Tenant refuses entry for emergency repairs

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  • Tenant refuses entry for emergency repairs

    I wonder if anyone can offer me some advice. I own an under dwelling and the tenant has notified us today of water dripping into the kitchen from above.

    Above my kitchen is a empty stone cellar belonging to the property above, there’s no real access from the above property into this cellar other than a trapdoor under their kitchen carpet, there’s no services in there either yet my tenant complains that there’s a constant machine noise coming from the cellar and a constant dripping into our kitchen (about 3 inches into a bucket per day).

    I’ve contacted the LL of the property and he’s said that he’s very suspicious about his T because there’s CCTV camera’s appeared outside, a few new flat screen monitors were found in one of the wheelie bin by my T(!) and they have been refusing him permission to enter to make repairs.

    My question is, given the need to investigate where the water is coming from ASAP and the T’s refusal to let the LL in where do we go from here? Can the police assist in entering?

    And, does the problem constitute an ‘emergency’?

    Thanks in Advance Shed_buyer

  • #2
    Could be doing anything down there
    Growing dope needs water ?
    CCTV hmmm

    I would be concerned

    Comment


    • #3
      Indeed, we are worried, especially given the T’s refusal to requests for access. We can’t smell any dope but we can’t think of any ‘legitimate’ machinery that makes a whirring noise 24/7 and uses water, there’s no water, power or waste connections in the cellar. It’s definitely not a washing machine!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
        I wonder if anyone can offer me some advice. I own an under dwelling and the tenant has notified us today of water dripping into the kitchen from above.

        Above my kitchen is a empty stone cellar belonging to the property above, there’s no real access from the above property into this cellar other than a trapdoor under their kitchen carpet, there’s no services in there either yet my tenant complains that there’s a constant machine noise coming from the cellar and a constant dripping into our kitchen (about 3 inches into a bucket per day).
        Does this 'cellar' have any windows to the outside?


        Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
        I’ve contacted the LL of the property and he’s said that he’s very suspicious about his T because there’s CCTV camera’s appeared outside, a few new flat screen monitors were found in one of the wheelie bin by my T(!) and they have been refusing him permission to enter to make repairs.
        What - the actual new TVs, or just the boxes?


        Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
        My question is, given the need to investigate where the water is coming from ASAP and the T’s refusal to let the LL in where do we go from here? Can the police assist in entering?

        And, does the problem constitute an ‘emergency’?
        I would have thought so, if 3" of water is coming down each day into your property - the whole ceiling could come down, couldn't it?

        I would ask the LL of the 'cellar' property to gain entry for his own sake to check where the water is coming from; he could also say he must investigate the complaints of noise he has had (which is true). He is allowed to go in without prior warning in an emergency, and I think this qualifies as one.

        Please come back and tell us what's going on in there - I'm intrigued.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
          Indeed, we are worried, especially given the T’s refusal to requests for access. We can’t smell any dope but we can’t think of any ‘legitimate’ machinery that makes a whirring noise 24/7 and uses water, there’s no water, power or waste connections in the cellar. It’s definitely not a washing machine!
          Tile cutters and stone saws?

          Ts may have diverted a water supply to cellar via a hosepipe through trapdoor from kitchen.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


          • #6
            Does this 'cellar' have any windows to the outside?
            Nope.
            What - the actual new TVs, or just the boxes?
            Actual TV's
            He is allowed to go in without prior warning in an emergency, and I think this qualifies as one.
            We know he can enter without permission in an emergency but when the T obstructs entry i.e. stands in the door way and says "no" then what?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
              Nope.

              Actual TV's


              We know he can enter without permission in an emergency but when the T obstructs entry i.e. stands in the door way and says "no" then what?
              There are three answers to this :

              1. LL can apply for a court order allowing him to enforce access to inspect for repairs. I have no idea how long this would take, though.

              2. LL informs police that Ts are obstructing access and that he fears ceiling may fall and kill your tenant in basement below. Ask police to accompany while LL gains access and finds out where water is leaking from.

              3. LL waits for Ts to go out and gains access as it is an emergency.

              The worst that could happen is that Ts could claim breach of 'quiet enjoyment', but if they are really up to something dodgy or antisocial they are unlikely to do that.

              The other route would be through your local council's Environmental Health Officer, but I do not know what power he would have to insist on access if Ts refused it. Worth ringing him up and explaining the situtation?
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


              • #8
                1. Extractors for dope growing would make a low frequency noise whilst switched on.
                2. Plants need watering.
                3. A cellar is an ideal place for a dope factory, due to bright hydroponic lights and heat being undetected (police often find factories by using thermal cameras on helicopters)
                4. A call to local plod, suggesting you suspect a cannabis factory, will have the place turned over with a few hours at most - I know I have had 2 of them !

                It may not be the above, but if it were my property, I would be making the call a bit smartish.

                Having trouble understanding how you are actually below a cellar ?
                A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                W.Churchill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
                  We know he can enter without permission in an emergency ...
                  Hi

                  This is often said, but I don't know the legal authority for this. I am aware that residential landlords have a right of entry on notice to inspect or carry out repairs, but normally if access is refused it is necessary to obtain a court order. Of course, other bodies have greater rights of access in certain circumstances, such as Transco or the police, but these powers are not available to landlords.

                  So, can anyone fill me in on the legal basis of a landlord's "emergency right of access"?

                  Preston

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, calling the local plod could well be the answer as the ceiling will have falled through by the time a court order is issued.

                    Having trouble understanding how you are actually below a cellar ?
                    it's a very old row of houses built on a slope, my property is an under dwelling and the property above has a small cellar followed by two floors of living accommodation. All the over dwellings have a cellar originally used to store coal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shed_buyer View Post
                      Yes, calling the local plod could well be the answer as the ceiling will have falled through by the time a court order is issued.


                      it's a very old row of houses built on a slope, my property is an under dwelling and the property above has a small cellar followed by two floors of living accommodation. All the over dwellings have a cellar originally used to store coal.
                      Roughly what are the dimensions of the cellar ?
                      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                      W.Churchill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't know the legal basis but I have had to use it once. I had a flooded flat and the water had leaked out into a communal hallway and was reported to me by a tenant in another flat late at night. I couldn't get hold of the tenant whose flat it was coming from and they were seen leaving the same morning with a suitcase. I sent a maintenance person out and I had the door broken down as I was a long way away at the time and I felt I had no choice but to make that call - the flat was flooded with sewage. I considered my actions to be due to an emergency so I'd be interested to know what repercussuions I could have faced from the T had they objected to my actions.

                        To the OP, I am also slightly confused about the "cellar above" comment but having known of two landlords with cannabis factories, the other major sign is tampering with the electrics. As it's a flat, can you see the meter? The hydroponic lights use alot of electricity so often they bypass the electrics or tamper with them.

                        My understanding is that if the tenant is present and refuses access you cannot as a LL use force to enter. Thus, without a court order you may need to get the police involved if your suspicians are well founded or at the least because you suspect a breach of the peace?. Perhaps they have some heat seeking equipment they can use from your flat to see if there is a high level of heat from above? Just a few thoughts and you've been given other avenues to explore.

                        ETA my post crossed with others so I understand the "cellar" issue now!

                        Good luck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bunny View Post
                          I don't know the legal basis but I have had to use it once. I had a flooded flat and the water had leaked out into a communal hallway and was reported to me by a tenant in another flat late at night. I couldn't get hold of the tenant whose flat it was coming from and they were seen leaving the same morning with a suitcase. I sent a maintenance person out and I had the door broken down as I was a long way away at the time and I felt I had no choice but to make that call - the flat was flooded with sewage. I considered my actions to be due to an emergency so I'd be interested to know what repercussuions I could have faced from the T had they objected to my actions.

                          To the OP, I am also slightly confused about the "cellar above" comment but having known of two landlords with cannabis factories, the other major sign is tampering with the electrics. As it's a flat, can you see the meter? The hydroponic lights use alot of electricity so often they bypass the electrics or tamper with them.

                          My understanding is that if the tenant is present and refuses access you cannot as a LL use force to enter. Thus, without a court order you may need to get the police involved if your suspicians are well founded or at the least because you suspect a breach of the peace?. Perhaps they have some heat seeking equipment they can use from your flat to see if there is a high level of heat from above? Just a few thoughts and you've been given other avenues to explore.

                          ETA my post crossed with others so I understand the "cellar" issue now!

                          Good luck
                          If the police suspect a Cannabis factory:
                          1. If they are "nice" they will contact the LL/registered keyholder
                          2. If they are not, they will kick the door in immediately.

                          Thoughts:
                          1. Have you noticed a lot of "black bags of stuff" being moved in ?
                          2. (No discrimination here)What nationality are occupiers, chinese vietnamese ?
                          3. In both "my" factories, large lcd/plasma tv's were found as the "gardeners" tend to spend a lot of time watching dvds,
                          4. If "machinery" is running in cellar then they have got power in there
                          5. Doesn't sound like a large scale operation if confined to a cellar but does sound very much like it MIGHT be a cannabis room.

                          Dont mess about report your fears to the police and get it checked out.
                          A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                          W.Churchill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies. My T and a few of the neighbours have already reported the suspicious goings on to the police but nothing has happened so far. We are lead to believe that they are keeping an eye on the goings on from a distance.

                            To answer Bunny, The leccy meter for my property has not been tampered with however as the LL of the property above can't gain access we don't know what the situation is up there.

                            Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                            Roughly what are the dimensions of the cellar ?
                            It's not very big at all, probably around 5 sq metres.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe not big enough for a Cannabis Farm, but a printing press? now, that would fit nicely, maybe they have the contract for 'quantitive easing'.
                              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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