OpenRent Community

Clarification on permission needed by LL to enter tenant's property

As I understand it, a landlord must give at least 24 hours notice to a tenant before they enter the property (In accordance with the Housing Act 1988).

However, the landlord must also obtain permission from the tenant before they enter the property.

My question is this:

A property company owns the flat I rent, and they (and their contractors) send me letters with the following wording.

We will be visiting your flat on “date” to perform “maintenance/safety checks/inspections”. You do not need to be in attendance, we have keys to access the property.

No “is this convenient for you, or, would you like to re-arrange?”.

They are not asking for my permission to enter the flat, they are just telling me when they are going to attend and they will let themselves regardless if I’m there or not.

Is this legal? If I don’t reply to the letter, does that imply I have given them permission?

Unfortunately I only receive these letters a few days in advance of the visit so if I’ve been away on business/holiday/visiting relatives, by the time I return, someone has already been in my flat. This is very undesirable because I do not trust tradespeople who I do not know to be in my flat when I’m not there (for security and privacy reasons).

I have tried to get the property company to increase the notice period but the response I get is that they only legally have to give me 24 hours notice.

Am I within my rights to say “you do not have permission (except for emergencies) to enter the flat unless I reply to your notification explicitly giving you permission, and if you do enter without my explicit permission then I will take you to court for trespass/harassment”?

It is very likely that the tenancy agreement you signed contains a clause giving the landlord permission to enter with 24 hours notice for inspections. Therefore its likely youve already agreed.

This is pretty standard and I wouldnt worry about it. If you are concerned then ask them to do it when you are present. They dont have to though.

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What do you mean by “they don’t have to though”? Are you saying they can ignore my request for me to be there during the visit, and they can just enter the flat when I’m not there, even if I don’t give them permission?

As I say, you’ve probably already agreed that they can enter without you being there. You would have to actively deny them permission to enter in order to prevent them now, but this sends a very bad message when it goes against what you have previously agreed and I wouldn’t recommend it.

Your best bet is to speak to them and say that you would like to be present and ask if they will work with you. Landlords whose tenants prevent them from carrying out their legal duties at the property tend to move those tenants on at the earliest opporutunity.

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Why do you think that?! There is nothing in my tenancy agreement that says “the tenant agrees to allow the landlord access without the tenant being present”.

A tenancy agreement including a clause like that would totally go against the tenant’s legal rights for “quiet enjoyment” of the property.

In fact, a landlord allowing themselves in whenever the tenant wasn’t there, would be considered harassment, if the landlord didn’t have permission to enter. And no, giving 24 hour notice does not mean the landlord has permission.

I’m afraid your interpretation is not the legal definition of quiet enjoyment

You have been given 24 hours legal notification for a tradesperson to enter to do works or checks.

This is normal

That is not a breach of quiet enjoyment and neither does it mean you are being harassed by the landlord (you have stated it’s a property management company- how can you allege the landlord harassed you?)

Just have an amicable conversation with the agent asking to be present when works are done and ask to reschedule to a mutually convenient time ( bear in mind that is not always possible ( just like you are not always home when your parcels are delivered))

Look on the positive side your management company are dealing with problems and be grateful they are responsible. That is a plus.

Insurers demand 3 monthly checks.

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I never said a landlord giving me 24 hours notice is not “normal”, or a breach of my quiet enjoyment.

I said a landlord who thinks they have a right to enter my flat when I am not there, without my permission, is a breach of “quiet enjoyment”.

Nor did i say it is a property management company, it is a property company i.e. a company that buys and lets out multiple properties. The property company is my landlord, it says so in the tenancy agreement.

And why should i be “grateful” that they are dealing with problems? They have a legal obligation to do so !

I would advise you to read your contract and the housing act

Legally, the tenant does not need to be present for them to enter if they have given the required statutory notice. The contract probably does not read it seeks the tenant’s ‘permission’ hence why it is not sought.
The contract will probably read it gives a minimum of 24 hours notice, which is what the landlord did.
It is not a breach of quiet enjoyment ( they notified you of said check or maintenance work).

If your landlord has a large portfolio they may book bulk work with trades across their portfolio to be time efficient and this may not always suit you.

We are registered with the local
Authority. They mandate monthly checks by landlords. When the LA inspect It would not be feasible to arrange this in the presence of working tenants as it is in work hours so we go ahead in their absence. The tenant is notified in advance, as per contract . Should they wish to be present they may. It’s not pragmatic to arrange a portfolio check with a third party and arrange a suitable time with all the tenants ( in fact or would be an impossible task)

The law is to notify the tenant with 24 hours notice.

Refusing access will create unnecessary animosity and a host of problems for the landlord eg invalidation of building and or content insurance policies, absent fire checks etc

Should your landlord seek legal advice he may be advised to evict.

Upon taking legal council, we were advised to evict a tenant( and have done so) that refused access for routine checks or works.

I would advise an amicable rather than a vitriolic approach.

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The clause in the NRLA model tenancy agreement says:

“Permit us (and our Agent or our contractors) reasonable access to the Property for any authorised purpose where you have been given 24 hours’ notice, or access is required urgently for the purpose of carrying out work on the Property or inspecting the Property in order to determine what work we are entitled or have an obligation to carry out.”

No reference to the tenant having to be there, which means they don’t. If your tenancy agreement doesn’t include something similar, that would be very unusual, but if you want to prevent this, good luck to you. Expect a s21 notice in the post.

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You do need to provide access for maintenance.

I would always ask when it would be convenient for tenants as shows consideration that it’s your home, its not always possible to accommodate specific times but if tenant wants to be there then often it means I wouldn’t need to which saves time. I think this is better practice and businesses that put customers first often do better in long run but landlord is within his rights to do what he is doing.

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They are giving notification and please note contractors are busy and have more than one job to do.

Since tenants many be working and therefore saying that you don’t have to be present. But it does not say you cannot be present or need to arrange the keys for them to pick up for the excess.

It’s not always possible for contractors have to fit the time according to tenants.

I know many contractors who arrange in that way and tenants are cooperating. I don’t see any point why you are not cooperating when they are providing service to get the work done.

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Are you basically saying I do not have a right to be present when the contractor is in the property? If so, then you do not understand your legal obligations as a landlord.

why do you not just work WITH them. You do not understand your obligations as a tenant. If they never checked the place and did no repairs you still complain

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I do understand my obligations as a tenant. I am happy for them to to perform maintenance etc. What I am not happy about is the landlord’s assumption that they can enter my property without me being there, without my consent. Please read my original post properly before commenting,

David122 - “No reference to the tenant having to be there, which means they don’t. If your tenancy agreement doesn’t include something similar, that would be very unusual,”.

How can a tenancy agreement not include something not referencing something?!?!

Also a tenancy agreement nowhere near covers what a landlord/tenant is legally allowed to do under UK law.

You need to understand the following.

“Entering the property against the tenant’s will could give them grounds to start a claim against you for harassment, under the Protection from ‘Eviction Act 1977”."

There are no ifs or buts with the above statement. No exceptions such as the landlord’s statutory responsibilities.

You can say what you like about what’s in (or not in) your tenancy agreement. The law will always trump your templated tenancy agreement :slight_smile:

So good luck entering one of your tenant’s properties if you give them 24 hours notice but they deny you permission. You can expect to be served an injunction, a claim for damages or prosecuted.

Unfortunately the replies on this thread prove once again that many landlords are ignorant of the law.

do you have a chip on one shoulder or both? Best to be on both shoulders then you can walk better Folks best not to reply any more, Flogging a dead horse comes to mind (and I can think of others)

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Wow, a very mature response. Congratulations.

Depends what they are doing. I think you’d have a hard time claiming a boiler service is harassment.

While I agree that you can block access to a landlord this does mean that landlord can sue you for breach of their rights and that you are personally responsible for any damage caused due to lack of maintenance/inspection and will almost certainly lead to your eviction.

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Richard19.

I am not claiming a boiler service is harassment. I am saying that a landlord (or contractor) entering the property without my permission is harassment.

A landlord entering a property without the tenant’s permission is contrary to the Protection of Eviction Act 1977.

And there is no way a landlord can sue me ! I am not blocking the landlord from performing maintenance, I am merely insisting I am present at the time - which is my right.

If a landlord denies me that right, and enters the property without my permission, then it is harassment.

You do have the right to be there, he has given you the required notice so it is up to you if you are there or not. It is very difficult to match up tradespeople diaries with both landlords and tenants.

I agree it is much better if more notice is given but it isn’t legally required to be. I agree it needs your permission but failure to give that permission where there is a reasonable need for maintenance and required notice has been given is a breach of landlords rights and isn’t going to end well…

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