L demands access to property- what are T's rights?

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    L demands access to property- what are T's rights?

    Please can someone help me with regards to the rules surrounding landlords (and their girlfriends?!) having to give tenants 24 hours notice/ask their permission to enter the property? I have been trying (without much luck!) to find the actual piece of legislation which states this, or at least something which confirms that this is a statutory right, in order that I can reference it in a letter to my landlord ('as stated on the website of the office of the deputy prime minister' just doesn't seem to be official enough).

    Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    #2
    IMHO there is no such right. In granting a tenancy, a landlord must give a tenant "quiet enjoyment" of the property. This means that a landlord cannot enter said property (except in an emergency) without the tenants permission. Despite most tenancy agreements (including mine) requiring a tenant to permit a landlord or his agent to enter at a reasonable time provided 24 hours written notice is given, this clause in unenforceable as it contradicts the requirement of a lease to give "quiet enjoyment".

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

    Comment


      #3
      Many thanks for replying. So just to make sure I understand you correctly, the landlord and his girlfriend should seek our permission before they enter the property - that bit is part of our 'quiet enjoyment' rights as tenants? The length of time between them seeking such permission and when they want to enter the property is the bit that isn't included in our rights, but we would not be unreasonable in asking for 24 hours. Correct?

      At present, the landlord enters the property whenever he likes, as does his girlfriend. We've already had the embarassing situation of him showing a prospective tenant around, unannounced, when my housemate was in a state of undress. There have also been a number of occasions when prospective tenants have turned up on our doorstep (again, unannounced) saying that the landlord had arranged to meet them at the house to show them around - 45 minutes and a cup of tea later, the landlord has still not arrived and we've ended up showing the poor people around ourselves - embarassing for all concerned!

      Thank you again for your reply

      Comment


        #4
        mamf

        The LL cannot enter the property without your permission. Even if they ask 24 hours in advance you can still say no. The property is yours so enjoy.

        I would write to the LL pointing out their breach and suggest that they request access at least 24 hours in advance. It would not be unreasonable for you to call the police next time...

        Zoe

        Comment


          #5
          I think that it is only right to point out that although your LL's actions are totally unnacceptable, he is entitled to take the "hump" and not renew your tenancy agreement when it expires should you wish to stay, but to be quite honest, who wants a landlord like that anyway.

          P.P.
          Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks & deposit issue

            Many thanks to Zoe and P. Pilcher for replying. We gave our one months notice last Friday as we have already found somewhere else to live (thank goodness). We also wrote them a letter yesterday requesting they seek our permission before entering the property.

            We do, however, fear that they are now going to try and retain our deposits as they have (conveniently) found a scratch in the softwood flooring of one of the communal areas and have threatened to charge us for its repair. As none of us have ever been given an inventory of the house contents and its state of repair, no-one can prove whether or not the scratch was there before we even moved in. From what I have read on this site, and that of the old forum, I understand that they cannot keep our deposits under these circumstances, even if they were to provide us with quotes and receipts for work done.

            Please can someone confirm for me that I am right in thinking this (and if not, advise me what to do next!!)? Many many thanks in advance.

            Comment


              #7
              If there isn't an inventory the LL cannot prove that the scratch was there or not before you moved in.
              Also it would probably be considered fair wear and tear as in the communal area there probably is a lot of people moving around.

              In any case if the LL tries to pull a fast one just write to him stating that without an inventory he can't keep your deposit for this and that if you haven't received the deposit back within 7 days you will take him to small claims court. (allow him a month first to send the deposit back though, send the letter to him only if he tells you you won't get your depsoit back or if he takes longer than a month to send it back)

              Comment


                #8
                Many thanks for that Jennifer_m, it has helped to put my mind at ease. I don't suppose you (or anyone else reading this) might be able to give me an idea of the potential cost of taking the matter in question to the small claims courts?

                Thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm not 100% certain but I think small claims court cost £50 to start proceedings.

                  I've never used them so couldn't help you more than that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Moneyclaim Online - Small claims via the internet.

                    The cost would depend on how much you were suing for, check out the online small claims site which I think will contain all info required.

                    https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco/index.jsp

                    In an un-property related matter I found that the follwoing worked well and meant I didn't have to serve papers.

                    1. Give the person you are thinking of suing a deadline date of when you require the money.

                    2. If it is not forthcoming start the paperwork for small claims court online and print out the paperwork BUT don't submit it.

                    3. Write again to said person giving them an additional time to pay (I used 7 days but what ever you feel is fair/you are comfortable with) and enclose the printed paperwork with a polite note stating that if the money is not received by said dealine you will have to submit the papers and start proceedings.

                    4. If the money is still not forthcoming submit the papers as they are all prepared, however when I used this method as soon as the person saw I was serious and prepared they paid up....which was nice!

                    I found the site was easy to navigate and eliminated the hassle of having to go to court to submit the papers.

                    Hope this helps and you get sorted.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sorry I'm a bit late coming in but.............!

                      At the start of the thread the poster wanted to know what rights of entry the landlord has and none of you have yet used the lawful procedure the landlord has at his disposal.

                      Under S.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 the landlord has an implied right of entry in order to check the state of the property to uphold his own statutory obligations of repair. If the tenant refuses, which has already been stated they can do (but not indefinitely, and at their peril), they would then be inviting the landlord to write to them, or better still get his solicitor to do so, to state the landlord's legal position. The tenants should repsond positively otherwise they are extremely naive.

                      Failure to obtain entry could allow the landlord quite legitimately to start evicting the tenants on grounds 12,13 & 15 of S.8 although these are only discretionary grounds, but a judge would cetainly take the landlord's view that he has a right to enter the property under such circumstances.

                      Be careful therefore when stating the landlord has no powers, as he in fact has plenty; I know he can't forcibly enter the property, or do so without the tenant's permission even if he asks nicely or gives 24 hours wirtten notice, but if the tenant in unco-operative, court is the answer.
                      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks Paul_f, but...

                        Paul_f,

                        Thank you, but I think you'll find that this is not a case of us refusing entry to our landlord: we are not even being given this as an option as he is not asking for our permission in the first place. His girlfriend let herself into the house just last Friday and entered my housemate's room while my housemate was being physically unwell in her en-suite bathroom. Despite my housemate explaining that she was not well, the landlord's girlfriend still proceeded to speak to her in a raised and abusive tone of voice regarding the fact that 3 of us are moving out at the same time. We are not the ones who have done anything wrong here, and if you read my previous posts, I'm sure you will agree that we have always been more than co-operative with the landlord. Under our rights to the 'quiet enjoyment' of our home, I do not think we are being unreasonable, or naive, to request that the landlord asks us before entering the property, especially in light of the embarassing situations which have already occurred, as detailed in a previous posting. I have never so much as implied that we would refuse him entry, but a little consideration on his part is long overdue. It is as much for his benefit as ours, as we would then be able to ensure that none of us were in the bath, or some other compromising position, when he shows prospective tenants around (or when we have to show them round for him because he's failed to turn up...).

                        Perhaps phrases such as 'extremely naive' (even if only aimed at a hypothetical tenant) are unnecessary in this case?

                        Many thanks once again to everyone who has been so helpful in this matter.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You cannot be serious!!!

                          Mamf. I've posted on this before but your landlord is in serious breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and if you were to take court action they would find themselves on the wrong end of damages which could be as much as £5,000 (if not more) - seriously!

                          They are in effect trespassers, just like any stranger walking off the street into your property uninvited. You have an extremely powerful tool in your possession now so start getting really tough. Write to you lanmdlord reminding him/her that what they have done is completely out of order and that you will be taking court action against them unless they are prepared to settle for damages out of court. A good solicitor would be worth appointing. There's plenty of case law on this!
                          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Urgent advice needed please

                            Paul_f - Thank you for your reply. Sadly, I am serious. Our landlord has finally replied to a letter we sent him asking that he requests permission before entering the house (we did not mention court action). His reply is that he has every right to enter 'his house' and claims that we are each only renting a room in the house. In actual fact, we each have an AST which does not specify 'one room only'. We have shared use of communal facilities (kitchens, bathroom, living room etc.), and our bedrooms do not have locks on them.

                            Am I right in thinking that, as we have ASTs (with arrangements as specified above), that we still have the same rights to 'quiet enjoyment' of the property as if there was just one AST with all our names on it? If this is the case, and the landlord is still in breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 you mentioned, please can you (or anyone else) recommend a good solicitor in the Cambridge region for this sort of case?

                            Many many thanks

                            Mamf

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The nearest solicitor that I can recommend is Michael Taylor or Gail Sykes of Greenwoods in Peterborough both of whom are experts in Landlord & Tenant matters. Another alternative is Marveen Smith at Pain Smith in Crowthrone, Berks - there's information on both these firms that can be accessed from the home page, and Pain Smith has a clickable link when opening this forum.

                              By the way I've just recently seen a case Cooper v. Sharma in Brentford County Court in February 2004 where the tenant had damages awarded to him of £23,500 for general damages, £4,000 aggravated damages, & £2,500 exemplary damages; Total £30,000. Perhaps you should show this to your landlord?
                              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                              Comment

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