Is this trespass - Ex tenants enter common hallway with spare keys

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    Is this trespass - Ex tenants enter common hallway with spare keys

    Is this trespass - Ex tenants enter common hallway with spare keys

    3 of the upstairs flats have a common entrance door and one letter box, and residents pick up their post from behind the door.

    Tuesday, i noticed an ex tenant, who left 4 / 5 months ago, enter the property via common entrance door to the 3 upstairs flats.
    They parked on the property, ran to the common door, opened it with a key, and then ran out to their car clutching post ( mail )

    Wednesday, the same car did the same thing, but with a different person in the car, who is an ex tenant who left 4 weeks ago ( both used to share the same flat )

    Before I call the police ( i have the cars registration number ), which is not any residents car, and as they are no longer tenants, they are trespassing and guilty of theft, i assume.

    Are they removing everyones' mail looking for credit cards, Have they applied for credit using this address and coming to collect their replies . They came at 2pm, knowing all others are out at work.

    Are they guilty of other things by having made copies of keys, for which to gain entry after they have vacated the property ?

    Assume trespass / unlawful entry and theft is the way to treat this ?

    Before you say get on to the letting agents, they no longer rent from that letting agent, as they moved out.

    #2
    Aren't you in charge of the management company? Change the locks of the communal door immediately.

    Comment


      #3
      I would have thought you are at risk of this occurring every time someone leaves, so rather than keep changing the locks why not add a key code entry system that can be changed by you whenever you want? This sort of thing;

      http://www.codelocks.co.uk/keyless-door-locks.htm
      I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

      Comment


        #4
        Not door locks

        With respect - of course we will change the door locks, but the question was

        Is this trespass / unlawful entry and theft the way to treat this.

        We have people who do not live on the premises, and if they have spare keys for one door - they will have keys to the flat, as well as to the storage in the basement which is accessed from outside..

        If a stranger walked up to your house, had a key to your porch, rifled through your mail, took what they wanted, and had a key to the front door on in his/her possession, would you consider this as trespass / unlawful entry and theft.

        Just a general question, before i contact the police this afternoon ( i am waiting to see if the perpetrators come again today at 2pm ).

        thanks
        Last edited by ram; 26-06-2008, 10:26 AM. Reason: spelling

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ram View Post
          With respect - of course we will change the door locks, but the question was

          Is this trespass / unlawful entry and theft the way to treat this.

          We have people who do not live on the premises, and if they have spare keys for one door - they will have keys to the flat, as well as to the storage in the basement which is accessed from outside..

          If a stranger walked up to your house, had a key to your porch, rifled through your mail, took what they wanted, and had a key to the front door on in his/her possession, would you consider this as trespass / unlawful entry and theft.

          Just a general question, before i contact the police this afternoon ( i am waiting to see if the perpetrators come again today at 2pm ).

          thanks
          I would personally change all the locks and contact the police if they come again - also, keep a firm eye on the mail.

          Comment


            #6
            Three things:
            1. Change the locks with the co-operation of the existing residents.
            2. Report the matter to the Police.
            3. Notify the ex-tenant's landlord of your suspicions.

            Comment


              #7
              You should get hold of the old mail and return it "gone away". It could be something innocent like they don't want to pay the post office for address forwarding or it could be far worse such as running up huge bills on credit cards, benefit fraud, identify theft, applying for loans.....

              But there *must* a reason why they have not changed addresses?.

              Also, notify neighbours not to let them in or collect mail.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                Three things:
                1. Change the locks with the co-operation of the existing residents.
                2. Report the matter to the Police.
                3. Notify the ex-tenant's landlord of your suspicions.
                Update .....

                Police are not interested.

                Police say that an owner of the flat must state whats missing, but if mail is removed before owner comes home, how can they say whats missing. -They stated monthy bank statements etc, - i said, most have online banking and dont get statements.

                Police state ( without saying so much ) that anyone who has a key to the common door, has the right to enter, tresspass, and it's no concern of theirs, and its a civil matter.

                So - just that you know, your entrance keys can be copied by the thousand, and given out freely.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ram View Post
                  Update .....

                  Police are not interested.

                  Police say that an owner of the flat must state whats missing, but if mail is removed before owner comes home, how can they say whats missing. -They stated monthy bank statements etc, - i said, most have online banking and dont get statements.

                  Police state ( without saying so much ) that anyone who has a key to the common door, has the right to enter, tresspass, and it's no concern of theirs, and its a civil matter.

                  So - just that you know, your entrance keys can be copied by the thousand, and given out freely.
                  At least you tried! Make a written note of police 'advice', date/sign it, and keep it safe. You may need it as evidence later!

                  What does property insurance co. say about all this? It may be prepared to give rather more helpful advice so as to minimise claims potential.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is a case of trespass. A trespass occurs when someone goes onto land without consent, express or implied. Once the tenancy ended, the consent to go onto the property clearly came to an end. The fact that they retained a key is completely irrelevant. However, since they had a key to get in there can be no question of any crime being committed solely by reason of entering; the position is the same as if they had merely walked about in the garden. So when the police say it is a civil matter they are right, but they are not right to say that the possession of a key gives a right to enter.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      But I think that I recall entry onto private residential property becoming a criminal offence recently- or am I mistaken?
                      Also see s.6/s.7 of Criminal Law Act 1977 [violence securing entry; adverse occupation when person refuses to leave on being required to go].
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        This is a case of trespass. A trespass occurs when someone goes onto land without consent, express or implied. Once the tenancy ended, the consent to go onto the property clearly came to an end. but they are not right to say that the possession of a key gives a right to enter.
                        The police have a record that i visited them, but no crime number.

                        ONE problem is that the previous tenant who left 6 months ago, their car is still registered at the Flat they vacated 6 months ago, so i was grilled by police saying " You DON'T know who lives there, you must go and ask" to which i replied, "The trespasser left the flat 6 months ago, and the car had not been seen for 6 months." -

                        Possession of a key gives a right to enter !!!
                        The police did not comment when i said anyone with a key, who proved to be not living there, could enter. I was shunned and told to go away and come back with evidednce of what was stolen. ( i have told them mail was taken, but i cant prove what it was - as it was removed before anyone came home )-- I saw the person enter the premises, and leave with a hand full of letters ----- Police were not concerned with a break in,- even though it was with a key.
                        Last edited by ram; 01-07-2008, 11:21 AM. Reason: revised

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          But I think that I recall entry onto private residential property becoming a criminal offence recently- or am I mistaken?.
                          According to the police, ( due to their refusal to do anything ) ex-tenants with keys can enter your property and remove mail for all flats, every day. If the ex-tenants keep their car registered to the vacated property, ex-tenants can have free access to all common areas, and the police will not stop them. !!!!

                          The police stated ( wrongly in my opinion ) that mail addressed to a flat, which was inside a locked building, was no ones property, and basicly inferred that anyone with a key has the right to remove mail, and if you cannot tell the police who the letter was from, when it was taken while you were out at work, and is not there when you come home, so how the hell can you tell them what you didn't receive by way of theft !!!! , then it is NOT theft,,, even though above- i state i --saw- mail being held by the intruder -- then anyone can steal the mail.
                          Last edited by ram; 01-07-2008, 11:19 AM. Reason: additional comments added

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ram View Post
                            Update .....

                            Police are not interested.

                            Police say that an owner of the flat must state whats missing, but if mail is removed before owner comes home, how can they say whats missing. -They stated monthy bank statements etc, - i said, most have online banking and dont get statements.

                            Police state ( without saying so much ) that anyone who has a key to the common door, has the right to enter, tresspass, and it's no concern of theirs, and its a civil matter.

                            So - just that you know, your entrance keys can be copied by the thousand, and given out freely.
                            The usual lazy disinterested and incorrect reaction from the Boys in Blue.

                            (a) From what you have written, key or no key, the entrants have no right to enter the premises. Therefore they are trespassers.

                            (b) It appears (from what you have written) that they are stealing other people's post.

                            (c) Trespass with intent to steal is more commonly known as "burglary" (Theft Act 1968 s.9 - pasted below).

                            (d) Notwithstanding the above, interfering with the mail is also a specific offence. (Postal Services Act 2000 s.84 - pasted below). This is an offence against The Crown and therefore does not require a complaint from the person whose mail has been stolen to found a prosecution.

                            (e) If you are unhappy with the Police response, then a letter of complaint addressed to the Inspector of Police at the relevant station (copied in to the Home Secretary) quite often results in an apology and follow up phone calls and visits from very sheepish Police Officers who are falling over themselves to help you.

                            Theft Act 1968

                            9 Burglary

                            (1) A person is guilty of burglary if—

                            (a) he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or

                            (b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

                            (2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm . . . therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

                            [(3) A person guilty of burglary shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding—

                            (a) where the offence was committed in respect of a building or part of a building which is a dwelling, fourteen years;

                            (b) in any other case, ten years.

                            (4) References in subsections (1) and (2) above to a building, and the reference in subsection (3) above to a building which is a dwelling, shall apply also to an inhabited vehicle or vessel, and shall apply to any such vehicle or vessel at times when the person having a habitation in it is not there as well as at times when he is.]




                            Postal Services Act 2000

                            84 Interfering with the mail: general

                            (1) A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he—

                            (a) intentionally delays or opens a postal packet in the course of its transmission by post, or

                            (b) intentionally opens a mail-bag.

                            (2) Subsections (2) to (5) of section 83 apply to subsection (1) above as they apply to subsection (1) of that section.

                            (3) A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

                            (4) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 83 (so far as they relate to the opening of postal packets) apply to subsection (3) above as they apply to subsection (1) of that section.

                            (5) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (3) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.



                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            This is a case of trespass. A trespass occurs when someone goes onto land without consent, express or implied. Once the tenancy ended, the consent to go onto the property clearly came to an end. The fact that they retained a key is completely irrelevant. However, since they had a key to get in there can be no question of any crime being committed solely by reason of entering; the position is the same as if they had merely walked about in the garden. So when the police say it is a civil matter they are right, but they are not right to say that the possession of a key gives a right to enter.
                            Not quite right, for the reasons given above.
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                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                              Three things:
                              1. Change the locks with the co-operation of the existing residents.
                              2. Report the matter to the Police.
                              3. Notify the ex-tenant's landlord of your suspicions.
                              Have you done anything about points 1 and 3 yet?

                              At the very least you should put up a prominent notice in the communal hallway informing the occupants that X and Y no longer live in the building and have been letting themselves in (don't say they have been stealing post - you don't yet have proof). Ask the occupants to challenge anyone on the premises they do not recognise. Basically give them the heads up.

                              Comment

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