When can landlords enter their property?
When a landlord is considering entering a property, they must ensure they follow the correct procedures to avoid any further problems. They should also other think of aspects such as when they’re allowed to enter their property, and what documents they require that allows them to carry out work on their property.
When can a landlord enter their property?
According to The Housing Act 1998 landlords must give tenants 24 hours’ notice before they enter the property. As part of the tenancy agreement landlords should check whether there’s a clause stating what times they are allowed to enter the property. If you have given your property to an agent to manage they will have to follow the same rules.
A situation where landlords can access their property without permission is called ‘Emergency Access’. If the situation is deemed as an emergency i.e. a fire or a flood the landlord may enter the property.
Gas safety certificate
A gas safety certificate, or more accurately gas safety record, is a document given after an engineer has conducted the relevant checks to certify the safety of relevant appliances and flues.
Failure to carry out the necessary checks is an offence, and landlords can be prosecuted. If the tenant refuses the landlord entry, they must show they have followed the correct legal protocol to request entry in order to provide a defence.
Tenants are usually responsible for keeping the property clean and in good condition, however if they have an all-inclusive tenancy, cleaning maybe provided for them. Landlords are not responsible if something in the property has been damaged because of the tenant. According to Shelter, if the tenant does not pay for damage that is their fault the landlord could deduct money from their tenancy deposit.
Landlords must be clear on the definition of quiet enjoyment, so they do not enter their property without the tenant’s permission. According to law firm Seddons, ‘quiet enjoyment’ is a term that ‘defines a legal relationship between two people where one has taken on a positive obligation to leave the other to enjoy, and to make full use of land they have been given or let in peace, and without suffering unlawful, undue, excessive, unnecessary and unjustified, disturbance, disruption, or interference to that entitlement, or any unwarranted diminution in or restriction over use.”
Even though landlords are permitted to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property they are renting, landlords do have rights to entry in specific situations. According to Petty Son & Pestwich Ltd they are:
- Right to perform repairs
- This term can be classed under ‘reasonable access’ which covers emergency situations such as a fire, flooding, suspicion of criminal activity, and assessing structural damages that require urgent attention.
- Right to access to provide services
- Landlords can access the property if they are to offer services such as a cleaning or gardening. These services are likely to have been agreed beforehand with the tenant and would also be covered in the tenancy agreement. In certain situations, the property may only be accessible through the rear end.
- Right to inspection
- Landlords have the right to enter their property to assess any repair works or to empty a coin operated fuel meter.
- If work is required to be done and the tenant does not consent, the landlord can apply to the court for an order to entry and carry out the works.
Generally, landlords inspect their property once or twice a year, however it varies depending on their situation. A questionnaire done by Upad showed certain landlords even inspect their property every three months. Landlords should also check whether there is a clause in the tenancy agreement stating when they can inspect their property.
Overall, if legal protocols and procedures are followed then landlords should be able to access their property without any issue. If the tenant refuses entry even though you have followed the correct steps, then you can take the matter to court.