Renting Property Inspection Access Rights

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Rorifett, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Hi folks,

    Currently renting a place and the letting agents want to do an inspection, no problem, but I don't want them there without myself or my partner there to supervise them. They've requested a date that we both work so I asked them to do a different date which they're saying they're not wanting to do because the inspector isn't in the area.

    What rights do I have to refuse them access on the originally requested date, and what can I do to make them not visit on that date (any 'tenants rights' documents etc I can quote?)

    Thanks
     
  2. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    I believe it is a case of it is your home so they have no rights, and you can't give them away by having a clause in a contract.

    The only statuary right of entry is if there is a suspected gas leak or other risk to life, or a court order can allow entry.

    Shelter's site is a great resource on this. Laws are different in different parts of the UK though.
     
  3. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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    From here: Landlord responsibilities and tenant rights. Landlord law | HomeLet

    The Right to Enter to Inspect the State of Repair of the Property/Empty a Fuel Slot Meter
    Your second right as owner of the property is a right to enter to inspect the state of repair of the building or to empty a fuel slot meter.

    Unlike the former right, however, this does not grant you an immediate right of entry. In this case, 24 hours’ notice must be provided prior to entering your tenant’s home.

    Can I Visit at Any Time Provided Notice has been Provided?
    As standard, your tenancy agreement will also state that visits must only be made at ‘reasonable’ times of day. This is in place to ensure that your tenant has the option to be there if they want to be, has a chance to tidy up before you visit and is able to arrange to have a witness present if you don’t have the best relationship with them. Abiding by this benefits both parties, and failure to do so could be highly damaging to the relationship between you.
     
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  4. SteveCritten

    SteveCritten
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    Agree with @RuddyRoad here. I would suggest you ask a friend or family member or even a neighbour to be there as a witness to ensure he isn't rifling through the panty drawer....sort that's sexist to ensure she isn't rifling through your boxers drawer......hang that's homophobic.......you get the idea :laugh:
     
  5. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Although the tenancy agreement doesn't hold up against the actual government regulations on the subject does it?

    I don't want the letting agents in my house when nobody else is there, I'm also not in a position to get someone to sit in my house from 9-5 waiting for someone to turn up, I've given them options of other days that week where someone is available, am I in a position to change locks to bar their entry or force them to be more accommodating and change their dates?
     
  6. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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  7. SteveCritten

    SteveCritten
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    In a word Rory no unfortunately. This is the problem with using an agency they don't seem to have any flexibility. I have only had to send a letter once when a tenant stopped paying rent but I just ring and say I am popping in otherwise and come to a mutual arrangement on time and date.
     
  8. SteveCritten

    SteveCritten
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    This is totally wrong for private tenants it may be different for housing associations.
     
  9. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    See the Shelter website states this -
    "Can my landlord come into my home without warning?
    No. Your landlord can only come into your home at times that have been agreed with you.

    There are special rules if your landlord needs to come in to do repairs, or to inspect the condition of the property. They, or someone acting on their behalf, must give you at least 24 hours notice before coming round."

    So Shelter state the Landlord can only come in during times that have been agreed with me, whereas the Homelet site above linked by RR states they only need to supply 24 hours notice. It also goes on to state on the Homelet site
    "In Summary
    To clarify, always be aware that it’s, in fact, illegal for a landlord or agent to enter a property without agreement from the tenant. The golden rule to abide by is always to provide your tenants with written notice at least 24 hours before any planned visits. Try to always be flexible about the time, and visit when it suits your tenant. Do not visit more than is necessary and, when you do, always ring the bell or knock on the door politely, waiting to be invited in – you should never just let yourself in without
    permission, unless there’s an emergency."

    So they're stating it's 'illegal to enter a property without agreement from the tenant' - if I specify I am not giving permission for access on the date they originally supplied it doesn't appear they can legally come on site? Ergo, if I change locks they wouldn't know unless they were trying to break the law by entering the property - grounds for me to really kick up a stink against them I presume?
     
  10. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Seems to be a total conflict on both shelter and the homelet sites about the rights of access and the legality of the right of access :s
     
  11. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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    If you don't agree they shouldn't enter without your permission unless they get a court order.
     
  12. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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    They are both saying the same thing, just from different angles. The landlord site clearly states "you should never just let yourself in without permission, unless there’s an emergency"
     
  13. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Am I able to enforce this 'shouldn't' in such a way as changing the locks?
     
  14. Pisto_Grih

    Pisto_Grih
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    1) they may not enter without your permission unless there is an emergency
    2) if they do want to come, they need to give at least 24 hours notice.
     
  15. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    It seems to hinge on that '24 hours notice' bit though, seems as though giving 24 hours notice justifies being able to access the property whereas if I refuse them access (even with the 24 hours notice) it becomes illegal for them to enter?
     
  16. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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    Yes, but that's probably not an expense you would want to go to, wouldn't it be cheaper to take a day off work? If you change them, and the landlord needs emergency access with associated damage you may find your deposit is affected.

    That's not what either document says though - @Pisto_Grih's comment sums it up.
     
  17. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Ah ok so it's not an 'either/or' situation, it's more a case of they need to get agreement to enter and they need to give more than 24 hours for that agreement of entry, unless there is an emergency?
     
  18. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Pah after all that they've just emailed saying they don't have the future dates so will ping me again when their inspector gets back in touch :rotfl:

    Roll on the next unsuitable time they want to come lol thanks for the help guys!
     
  19. tvmcp

    tvmcp
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    I presume you've already agreed to the terms of inspection in your tenancy agreement (which you would have signed).
    They are giving you every opportunity to get someone to the inspection as you are getting adequate notice.
    If it says differently in that agreement, then hold them to it.
    It may not be a nice thought that someone unknown is entering the property, but that's a downside to renting, you either have to be the one to let them get on with it, or be the one having to take time out of work potentially to be there.
    I also wouldn't suggest you change the locks, as you are likely to get a bill for a failed visit and revisit fee, you will also have to pay for the landlord.agency to change the locks back, which will result in a locksmith bill, as you won't be allowed to make any unauthorized changes to the property, and any that are should always be backed up in writing, so you don't get stiffed with denial later on when things have changed from the original inventory.
     
  20. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    The tenancy agreement doesn't have more say than the legal side of things though. I didn't agree to a particular date for the inspection in the agreement, nor am I saying they cannot inspect, just that the date they've asked for isn't suitable for me. Clearly if I had someone available to be at the inspection I would have someone there and this wouldn't be an issue.

    Changing the locks was something that was previously agreed to through the letting agents, if I felt there was any nonsense brewing I would change the locks and make it clear to them they weren't allowed permission to the property (emergency excepting) - if they complained about not getting access due to the lock change they'd surely be self-incriminating for 'illegally' trying to gain access to the property would they not?

    If locks were changed I'd change back to the originals before leaving so that side of things wouldn't be an issue inventory-wise.
     
  21. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Are you sure? I'll look up the Short Hold Tenancy legislation when I get some time, when I queried a specialist lawyer this was their interpretation of the law.

    Effectively the 'quiet enjoyment' clause covers all of this.
    Imagine you are renting a car, the owner can't just let themselves in and have the usage of it whenever they want, with fair exception given for if the vehicle is faulty.
    The same applies for someone renting a home, the quiet enjoyment can be interrupted for safety reasons (gas leak, structural issues), while a breach of contract is enforced though a court order thus the contract is no longer valid (albeit a little more complicated than that in reality).
     
  22. SteveCritten

    SteveCritten
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    I as a landlord do not require access in order to make use of the property I require it in order to inspect it such that it is being kept in good order.
    Using a car is completely different.
     
  23. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    I use a letting agent but make sure that I inspect a property once a year regardless of whether the letting agent has.

    Of course I make sure it's at a time that convenient to the tenant and ask that they are there as well. It's not just for my purposes to make sure the property is being cared for, I also use it as an opportunity for my tenant to bring up any issues that I can sort out.
     
  24. koeman

    koeman
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    You sound like a real catch of a tenant
     
  25. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    It serves both me and the tenant well. Not all tenants come forward with complaints on seemingly small issues but longer term they can lead to problems.

    For example in one I had the toilet extractor fan give up. The tenants who were a young couple didn't notice/bother and when I went round I could just see small signs of damp on the ceiling. If it had been left it could have caused a problem but it was caught early so saved me money by getting it replaced and the small amount of cosmetic damage treated and redecorated.

    I don't want my tenants turning over annually if possible unless I want rid of them so if it makes them happier to stay long term then it's worthwhile.
     
  26. Rorifett

    Rorifett
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    Who does?
     

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