Are you allowed to visit tenants anytime?

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    #16
    Originally posted by jax2503 View Post
    I am periodic at present. I think you are right about the relationship breaking down. I am planning to go round Monday on a prearranged visit and claim to smell gas from the property and me having no keys will drill the locks with a locksmith there and gain entry and re-secure the property afterwards, either way I will know what is happening.
    Hmm - I think you should think very carefully before doing that - at least wait until some of the legal eagles here have had a chance to comment.

    This could kick off big time I think... what's the tenant going to do when he finds out what you've done? You could get sued for unlawful entry, for a huge sum; the tenant would likely tell a court that you've been harrassing him continually about accessing the property which he'd be more than happy to permit but so far it's not been convenient for him - then you make up this totally fake and uncorroborated premiss of a gas leak in order to make an excuse to enter the property, etc etc... and since the last part is totally true you might have a tough time convincing a judge of your motives. What's your locksmith going to say - is he going to perjur himself in court and say he smelled gas? Plus I hardly think a pro locksmith would use a drill on a lock (sparks?) with a smell of gas around, do you?

    Anyway - see what the rest of the panel think.

    By the way, have you tried just levelling with the guy and telling him you're aware he's giving you the run-around; but that you're more than happy to keep him as a tenant [if you still are] but only in the basis of occasional inspections, and that if he continues to decline you'll have no option but to commence repossession proceedings forthwith?

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      #17
      Hi Eric,

      Yeah I tried levelling with him, didnt work. His attitude is very much, I pay my rent, leave me alone.

      I am just getting annoyed with this so looking for a quick fix. Hoping some legal eagles will be on to point me in the direction for a quick response. Would I be able to get the police to force entry on a welfare visit. Stating that I think he is in the house and cant make contact with tenant and I think something is wrong? Would that be an option?

      Jax

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        #18
        Originally posted by jax2503 View Post
        I am just getting annoyed with this so looking for a quick fix. Hoping some legal eagles will be on to point me in the direction for a quick response. Would I be able to get the police to force entry on a welfare visit. Stating that I think he is in the house and cant make contact with tenant and I think something is wrong? Would that be an option?
        I think whatever you do, you just need to imagine yourself in front of a judge when the tenant's lawyer is laying into you about how you came to gain entry to the property, and ask yourself, will your answers fly?

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          #19
          I am at a loss, I feel there is something suspicious going on, been doing this 10years and never encountered a problem like this. There is something that is making me think that something is going on.

          Now to the forum, can anyone give me a good way to gain access quickly?

          Jax

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            #20
            Hi

            I can sympathise with your frustration, but I do think it would be worth taking this a step at a time and not doing anything too precipitate.

            With regard to the gas service (CP12) I think it is the HSE that will take enforcement action and not the local authority. They tend to be much more draconian than the average local authority. They will expect you to keep trying to do the service and this would ultimately include you applying for a court order - an injunction - to allow you access. Fortunately, you can apply for an injunction on standard forms without the need for a solicitor and claim costs against the tenant at the same time. I dont have the form references handy as I am away at the moment but I can get them for you in the new year if you are interested.

            Its a bit of a myth that "smelling" gas entitles you to enter the property as you dont have a statutory right of entry as a private landlord. The correct course of action is, I think, to contact transco who will then do a risk assessment and they will effect entry if they think it appropriate. In my experience they have some pretty sensitive detection equipment and wont break into someones home unless they have a reasonable suspicion that there is a problem.

            As for the police, again they need some reasonable evidence that someone's welfare is at risk before breaking in. As other contributors have said, if you persuade the police to enter (which is hard enough anyway), be prepared to justify this after after the event, possibly in the face of a tenant who accuses you of manufacturing an excuse.

            As others have pointed out, you have the right to inspect the state of repair of the property on 24 hours written notice, but again, if the tenant refuses access you need a court order before you can enter.

            So, all in all, take it steady; it strikes me that your best routes are to continue trying to persuade the tenant at the same time as applying for a gas service injunction.

            Good luck.

            Preston

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              #21
              Hi Preston,

              I wasn't aware that you could apply for a court order to carry out a CP12, just what I was looking for, The courts open on the 2nd of January, I will go along then and start the process. Do you know how long it takes? Is there a hearing or is it just in the Judges chambers?

              Jax

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                #22
                If you are suspicious about drugs, why not talk to police? Maybe they will send in a sniffer dog.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Bel View Post
                  If you are suspicious about drugs, why not talk to police? Maybe they will send in a sniffer dog.
                  I would hope that even in this day and age the police would need a bit more evidence before doing that! I do know exactly where the OP's coming from over this,and I would share his concern if I were in his shoes; however he has absolutely no evidence of anything untoward going on - so far this is nothing more than a tenant who's a bit overprotective of his privacy.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by jax2503 View Post
                    I wasn't aware that you could apply for a court order to carry out a CP12, just what I was looking for
                    Nor did I to be honest. But even if this is possible I'm sure that it wouldn't extend to you being allowed in to the property, just the CORGI man; and I have no doubt that your tenant would be standing over the CORGI the whole time to stop him from seeing/finding anything he didn't want him to (unless the entire property has been really, totally, irrevocably trashed inside)?

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by jax2503 View Post
                      I was advised that you are not allowed to chase a tenant for rent arrears on public holidays.
                      I know there is a rule that you cannot levy distress for rent on a Sunday or public holiday, but I am not aware that it extends to chasing arrears.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by jax2503 View Post
                        Hi Preston,

                        I wasn't aware that you could apply for a court order to carry out a CP12, just what I was looking for, The courts open on the 2nd of January, I will go along then and start the process. Do you know how long it takes? Is there a hearing or is it just in the Judges chambers?

                        Jax
                        Hi

                        It would normally be on notice (with the opporutnity for both parties to be present). I think the timescales will depend, as is so often the case, on how busy your local court is.

                        I understand the skepticism from some contributors, but I can assure them that this is a very common procedure for most large landlords, because the HSE takes a very firm line on these matters. An injunction is a landlord's remedy for a number of contractual breaches by the tenant, so there is nothing special or unusual about using this process, except that the courts are generally quite sensitive to the health and safety issues in the case of gas servicing.

                        As for whether the injunction will allow you as landlord into the property, unless the judge adopts a very unusual wording then yes it will. This doesnt mean, of course, that you will be able to wander around the house - you will be allowed access with your agent (in this case the engineer) to carry out the work required, which will presumably include access to whereever the gas appliances are, the meter, and so on.

                        Having said this, there is no reason why you couldnt apply for an injunction permitting you to carry out a general inspection, although my guess is that this could delay things because you would need to prove that you have tried to gain access and been refused for this purpose as well as the gas service - in other words, there will be two issues for the tenant to dispute, potentially.

                        On the issue of proof, you will need to show that you have tried to obtain access for the service, in writing, and that it has been refused. In my day job this generally means three attempts in writing, although I am not aware of any case law on this matter. So, in the meantime, it might be worth sending another letter requesting access to carry out the service, ensuring of course that you have proof of service. It may also be worth checking the HSE website to see if they offer any advice on the issue of gaining access for private landlords (from memory I think they do) - if you have followed their advice it will greatly increase your chances of getting an injunction.

                        Preston

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Preston View Post
                          I understand the skepticism from some contributors, but I can assure them that this is a very common procedure for most large landlords, because the HSE takes a very firm line on these matters. An injunction is a landlord's remedy for a number of contractual breaches by the tenant, so there is nothing special or unusual about using this process, except that the courts are generally quite sensitive to the health and safety issues in the case of gas servicing.
                          Sorry, wasn't meaning to imply scepticism - I have no reason to doubt you!

                          However given that the OP wants the tenant out, so presumably will be carrying out reposession procedure (presumably S21?) anyway - is there much value in going through all this just to be able to look inside the property? I can't believe any injunction to enable him to do so will come through all that quickly...

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                            Sorry, wasn't meaning to imply scepticism - I have no reason to doubt you!

                            However given that the OP wants the tenant out, so presumably will be carrying out reposession procedure (presumably S21?) anyway - is there much value in going through all this just to be able to look inside the property? I can't believe any injunction to enable him to do so will come through all that quickly...
                            Hi.

                            You could be right. As a total guess, given that the application will be on notice, I would think it might take, say, three weeks to get the injunction and of course, assuming the order is given, the judge may give the tenant a further period of time for a convenient appointment to be made.

                            Knowledge of itself can be useful though, even if you dont follow it through on every occasion; if you can convince the tenant that there really is a way you can get access, maybe your chances of negotiating with them are just a bit higher?

                            Preston

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