Obtaining access to carry out repairs

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    Obtaining access to carry out repairs

    Following a visit by Environmental Health, we have been issued with statutory notices requiring us to undertake repairs and installation of fire alarms etc. Problem is, our sitting tenant won't give us access.

    EH have advised us to apply for a court order for access.

    Anybody have any experience in this procedure? How we go about it? Cost?

    And most importantly, timescale.


    The irony is that the tenant called EH to complain about a mouse they'd seen in the kitchen... EH saw the place & jumped up and down about some repairs... tenant doesn't want the repairs... all their own fault!

    Jst for therecord, the house is not a flea-ridden mouse pit; it is a listed townhouse in Marylebone in fairly good order & the sitting tenant pays a pittance.
    The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

    #2
    You are not obliged to take your tenant to court in order to gain access so as to comply with a statujtory notice. It is a defence to the provisions of the notice if you make reasonable attempts to gain access and fail - so long as you prove it to the council, they cannot take any further action.

    You should also point out to the council that your tenancy agreement does not allow the tenants to keep mice at the premises!!!!!! lol.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Grange
      Following a visit by Environmental Health, we have been issued with statutory notices requiring us to undertake repairs and installation of fire alarms etc. Problem is, our sitting tenant won't give us access.

      EH have advised us to apply for a court order for access.

      Anybody have any experience in this procedure? How we go about it? Cost?

      And most importantly, timescale.


      The irony is that the tenant called EH to complain about a mouse they'd seen in the kitchen... EH saw the place & jumped up and down about some repairs... tenant doesn't want the repairs... all their own fault!

      Jst for therecord, the house is not a flea-ridden mouse pit; it is a listed townhouse in Marylebone in fairly good order & the sitting tenant pays a pittance.
      Don’t you just love tenants! (especially the ones that complain/and then dont let you do the work THEY complained about) The property would be worth more to me with the mice in and him out!

      If you want access Grange if pretty dam easy and can be sorted out in no time! Depending on the tenant (and what takes there fancy) for example - if hes a randy old soul tell him you'll sort him out with one of Marylebone's Models for the afternoon!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
        You are not obliged to take your tenant to court in order to gain access so as to comply with a statujtory notice.
        Ah, if only it were so easy. It is a house in multiple occupation (two tenants, plus landlord, which in Westminster Council requires compliance with their HMO standards) so requires fire alarms etc. Without these fire alarms and two more kitchens, we are not permitted to find another tenant for the other room...

        Hence we must obtain access to his room to install a kitchen for him.

        So, your starter for ten... how long is it likely to take? How much will it cost?
        The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

        Comment


          #5
          Well, you didn't say that did you!!!!!!

          One way of dealing with this is writing formally to the recalcitant tenant and saying he/she is being held responsible for your losses because by not permitting access he is preventing you letting part of the property and that the losses are £x per day and you will sue for possession in order to do the work and your losses plus all legal costs. Blame the mouse problem on the tenant as well - say that he is not clean enough so as to prevent vermin etc.!!!!

          It will take you approximately 3 to 6 months to get a possession order or an order for access. It might be quicker if the council will support you. Cost - £150 for the summons plus legal fees if you don't do the paperwork by yourself.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks, that's the answer I needed.

            Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
            ...and you will sue for possession in order to do the work and your losses plus all legal costs.

            By 'possession' do you mean 'vacant possession'...?
            The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

            Comment


              #7
              Following a visit by Environmental Health, we have been issued with statutory notices requiring us to undertake repairs and installation of fire alarms etc. Problem is, our sitting tenant won't give us access.
              am i missing something here, if you want access, and can`t get it, could you not within a reasonable short period end the tenancy, ( i assume you have a shorthold tenancy agreement which covers this)if you go through the route of court order for access.this is going to cause lots of bad feeling and no doubt the tenant will claim that all sorts of damages were done to their property by you or workmen whilst work was being carried out.
              Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

              Comment


                #8
                Yes ! You're missing a lot! It's a protected tenancy under the Rent Act 1977 as the poster states. Assumptions are to be avoided. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Paul_f
                  Yes ! You're missing a lot! It's a protected tenancy under the Rent Act 1977 as the poster states. Assumptions are to be avoided. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
                  I'd still get in (without a argument) because a little imagination is a dangerous thing

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f
                    Yes ! You're missing a lot! It's a protected tenancy under the Rent Act 1977 as the poster states. Assumptions are to be avoided. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

                    where does anyone state that this is a protected tenancy Paul ?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have been caught out before with "assumptions" - very often I reply to posting saying that for this reply I am assuming that the tenancy is..... blah etc.

                      When asking questions- could people please put all the relevant details:-

                      1. What type of tenancy is it and when did it commence.
                      2. What was the fixed term if it is an AST
                      3. What is the rent per week/month/quarter etc.
                      4. If you have served notices, what have you served and when and if it was a S21 notice, was it the A or B notice
                      5. If you are at a legal proceedings stage, say where you have got to.
                      6. If there any any complications, state them in your original post before you get someone replying an assuming things (like a sitting tenant is a regulated Rent Act 1977 tenant which they often are - but some people call ANY tenant a sitting tenant)

                      A full, properly structured question is more likely to get a full structured answer. I for one will not answer silly questions like "How do I get my tenant out" or "Can I just go in and chuck him out" because the answers can easil;y be obtained by a search throughout the forum.

                      I will help people who take the time and trouble to ask a sensible question that has not been asked before or where the circumstances are unusual and the answers cannot easily be found by searching.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
                        for your losses because by not permitting access he is preventing you letting part of the property and that the losses are £x per day and you will sue for possession in order to do the work and your losses plus all legal costs.
                        Sorry for the ambiguity, David. It is the possession in this quotation to which I was referring. Do you mean vacant possession?

                        He is, by the way, a protected tenant under the 1977 Rent Act. A lot of the assumptions can be avoided by just answering the carefully structured initial question... !
                        The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You would get vacant possession BUT you will have to supply him with alternative accommodation since he is a rent act tenant and quite possibly pay for his removal expenses as well.

                          You can proceed on the discretionary ground of "suitable alternatgive accommodation" or ground 3 - tenant has damaged the property or allowed it to deteriorate" or perhaps case 1 - tenant not paid rent or is in breach of one of other obligations in tenancy agreement"

                          All of this however is going to cost you money - a lot of it - have you examined the possibility of the local authority serving a repair notice on the tenant? Speak to the chief environmental health officer.

                          It is quite likely that the tenant being a rent act one does not want to suffer a rent increase and that is why he is holding things up. I had this situation 35 years ago with a controlled property where there were two pensioners residing - they wanted repairs doing which were costing a bomb but would not let me improve the place to provide, among other things an inside bathroom and toilet - they were in 1971 paying £1.62 a week!!!! I even offered to move them out into another property at the same rent whilst I did theirs up - refused. They did not want a rent increase. So, I simply refused to do repairs and appealed any notices sent by the local authority who eventually sided with me and considered the tenants unreasonable. I eventually sold the house because of the trouble it was giving me to a housing association who then waitied until they were both dead before improving (15 years on!).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Paul_f
                            Yes ! You're missing a lot! It's a protected tenancy under the Rent Act 1977 as the poster states. Assumptions are to be avoided. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
                            well of course it is, but i take exception to your tone, nowhere did the original writer state that it was a protected tenancy, it was stated as a HMO nothing else do not assume that you are the only one entitled to voice an opinion on this board.
                            Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by welshgold
                              well of course it is, but i take exception to your tone, nowhere did the original writer state that it was a protected tenancy, it was stated as a HMO nothing else do not assume that you are the only one entitled to voice an opinion on this board.
                              To be fair, I did describe him as a sitting tenant which suggests a Rent Act 1977 tenancy.



                              The idea of the repair notice on the tenant is interesting now the tenant has sole occupancy of the house (although the landlord retains rights over another room in the top floor of the house, but does not live there, and the tenant has no rights over the other rental room in the house)...
                              The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                              Comment

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