard. You don't explain why you didn't choose to contest this in court at the time - were you certain the landlord would gain possession?

Regarding your point over implied consent, I cannot justify this absolutely, except that a landlord serves notice of intent - i.e. they are not asking for permission and no response is required from the tenant. As a tenant however, you have a right to veto the intended entry, but to exercise this right you would need to respond and state that the LL may not enter. All UK lettings proceed in this way and I believe I am correct in this interpretation. However, I am not a lawyer so you may want to get more specialist advice.

As for email vs. letter, technically notice should be in writing but if you've provided an email address as your preferred communication method this might be a hard one to argue. That said, if this arrived in court then there may be a need for some form of proof of sending to settle the point e.g. a log from their mail server or something similar.

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Anon 4 Legal Reason2013-11-28 09:21:00

Hi James

Thanks for your quick reply. Let me clarify a few of the points you query.

1. I decided not to let it go to court because by then I was utterly sick of living at the creepy place and dealing with these jerks, my livelihood had been ruined and as I had prepaid my rent, my only chance of getting any of it back was to negotiate an early leave date in exchange for an early refund providing me with much needed funds. I wanted to leave the country and didn't want to hang around in the crappy town I'd ended up in after 7 miserable years in the UK, just to go to court.

2. I did indeed have legal representation in the form of a local Housing Trust. To be honest, I felt more knowledgeable than the staff when it came to intricacies of law and had to correct them on several points. I tried to find a proper lawyer that would advise me pro bono but in the UK it seems to be basically impossible to get decent legal representation without money. I couldn't find any lawyer in my area to even take a meeting with me without forking over bundles of cash.

3. I still feel that you may be mistaken regarding the legality of entering a property in a non-emergency situation without the specific consent of the tenant. I don't find confirmation of your view elsewhere but find that regardless of what it says in the lease, consent is needed. As I said before, otherwise it would just be too easy to claim that notice was given when it wasn't, as in my case. I guess I'll wait and see how the Ombudsman decides on this point to know if I'm right or not. I'll let you know!

4. Regarding the email versus letter situation, here are some more details you may find of interest: in the initial statement to the police, the agent claimed to have sent me an email to my actual email address with 24 hours notice, this I easily disproved so then they claimed to have left a voice mail giving 24 hours notice only my outgoing message clearly states that I do not regularly check voice mail and therefore time-sensitive information is not to be left in that format. Plus there is the fact that voice mail is not written notice. (About a week after the raid I did check my voice mail and found that they had indeed left a voice mail saying they were coming "tomorrow": a Sunday and mother's day which does not fit the definition of a reasonable time. In any case I was home all that day and they never came. I heard loads of stomping up and down my hall, where no one else lived, and anyone there would have heard my music and known I was home. I believe they were waiting for me to go out, having already been inside my flat, as they knew that I would have refused entry on the grounds that notice hadn't been given had they knocked. The raid took place the following morning as soon as I went out; obviously someone was watching me. It is also obvious to me that they had already been inside my flat and organized the raid with the cops and this voice mail was another lame attempt to retroactively cover themselves. When my legal counsel continued to press the issue, they changed their story again to say that actually the inspection had been scheduled 3 months earlier, which would have been 2 days after I took occupancy, and that they had sent an email to a different address, which happened to be a temporary one at a client's business that I'd been working for when I originally viewed the flat and to which I no longer had access. I'd only given them that address because I'd been working at the client's premises during the period of negotiating the lease and didn't check webmail when on the job, so used the work one I'd been given. We never had any communications using that email address subsequent to my move-in. Also it doesn't make sense as to why they wouldn't have simply informed me of the "routine inspection" during our many conversations and my visits to their office prior to moving in, if they are claiming that this email was sent 2 days after the start of my tenancy. I have applied for a release of data from the local police force in order to determine what actually took place, i.e. when were the police first notified and why.

During the couple of months I continued to live there after the raid, the agent served notice of intention to inspect in a proper and legal manner, i.e. by a personal messenger hand delivering a paper letter, which would indicate that they knew that their previous actions were illegal. It is also interesting to note that the numerous visits by the management firm to try and fix the fire alarm were always in the form of paper letters, left on the communal mail table. Those letters also stated that if the tenant was not available during the time scheduled, they could reschedule by contacting the company. However, they did NOT state that the mgt. co would simply let themselves in if they didn't hear from a tenant and the person wasn't home, and they never did. It is my conviction that they acted within the law.

Anyway, I've now got the complaint in with the Ombudsman. You don't say whether or not you have experience or knowledge of them. I'm very curious to hear from anyone who's dealt with them, as it was not easy to even find out that this was a possible avenue of vindication. Like most situations in the UK, I find that the system is geared in such a way as to discourage the average citizen from seeking redress when their rights are violated.

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James2013-11-28 17:18:25

Anon,
I would definitely be interested in any clarifications you receive on your Point 3. I’m willing to stand corrected, but take a look at Section 11, Subsection 6 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Importantly this clause includes the word 'May' and unless you exercise your right in stating 'May not' then I believe such a visit can legally proceed. I do agree with you however, that there’re a significant number of contributors on other forums who hold a different view. In the end I am not legally qualified and it’s likely neither are many of the others involved in this debate – that unfortunately leaves you in a situation of paying for expert advice.

I’ve not had any experience with the Ombudsman, would be interested to hear how that pans out.

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Boryana2013-12-01 23:19:31

I have a question on what are the lodgers' rights.

I have been renting a room for the past 2.5 months with a living in landlord.
When I was getting the place he claimed he works away during the week and is in just for the weekends. As soon as I moved in he was made redundant and he was is 24/7 for the last 2 months. We share living room/kitchen (it is 1 room) and he is non stop laying on the sofa. If I decide to eat, I should sit on the sofa with my plate on my knees (there is no kitchen table, or any other table at all) 20 centimetres from his feet (as he is in horizontal position).
On the top of all the lovely experience I had with my landlord, I have found out he was in my room. I was away for the weekend. I came back. 5 days later I realised I am too cold in my room and checked my radiator. Then I realised (5 days later) that my landlord has been in my room. He hasn't asked me or anything, neither when I was away nor just mentioning it when I was back. I confronted him, and he stated this is his house, he can do whatever he wants. I said I want a lock on my door, he said I will not have any, but I can move out on 14 December (which is 3 weeks after the conversation)or on 14 January.
So I found another place and I am moving in 2 weeks now. I told my landlord I chose 14 December, he said no problem. We have a fixed term contract for 4 months which has no break clause.
Today I have an e-mail from him stating that I will owe him for 1 month rent after I move out.
I cannot believe that he has the guts to demand more money from me, given all the bad stuff I had to bear from him ( being constantly on the cold, him sneaking in my room without even asking, having him sleeping on the couch every DAY, leaving his socks in the middle of the living room etc.).

Can anyone give me an advice what can I do? Does he have the right to enter my room without permission? Does he have the right to prevent me from using the kitchen/iving room to eat, as his feet spoil my dinner? Can he keep the communal rooms freezing (especially in the mornings, when I use them; he is still snoozing)? And everything mentioned on the grounds of 'This is my house'???
Should I pay his demand, and if I do so can I put a claim against him for all the gross stuff I had to experience?
Or if I pay /agree to his fees/ I cannot claim against him afterwards?
He told me if I do not pay he will sue me.
Thank you for your time; I hope someone will be able to help me with advice.

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Sinead2013-12-02 08:01:11

I have a similar issue my Landlady who I lodge with enters my room on an almost daily basis. She opens windows, tidies up touching and riffling through my stuff if she feels the need does my bed and sometimes even does washing without asking, even washing bedding and my Pyjamas which I put under my pillow without notice. She also asks visitors to the house and other lodgers to enter my room to close the window that she has previously opened and has also asked people to make my bed.

I have asked her not to do so her response is "she doesn't need permission" I'd like to know where I stand legally as a lodger. Can I keep her out of my room? Or just keep her from touching my property?

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James2013-12-02 11:39:14

Boryana, Sinead,

Some of your questions are answered here: https://www.spareroom.co.uk/content/info-flatsharing/rights-for-renters-for-tenants-and-lodgers

Boryana – I’m not sure your landlord would be able to successfully sue you. A lodging agreement is not as formal as an AST and I’m not sure you are bound in the same way regardless of what your agreement might state. Of course there is nothing stopping your landlord trying to take civil action against you but under the circumstances I think he is likely to be bluffing and I’m not sure he’d be successful in any respect – If this were me I’d ignore his threats and just leave without paying for the month you haven’t lived there – you might want to check on this with someone from Shelter http://www.shelter.org.uk as I have little personal experience with lodging agreements.

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Esther2014-01-08 12:17:11

My landlord keeps trying to kick me out of the house to carry out renovations (can't live in the property during this time as there would be no bathroom/toilet). I have nowhere else to go, and as I work from home would also incur a big loss of earnings. Can I refuse to have renovations done? I have not asked for any repairs and the property is completely habitable.

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James2014-01-08 13:12:38

Esther,

No your landlord cannot 'kick you out' but is that what he is trying to do, or is he trying to do work that you simply find inconvenient? How is your landlord planing to 'kick you out' in any case?

I guess the renovations you describe really depend on the impact they have on your quiet enjoyment of the property. When you say 'can't live in the property during this time' what do you mean by 'time' - an hour, an afternoon or days?

You certainly can refuse renovations - you refuse him entry, it's that simple! However, if it's maintenance rather than renovations (you are not clear on this as you use both the words renovation and repairs in your post) then you'd likely be in breach of your tenancy agreement if you refuse work that is needed to keep the property in good state of repair.

If the work is going to cause you significant inconvenience or loss of amenity in the place you are renting then you should negotiate a lower rent for the time the work is being done. He absolutely cannot leave you without a functioning bathroom/toilet for any length of time, that is simply unacceptable.

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Donna2014-03-19 17:19:54

please can you help

We have been given notice by our landlords as they are selling the property we are living in, there is no problem with this as we have had a good relationship with the landlords for the 6 years we have lived in their home, we have been flexible with the viewings on the property and have made sure the house and garden are tidy and clean, the landlord is now asking for us to be available for re decoration of the bathroom and other areas of the house which have been in the same condition if not improved since we moved in, we don't want to be difficult but feel that this is a step too far, as we would have to take time off work to be present when the work was done, when there is only 8 weeks of our tenancy left.
do we have to allow this to be done whiclst we are still in the property ?

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Fauxkingphil2014-03-19 17:54:49

Hi Donna,

You sound to have been sound tenants and if what u say is true then the LL is trying to take advantage of your good nature. You have the right to 'quiet enjoyment' until your contract ends.

I would explain to your LL you think it is unreaonable to pay rent whilst the property was effectively being renovated for presumably sale. The renovation is obviously not to your benefit and would lead to unreasonable disruption.

My advice would be to reach a satusfactory compromise. Good luck....

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lisa c2014-03-19 21:46:54

Help!!!

My landlord has been in my house today without my permission (didn't give me any notice) then txt me and told me he wasn't happy because it was untidy n I must tidy and clean up. It's wasnt btw. I do believe he has done this before. I have txt him back told him not to come with 24 hours notice. He's said ok but I will be coming to check more often. How often can he come? And because his has done this can I end my tenancy as I don't feel safe am I single mum and don't like that fact he just walked in my house.

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Andrea2014-03-27 09:53:15

Hi,

My letting agent insists on entering and inspecting our property every 8 weeks. Considering we live in a family home, not a party pad, have never been late in rent payments and are clearly intending to live in the property for some time to come as our family grows, we feel this is unnecessary and intrusive.

We have been in the property a year almost and have never had a single complaint from any neighbours or from the letting agents.

Is it legal for them to enter the property this often in Scotland? They have put a clause in our lease saying we must let them. The problem is, that if we challenge them or refuse to allow them access to the property every 8 weeks, they will not renew our lease, which is a renewed every 6 months.

We want to stay in the property but we don't want these excessive intrusions.

Help!

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James2014-03-27 13:42:13

Andrea

The frequency of inspection appears to me to be excessive and I can fully understand your annoyance at having visits that often. From the sounds of it though you want to stay in the property so your best option is really going to be to negotiate sympathetically with the agent and try and come to a compromise. If the agent won't budge you really only have two choices, agree to the inspections as they stand or simply tell the Agent when they may enter your home. If you tell the agent that they cannot enter, then they cannot lawfully enter regardless of what is written in your tenancy agreement. However, they could apply to a court to end your Tenancy under a Section 8 notice Ground 12 but as long as you’d made some concession of when they could inspect I doubt this would be upheld. However, as you state, at the end of your tenancy period they can simply end your tenancy with a Section 21 Notice for which they require no reason.

You ask if it is ‘Legal’ for them to enter this often and the answer is Yes, it is ‘Legal’ for them to enter as frequently as they want, as long as they’ve given you the correct notice and you don’t tell them that they may not enter. That said you are entitled to ‘Quiet enjoyment of your home’ but this is not specifically defined in law. It becomes illegal for them to enter as soon as you tell them that they may not – again regardless of what is written in your tenancy agreement. So yes you have rights but as I think you probably realise, exercising those rights may have a consequence you don’t really want.

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Sonja2014-04-07 13:14:36

Hi James,

I am so glad I came accross this site and am hoping you are available to give me some advice.
My boyfriend and I live in a flat share (4 rooms, 6 of us, 1 toilet, which I think is probably in itself illegal), where the two of us are renting one room. We're renting from an agency that's been a nightmare from the start, but we've stayed for other reasons. The issue we have is, except for when they do inspections, they never give us any notice when anyone is coming from the agency to do a viewing (for any of the rooms that anyone has vacated), or do any repairs that we've notified them about - rather, they just simply show up. And it's not even so much that that bothers us - it's that they don't knock, they just let themselves in, even when we're actually home. There was once a case when I was in the kitchen, left it, and came back 20 mins later, only to find someone's backpack in there. Two minutes later, this person who I'd never seen in my life simply walked back in, no knocking or anything, like he lives there. He works for the agency and came to fix something. So for a period of time, I had a stranger in my kitchen and no idea they were even there. I read one of your comments before that if it's a common area they don't need to give any notice, but for example, I could be having a shower, walk out in just my towel thinking it was a safe thing to do in the place I live in, and find strangers casually strolling through for a viewing or other - surely that is not ok and there is a line that is being overstepped? They have done this for ages now, but the other day I got fed up and finalky emailed them about it - never recieved a reply. And today it happened again, except this time this particular person knocked (only because I gave then a piece of mind last time they didn't), except they speak no English so couldn't even explain to me what they'd come about. Anyway, could you please give me some advice as to whether or not we have any legal or otherwise standing in this matter? Thank you so much in advance.

Kind regards,

Sonja.

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James2014-04-08 14:56:20

Hi Sonja.

I'll try and assist if I can. Firstly although one toilet between 6 may be quite inconvenient I am fairly sure it is not illegal.

On your point regarding the agency staff entering the house, you need to understand your particular tenancy agreement. Are you (yourself and the other tenants) joint tenants for the whole property – i.e. you all contribute to one rental payment and under one tenancy agreement? Or do you have individual agreements for your own rooms (which are locked?) and you share the communal areas of the property like the hall, bathroom lounge and kitchen etc. If your situation is the former then all requirements on the agents to give 24hrs written notice apply as discussed in the many posts above. If however it is the later then I believe my comments in Post 293 above apply and they do not need to give notice to enter the communal areas. That said, I think it is reasonable that they should ring at the front door before entry and only let themselves in if there is no response – this seems like a fair approach. I would continue to liaise with the agent telling them of your preference for their staff not just to enter the communal areas without first knocking.

That may not be the news you wanted but I hope it’s of some use.

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MissyD2014-04-12 01:29:57

Hi, I really could do with some advise to tide me over for this weekend until I can get to chat to shelter.
I've had a few issues with the flat I've been renting for nearly 4 years, mainly damp. After years of them not listening to the damp issues I had within the property I brought the issue up with the council.
Since then I also experienced flooding from upstairs and also the guttering. Landlord has seen this either from photos or visiting themselves.
However, I had a email from them this evening that they need to come in to assess the repairs, since I wont be available when they want to come I've had to decline and mentioned another date I'd be available.
So far I've always let them in when they've needed to but as it's easter half term I'm a little busy trying to keep the kids entertained.
However, the landlord replied saying that they'll let themselves is. When I mentioned that I thought it's illegal without my consent the landlord quickly wrote that they have to right to enter the property when they need to and made me feel as though I was being unreasonable.
I've not heard back from them since trying to reply once again mentioning that I didn't give my consent as I wouldn't be available and they should possibly check online for information about the matter, I apologised but I haven't said I'll never let them in...
I think now my plans for going out will have to be put on hold as I keep feeling like they could turn up at any time now and I'm worried. Can I do anything to prevent the landlord 'letting' themselves in?
Thanks for any help

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James2014-04-12 08:18:09

MissyD
See my posts 300 and 302 above. As long as your landlord has served the correct notice it is not necessary for him to receive your express consent to legally enter the property. For it to be illegal for him to enter you need to withdraw your consent i.e. you must tell him that he may not enter! In this circumstance he would have no right of entry (except in an emergency) and would be breaking the law if he did so. Of course if he decides to illegally enter your home then short of changing the locks or finding another way to prevent the door being opened you are rather limited in your options. If you are serious that you do not want him to enter you need to expressly withdraw your consent for him to enter and make it clear that now you have withdrawn your consent it is illegal for him to enter as he will be trespassing if he does. Offer alternative dates and try and be accommodating. It is normal for landlords to consider tenants who refuse entry as being unreasonable - sometimes they are - which is why finding a negotiated arrangement to both parties satisfaction is preferable to simply point blank exercising your rights.

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MissD2014-04-12 20:52:43

Thanks for the speedy responce James, it wasn't that I was deliberately being obtrusive but I've already had to make myself available the following day for a surveyor already, I sent an email offering to be in later that day as I have to be honest, my kids are getting a bit distressed from all the disruption anyway (decorators, health visitor, management co. etc)
Luckily the landlords have been told me they now wont be able to attend until may, however I did state that I did not give consent for them to enter my property when I was not in but they seem to believe that what I say doesn't matter and as owners they have the right to enter with reasonable notice... Think I'll be visiting legal advise monday.
Thanks again!

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Sonja2014-04-12 22:56:56

Hi James,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Firstly, regarding the toilet issue, I read a while ago on a council website that for I think it was four or five people or more there needs to be more than one toilet, or the toilet at least needs to be outside the bathroom and separate from the shower, and ours isn't. But in any case, that's not so much the issue, I just thought I'd explain myself.

Regarding our agreement, yes we all have separate contracts so I suppose you'd call it a HMO. However, we don't have locks on our rooms and never had, but I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference.

In any case, thank you so much for your help again, it's great to have things cleared up, even if it isn't quite the answer we were hoping for. I really appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Sonja.

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James2014-04-13 07:41:20

MissyD - unfortunately many landlords - unlike the majority that post here - are still under the mistaken belief that as long as notice is given they can proceed regardless of any tenants wishes. Whether they know it or not, the law says differently!

Sonja - What you read on a council website is likely to be guidance/best practice - this does not necessarily mean it is a legal requirement. Given that it seems you rent in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you may want to check that your landlord has fulfilled the more onerous legal requirements regarding fire safety etc. The fact you don't have locks on your doors is also a potential security issue since the agent or anyone authorised by them can enter the communal areas with no notice and without locks on your rooms they then have access to your personal belongings.

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Anon 4 Legal Reasons2014-04-13 13:28:07

Hi James
I'm still waiting to hear back from the Property Ombudsman so I'm not sure which way the decision will go regarding whether or not I am right that my landlord illegally entered my flat. I have gone back and checked the 1985 Act and it uses somewhat vague language. However, the fact that it was written in 1985 and has not been updated or amended since then would support my view that "giving written notice" means just that - hand delivering a paper document, as there was no email at that time and hand delivery (or signed-for delivery by post) is the only way to be certain that a person has received the document. Any other type of legal summons must be delivered in this way, email and regular un-registered post are not acceptable as their delivery cannot be validated. Also, I still find that mother's day/Sunday is not a "reasonable time" and further that if entry takes place a day later than it was scheduled for (voice mail date and raid date don't match up in my case), that this also negates any claim of 24 hour notice. Anyway, I will check back in and let you know once I get the Property Ombudsman's decision.

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MissyD2014-04-14 12:00:39

Hi James, thougt I'd update you as I was in contact with shelter this morning, apparently they side with the landlords pov on right of entry which is a bit disconcerting.
I have asked that they double check that since every site online seems to offer advise to the contrary.

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AngryTenant2014-04-14 13:45:04

My landlord keeps ringing asking that I allow people in to view the property as I am in the last month of my tenancy. I really don't feel comfortable with this. Can I refuse, even if it is in my tenancy agreement?

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James2014-04-14 15:20:55

MissyD One area that the Shelter website seems surprisingly light on is Landlord Rights of Entry, however, the following is an extract from their page on letting agents (the same applies to landlords): 'The letting agent should give you at least 24 hours’ notice, and should not enter your home without your permission'

If anyone from Shelter advised you that your landlord can legally enter your home when you have said to him that he may not – quite simply, they are incorrect. So yes your landlord has a legal right of entry after giving you 24rs notice – but if then you tell him that he may not enter, then that legal right ends – no ifs, no buts – only in an emergency could he then legally enter. But this is not a matter of criminal law it is a civil matter which is why you’d be unlikely to get much response from the police unless the landlord forced his way in or became aggressive.

AngryTenant – the same applies – yes you can refuse, but you should try and be reasonable and understand that the landlord needs to be able rent their property after you leave. If your landlord is trying to do multiple viewings day after day then this may be excessive. Decide what you consider as reasonable and use that as a starting point of negotiation. With any luck and if you’re in a high demand area it may only take a few viewings before the property is let.

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AngryTenant2014-04-15 07:18:42

I'm really not happy with people creeping around my home at the minute when I need to have satisfied a ridiculous list of demands to get my deposit back. My job is also long hours, so I don't want people coming to my home when I'm just in. I just want to know legally, can I say no. I leave on 1 May, so it's not as if the letting agent has a long time to wait to show people around.

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laura tennant2014-04-15 14:11:54

Hi. Need advice! I signed a tennacy agreement in September 2013.
Everything fine up until January in which antisocial behaviour started occurring, gangs of 10-15 with bricks and balaclavas, wheely bins stolen and set on fire, week later my partners 500 pound bike got stolen, gangs trying to gain entrance to cars and looking through windows. Police phoned

Ive told my landlord I don't feel safe and want to terminate the contract, shes declined even though I have been negotiable, ive handed my notice in today and the agent said it won't be accepted and the landlord nis seeing a solicitor due to me breaching the contract. The police have gave w statement to my agent explaining I don't feel safe in my own home with my 2 yr old.

Also the landlord still comes to pick her mail up even though she doesn't live here, things that look like bank statements, also she's still having her DVLA tax disk sent here and coming for post as and when she pleases or sends a family member.

Please help!

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