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!

Like this post? Then maybe you should sign up to my FREE newsletter so you receive more like it!

429 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 379 - 429 comments (out of 429)
Guest Avatar
James 20th August, 2014 @ 10:16

I agree - notice is not active permission - but that is not what the law requires. I think we'll agree to differ!

379
Guest Avatar
Tom 20th August, 2014 @ 10:32

I think he needs a permission by law and based on the ECHR.
BTW: The LL acts in a crime if the LL enters without permission and the tenant is a foreign citizen.

And I see for the LL a huge problem. If the tenant forbids access he could not violate this because the tenant has the right to decide who he will let in and who not.

If the tenant not contact the LL or shows an reaction on the notice it is a problem because the tenant will say he has not got the written notice.

I suggest every LL in doubt to go to a court and get access over a court decision. In other cases he is in danger.
Every tenant will claim self defense and I can understand it as Landlord.

380
Guest Avatar
petra 21st August, 2014 @ 15:54

Good afternoon,

Would anyone be able to clarify if the LL (that's me) are able to show prospective buyers round even when asking my tenant they refuse?

To explain my situation; we informally told our tenants in April that we will be selling the property so won't be renewing AST at the end of their tenancy in October, thinking that giving them plenty of notice would make it easier. However, it's turning very nasty. We have now served them with the S21 notice and with the last month of the tenancy coming up they refuse to let us show people round.

We do not harass them and have tried our best with them but to no avail.

Any comments appreciated. We also know that the husband who isn't even on the tenancy agreement has been very racist and had police called out over this with the neighbours and is the one we are having to deal with in the main part.

They have been given advice from the cab and solicitor that they don't have to move out.

Please help us!!

Thanks,
Petra

381
Guest Avatar
James 21st August, 2014 @ 16:20

Petra

Quite simply if your tenant has told you that you may not enter then unless it is an emergency then you cannot legally enter - it would be trespass. Have you served notice to gain entry and they have responded saying no you may not enter on that day - or have they been more militant - i.e. 'no you cannot enter at all'? If the former then you could (if you agree with the interpretation given in Posts 374 and 377) just serve notice a number more times hoping they will not respond. But since you are so close to the end of the tenancy it may simply be easiest to cut your losses and wait until they are out. Given the timescales involved you have few legal avenues you can pursue I'm afraid. While you may not like the individuals you are dealing with, on this particular issue, the individuals character has no bearing on the course of action you can legally pursue.

382
Guest Avatar
petra 21st August, 2014 @ 16:42

Thanks James

Appreciate your advice and prompt response. I'm impressed!

Problem is I think I'll end up in court with them as I'm under the impression they have no intention of moving out.

Thanks again,
Petra

383
Guest Avatar
petra 21st August, 2014 @ 17:08

Thanks James,

Appreciate your feedback and prompt response.

Unfortunately, it would appear that they have no intention of moving out and we'll end up in court.

Thanks again,
Petra

384
Guest Avatar
Tom 21st August, 2014 @ 19:33

I would be carefull with the interpretation. If the tenant said one time NO it is a no.
The problem is without the cooperation of the tenant you can't make a viewing.
Why are they not willingly to move out?
Are you sure that the notice was formally right?
Well that the husband is not on the tenant list has nothing to say. I know a lot of cases where only one partner is the tenant. That makes a lot of things easier. If they divorce, the person who is not on the contract as tenant has to move out.
It is not your business if he is a racist or has problems with the neighbors. What he does inside the walls is his privacy. If you step in this discussion, they will seen it as harassment.

385
Guest Avatar
James 22nd August, 2014 @ 08:25

Petra
If you think this will end up in court, as Tom says you need to be especially cautious. You don't want to give the Tenant any reason to claim you have acted illegally or harassed them even if you haven't - this will just add a complication you really don't need. I think you need to accept this may be drawn out to the bitter end (warrant for eviction) and let the due process though the courts do its job - as painfully slow as this may seem. The basics of the process are described here: https://www.gov.uk/evicting-tenants/rules-you-must-follow although I'm sure you're aware of this.

386
Guest Avatar
Emily 6th September, 2014 @ 17:38

Help needed,
We signed a contract with on of our housemates friend (who luckily were tenants) earlier this year. We were told we could move in on the 1st of September. All of us had no intention of moving in before the 6th at least because term doesn't start till the 17th. However, one of the girls managed to get a job so she moved up there alone. Living all alone in a 5brm house is scary enough as it is but she has found that the landlord has walked in without permission several times (not for repairs or any emergency at all). She stayed at a friends house one night and found that things had been moved, toilets seats up etc just not the way she left it and we are 100% sure it was none of us.
The landlord has also sent an email today saying her husband was coming in to the house that morning (baring in mind the email was sent at 11 and once again, not for repairs or emergencies) the girl was a work so didn't get the email till 5pm that afternoon, she didn't give permission and if he was coming in the morning that would have been a lot less than 24hrs notice.
The girl is also leaving on Monday to go home for a bit, but the landlords have conveniently decided that they fancy going on holiday the week that we all decided to move in and week before term starts (bare in mind we are all first time tenants so are bound to have problems and questions etc). They have said that we can only move in when it is convenient for her son to let us in and we have to work it around his schedule. Is she allowed to give keys to our house to other people without our permission? I know its her son but we don't know him, we've never met him before and I don't feel comfortable him having a key when I am living there alone.
Im getting a bit annoyed with her and her attitude, she makes us feel as though we are being a nuisance and im pretty sure she regrets lending to us. The bottom line is, if I want to cook a bacon sandwich in my underwear, I wont to do it without a care in the world not the constant thought of whether she is going to walk in.

Kind Regards,
Emily

387
Guest Avatar
James 8th September, 2014 @ 06:35

Emily
An important question, will the house you rent be an HMO - i.e. House in Multiple Occupation? These are not unusual for student properties. Do you have a single AST agreement for the entire house or are there individual tenancy agreements for each of the bedrooms? HMOs are typified by bedrooms with individual locks/keys and communal areas kitchen/bathroom that all the tenants share.

If the house is not an HMO, then the blog and posts above detail your landlord's legal obligations on giving notice and entry - I think these are unequivocal and clear.

If your landlord is acting illegally you should write to him stating your concerns and detailing (with dates/times) when he has entered without notice. However - try to maintain good relations (don't be rude or aggressive) but be firm and stand up for yourselves. I would also not write to him straight away for the time your housemate was there - this may have been a misunderstanding and doesn't start your year off on the best footing, better to talk to him/her first.

388
Guest Avatar
Chris 17th September, 2014 @ 17:32

Help please...

A week ago the letting agent entered my property without my consent and without giving any notice. I then received an email as I have a dog which is against the tenancy agreement - something I was not aware of as when I initially asked about the property I was told a dog would be ok. However in the contract it's not. Now I'm unsure as to how to proceed? I'm worried that if I keep the dog will they try to evict me? Also will they try to enter my home again unannounced to check up on me regardless of what I do. Either way I don't feel like I'm comfortable here anymore and has certainly left me feeling that I can't quietly enjoy living here.

389
Guest Avatar
Fauxkingphil 17th September, 2014 @ 18:03

Chris,

You must have signed and agreed to the tenacy agreement prior to taking residency. If it was not agreed at start then I fear you are in breach of your contract. I am sure there are many other propertys that would except pets and offer you quiet enjoyment.

I imagine the next step will be for the letting agent to report the tenancy breach to the landlord. I would imagine it will be then the LL's decision on how to proceed.

390
Guest Avatar
Cardifflandlord 17th September, 2014 @ 18:13

Chris,

The LA entered your premises without your permission - they are not allowed to do that period. Write to them and tell them they have breached your right to quiet enjoyment of the property by entering without express permission. Tell them if they do it again you will initiate proceedings against them for harrassment and if necessary, Illegal entry.

Regarding the dog, it would have been better to ask permission beforehand and you may technically be in breach of contract. HOWEVER, it may be that the contract is in breach of the unfair contract terms act which states that if your request is reasonable the landlord cannot refuse it.

If you are in a one bedroomed flat and you get a great dane, that may be a reasonable ground for refusal, however a small dog may be not. Unfair contract terms cover many areas of the AST so if in doubt contact the citizens advice office. If they threaten to evict you because of it, mention that you are going to take the contract and have it inspected for unfair contract terms. If your dog has damaged the property then you will have to pay to have it repaired to the condition it was in when you rented. If they have not done an inventory then that is the agents problem, but you cannot be made to repair the property to as new as this is betterment and is not allowed!

Hope this helps.

CL

391
Guest Avatar
ChrisC 6th October, 2014 @ 21:55

I have a question as a landlord. We are selling the house we are renting iut. The new owner is a landlord and will be keeping the tenants in situ. We have kept the tenants informed of the process and who has bought the property. Today we contacted the tenants to ask if we can access the property to pick up the remnants of our possessions at the house (it used to be out family home) and also to inspect the property prior to completion. They have flatly refused us access to the house saying its incovenient and be ause we told them we were going to the house and not asked them if we could. This is the only time we can go to the house as its in the west midlands and we live in kent. They say that none of our possessions will be leaving the house without them there and took great delight in telling us that their family pet is likely to get distressed and could do something we might regret (its a pitbull type dog). Please can someone advise us as to how we are supposed to get our possessions out of our house before it is no longer our house? Thanks

392
Guest Avatar
Albi 27th October, 2014 @ 21:45

Hi...
I am sorry to bother you but i have an issue with my landlors.
I have lived in one of his premises for one year wich i had tendency agreement. Me and my housemate decided to move to another empty house that my landlord had. I been living here for one year now and I have paid him in cash but the last two months have paid him through bank. He started asking me to move out as one week I was late by 3 days paying my rent for the reason that I asked him to fix the windows as it was freezing cold for more than 6 months notice and he still not done it but i did paid him 3 days after my payment was to be paid and he did sent someone to fix the windows.
Now the problem is that since that time (couple weeks ago) he want me to pay my rent to my house mate and he is saying that I am lodger and my house mate is tendant but I said that I have moved here same time as my house mate did so there for we both are tendants.
What can I do on this situation please ?
Does he has right to thretning me to leave the house whe I have not done any damages at so ever and I have looked after the house in perfect way and I also do not owe any payments to him at all.

Please give me your advice as this is getting in my nerves and I want to make sure that every move i do I am correct with the law.

I will much appreciate your reply and thank you in advance.
Kind Regards
Albi

393
Guest Avatar
James 28th October, 2014 @ 10:32

Albi. Firstly your landlord does not have the right to threaten you. The fact that he was paid 3 days late on one occasion makes no difference to the course of action you landlord can take to evict you. If you are a tenant outside your tenancy agreement (it actually sounds like you don't have one, but again this does not change the process you landlord must follow) he must give you two months written notice to leave. The two months start from when he first gave you written notice so if it was 6 weeks ago he can reasonably expect you to leave in about two weeks. If it was last week then it starts at that point. If he has just told you verbally to leave then he has not served you correct notice and the two months don't start until he does.

He seems to be trying to say you are a lodger as your rights as a lodger are not as strong as being a tenant. To be a lodger he would normally need to be living at the property and would also be responsible for all the bills and council tax etc. The following website gives quite a good summary of whether you are a lodger or a tenant. http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/2010/03/09/the-five-main-differences-between-a-lodger-and-a-tenant/ From what you describe it sounds likely you are a tenant in which case the landlord must follow the legal procedure to end your tenancy - more here on what your landlord must do: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/eviction_of_private_tenants/notice_from_the_landlord

Hope that's of some use.

394
Guest Avatar
Rach 29th October, 2014 @ 10:55

My agent turned up on my doorstep wanting an inspection today. I have received no prior notification of this but she insists they had sent a letter. I was going to stand my ground and argue that they should prove they have sent it as I have not received it, but my husband is soft and let them in.

Inspection done... she started wanting to know whether we are moving out or not at the end of our 6 month lease, which ends at the end of December. Actually at the beginning of October, the agent sent a letter to us asking us to tell them "as soon as possible" about whether we wanted to stay or leave at the end of 6 months. I did not respond as we are still viewing properties now (we do want to move if we find the right new place) and as most agents want you to move in within a month of paying the deposit for a new property, and we still have 2 more months to go till our lease here ends, we thought it would be hasty to pay deposit for a new place now.

But since this agent has been so pushy, it just makes me want to leave even more.

In addition,this agent wants to charge £60 for extending the lease for another 6 months AST, or £75 for extending the lease and making the tenancy into a monthly rolling tenancy. Prior to this agent, I have never dealt with an agent who wanted to charge for extending a tenancy either into another fixed term or monthly rolling contract.

I just want to know whether it is standard practice for agents to do what they're doing to us. We are experienced renters for 12 years, moving up and down the country for jobs and have rented with many different agents, and never met ones that are like this.

395
Guest Avatar
Tina 30th October, 2014 @ 23:41

You are all freeloaders. Get a job and pay your rent, then you won't have to worry about a LandLord being after their money that you owe.

Thx
The LandLord

396
Guest Avatar
James 31st October, 2014 @ 10:47

Tina - Rather sad, but ignoring this first Troll-like comment out of 396 posts of sensible debate and moving swiftly on...

Rach, firstly there is nothing that REQUIRES you to inform the agent of your future accommodation plans. The agent can decide for themselves if they wish to end your tenancy after the fixed term - they must give you at least 2 months. There is nothing to prevent them from doing this, to apply once your fixed term is ended. If no action is taken by either party your tenancy will automatically revert to a monthly rolling tenancy - in this case nothing from your original tenancy agreement changes except that the landlord/agent can end the tenancy at any time by giving you two months notice - you can end it with a month.

Whatever you do, do not pay the £75 for allowing this to happen - this occurs automatically by law and no action is required by either party - in a word it is a rip-off! Some agents do charge for creating new fixed term agreements, while it is slightly less of a rip-off than charging for a rolling tenancy (as they actually have to redate, reprint and have resigned the agreement) it is understandably hated by tenants as it is cash for very little work at all and for the agent a nice little 6 monthly income stream, thank you very much.

There are some good agents but in my experience far too few. If you have to deal with a bad one my advice is, be polite, stand firm, don't take their ranting's personally and simply get on with your lives. Poor agents are a bit like stroppy two year olds with an adult voice, just imagine them sat in a cot throwing their toys out when they don't get what they want.

397
Guest Avatar
Cathy 31st October, 2014 @ 12:02

I'm a landlord of one property, which I have a large buy-to-let mortgage on as the property would not sell during the recession and I needed to move area. It is a family home and I have put it in the hands of agents to run the letting process. I have been letting this property since August 2010 and have made very little income out of it since then as that taxman always takes his chunk!! The point I wish to make is that my agents inspect the property around every 6 months. The current tenants comprise a large family with three young children and a nanny. Overall, the tenants do pay their rent. Last month an inspection was conducted and the level of squalor and damage had escalated. The children have scribbled on virtually every available inch of wall (even with the nanny, who on the last visit had her feet on the coffee table watching Jeremy Kyle). There is abandoned furniture in the front and back garden (what can the neighbours think). The bannisters have been bashed and chipped and chunks of wood are missing. Damage to carpets beyond wear and tear, radiators pulled from walls, hob so dirty that when I had a maintenance man out he said the reason it would not start was due to the amount of grease and grime that had not been cleaned off it and the list goes on. I decided to give them a month to put it right. We then tried to attend today by prior appointment, and on arriving my agent was refused access on the grounds that we were interfering with their human rights and their right to free enjoyment of their home. We mentioned that we wanted to check if they had mad the improvements they discussed to be told that "children draw on walls" and similar explanations. This is a very unfortunate situation as I am concerned that they will become vindictive and cause further damage if I give them notice to quit. What would you advise?

398
Guest Avatar
Richard 4th November, 2014 @ 17:14

HI everyone.
ME and my partner has just served two months notices for us to leave our current rented house at the end of our contract.
Out of curiosity i thought id browse the web to find out what we can now expect that we have given notice.
We have calls from the Landlords estate agent wishing to come around and take photos and such which is fine by us.
Upon reading some of these comments i am more concerned about the possibility of potential constant viewings or agents letting themselves in when we are not in.

I have the following lines in my contact can anyone tell me where we stand upon the landlord or agent letting themselves in. I draw your attention to the last paragraph.

--- Permit the landlord or those with written authority from the landlord or his agent during the past two months of the tenancy in the event of the landlord wishing to relet, sell or otherwise deal with its reversions at the reasonable times of the daytime to view the property by prior agreement.
If the tenant is unable to grant access to the landlord he hereby authorizes the landlord or his agent to use their own keys to gain access within 2 days of making such a request. ---

As i say its more the last paragraph im concerned about, where the landlord or agent can use their own keys.
Any opinion or advice would be most grateful.

Thanks

399
Guest Avatar
James 4th November, 2014 @ 21:44

Richard

I'm not sure why you provided the landlord two months notice - a rod for your own back but that's another matter.

There is nothing in that contract that alters your statutory rights. In my opinion it is actually an example of a fairly poorly worded contract. Prior agreement is OK but should be in addition to 'written notice' The last paragraph is unenforceable and nonsense - 2 hours is within 2 days yet breaches the requirement to provide at least 24 hours written notice prior to entry. The incorrect spelling of 'authorise' suggests there may not have been any British legal input into this tenancy agreement.

What is written in tenancy agreements and what is actually legally enforceable seem often to be two very different things. Just because you've signed it means nothing if the terms are either unfair or unlawful.

400
Guest Avatar
Richard swallow 5th November, 2014 @ 06:24

Thank you for the feedback James.
So just to be sure I can still refuse entry if I wish and anyone entering even if I say no is still not acceptable?

The two months thing was stipulated in the contract also, hence the reason we did it.

401
Guest Avatar
James 5th November, 2014 @ 10:53

Which goes to prove my point, two months was added to your contract for the landlords benefit as the landlord believed they could get away with it - and they have. If you had given a month's notice the landlord could not have claimed against you.

If someone enters your home and you have told them that they may not, then they are trespassing - you can legally refuse entry to your home to anyone you wish including your landlord or their agent. That said, your landlord does need to be able to show the property to prospective tenants so he should be serving notice in the correct way and it is really in everyone's interest to be reasonable to effect the transition.

You've highlighted at least two items in your tenancy agreement which were they to be quoted in a court of law would be laughed out of the hearing, so don't take any - 'you signed a, b or c'. Clauses that attempt to breach your statutory rights are legally unenforceable - note the word 'legally' - that may not prevent a landlord/agent from attempting to enforce such clauses using other means.

402
Guest Avatar
Rach 5th November, 2014 @ 13:27

Thanks James. Thing is, there is a clause in my agreement that says :

"The Tenant pays the Deposit as security for the performance of the Tenant's obligations and to pay and compensate the Landlord or his agent for the reasonable costs of any breach of those obligations including fees payable to the landlords agent. It is agreed that this sum shall not be transferable by the Tenant in any way and at any time against payment of the Rent and that no interest shall be payable on this Deposit."

Does that sound like they'd be able to claw their fees back through my deposit if I refuse to pay the £75 they ask for having my AST become a Statutory Periodic Tenancy?

Shelter told me they couldn't see how this would be possible as the deposit is only for payment against rent arrears and damage to the rental property.

But I since we've signed it, does that mean they can?

I also think that if I refuse to pay the £75 they want to have the AST converted to a Statutory Periodic tenancy, they could possibly try and claw the funds back by claiming we damaged the property in some way to warrant deduction of my deposit for it. Not that we have. We've always paid the rent on time and I am quite the neat freak. But having had deposits deducted (up to £100) before by ex LLs for stuff that they knew was already damaged before we moved in, and the bother and expense of having to go to small claims to get our money back stopping us from doing so, I know how easily they can do that knowing we may decide it's not worth it going to small claims.

403
Guest Avatar
Jenna Brant 26th November, 2014 @ 12:27

Hi,

I have a tennant that will not allow access to the property for a survey to take place. i have a buyer but this will fall through without the survey.

What are my rights?

This sale is essential to my financial situation.

If any one can help htat would be great.

404
Guest Avatar
James 26th November, 2014 @ 13:08

Jenna, your rights are as follows:

1. Serve the tenant 24 hours written notice - undertake the inspection. If the tenant contacts you to say you may not enter then you no longer have this 'right' to enter. You could consider the other options below.

2. Serve the tenant notice under a Section 21 to gain possession of the property

3. You may however 'choose' to undertake the inspection regardless of the tenant's stated wish - note, you have no 'right' to do this. You would simply be electing to do so and in so doing you would need to accept there may be consequences to this course of action which could be detrimental to you.

Depending on your particular situation there may or may not be consequences. If the property was always occupied then there almost certainly would be and you could quickly find yourself talking to Mr Plod if there's a disturbance or breach of the peace. If the property is unoccupied during the day you could enter and undertake the inspection but you would have no 'right' to do this. While you may not face any immediate recourse there could be consequences down the line such as tenants claim of harassment etc.

By far your best strategy is to talk to the tenants, be reasonable, understanding and get them onside. It is likely you are going to be reliant on their cooperation further down the line so do you really want to start a course of action which may ultimately count against you? I am sure if you are creative you can reach an agreement to all parties satisfaction. War is often costly so best avoided wherever possible!

405
Guest Avatar
Jenna Brant 26th November, 2014 @ 15:28

Thanks

i have no intention of entering without permision but this tenant has been dificult since i decided to sell the property. she has been given 2 months notice to leave the property as she is making it dificult at every turn and i have tried to be understanding and not to be too intrusive but I have run out of options.

Your Note "2. Serve the tenant notice under a Section 21 to gain possession of the property"

will this mean i then have a legal right to enter the property to havehte survey done even if htey lock the door and I have ot break hte lock ot get in? does this need to go through a solisitor? also does my tenant have hte right ot change hte locks on my property. she may have done this to provent entry but i am not sure at the moment.

Thanks again for your help here.

Jenna

406
Guest Avatar
Jenna Brant 26th November, 2014 @ 15:37

thanks again James,

Also in the contract between my property managing agent & my tenant it states that I need to give 24 hrs notice when selling the house if I need to get the potential buyers and / the survey done.

does this make any difference?

Jenna

407
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 15:47

No. A Section 21 Notice does not give the landlord any right to enter the property as they please. This was confirmed to me by Shelter England's helpline. The landlord does not have rights to enter the property as they like even after they've gone to court to seek a court order for possession after serving the Section 21. The only time the landlord can enter the property as they wish is if the tenant has been evicted by the bailiffs.

408
Guest Avatar
James 26th November, 2014 @ 15:48

Rach is correct, you will have the absolute right of entry only when you gain possession if the tenant is refusing you entry now. The issue of a Section 21 gives you no additional rights until it is concluded (the tenant vacates the property).

Re. your last post, this doesn't make much of a difference if the tenant is refusing to cooperate - it is an item in the tenancy agreement which solely gives you the option to pursue legal action if they do not comply (i.e. breach their contract terms) It gives you no additional rights to enter the property against the tenant's wishes.

Clearly you could considerer other legal routes but you will find that these are likely to be far more time consuming and drawn out than the Section 21.

As unpalatable as it is, depending on how much you require the tenant to cooperate you could offer a financial incentive for them to play ball.

409
Guest Avatar
Jenna Brant 26th November, 2014 @ 15:49

Thanks rach.

so what is hte use of a section 21 notice and how can i enter ot get my survey done?

thanks

410
Guest Avatar
Jenna Brant 26th November, 2014 @ 15:59

Hi James

thanks for that.

this is so upsetting, how am i suposed ot sell my property. it seems Land lords have no rights over hteir own property.

I appreciate all of hte advice I've been given so far.

Jenna

411
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 16:05

As for your question about changing the locks Jenna, this is what I found http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/07/13/locks-and-keys-%E2%80%93-what-are-tenants-rights/

Basically it says the tenant has the right to change the locks if they like, as long as they are still the tenant. They own the slice of land they are renting, even if it's temporary.

It also says that it is actually to the landlord's benefit if they do not have keys to enter the property. That way it prevents the tenant from claiming the landlord is harassing or trespassing the property when the landlord has not sought prior consent from the tenant to entering the property.

The use of the Section 21 Notice is to start the chain of legal proceedings that will eventually lead to the bailiffs evicting the tenants forcefully. But this entire series of events will take time. First, you have to serve Section 21 Notice. Then you have to go to court to apply for a possession order. The possession order will stipulate a date by which the tenants should leave. If the tenants refuse to leave by the date stipulated on the possession order, then you have to go to court again to apply for a warrant of possession to get the bailiffs to evict the tenant forcefully.

If you read the government's website on how landlords can gain possession of their property, it describes the chain of processes landlords have to follow to regain possession of their property. https://www.gov.uk/gaining-possession-of-a-privately-rented-property-let-on-an-assured-shorthold-tenancy

You do have rights, but you have to follow the correct legal procedure. And as a tenant, I would argue that it's not true that landlords are shafted in this country. It is so easy for landlords to evict tenants here in this country as they don't even need to give a reason. If you look at Germany for instance, they have laws which even stop landlords from stepping foot into their properties once they have rented it out. At least over here in UK, landlords have the right to enter as they wish as long as the reason is to carry out repairs for which the landlord is legally responsible for. And quite frankly, I do not like the notion of overstaying my visit by refusing to leave once a court possession order has been sought. It is quite possibly stressful and I don't think it's nice at all to be at loggerheads with the landlord to the point where the landlord keeps pestering me to let him/her in to inspect the property or survey it or whatever. I'm sure most tenants just want a pain-free life dealing with their landlords.

It's only the few who are making life for landlords troublesome. The law is still quite pro-landlord as far as I can see as it can still be quite hard for tenants to get their landlords done in court for harassment or trespass. It is theoretically possible, but I believe not many tenants have managed to successfully do this.

412
Guest Avatar
James 26th November, 2014 @ 16:11

Jenna, the landlord really needs to understand exactly what a Section 21 notice is for and how it can be used to gain possession - and its limitations.

If the tenant was still within their fixed term you could use a Section 8 given the breach of contract. Neither of these routes however, gains you legal entry into the home of an obstinate tenant in the short term.

I sympathise to some extent although I do wonder why landlords put the success or failure of such a large financial transaction in the hands of their tenants by not reigning them in earlier or getting them out prior to things like this causing a major stumbling block. I know it may mean losing out on a few months rent, but that cash can soon seem quite trivial when the entire transaction hits the buffers.

413
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th November, 2014 @ 16:18

"At least over here in UK, landlords have the right to enter as they wish as long as the reason is to carry out repairs for which the landlord is legally responsible for."

I'd be careful, because that's definitely not true. Landlord's (at least in England & Wales) always require permission from the tenant, unless it's an "emergency" e.g. a fire.

I also don't agree that it's easy for a landlord to evict a tenant. A tenant can legally make it very difficult.

414
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 16:28

The landlord has legal recourse to evict a tenant if they really want to. That is the fact. Yes it will cost money and time, but it will happen, if you follow legal procedure.

But for a tenant to claim harassment and trespass from their landlord when the relationship has clearly broken down? I don't think many tenants succeed in doing this in a court of law, and how many would considering legal aid has been cut down so much and people would have to pay to do this? I mean, people wouldn't be renting in the first place if they did have money to buy. They are already cash-strapped, hence they are renting.

415
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th November, 2014 @ 16:40

@Rach,

I think you're getting confused between "eviction" and "repossession"

If a landlord doesn't have grounds for eviction, then a landlord cannot evict (serve a section 8). However, a landlord always has legal rights to repossess their property at the end of fixed tenancy or during a periodic tenancy (Section 21).

In any case, a tenant can always drag their heals and cost the landlord thousands of pounds, which they may never reclaim, so I don't consider eviction an "easy" process.

The state of the relationship between landlord and tenant is irrelevant in regards to harassment. A landlord cannot trespass or harass, period.

There's a difference between having enough money to prosecute someone and having enough money to buy a house. Secondly, many tenants rent for reasons other than being cash-strapped.

Thousands of tenants prosecute landlords on a daily basis because it's so easy these days, and in many cases, it's easy money for the tenants. Judges generally favour tenants in these cases, because they're seen as more vulnerable.

Anyways, my real point was, under no general circumstance can a landlord just enter the property without permission, regardless of how sour their relationship state is. In fact, that's especially when the law should apply to protect tenants.

416
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 16:56

Yes I was confusing the terms "repossession" and "eviction" and for that I apologise, but the end result of both is the same - the tenant is turned out of the property via the legal process, whether they want to stay or not - it is not up to them. That is the point I was driving at. If a landlord wants his property back, he just needs to follow the legal procedures (whether it is via Section 8 or Section 21), and at the end of the process, he WILL get his property back.

You say that in return, tenants can easily sue landlords for trespass and "thousands" are doing it? Can you supply any links or evidence of a good list of all these court cases please? I'd like to hear them. I don't want just the odd case here and there where a tenant won. I want to see that there are thousands of bad renters successfully claiming against good, innocent landlords. My argument stands, which is that in order to sue, a tenant needs to pay court fees, which most tenants would rather not do as they are already cash-strapped in the first place, hence they rent.

Of course if a tenant who is evicted (or the landlord wants to "repossess" the property and gets the bailiffs to do it) can choose to trash the property as a farewell "gift" if he wishes. And if he is also jobless and on benefits and has zero assets, the landlord cannot possibly get a single penny out of him for damages. Of course this is not fair. But then again, if council housing was still adequate and available to help those in need, then such tenants wouldn't all need to rely on private sector renting in the first place, which is the start of all these issues.

I am sorry to digress but I think rather than seeing just what's in front of us, sometimes landlords need to look at the big picture. There are "poor me"s on every side. Everyone is trying to do things with the least amount of expenditure. And of course, landlords want to try and make an income from renting but don't want to incur too much loss from this so that they can get a net profit in return.

Renters are... what money do renters make from renting? They just want a roof over their head at a cost they can afford. Of course you get the ones who are bad tenants, but then again I could say here that you get bad landlords too.

417
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 17:02

I take your point btw that landlords do not have right of entry even in cases of repair, however landlords can obtain a court order to enter the property to carry out repairs. So yes they can still do it... at cost and time. And quite frankly, if a landlord gets to that point where they need to get a court order to carry out repairs on their own property, then the relationship between landlord and tenant would have been already broken down for whatever reason. Might as well start lodging S21 or S8 proceedings.

http://www.privaterentedservice.co.uk/ll_hanbook/during-a-tenancy/

418
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th November, 2014 @ 17:22

Yeah, well a landlord will eventually always get their property back, I think that much is common sense since it's their property. But I didn't think that was the point, I certainly wasn't disputing that. I was just saying it's not always easy and a landlord can't just enter the property whenever they choose.

I said "Thousands of tenants prosecute landlords on a daily basis" after you implied that tenants don't bother prosecuting because they have little money (hence why they rent). I don't have a database of active cases, but there are plenty of tenants prosecuting landlords on a daily basis over all kinds of issues, including harassment. I'm not just making that up, I talk to tenant eviction services regularly. They happen so frequently that there isn't a news article on every case, believe it or not.

"however landlords can obtain a court order to enter the property to carry out repairs" Yeah, but I wasn't disputing that either, because that's not the same as, "landlords have the right to enter as they wish as long as the reason is to carry out repairs for which the landlord is legally responsible for."

You just proved that they can't. If the tenant refuses entry, the landlord will have to seek a court order (and the landlord may not even get that court order).

Anyways, I just wouldn't advise a landlord to enter a property without permission.

419
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 17:40

Hmm well I'm not convinced there are lots of bad tenants successfully claiming costs for harassment and trespassing from their good and entirely above-board landlords. And without any proof, it's purely anecdotal from your perspective I'm afraid. How many tenants choose not to do that and put up with bad landlords and agents?

And of course tenant eviction companies will tell you the bad stories. It's like going to a hospital's infant SCBU ward to find out lots of babies die from all sorts of horrible conditions everyday, but the majority of babies outside of those wards are perfectly fine and never get those sorts of health issues.

In short I'm not convinced that only hearing from the tenant eviction companies will provide you with enough proof that the whole country is littered with bad tenants and poor landlords getting shafted by them. And until this gets proper press and perhaps a database of court cases detailing these incidents and the judgments, it's all a matter of your word against someone else's.

420
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th November, 2014 @ 18:44

I don't really understand your point. It's not about good/bad tenants/landlords.

As soon as a landlord (whether you class them as a good or bad) enters a property without permission from the tenant, they become open to prosecution.

Your analogy isn't really relevant. No one is saying that there are more bad tenants than good. As said, the only point I've made is that landlords can't just enter a property without permission and eviction really isn't that easy, and landlords DO get prosecuted. But the discussion seems to be getting stretched in other irrelevant areas.

Anyways, agree to disagree works with me :)

421
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 18:53

For me at least, it was more about some landlord's ranting above that "Landlords have no rights over their own property. " which frankly to me is bull. I was addressing that, but since you jumped in, I thought I had to end up talking to you instead.

Look, you keep saying eviction isn't that easy, but you need to be clear what you mean by "easy". By "easy" you mean it involves hassle, yes? But of course it involves hassle. Why shouldn't it? Should tenants have so little right in the matter that they should be turned out onto the streets by landlords when they have no where else to go? Shelter England and even some councils often recommend tenants stay put in the property even if they are being evicted or the house is repossessed. Why? Because there is no other way for them to get rehoused when they have no funds to rent somewhere else. And in some cases, they never get rehoused. They just get put in hostels for years and years with no rehousing in sight.

But landlords cannot claim that eviction is impossible. This is what I'm trying to point out. Eviction is always possible. It can involve hassle, money and time, yes. It is not "easy", but please don't go on rants about how "landlords have no rights over their properties" please. Makes me laugh.

422
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 18:54

And I'm not necessarily directing my comments at you in particular, @The Landlord, even if it might seem this way.

423
Guest Avatar
Rach 26th November, 2014 @ 19:00

*Shelter and councils often advise tenants to stay put in the property even if they are being evicted or the property repossessed, but only until the bailiffs come. When the bailiffs come, then the tenants must leave. Then they can get put in hostels. If they leave any time before the bailiffs come, they can be classed as voluntarily making themselves homeless and hence won't get rehomed. The situation is not good and don't even ask me why the government does it this way. Not good for landlords or for tenants.

424
Guest Avatar
samantha 6th December, 2014 @ 12:54

My partner and I are terminating our contract early due to unacceptable noise from surrounding flats. Our letting agents have made no attempt to come and assess the situation.

Key point is on one occasion the letting agents let an electrician into the property without 24 hours notice- it wasn't an emergency, he was just replacing a liht shade.

We have offered to pay an additional 2 weeks rent as a compromise for us leaving early- landlord would like an extra month.

Question is, as the letting agents allowed access to the flat without 24 hour notice, has the contract been breached and can we refuse to pay the extra rent and simply leave at end of one month's notice?

Appreciate your thoughts, Sam

425
Guest Avatar
James 8th December, 2014 @ 15:03

Sam, such a minor contract breach does not give you automatic rights as you describe. I am not surprised your landlord wishes you to pay an extra month for your breach of contract. The only thing is that should your Landlord take you to court for this breach, then the instance of his contractor entering without notice would not count so favourably for him, but that would be for the court to decide not you. You can choose to act in any way you see fit but this is not a matter of tit for tat and a court is unlikely to play that game. You need to act reasonably.

426
Guest Avatar
Rob 9th December, 2014 @ 09:19

Need advice,

Our tenants moved out 7 days before their tenancy ended, they say they had the carpets professionally cleaned as per contract but won`t provide a receipt, the tenancy ended on 30th Nov 2014.If we had gained access 5 days after they left but before their tenancy actually ended on the 30th would this be illegal if so what are the likely repercussions.

427
Guest Avatar
James 9th December, 2014 @ 11:40

Rob - If you served notice then no, if not then strictly yes, but if the tenants had moved out then such a technical discretion is unlikely to have any repercussions. Bit like asking the repercussions of yesterday driving at 35 in a 30 and not being caught? Although I guess if you went on to take your tenants to court as a result of what you found during the entry without notice then that may not be helpful to your case.

428

Please leave a comment...

I'm a nobody

I'm a nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Letting / Estate Agent

Letting / Estate Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast


Leave a comment

Want FREE Landlord/Tenant advice from experienced Landlords?

Join our active Landlord community by registering to our Landlord Forum.
Learn, share and resolve your problems!