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 does have the right to ‘reasonable’ access to carry out repairs for which they are responsible, but permission from the tenant is still required, along with a minimum 24 hour notice period notice.

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 of 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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513 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 463 - 513 comments (out of 513)
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gary 21st February, 2015 @ 15:13

My partner for private reasons decided to rent her small terraced house out for just six months this period expired in december last since his occupation he has refused my partner access to collect personal property and has not paid rent since october. he refuses to answer corrospodence. he is breeding dogs in the house. The dogs are allowed to run freely and have been seen on the furniture. It is believed he is trashing the house. He has form for the same behaviour. what can we do

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maz 28th February, 2015 @ 16:30

We have been issued with a section 21 notice, the landlord is selling the property. We are renting via letting agents. We both work but a low income family with 3 children. We have always paid our rent and have inspections every four months we have lived here just over 4 years. We are in between a rock and a hard place, we can't afford to pay the rent here and get a deposit etc together for a new place but if we don't pay the rent here we are penalised via a reference. We suspect we will have trouble getting our deposit back because the landlord/letting agent have consistently tried to bully us into making repairs which are not part of our contract and to redecorate over the damp/ mould which persists throughout the property. At the moment we are in the situation where we cannot have the lights on at the fuse box because a burning smell is coming from the light sockets. We had to involve housing enforcement over a year ago because of our defective heating system and the at risk fuse box needed replacing and had been ignored for over 2 years of our tenancy. We have been on a periodic tenancy for the past 2 and a half years. Housing enforcement have been useless as they did not get everything repaired as the landlord was threatening eviction and there is not enough social housing. Neither can we afford hostels etc because we work. So can someone please clarify if we don't pay our rent so we can get a deposit etc for an other home during our 2 months notice. What could happen? Also can the letting agent just let themselves into the property without any notice even if we have been given the section 21. Thank you

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James 2nd March, 2015 @ 10:47

Maz
Your post raises a number of points beyond the remit of this article. However, being brief: Check that your deposit is with the DPS and ensure all other aspects of the Section 21 are valid. Read posts 450 - 457 above.

The serving of a Section 21 (or Sect. 8) does not change in any way the Landlord's right of entry. Until the Landlord gains possession then your rights remain the same - regardless of whether rent is outstanding or any other reason. If you stop paying rent and refuse to move out then you will be in breach of contract and the landlord can take legal action against you to have you evicted, recover the owed rent or both. But this process would take time (many weeks) and during this time your landlord/agent has no additional right of entry.

The issues you describe regarding poor maintenance or unsafe services within the property are unlikely to directly influence any ultimate eviction, but (depending on the actual evidence and records you've kept) may weaken the landlord's claim on unpaid rent in any subsequent court hearing.

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gary 9th March, 2015 @ 08:10

I left a message 463 above. has no one got an answer it seems everyone wants to jump to the defence of the poor tenant but no one wants to jump to the defence of the poor landlord who on this occasion happens to be a hard working woman who was forced to let her house for just six months. She did this because she had been made redundant and she did not to throw herself on to state handouts while she was looking for another job. Her house is now occupied by a worthless low life who knows the ropes and is determined to exploit every avenue in order to live rent free and carry on his dog breeding business inside the house. Is this justice?

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Joann 9th March, 2015 @ 08:38

Gary
Was the house rented out through an agent? Or was it rented out between two people with no formal documents?
Perhaps you should be visiting a solicitor or contacting the free legal advice team at Shelter.

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James 9th March, 2015 @ 13:59

Gary
The majority of posts here relate to the defence of tenants rights as they are outlined by law. On this forum at least I don't see any more evidence of Poor Tenants over Poor Landlords. In fact what seems fairly apparent is that in many cases described above, problems seem to have been caused by amateur landlords who've clearly entered the property lettings arena with very little understanding of their legal responsibility's and under the misguided view that letting their property carries little or no financial risk. That is not a defence or excuse for poor tenants just a statement of fact.

When you ask if anyone has an answer to the situation you describe, I'm not sure what you're expecting? While I'm sure many on here including myself sympathise with your position, I can only assume that you are perusing your available avenues to get this tenant evicted (Explained in the most basic terms here: https://www.gov.uk/evicting-tenants/overview)? If you are looking for some other legal avenue then you are going to be somewhat disappointed I'm afraid, although your agent (if you have one) or solicitor should at least be able to direct the process and hopefully minimise the time taken to eventually regain possession.

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Rach 9th March, 2015 @ 16:12

Gary if the property had been let following the correct procedures - proper tenancy agreement with the stipulation that dogs are not allowed on the property, etc. plus a proper inventory done. Your gf should be serving the correct eviction papers to start the eviction process, if she wishes to evict the tenant.

Please read up on the law and guidance surrounding the lettings and evictions process. If your gf did not do that, or are unable to understand all that, then spend some money on a solicitor. If your gf wanted to do DIY-letting on her own, surely she should have been well-versed in the laws and guidance surrounding this. Otherwise she should have enlisted the services of a lettings agent in the first place to ensure the proper procedures were followed in the first place, to simply ensure her ass was covered right from the start, so that if things go wrong, she knows how to minimise her losses.

Your tenant knows the law better than your gf, is it? Well this should not have been the case. DIY-letting of personal property is not something that should be taken lightly to make a fast buck. Your gf should have started off just as well-versed in the law as her tenant is.

It's not a case of "poor landlord" here, but rather an imbalance of knowledge between landlord and tenant. Which could have been prevented if landlord arms himself with ample knowledge in the first place.

And even if one is well versed in law, that is no bulletproof protection against financial loss. I know the law pretty well but in the past I have done on occasion to just suck it up and make some losses because I decided it was simply not worth the time, cost or hassle to, for example, contest a less-than-£100 deduction off my deposit a previous landlord wanted unjustly.

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jools 10th March, 2015 @ 14:22

Gary,

the posts above are all correct. You GF is not going to get this tenant out without spending some money and the cost depends on how complicated the matter is ie, did she protect the deposit, was a correctly worded AST agreement in force etc. If the AST is deemed to be an unfair contract then she is facing a long battle.

Even IF she gains a court order she is then going to have to pay for court appointed bailiffs to perform the eviction. Time span? 6 months or more.

This is the problem with accidental landlords. It's very easy to say I will rent out my place to get some money but unless you are familiar with even the most basic issues surrounding housing law or renting you are going to come spectacularly unstuck and it's going to cost plenty of money to put it right, as well as frustration, and misery.

Sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear.

Jools

BTW, it is an unfair contract term to say someone can't have a pet unless there is a reasonable reason for not doing so, ie a great dane in a one bedroom flat or a tiger etc. By using the phrase no pets, no smoking, no spongers etc is (and I am open to correction here) deemed to be an unfair term and it can negate ANY AST in place leaving the landlord open to legal redress by the person the unfair contract term has harmed.

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Sean 31st March, 2015 @ 09:38

My landlords have served me with a two month eviction notice and have given me 24 hours notice to inspect the property. I have recently had an operation on my back and to be honest, the flat is a bit of a mess as I'm struggling to keep on top of things and I'd rather they didn't inspect as I'm not up to it, and as things are a bit frosty in our relationship, I don't want a confrontation.

As part of our agreement I've agreed to redecorate the flat, ready for new tenants which I have a month to do. I don't mind doing this as I have let the flat get pretty scruffy knowing that redecoration would happen anyway. Do I gave the right to refuse my landlords entry?

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stacey 15th April, 2015 @ 14:47

I am a land lord, and I need to gain access to my property as the roof has caved in through the bathroom ceiling. I had this cleaned up ect, but the repairs still need to be done. My tenant said we are not allowed into the property to do the repairs, which if not done, will cause more damage from rain coming in. He has also stopped paying rent. Please advise me if we can enter the property for repairs as we do have keys, thanks

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James 15th April, 2015 @ 15:14

So is your tenant happy sitting in the bath under the rain?!

I think a reasonable person would agree this constituted 'emergency' access and it would be reasonable to enter the property to make the roof safe, the room habitable and prevent further property damage.

Though I don't think the fact that the tenant has stopped paying rent is actually material to how you can or should proceed in this matter.

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Leon 17th April, 2015 @ 15:28

Hi,
if the landlord access to my flat without 24notice is that ok to do? I was so mad because first time I was naked and when I ask them they said there did'nt give a notice because they have 50 property to take care of which I felt like stolen please any advice for me what to do

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James 17th April, 2015 @ 15:35

Leon
If the landlord has 50 properties, he should very well know that he is required by law to provide 24 hours notice! If they turn up again without notice do not let them enter or tell them to leave.

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Leon 17th April, 2015 @ 16:50

Thank you for a quick answer James! I don't feel safe or affraid of my belonging could be stolen, in this case can you claim or do anything more then that? I don't want any problem or stress but they seem very rude! If it happens again where can contact or get help from thank you so much

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Hayley 27th May, 2015 @ 20:25

Hi, i could do with some advice please, the property i have been a tenant in for almost 4yrs.. none of the repairs ive reported over the years have EVER been sorted by the landlord ive ended up getting repairs done and paying for them myself. The letting agency fob me off with the same excuse that they dont deal with my property repairs as the landlord has his own maintenance team ..they will inform him of the repairs. Then i get fed up ringing up. Anyway.. every 6months the letting agency attend the property for inspection and list any repairs etc. (Not that anything comes of the list). Recently they arranged to visit for next inspection and i told them how pointless i felt the inspections were and that i wanted the landlord to visit the property with the agency. This was arranged for yesterday. Along with the gas safety inspection. However..the day before the visit the agency rung to rearrange for next month and confirmed the gas man was still coming (yesterday). I waited.. and no one came. I received a distressed call from my son at 2pm today saying him and my younger son were upstairs scared as someone was in the property. As expected i rushed home in a state of panic and it was the gas engineer who had let himself into the property?? I calmed my 9yr old son down and i asked the man to leave the property as my son was upset and he threatened to cut off my gas supply as he had a legal duty to do a test. This is wouldve been ok had he visited when arranged and i was there. but not when im not there and had no notice of him being given keys, its really made me mad as my sons were home and it has caused unnecessary upset.

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Jackie 31st May, 2015 @ 08:11

Hi, our landlords Mail keeps being posted at our home despite us telling him to stop his mail. We have lived here for nearly three years now. Is this classed as harassment.

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James 1st June, 2015 @ 10:18

Hayley - this is clearly not acceptable, firstly the appointment should have been kept and if not possible you should have been notified. At the very least he should have rung the doorbell!

Jackie - I'm not really sure this can be classed as harassment. How often is your landlord turning up to collect his mail? If frequently (and without notice) then you could have a point, but the simple act of having wrongly addressed mail delivered through your letterbox is pushing the definition I think. You should explain to your Landlord that you are not happy with this ongoing situation and give him a choice: the mail will simply be binned or you will set up a postal redirect to his correct address and deduct the cost of this from your monthly rent. Unless he has a specific reason for wanting mail delivered there, then it seems likely it is simply at the bottom of his priority list and he's just being a bit lazy.

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Jackie 1st June, 2015 @ 18:15

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question, much appreciated.

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Pete 5th June, 2015 @ 10:13

I have something of an odd problem. I'm living in an AST for a year, coming up to the end of the contract (July 31st). Our landlord has decided, after failing to re-let the property, to remodel it by converting the built-in garage on the ground floor into a bedroom. We were notified of this verbally only. Our contract specifies the landlord is only entitled to access the property for inspection and routine maintenance, not to alter the property, though we did give verbal consent.

We have a few problems arising from this:

- We received absolutely no written notice (not even so much as a text or e-mail) about the work before it started. Workmen just showed up one day to start work. No one even knocked on our door to let us know. Our contract explicitly states conditions for proper notice (a letter by 1st class post).
- Work takes places on a schedule inconvenient for us (loud drilling as early as 8am when I occasionally work late night shifts running until 5am!), and seemingly randomly.
- Private property (including three bicycles) belonging to us has been moved to a neighbouring house, also let by the landlord. We were given the opportunity to recover it by the builders but only AFTER they had moved it. We have no way of recovering our property on our own. We were not advised at all about when our property would have to move, verbally or in writing.
- Workmen have been given keys to access the house and come and go at their pleasure. Again, no permission was sought or notice given. They literally just turn up and come in the door at 8am.
- The landlord has taken this opportunity to randomly come to the house and inspect things without warning. Additional work has been carried out on the house, and workmen have moved into parts of the house beyond the garage.
- Part of the reason we rented the house was for the storage space in the garage. As a result of its loss, we have had to move our bicycles inside to recover them after they were moved. Storing bikes in the property is an explicit violation of the contract - but what else are we meant to do?!
- We are still being charged full rent, I should clarify, despite the loss of the garage.

I would be enormously grateful if anyone could advise me as to what our rights are here. We are extremely concerned by the whole situation, and especially concerned that the landlord may attempt to claim on our damage deposit at the end of the tenancy based on observations made during inspections we were given no legal warning about or opportunity to prevent entry to the property during.

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Gian 11th June, 2015 @ 02:24

Hello,
Please I rented a house from an Agency and was advised that the house is unfurnished,but when I moved in ,I realised that the Landlord have his stuffs in the garden storage and Loft IN THE House and locked up despite the Agency letting the House for me unfurnished and when i called him to tell him that i needed the storage space in the loft,he declined me access saying that the Loft is not part of the House Agreement,despite it not included in the tenancy agreement that the Landlord will be occupying any part of the storage,Please i need an advise , am I allowed to ask him to vacate the garage or start paying me rent for the storage in the Loft and Garden storage his occupying?

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James 11th June, 2015 @ 09:15

Pete
Sorry to sound harsh but I really think you've allowed your landlord to walk all over you, you should have nipped this in the bud at an earlier stage - you have simply failed to exercise your rights as they are available to you. Clearly the landlord is gaining benefit from this work at the expense of your 'quiet enjoyment' of your home and in the process has failed to provide on a number of occasions the correct notice for gaining entry.

Now, since you've allowed this to proceed the following option is going to be more awkward for you to follow through on, but despite this it is no less legally sound. That is, you simply call a halt on the whole show unless your landlord is willing to financially compensate you for the loss of amenity and disturbance or agree to a reasonable set of entry rules for the workers. The way you do this is simply to deny them entry - it is your home, if they enter and you have told them that they may not then they are committing an offence (trespass). I suggest you read the many posts above which explain this in detail.

Gian
Your rights over a landlord's entry relate to your home. As far as I understand it, a garden area does not meet this criteria and as such a landlord does not need to provide notice to access the garden unless it requires entry through the property where you live. I strongly suspect that a loft area is also not considered part of your 'home' but unless the landlord has another means of accessing it then he would always need to serve notice to access this area.

A garage I am less clear about, certainly if it was not part of the house then his right of access may be the same as a garden. But in terms of usable space this is a different matter than right of entry. If you rented the house on the understanding that your would have a garage to use and then you found the landlord had a car parked in there then depending on your tenancy agreement and what it included and also how the rental was marketed you could you could bring a claim under breach of contract. If your landlord is frequently accessing/using these areas and it is affecting your quiet enjoyment of your home or he is not providing notice where he should then he may be guilty of harassment.

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Lauren 13th June, 2015 @ 23:23

I am trying to get some advice for my mother in law. She is in a privately rented flat, which is in a far from adequate state and in need of several repairs. Her bedroom has become so damp that she has had to move her bed into the living room, the property has no form of heating, There is a leak in the roof and the windows are in a serious state of dis repair. The landlord is aware of all these issues and has been for well over a year. There has been promises to fix these faults but it has never happened. On numerous occasions the landlord has been rude and abusive towards my mother in law,her family members and her neighbors. He has also, on numerous occasions, ignored her calls when she has tried to find out if and when repairs are going to be carried out.
My mother in law is very wary of being on her own when the landlord comes to the property because of the fact he can be so intimidating and rude. She came home yesterday to a note scribbled on a scrap of paper stuck to her door stating that someone was coming to do a quote for replacing the windows at 10am this morning. He has done this before in the past and has still not carried out any work that has been quoted for. She tried to contact him to say this was not convenient, but had no luck so left a note on her door saying that she had to go out and would arrange another date. On returning home, it was apparent that the landlord had let himself into the property and had gone through at least one of her paperwork draws.
Was the landlord legally within his rights to let himself in?

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James 15th June, 2015 @ 09:57

Lauren
The many posts above and the article itself should answer your question. For the avoidance of doubt 24 hours notice means 24 hours - not 12 or 18. If after receiving notice you tell the landlord he may not enter, he has no legal entitlement to enter (unless an emergency) if he does he would be trespassing.

Remember though, trespass is a civil offence and there is no immediate sanction. The same way as if I walk into someone's garden (or even unlocked house!) while they're not there. If you had changed the locks and the landlord broke down the door to enter however, that would be a criminal matter.

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Diane 16th June, 2015 @ 19:37

Hi, a quick question, i rent a room from a live in landlord , i pay my rent regualrly, do my cleaning as required in shared areas, lock doors as i come & go, but most times when i go downstairs to cook she comes out to chat with me & to make sure i use the cooker correctly & switch things on & off properly , its become so bad i have stopped cooking when she is around as its becoming a nuisance & when i went on holiday last week she went into my room , i know this because there were childrens books left on my bed , is she allowed to be around me all of the time, i am becoming a recluse because of this.
also when i viewed the room she said no male visitors were allowed which was not a worry to me as i go to my boyfriends place anyway, but when i moved in on the saturday & i said i was gong to get one of my female friends round to help me put my bed together she said no men or women friends were allowed, that she wanted to get to know me first , i have been here 3 months now & still not allowed my friends around.
she didnt give me a tenanct agreement when i moved in & i dont get a reciept when i pay my rent & it has to be cash ( i asked to pay by bank transfer as i was robbed of £300 a few months ago ), so i am looking to move out , do i have to give a months notice ( pay rent ) she has a months rent as deposit or can i just say i am leaving in 4 weeks but i am not giving you amy more money, hope you can help, regards Diane

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James 17th June, 2015 @ 10:34

Diane
It sounds like you are a lodger and therefore classified as an 'excluded occupier'. Your rights as a lodger are considerably less than as a tenant in an AST. If you look at the Shelter website your rights are fairly clearly explained there. To end the lodging agreement either you or the landlord should provide 'reasonable' notice. This would typically be at least one rental period or 28 days.

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Amy 17th June, 2015 @ 15:48

Hello, While i was away my landlord emailed me asking for permission to go into my property to do some minor repairs to remove the water metre which wasnt anything serious.. due to being away and not having internet access I didnt receieved the email and when i got home to my shock I saw that they have been in without consent and also used my toilet which i felt uncomfortable about as the work was done in the hall way and you have to go upstairs into the actual fault to gain the access to the toilet. I have emailed the housing people who advised me they would look into it and somebody would look into it for me but still havent had any updates which I have emailed them today to see whats going on.. Has anyone got any advice for this situation? thanks

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DAVID NUTTALL 22nd June, 2015 @ 08:43

I AM BEHIND WITH MY RENT. CAN MY LANDLORD ENTER MY FLAT WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE AND CAN HE CHANGE THE LOCKS WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE?

I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS A QUALIFIED LAWYER AND HE SAYS THAT THE ANSWER
IS NO TO BOTH QUESTIONS.

IS MY FRIEND CORRECT?

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James 22nd June, 2015 @ 09:03

Your friend is correct - why would you not believe him?

Rent arrears don't give lanlords any additional right of entry.

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Jamie 24th June, 2015 @ 21:12

We have moved out of the house we were renting, into a more suitable property. We gave correct notice to our landlord, paid the rent in full etc and gave the house a thorough clean. we offered the property back to our landlord at our expense, but the landlord refused to take house back on the grounds of being too busy to do so. We were told we must continue to care for it and cut grass etc until we hand it back, The hand back date is the end of this week. We were fine with this as only offered it back to landlord to make things easier for them. However today when we returned to the property to perform our check and cut the grass etc, we found that the house had been entered. Some rooms have been repainted and the furniture that we have to hand back as part of the lease has been removed. We also saw that the house is being advertised (fair enough) but agents have also been in and taken photos. Again we were not informed of this. We are now concerned regarding the hand back as we cannot return it as was because there have been so many changes in the last couple of days. We do have an inventory because we had to make our own when the landlord failed to do so. We provided landlord with a copy and we have photos to support the inventory. However, our question is can anyone advise on where we stand? We thought we were meant to be informed before anyone entered and certainly did not expect to see the furniture removed or decorating take place, particularly as our tenancy is still ongoing at the landlord's insistence. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read.

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James 24th June, 2015 @ 22:41

Jamie
While you're correct in that the lanlord should have technically given notice, does it really matter in this case? Presumably all this work was done at the lanlord's request so why do you think this should cause a problem? If your lanlord failed to create an inventory then that is his problem. Without one and with the way he's entered and removed the furniture and redecorated without a final inspection then it'll be fairly tricky for him to reduce your deposit held with the DPS unless he's got compelling evidence in his favor.

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Jamie 24th June, 2015 @ 22:54

Thank you for replying. The concern was/is simply in relation to our final inspection and regarding whether they can keep our deposit.Our photographs show that we kept the house in excellent condition but our contract states that on the date we hand back the property, all furnishings included in the lease must be in the house and in the rooms they were in at the start of tenancy. Also the walls/paintwork etc must be the same as at the start of tenancy. As the changes have been made in the last couple of days without our knowledge at the time and we are meant to hand the keys back on Friday plus demonstrate that we have cared for the house and furniture etc, we were just concerned because our landlord can say anything now concerning their condition etc since they have been removed. Our landlord never gave us notice throughout the tenancy as it was when wishing to enter the property. Whenever we complained we were simply informed that it was not our home and they could and would do what they liked. Thus, we have concerns. Thank you again for replying. We really appreciate you taking the time. Your reply has been helpful thank you

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James 24th June, 2015 @ 23:17

Jamie
If you've read the article and posts above you will now realise your lanlord was wrong. When you rent a property it becomes your home not the lanlord's and the right of your lanlord to enter is defined by the law not by him! As for what is stated in your contract, the action taken by your lanlord has effectively invalidated most of that so I wouldn't be too worried on that count.

You should ensure that your lanlord has held your deposit with the Deposit Protection Service - it is now a legal requirement for almost all tenancies. Read here: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

If your lanlord has not used the DPS then you can take the steps detailed in this article. If he's an amateur and tries to play smart and deducts from your deposit simply take him to court. Based on what you describe and certainly if he hasn't used the DPS you are almost certain to win and will also be able to recover any court/legal costs in the same action.

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Jamie 25th June, 2015 @ 06:03

Thank you James. Our landlord did use the DPS. We managed to obtain a copy of the certificate directly from the DPS when our landlord refused to provide/show us a copy.

We have now managed to read all the above posts as well as the article, and are shocked (although also comforted) to know that there are so many who experience similar difficulties to ourselves regarding landlords. We have always chosen to rent but we had never experienced a difficult landlord prior to taking on this property. We realised there would be difficulties after we signed the lease. We arrived at the house at the time arranged by the landlord, signed the contracts, handed over an extremely large sum of money, took the meter readings together and were handed the keys. Our removal van was due to arrive two hours later but at this point, the landlord informed us they would not be letting us move in for another day. We explained that as everything had been arranged we had to move in and as a result we were refused entry until late evening. Then after we finally moved our furniture in, we were informed that although our furniture could be in the house, we were expected to spend the night elsewhere with our very young children. We refused. The landlords refused to remove their things from the garage that was included in the lease, thus we could not use it properly. They continued to store their things in our home and refused to remove them. They contacted us at midnight to inform us that builders were coming at 8 am. Builders would then not come. They insisted on house inspections at times that we deemed unreasonable (8 am or 8 pm), but then would not turn up or notify us of cancellation etc the list goes on. Naturally we have moved. We are so relieved to have a really wonderful landlord at our new home. They do exist. We thank you again for your valuable time. You have provided much reassurance at the end of a very stressful lease.

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Jamie 30th June, 2015 @ 10:33

Just wanted to tell someone, our ex landlord has informed us they are keeping our entire deposit for damages (well over £1000). We did not cause any damage. We are even being accussed of bleaching a new carpet because some areas look darker. We didnt, it is carpet pooling and was like it when we moved in. There is nothing wrong with the carpets. They are also claiming for new oak worktops in the kitchen. Again we are accussed of bleaching them beyond repair? We didnt do this. The kitchen is extremely old and dated and was damaged badly when we moved in as our photographs show. Our suspicions regarding them have been confirmed. We know we must act now and compile our evidence. but where do we start? Without a proper inventory, no entry inspection and only our word against theirs what chance do we have?

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Rach 2nd July, 2015 @ 18:12

Not landlords per se, but the bloody agents. We were aware it is stipulated in the tenancy agreement that there would be quarterly inspections. We had our first inspection a couple months ago and back then they sent a text notifying us of the time and date of the inspection and their inspector did arrive at said time.

However we were due an inspection round about now but since I have not received any notification of an impending inspection either by text phone or mail, I decided to call them 2 days ago to ask when it is. They told me it was 2nd July (today) but then could not give me a time. I told them we had something on this afternoon so can they please come in the morning. They said okay they've put that in their notes.

Well the morning came and went and nobody showed up. I called them at 2.30 pm roundabouts to ask what was going on. They said their staff member who was supposed to come inspect today took the morning off today and will be with us at about 6 pm. I said no because I had to take my daughter out as she is due to perform at orchestra at 4.30 pm. They then said well they would just come in as they have the key. I said I was not happy at that at all as I don't want some stranger snooping around my things when I'm not there. They said well the contract terms allow them to come and go for inspections any time they like as long as they gave 24hrs notice.

I said the contract only states they can come inspect on a quarterly basis but that doesn't give them an automatic right to come and go willy nilly whenever they like just because of inspections. I made it clear it was not the quarterly inspections I object to but the way they just want to come and go whenever time they like without my permission.

They said well it is impossible for them to give a time as they have to do several inspections on the same day and it was "impossible" for them to know in advance what time they will be able to make it here.

I said to them well that is ridiculous. They are getting paid for this and they can make sure they come on time. I mean don't they have Google maps, satnavs, etc. And plan in advance? I've had midwives come at set times (midwives often visit several different women a day) and none of that uncertainty (crap) as to when they can arrive!

They kept reiterating they have the right to enter my home at the time that suits them and say to me the only solution for me is to get a friend or a neighbour to sit at home and wait for them when I'm not around! How cheeky of them.

They also said they promise their inspector won't snoop around my stuff as she is very professional. I chuckled a bit and said "Well that's your word against mine."

Well I refused to back down and I said they must give me a mutually agreed time and date for inspections from now on or I will not accept theur inspections.

Then they said alright how about tomorrow in the morning from 9 to 1 pm? I said fine I'll be home then. It's still not ideal (what's with the 4 hr time gap when the agency is less than 10 mins away from us). But I rather have that than having to wait a whole day.

My question here is am I right in thinking there is no law surrounding the agents' rights (or lack of) to enter homes at whichever time they please, with regards to quarterly inspections? And so they don't have the right to insist I must let them in?

What can I do? I want to write a letter to them following this atrocious phonecall full of excuses and ridiculous terms. Who do they think they are, having the right to barge into my home with their set of keys whenever they like for quarterly inspections? I would not like to be coming out from a shower and seeing an agent inspecting my house after letting himself/herself in, for instance. Mighty pissed off about this.

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Spamface 13th July, 2015 @ 18:39

Do the same rules apply re only have right to enter with permission, to letting agents acting on behalf of the landlord as they do to the landlord?

We have been in our rented property for a year now, without problems, except for our letting agents insisting on inspections every 3 months. They requested one for a date this week with a 4 hour time window, previously we've requested more accurate times due to work schedule, as we like to be present (I hate the thought of someone being in my home without us being there). This time they said to let them know if the date/time was inconvenient, which it was, so I suggested an appointment a few days later. They have responded saying they will just let themselves in. I don't want this, and have replied with such but I am concerned they will do it anyway.
What recourse do I have if they attempt this? I suffer from anxiety issues and this is really stressing me out.

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cardifflandlord 13th July, 2015 @ 19:29

@Spamface: Yep, same rules apply, if you say no they cannot enter.

Also 3 months inspections could be seen as overly intrusive and if it happens too many times you could possibly claim harassment. Write to the agents stating that you will only allow inspections when you are there and give them the times you will be present, preferably during office hours, also state clearly that any attempt to enter the premises when you are not there will be deemed as an illegal entry and you will take the necessary legal action against them under the relevant section of the housing act.

The only way they or anybody can enter your premises without your permission is with a warrant signed by a court and even then there has to be a very good reason, ie in case a gas company needs to inspect a meter for safety.

Hope this helps

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Rachel 13th July, 2015 @ 19:47

Yes you can contest their rights to enter as they wish for inspections. However if you really like living in that property, you'd want to try and be as reasonable and accommodating as possible. I spoke to my local Housing Officer about this. I was told the rights of the agent is the same as the landlord. They can be in trouble for entering if you say no. Yes it can be classed as harassment or trespass. HOWEVER, the local council will probably only assist you in prosecuting the agent/landlord for harassment if they were really entering your property excessively. So once every 3 months - not really excessive. Once every other day and the like - excessive, yes. So if you wanted to take your agent/landlord to court for harassment for letting themselves into your property without your say-so, that's fine, but you would have to pay the court fees yourself if your local authority feels it is not a severe enough case for them to get involved in prosecuting agent/landlord for harassment.

I know I asked the question about a similar topic as you Spamface, but I have spoken to a few people knowledgeable in this stuff after posting my message earlier, and I decided to write a letter complaining about the inspections and mentioning the tenants' "right to quiet enjoyment" and requesting specific times to be arranged, and making sure I mention I can/will turn away the agents/landlord at the door IF they arrive at a time for inspections not previously agreed by me. And if they persist in entering when I'm at the door saying no you cannot enter now, it can warrant a police call of course. Not saying I'd do it like that but the agent/landlord know what they're dealing with here as long as you show them you know business. This alone might be enough to make the agent/landlord take note and try to set up a pre-agreed time and date with me rather than risk wasting a trip to my home.

I was also told by the Housing Officer that no matter what the tenancy agreement says, tenants are legally allowed to change the locks to the home they rent without providing copies of the new keys to the landlord/agent, if they are so annoyed by the harassment/trespass. The only possible negative consequence of that is that you might annoy the landlord/agent to the point where they decide to kick you out by serving a Section 21 notice on you - they can basically give you 2 months notice to leave the property using this notice, without actually having to provide you with any reason or grounds.

Make of all this as you will. Knowledge is power but also I've learnt from all this that my ability to control the situation is limited.

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cardifflandlord 13th July, 2015 @ 20:22

Good advice there Rachel.

The only reason why I mentioned why the inspections could be seen as intrusive is that whilst it may be the Landlords house it is the tenants home and the landlord would not put up with such intrusion on such a regular basis. 3 months is def on the verge of abuse of quiet enjoyment unless of course there is some concern on the tenants way of living is damaging the fabric of the internal building. 6 months min should be ok.......

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Spamface 14th July, 2015 @ 13:43

Thank you so so much Rachel and cardifflandlord for your replies, both are extremely helpful and most appreciated.

I have also spoken to Shelter in regards to the 3 monthly inspections, they think that is excessive too.
My partner will talk to them about possibly making them 6 monthly now we've been here for a year. Our landlord himself is lovely and really easy going, our lettings agents, not so much. We had issues with doors sticking, for example, they had maintenance crew over to 'fix' them which consisted of them spraying them with WD40. A few weeks later one door stuck, trapping my young son inside the room. He panicked and was in a terrible state so we forced the door open, we reported this too them the next day only to be told that we should have called them, they would have then rung the landlord to get permission as to what to do, then wait for a call back to be told to wait for maintenance, all while my son was trapped inside. We said this was ridiculous, but now they are saying that as they 'fixed' the doors it's somehow our fault they stuck again. They also say we *have* to use their maintenance people to repair the damage despite them not doing a proper job in the first place. We were told they would give us contact details for maintence but haven't, in over 6 months, so we may just repair it ourselves. Anyway, I'm waffling!

My biggest issue was the letting themselves in thing, I struggle enough with them even coming to our house (I know, it's part of renting) and I have to have my partner deal with them every time I get so panicky and stressed by it, which makes me feel worse and stupid! ha. So thank you for clearing that up for me, I appreciate you taking the time, thank you

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cardifflandlord 14th July, 2015 @ 14:51

Hi Spamface,

Glad to be of help. Why don't you give the Landlord a call and explain the issues with him or her?

By law you are entitled to the LL contact details. Your son being trapped inside is a serious safety issue and I would suggest you get back onto the lettings agent (in writing - you have to be seen to be being reasonable) and suggest they get their a*** in gear and get the door sorted otherwise you will get it done and send them the invoice (they will bleat and moan and say you can't do it but if you can prove their repairs have been inadequate then you can claim the money back via small claims court if needs be).

Also I would suggest that 3 months is def breaching your quiet enjoyment of the property and if they have let themselves in in the past or do so in the future you should get someone to change the locks and then send the invoice to them. As a courtesy you should let the landlord know beforehand because he/she may wish to speak to the agents esp if they are paying for repairs that are sub standard, which would really get on my t*ts.

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Rach 14th July, 2015 @ 15:11

Unfortunately, and I should have mentioned this earlier in my previous post, another thing I found out is that the law does not say you are entitled to the landlord's real address or phone number. The law only says tenants are entitled to a contact address for the landlord upon which tenants can serve things like notices and court papers to the landlord, if they need to. This address could be the agent's address though, as the agent is in effect legally acting on behalf of the landlord. So if the agent specifies the landlord's address as "c/o agent's address" on the tenancy agreement, that's it. They have in effect fulfilled that part of the law that says tenants are entitled to a contact address for the landlord, and they would not then be obligated to further supply tenants with the actual address of the landlord's abode, direct number, or any other contact detail.

This is all covered under, if I recall correctly (it was the local Housing Officer who explained this to me), Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.

But there is nothing to stop you from asking the agents for the landlord's actual address or number of course. They might still give it. It's up to them.

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Rach 14th July, 2015 @ 15:16

According to the Housing Officer I spoke to, 3 month inspections are not excessive enough to constitute a breach of quiet enjoyment. This is all a grey area really I suppose, but the council doesn't sound like they want to use time and resources taking landlords/agents to court for constant quarterly inspections. I'd be interested to know if someone did take this all the way to court with or without the council's help, what the result would be. Perhaps someone has tried this?

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Pippa 18th July, 2015 @ 09:30

Hi
weve recently moved into a new house that we rent of what we thought a lovely landlady and her husband,

after paying 3months upfront we have lived in peace for the first month, however now we find the landlord is turning up every week un anounced and is finding things wrong with the house but not big things just little things that dont need fixing straight away like a "squeaky door" its soooooo annoying we are living in worry that she will turn up un anounced and find some pathetic reason to complain or possibly end our tenancy,

can she turn up out of the blue just like that every week?
and can she find silly little things wrong with the house and tell us shes coming back next day to fix it when we say no????

please get back to me
regards
pippa (a very unhappy tennant)

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Rach 18th July, 2015 @ 09:45

Hi Pippa, the short answer is No. She cannot keep turning up every week unannounced without your permission. This can be classed as harassment. Perhaps you could try making it clear to her that you would prefer less frequent visits and that the visits be pre-arranged. See what she says and what she does about it. She might take your words on board and try to work out something with you. Or she might not. But it's better you have tried to assert yourself to her and give her a chance to respond.

If you really like staying there or are unable to move anytime soon, then it is in your interest to try and maintain good relations with her and be reasonable. You could take her to court for harassment if she enters your home without your agreement. And you certainly are within your rights to deny her entry at any time she turns up unannounced. I believe with her unwanted intrusion into your house every week, the council will certainly be willing to get involved on your behalf if you should wish to prosecute, but do remember that if you decide to do this, it could burn bridges and result in you having to move out. Ultimately she owns the house so she has the total legal right to evict you with a Section 21 without giving any reasons. So you are right that it is a possibility if she doesn't like you for any reason.

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Pippa 18th July, 2015 @ 10:01

hi thankyou for the quick reply,

ok i understand that i have been debating wether to just mention it to the estate agents?

she has turned up this morning to do the weeds in the garden even though we have told her we have already done them she does not seem content with us doing our own lawn, shes even asked us to hire a gardener even though we have done the mowing, weeding and trimming, its just more and more hastle to worry about for two full time employed adults that just want a quiet life after work :(

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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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