I have an imbecile-like tenant, selfish beyond words, whos days are numbered as a tenant of mine. He never responds to any requests to allow access to tradesmen or myself to conduct Gas Safe, EICR or inspections. The only good thing is the rent gets paid.
I contact him:via letter, email, SMS, calls and whatsapps. He only responds on the one occasion he has wanted something doing (shower fixing). May i add that he tries to fix things himself or get unqualified people in to attempt to fix things against the terms of the AST. He has had written and verbal warnings advising in breach of tenancy and he cannot &*&%ing do this!
The next thing to arrange is the EICR. In reality can i just advise him someone is coming on a certain day and if hes not in can either me or the electrician gain entry with a key?
The councils advice is none existent - beyond a joke!!
If i told him the house was on fire he still wouldn’t respond!
You will never get any help from the council
As you said yourself, this tenant’s days are numbered. But, next time, make sure you talk through the tenancy agreement with the incoming tenant and point out the requirements for access. If your tenancy agreement doesn’t have a whole section on who can have access and under what conditions co-operation for access is required, then I suggest that you update it.
We email the tenant that EICR is scheduled with time and date and that the electrician will need access to the whole house. You need at least 24 hours notice. They can go in if he does not refuse entry. ( our contract is worded such that we need to notify)
If he refuses then contact the council.
Document that you don’t take liability for his belongings whilst they are on site ( so you have covered yourself)
We have just had the same problem. I don’t know what area you are in.
We have an housing team at the council. The tenant was scheduled for his rewire on 4 Jan but did not vacate his house so the electrician walked off site. The council were notified and threatened a prohibition order. He left for three days and emptied house on 18 Jan so we could rewire.
We have an accredited landlord service so we liaise with admin there and they point us in the right direction.
The penalties are significant so make sure you notify the council if you are having problems to cover yourself.
You can get your solicitor to serve an injunction if you cannot get entry but that is expensive ( my solicitor would rather serve an eviction notice than an injunction).
@Brenda. Thanks for your comment. Believe me I went through the terms in detail. The issue has happened only since his girlfriend left as it was originally a joint tenancy with her, and its since become apparent that she must’ve took care of everything and he is still infantile. Communication was previously all with her.
The only tenants I accept are those who are willing to liaise directly with the contractors that I pay to conduct annual gas safety checks and whatever It’s written into the tenancy agreement. My point of view is that it empowers the tenant and makes sure that the work is scheduled to suit both the tradesperson and the tenant. I think it’s better if I stay out of that loop. I admit that I’ve had only one instance of a tenant who was unreasonable and blocked access. Obviously, I terminated that rental at the earliest opportunity,
I wish this blog had a “sad” response as well as the love heart.
That seems like a very sensible approach Brenda. I suppose I have done ok to date, it’s only this tenant out of about 10 over the years who has been unreasonable. I think this blog needs to have a ‘pain in the *rse’ response too.
So I am guessing them I cannot let myself in without permission?.. however the tenant has effectively given me their permission by signing the AST which has a clause allowing me or an agent or workman to enter haven’t they?
You can let yourself in if you give at least 24hrs notice in writing and the tenant doesnt refuse. Silence=consent for this purpose.
Your AST probably says something about your entitlement to access with reasonable notice. Certainly, to enable you to comply with your legal requirements as a landlord isn’t unreasonable and doesn’t infringe on his rights to a quiet and private life.
So, if he is unresponsive just tell him what is happening in good time.
For a moment there I thought you had tapped into one of my tenants - two peas in a pod! He goes by the name Hooflung in our house! I have become so utterly frustrated by the man I now have a friend managing the flat. Personally, I would inform your tenant of the day and time, well in advance, by all the means you mention, and then accompany the engineer yourself.
Why don’t you give 48 hrs notice of the EICR via email and letter, put a delivery and read receipt on your email and state it is an urgent notification and under both legislation and the AST, it must be done. This must be done to all named AST signatories , if there are guarantors CC them.
You will be in attendance too and hence if he is not there you have a key.
If he is working it can be done whilst he is at work. If he is not because of covid furlough he must move into a room where the electrician is not working and copy the gov guide lines fior ventilation.
You must also check he has no covid conditions.
If possible to make alternative arrangements for half a day would be better.
All visitors must follow covid advice and procedures.
Video your attendance and if he refuses access, state and back up in writing and email that due to continued no access and your responsibilities you will be forced to serve notice.
If you are allowed in also do an inspection and take photos, videos of the inspection , write back with notification of this with evidence where breakages are concerned and what needs doing and who is responsible.
Take some tools, so you can do any quick repairs whilst you have access.
If gas certs are required see if it’s possible to do all on the same day. And you can state you are doing you level best to achieve this all at once. Any follow on from this with eviction or council will see you are doing your bit reasonably and fairly.
All this will help you in the long run.
If he has been held up in the property for a long time alone and partner departed, he may be suffering from depression and all that goes with that.,
I have exactly the same problem, and contract clearly states that I’m allowed access for inspection. Unfortunately I have no keys to the property. I need a new mortgage and can’t get a valuation done. Can I use a locksmith? Should I contact the council? Just don’t know what to do.
The statutory right of entry for inspection is for maintenance purposes not for valuation. If you have something in your tenancy agreement about entry for valuation then the tenant would be in breach of contract if they refuse access. You could threaten to sue them for your losses, but I doubt you would win such a case. I think your options are probably wait until you can evict or find a lender who doesnt need internal inspection for valuation. There are some out there. Speak to a broker.
Thanks for your reply. I’ve actually given 2 weeks notice that I will inspect at the same time, which I have clearly in the contract they have from their previous landlords, Westgate Housing Association, who ended their secure tenancy. I think I should read the signs and evict.
You are wrong. You have absolutely no right whatsoever. I’ve found that out the hard way. Tenant was given 10 days notice, then reminded three days before, there was a court injunction in place anyway because he was refusing access regularly, and when we got there he refused access and slammed the door on me, I was caught in the door jam. He then took the door and repeatedly shoved it into my face over and over and over again causing bruising. I went to the police. They charged him for assault by beating. But CPS dropped it because they say that the tenant has the absolute right to refuse entry even if they’ve said that you can come in they’re allowed to change their mind at the last minute. I’m now fighting it. But no, you have absolutely no right to let yourself in
There is SERIOUS disrepair because he won’t allow access. And just found out the roof is slipping off the 4 story building which had we had access, would have noted & got a structural engineer. I’m not a big landlord. Never wanted to be one but fell into owning 3 properties. I’m getting out as landlords can never do right. I’m a very conscientious LL letting extremely nice properties with up to date everything, all paperwork in place but I’ve been shat on over & over again. Not worth the hassle. I’m getting out.