Tenant making it difficult for you to gain access?
If you are a landlord and you want access to your property, whether that’s for a routine property inspection, gas safety check or any other reason.
The current law as it stands, the tenant is entitled to “quiet enjoyment“, this means the tenant has a legal right to live in the property as his or her home. That means the Landlord obtain tenant’s consent before entering the let property.
Tenants are protected Under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This Act simply put means; any form of intimidation, or even making the tenant feel they may be assaulted, could be deemed as harassment.
If you just turn up at the let property, without notice, or consent, this could be deemed as harassment.
Access for repairs, maintenance or urgent work
While the law states that tenants are entitled to live in “quiet enjoyment”, the landlord has legal obligations to maintain the property and ensure it is safe to live in. The ‘landlord and tenant act 1985 section 11’ stipulates that the landlord’s legal obligation is to repair and maintain the property and that the tenant must allow the landlord access to do essential repairs.
When tenants turn bad, some landlords struggle obtaining access for essential work, like access to carry out an annual gas safety check.
Many landlords understandably get very angry and frustrated when tenants unreasonably deny access to the let property. However, you still cannot force entry even if the tenant persistently denies access.
If you have a tenant from hell, and your tenant is denying you access to the let property, then you need to adopt the following plan of action;
Write to your tenant say 2 letters each a week apart, requesting consent to enter. You need to explain the reason why you need access, how and why it is important that the tenant allows access. Propose a date and time and if the date is not convenient then the tenant contact you with a date time that is convenient.
Make sure you keep copies of letters sent to the tenant along with any other mode of communication to the tenant. If a claim is brought against you, or the council take action against you for alleged breaches, you will be able to provide evidence, you have done all you can to obtain access.
If the above fails, contact the local council the environmental or tenancy relation officer. In written or email request them to assist you to obtain access and let them have the letters you have sent to the tenant as evidence
Legal action is the last resort. However, if the tenant is still denied access to the let property then you can seek an injunction, this usually is not the best option. You should consider serving a section 8 & 21 notice. Under section 8 you may be able to plead ground 12 for the reason the tenant has denied access.
In an Emergency – access
If the situation is so serious that there is a threat to property or life, like flooding/leak or fire then the emergency services may enter the property.