Landlord Access to property

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    Landlord Access to property

    Hi

    We have a property that we plan to renovate to our family home. We got tenants in for 12 months whilst we sorted designs, planning etc. and in the rental agreement we have a clause stating we can inspect the property with 24 hours notice. The architect needs to inspect the property and take measurements. The tenants are refusing access citing COVID concerns. Whilst that may seem reasonable, the architect suggested just an external inspection may be enough for now, however the tenants are even refusing access to even the garden as their kids “usual play there” - the garden has external access by the way! The architect even said he would wear mask and gloves in the garden, but still refused access.

    We’ve tried reasoning with them, We’ve tried to ask about their concerns, offered to produce negative test results etc. but get blanked and given their position on garden access it seems clear that are hiding behind COVID as an excuse. We’ve been quoted £275 per hour for legal advice, which would be fine if we actually achieved something, but our fear is we would pay money and not actually be any better off. The tenancy doesn’t have a break clause and doesn’t end until April next year.

    We don’t know what to do, it’s particularly hurtful when we have attempted to be responsive and helpful when they have needed things despite lockdown (boiler issue, washing machine issue) - seems COVID is only an issue if we need something, magically not an issue when they need something.

    any suggestions on what to do gratefully accepted? Do we just have to write off this year and wait until we can get ride of them in April? Would getting legal advice actually help? We are not professional landlords, we are not even trying to profit, we just wanted to take some time to design our family home.

    #2
    I'd point out, politely, that they have previously allowed access (and cite the occasions).
    I'd point out that the architect will work in a Covid aware manner at all times.

    I'd point out that their issues with access will mean that in future you probably won't be able to address repairs that you both consider necessary.

    But there's not really anything else you can do.
    They're in breach of contract and this has two outcomes.
    You could serve notice on the basis of their breach - but the chances of a court awarding you possession are close to nil.
    You could claim compensation for any loss arising from their breach, but there doesn't seem to be any.

    I suspect (please note that I am a pessimist) that the tenants are hoping to delay your work, so they can stay there longer.
    If they want to, they can simply stay put and force you to recover possession through the courts - letting a property that is only meant to be available for a limited period is quite risky in that regard.
    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
      It's tenant's home, tenant's property whilst there is a tenancy, even if rent not being paid, merely landlord/owners investment. IMHO tenant is doing nothing wrong,

      For an extensive discussion on this old chestnut see..
      https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...ion-or-viewing

      In your shoes I'd offer excellent reference & xx% off the rent & anything else you know/think they might want which hopefully costs you nothing (eg permission to paint small room or instal satellite dish)

      Repairs (boiler issue, washing machine issue ) is one thing, but what you're asking for is totally different. Does the tenancy agreement state anything about access for this sort of purpose (and no it's not a normal "inspection" as per s11 of Landlord & tenant act 1985) please? If so kindly quote clause, particularly the one you mention about "inspect".

      Cheers!
      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


        #4
        Did they know that they would be evicted after 12 months? If not, I can understand them not wanting to help you with your preparations.
        You could always just offer to pay them - I'm sure for £275 they would be willing to set aside an hour...
        it’s particularly hurtful when we have attempted to be responsive and helpful when they have needed things despite lockdown (boiler issue, washing machine issue)
        Isn't that what a professional landlord is supposed to do?

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the responses, yeah we figured our options were pretty limited, but just wanted to check.

          for reference - yeah we tried to be clear and transparent about the 12 months - what the estate agent told them up front I guess we do not know, but right from when we have dealt with them we have been clear on it.

          Seems like we may just have to chalk this up to experience I guess.

          Comment


            #6
            It would be useful if the architect had already had Covid 19!
            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


              #7
              Obviously they've grown quite attached to living there, and are trying to put obstacles in your way to prevent your progress towards the day when you will eventually ask them to leave.

              On the plus side, they are still paying rent. If I was in your position, I'd back off completely and leave things as the are. If you move towards possession (which is almost certainly going to be a lengthy process), they may well stop paying rent and try to drag things out as much as possible.

              Put your plans on hold and wait until they choose to leave. Anything else is going to result in an extremely stressful and painful process.

              As jpkeates has already said, letting a property for a strictly limited amount of time can be risky.

              Comment


                #8
                As said there is nothing you can do, but i would be worried about next April....... although they can refuse i think they are being unreasonable to not allow access to the rear garden which has it's own entrance, as you state they appear to be happy for all manner of tradespeople to pop round when they need something either fixed or delivered but not for ''' your guy '' to NOT enter the house and simply take some measurements from the garden..... i feel they could be difficult come April, watch out.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Craan226 View Post
                  ...we have a clause stating we can inspect the property with 24 hours notice.
                  Please quote the clause in full.

                  Comment

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