Refusing Entry to a Rental PropertyWritten By PropertyLoop March 04, 2021
Whilst new landlords may expect to enter any property in their rental portfolio at any time they see fit, this is not the case. But, with mid-term inspections, urgent repairs and property viewings to complete landlords will inevitably need to gain access to their rental, but what can they do if their tenants are refusing entry to a rental property?
- Can My Landlord Enter My House When I’m Not There?
- Can a Landlord Force Entry to a Rental Property?
- How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give to Enter a Property?
- What Does a Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment Mean?
- What Can You Do if a Tenant Refuses Access?
- Can a Tenant Legally Change the Locks?
Can My Landlord Enter My House When I’m Not There?
Enforced through the 1988 Housing Act landlords are legally obligated to provide the occupants of their rental property with at least 24 hours’ notice before they intend to visit, alongside gaining the tenant’s permission.
With this being said landlord can enter a property without first gaining the consent of the occupants in the case of an emergency; defined by a situation where either the tenants or the structure of the property is being threatened.
Can a Landlord Force Entry to a Rental Property?
When acting in an emergency such as a fire, whilst landlords will not need the permission of the occupants to enter, they must act within reason as they will have to justify their conduct to the tenants at a later date.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give to Enter a Property?
Before entering a rental property, landlords must obtain explicit permission from the tenants for their entry no later than 24 hours prior to the intended time of the visit. If the owner, letting agent or another third party related to the tenancy turn up at the property unannounced, the occupants will be entitled to refuse entry until a mutually convenient time has been agreed upon.
What Does a Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment Mean?
A tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment allows them to reside within the rental property undisturbed and free from harassment from the landlord, letting agent and other parties that would act on their behalf.
However, whilst for the most part the occupants are able to dictate who is able to access the property it is essential for owners to note that both the 1985 landlords and tenant act and the 1988 Housing Act dictate that the occupants of a property must give the landlord reasonable access to conduct repairs to the rental property.
What Can You Do if a Tenant Refuses Access?
Naturally as a landlord, you will need to obtain access to your rental property over the course of the tenancy. Regardless of if these visits are for property maintenance and inspection or to simply show new tenants around the rental, it is important to remember that permission must be granted from the current occupants. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as tenants are empowered to refuse access to the landlord, but if these rejections become consistent it is not hard to see how this can make the life of a landlord or agent very difficult.
In the majority of instances the occupants refuse entry as they are wanting to find a more convenient time for the visit to take place. However, if entry is being continuously refused and repairs are urgently needed it is imperative the owner of the property contact the tenants to warn them they will become responsible for any deterioration of the rental’s condition.
If following this warning the occupants are still refusing entry to the property then the tenants could be taken to court by the landlord in order to gain a court injunction allowing them to enter and carry out the needed remedial work.
Can a Tenant Legally Change the Locks?
Tenancy agreements should contain a clause that strictly prohibits the occupants from making changes to the rental property without first gaining the consent of the landlord. This means that if it is found the tenants have changed the locks without asking their landlord they could be found in breach of the tenancy agreement’s terms, perhaps leading to repossession by the owner.
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