Tenant taking issue with "lateness" of inspection.

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    Tenant taking issue with "lateness" of inspection.

    We gave 4 working days notice to our tenant of entry to inspect, and specified 2pm to meet with them at the property.
    We arrived 20-25 minutes late due to traffic and rung the doorbell with no answer, so we used our keys to get in and ran a brief inspection in their absence which was fine.

    The tenant has since taken issue that they waited for us to arrive but after 20 minutes left to go back to work, and that we shouldn't have used our keys.

    Were we wrong to use our keys to get in when there was no answer on the doorbell even though we were a little late?

    #2
    It depends what the notice and your tenancy agreement says.
    You can't just turn up and enter when you want to, unless you somehow give yourself that right.
    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
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      It depends what the notice and your tenancy agreement says.
      You can't just turn up and enter when you want to, unless you somehow give yourself that right.
      Thank you, well, the only relevant part of the tenancy regarding entry states:

      "The Tenant will also permit entry to all other persons authorised by the Landlord or the Landlord's
      Agent with or without workmen and others and with all necessary equipment. If the Tenant fails to
      keep any such appointments without first giving reasonable notice of cancellation then the Tenant
      will be liable for any reasonable costs or expenses incurred by the Landlord or the Landlord's Agent
      for the time wasted. If the Landlord or the Landlord's Agent fails to keep any such appointment
      without first giving reasonable notice of cancellation, then the Landlord or the Landlord's Agent will
      be liable for any reasonable costs or expenses incurred by the Tenant for time wasted."


      There's nothing there about missing an appointment that says we have to rearrange for just 25 minutes later or that the tenant has a right to be there when we do it.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by SamCartman View Post
        There's nothing there about missing an appointment that says we have to rearrange for just 25 minutes later or that the tenant has a right to be there when we do it.
        So there's nothing in the tenancy agreement that allows you as landlord to enter at all, let alone when the tenant isn't there.

        So you're relying on Landlord and Tenancy Law generally, and there's an implied term in any lease where you have repair obligations (which you do in an AST in England and Wales) "there is ... implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair."

        So provided you gave notice 24 hours in advance in writing you probably had a right to enter.

        20-25 minutes is a long time to be late without phoning or messaging the tenant.
        I would never enter one of my properties without the tenant being present unless the tenant had agreed to that - and even then I'd think twice.

        If I were the tenant I'd be pretty hacked off and possibly change the locks to stop it happening again.
        An apology might be enough.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          So there's nothing in the tenancy agreement that allows you as landlord to enter at all, let alone when the tenant isn't there.

          So you're relying on Landlord and Tenancy Law generally, and there's an implied term in any lease where you have repair obligations (which you do in an AST in England and Wales) "there is ... implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair."

          So provided you gave notice 24 hours in advance in writing you probably had a right to enter.

          20-25 minutes is a long time to be late without phoning or messaging the tenant.
          I would never enter one of my properties without the tenant being present unless the tenant had agreed to that - and even then I'd think twice.

          If I were the tenant I'd be pretty hacked off and possibly change the locks to stop it happening again.
          An apology might be enough.
          Thank you again!

          We gave more than 24 hours notice and there was nothing we needed to repair, just to inspect after the first 6 months. The fuss the tenant is kicking up is that by arriving late we should have rung the doorbell and turned away when there was no answer, instead of using our keys. Because of that they were not present when we were inspecting our property, but would have been present if we had arrived on time.

          Comment


            #6
            I would be very annoyed at my landlord arranging to meet me at home, who turned up 25 minutes late without contacting me to apologise and see if I could wait and let themselves in with keys that they just happened to bring with them.

            I may not be the ideal person to be an example, but by now the locks would have been changed, you'd not be inspecting again and I'd be making a claim for compensation as per the tenancy agreement.

            I'd go back and apologise to the tenant.
            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
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              I would be very annoyed at my landlord arranging to meet me at home, who turned up 25 minutes late without contacting me to apologise and see if I could wait and let themselves in with keys that they just happened to bring with them.

              I may not be the ideal person to be an example, but by now the locks would have been changed, you'd not be inspecting again and I'd be making a claim for compensation as per the tenancy agreement.

              I'd go back and apologise to the tenant.
              The girl was annoyed and the boyfriend said that they "might" change the locks if it happened again, but the tenancy agreement says that they must not change the locks without our written consent unless it's an emergency, in which case they are to give us a copy of the emergency keys immediately and make right any damage in re-installing the original lock.

              Comment


                #8
                You have not done anything legally wrong about which the tenant can complain. I also do not think you have done anything morally wrong. However, I think that tenant has a right to be miffed. He may feel his privacy has been invaded. Assuming both you and tenant have mobile phones you could have called to say you were held up by traffic. Having not done that and finding the tenant out on arrival, you could have called him then and, whilst not legally necessary, asked if it was all right to enter.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Suggest you join NLA/RLA or at least undertake a LL training Course.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mariner View Post
                    Suggest you join NLA/RLA or at least undertake a LL training Course.
                    Why/what difference does that make?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by SamCartman View Post
                      the tenancy agreement says that they must not change the locks without our written consent unless it's an emergency, in which case they are to give us a copy of the emergency keys immediately and make right any damage in re-installing the original lock.
                      You'll never enforce that, so, by all means leave it in there, but don't rely on it.

                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                        You'll never enforce that, so, by all means leave it in there, but don't rely on it.
                        Can we push them for a key to a new lock or is that "harassment"?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Harassment requires a repeated and unreasonable amount of activity.
                          So asking once or twice probably wouldn't be harassment.

                          Wouldn't stop the tenant complaining about it being that, though.

                          Very few landlord actually get into trouble for harassment, it's almost unenforceable as a stand-alone offence.
                          It tends to be something added to a raft of charges when a local authority has a really decent case against a terrible landlord.

                          However, you'd never know if the key matched the lock!
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            However, you'd never know if the key matched the lock!
                            Do you mean that me trying the potentially new lock with my key is harassment?


                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by SamCartman View Post
                              Do you mean that me trying the potentially new lock with my key is harassment?
                              The tenant will post you a key.
                              As you no know they don't want you to enter the property when they're not there, you'd have no practical way of finding out if it works or not.

                              And it doesn't matter because you can't use it anyway.


                              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

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