Legal Rights to enter property

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    Legal Rights to enter property

    Hi,

    My tenants have changed the locks on my property, I have asked if I can have a key, which they have refused.

    i have sent a recorded delivery letter saying I require an inspection on the house. But I fully expect them not to be in when I get there.

    What rights do I have to gain access? Ie if there is an open window, am I allowed to go through? If there isn’t can I have a lock smith with me etc?

    thanks
    brian

    #2
    If you send a letter that the recipient has to sign for, they can decline to sign for it (or just be out and not bother to go to pick it up) and it will come back after a month or so.
    And you won't have served notice.
    Always send the letter from a post office and get a proof of posting.

    You have a right to access the property to inspect its condition with 24 hours notice.
    If the tenants don't refuse access you can take a locksmith to let you in - but if you damage the locks and they have to be replaced, that could be inconvenient.

    If the tenant hasn't refused you access, entering through a window would also be OK, as long as you don't damage anything as you do so.

    The tenants should replace the original locks when they leave.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      If the tenant does refuse access, make sure you get evidence of the refusal, as you may need it subsequently to defend against accusations of disrepair, or if in a landlord licensing area, of breaching the licence conditions.

      Comment


        #4
        jpkeates,

        I suspected they would refuse the letter as he made a big deal about sending it recorded. So I sent it in a box, knowing their greed would win over their sense. It worked 😁

        Comment


          #5
          This is such a serious breach of the contract. If they have refused you a key IMHO shouldn't you be issuing a section 8 or section 21 notice?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Hadenough21 View Post
            Hi,

            My tenants have changed the locks on my property, I have asked if I can have a key, which they have refused..................
            Does the tenancy agreement state they may not do either of these things?



            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              If they are refusing you a key and deliberately preventing you from inspecting then you should be looking to move them on at the earliest opportunity. who knows what could be going on in the property, (cannabis farm, brothel...)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ann74 View Post
                This is such a serious breach of the contract. If they have refused you a key IMHO shouldn't you be issuing a section 8 or section 21 notice?
                The section 21 has been issued. It will have been 2 months tomorrow.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Did this happen after the section 21 was issued. If so be particularly thorough in getting proof that you have tried to inspect and been refused, as they are probably going to make false accusations of disrepair.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes this did happen after I had issued it. How would you recommend getting proof?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      As it has been 2 months today since I issued the section 21. If I turn up tonight and they aren’t in. Am I allowed to change the locks and assume they have followed the section 21 instruction and not issue him a key?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Do you want to get prosecuted for an illegal eviction?
                        https://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.ns...016124000?open

                        Comment


                          #13
                          But could it not be that he has followed the section 21 and vacated the house?

                          would it be a civil court issue if he wanted to challenge it?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            it's not just a civil issue. Landlords have gone to jail for illegal evictions.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The safest way is to apply for a possession order through court using section 21. If you are going to change the locks without obtaining the possession order, then you need to make sure your tenants have left the property. You can do so by serving an abandonment notice and allow them to respond within 14 days. Make sure you reserve a plenty of evidence to prove that they have left the property, in case you are prosecuted for illegal eviction.

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