Can I enter my BTL

Hello, thank you for reading.
I have been trying to contact my tenants via phone calls, email, text, and voice messages, with no luck for about 3 weeks. Communication was fine until I asked to do the yearly inspection. Then total silence. I am going to go down today and if I don’t get a response, I am going to post a letter informing them that I will be entering the house “within a couple of days” on health and safety grounds.
Am I in my rights to do this.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


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You have to serve 24 hours notice of a maintenance inspection in writing by whatever methods of service you’ve formally agreed, (usually found in the tenancy agreement). You need to give a more specific period than ‘some time in the next couple of days’. If they don’t answer the door, you may enter the property with your key provided they don’t refuse entry either before or at the time. Shout loudly and be prepared to back off. Good luck. Hope you don’t find a cannabis farm or brothel.


Video and take an independent person just in case.


Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated.


Agree with David122, Serve notice under the tenancy agreement standard terms of ‘right to inspect’, I would not mention H&S, that may take matters into another ball park; which is not case with you…
The tenants have been there a year, presumably have paid rent in a timely manner and been communicating well. Tells me they are good tenants, so try to keep it all low key, make the inspection look like bog-standard, humdum, routine chore for you (which it is really).
The inspection shyness may be nothing more than to avoid the bother to clean and tidy up.
But you must conduct your inspection. They must not get the impression that you can be put off.
Good luck.


yes of course, just get proof of posting or if by hand have a witness to see its put in their box. personally i wouldnt have waited 3 weeks i would have gone and knocked on their door and put a note in sayin i would return in 24 hours as i feared for their safety or somesuch. obviously your alarm bells are going off and something is amiss , now you know your tenants best but if it is tricky then take a witness with you. do post how you got on


Thank you Sidney.

Regards David

Don’t enter without their agreement: I believe it is illegal to do so, even to put your key in the door!

By all means have a look through windows and keyholes to confirm it has not been abandoned.

Depends on how the contract was written
If they have not refused that can be taken as acceptance
Refusal is the clear problem

Its the other way around John. The tenant has already agreed in most cases through their tenancy agreement. To prevent access they have to actively refuse.

Cheers for the advice John

I don’t think this is entirely accurate.
The landlord must give at least 24 hours notice in writing and should state a date and time for the visit.
If the tenants have replied saying the appointment doesn’t suit and they subsequently refused to suggest an alternative date, then there is a problem.
If the tenant refuses access when the landlord arrives for the inspection at the date and time s/he notified with the 24hrs warning, then there is a problem.
Else, the landlord has every right to assume
a) that the tenant(s) did receive the notification and have tacitly agreed to the appointment OR
b) there may be an emergency situation which has resulted in the tenants being unable to respond. *
In either of those cases, the landlord has the right to use the master keys to enter the property.

  • Sad story from an English village from about 5 years ago. A young family moved in - the father was then posted overseas. The mother had a sudden, fatal heart attack soon after. Neighbours heard the baby crying and saw the toddler banging on the windows. In true British fashion nobody wanted “to interfere”. The father came back to find the whole family dead. The Coroner’s report on the deaths of the infants was heart-breaking.
    Sometimes stepping up and worrying about non-response is more than protecting the asset which is your property…

I do t know regarding legal stuff, it think you would be wise to take someone along with you!

Hi Thank you for all your advice.

You need to be careful about well-intentioned advice by other Landlords, but I suggest you seek specialist advice. I see (3rd party referral / service removed) offer free advice ?

I find 3 monthly inspections work well and before I take in new tenants they are fully aware of this. I would email and post a letter by hand. Take an independent witness and video too
Good luck