Unlawful entry/Harassment

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    Unlawful entry/Harassment

    Hi there

    I've lived in my apartment for about 5 years and have issues with my Landlady when repairs need doing. She has on a few occasions entered the flat without my permission. I have been clear both orally and by email that this is not acceptable by virtue of our contract and standard law.

    About two weeks ago she tried to enter to drop off some transformers that were required to fix some lights. They could have easily been posted in my letter box. She was aware I was away on holiday. In anticipation of this sort of behaviour i had the locks changed about 6 weeks ago (this is in breach of my contract) I'm guessing she may have thought she brought the wrong keys.

    Today she had contacted me to see what time I'd be in so she could come with a repair man to fix a cupboard I've been trying to get fixed for a month. I told her I'd be available between 5-6.30PM and to call when they were 20 minutes away. At 7.30 I hear noises at the front door and see her and the repair man trying different keys to gain entry. I opened the door and basically went ballistic. Turns out the guy had no tools( step ladder & screwdriver to do the job).

    I'm pretty sure she's clear on the law, though she's not terribly bright, however feels she can get away with this harassment. I have on occasion been very clear with my thoughts regards her serial incompetence.

    In short i want to know what i can do about the unlawful attempted entry and what i should do to protect myself. I'm also curious to know what, if any , financial recompense i may be able to seek

    I only want to stay here for about another 6 months whilst my new property is being refurbished. It would be a major inconvenience to move at this stage.

    I'm also pretty sure that I will have major difficulties getting my deposit back.Should I just hold the appropriate amount of rent back?

    Any suggestions, ideas or words of wisdom would be appreciated.

    Regards
    Symon

    #2
    Your LL should not try to gain access without your prior consent, but to be honest you do seem to be making a mountain of a molehill here. After all she does seem to be trying to fix the lights for you and from what you say her behaviour does not constitute harassment. It has not put pressure on you to terminate your tenancy and leave the property, has it?

    You could theoretically sue for breach of contract in that your quiet enjoyment has been violated. More usefully you could write to her explaining that you want her to contact you at least 24 hours in advance to tell you she needs to access the property to carry out repairs. Since you have changed the locks there is no point telling her not to try to gain entry if you are out.

    Or you could just co-operate and let her in to mend the cupboard and the lights.

    No, you should not hold back rent. That would be breach of contract on your part and she could sue you for it.
    '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


      #3
      Thanks for the response
      There is no problem letting her in to fix lights/cupboards I've been chasing her for a month. I've offered many dates and times for her to come visit. That isn't the problem.

      To make an appointment not turn up on time , not ring the door bell, not ring my phone and just try to waltz in is unacceptable. Rights are rights and I believe i have a right to privacy. It is unacceptable to turn up unannounced and try to gain entry with her keys. As for the letter; I've requested that she doesn't enter the flat without my prior permission 3 times. I'm not in a student bedsit( not that they would have any less rights) but a luxury riverside flat. I often have confidential papers dotted around the flat

      I will as you suggest look at recourse for breach of contract. And I do feel harassed when my rights to privacy are serially ignored.

      Regards
      Symon

      Comment


        #4
        Breach Of your quite enjoyment maybe, haressment I don't think so.

        Most people ask how can I stop this, but you seem to be after financial recompense. What money have you lost.

        If you want to get it to stop, give your local council private tennant department a call. And ask them to call the LL, maybe a call from them will make them listen.
        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mjbfire View Post
          Breach Of your quite enjoyment maybe, haressment I don't think so.

          Most people ask how can I stop this, but you seem to be after financial recompense. What money have you lost.

          If you want to get it to stop, give your local council private tennant department a call. And ask them to call the LL, maybe a call from them will make them listen.
          He has already stopped it by changing the locks.
          '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
            It's certainly not making a mountain out of a molehill to complain about a breach of one of your basic rights - the right to quiet enjoyment, so I think you're absolutely right to complain.

            However, unless you have lost money, you won't be entitled to compensation. You've changed the locks, and I wouldn't be so keen on giving her copies of the keys. Just make sure that when you leave you don't forget to make good the locks (either replace the old locks or give her the keys, whichever she prefers).

            As she has now been prevented from accessing the property unauthorised, I think you could write a letter reaffirming your thoughts on the matter and leave it at that.

            This always reminds me of the time when I had to do my first property inspection with my tenant; I was running around looking for the keys panicking a little bit before I remembered: if she's not in then I can't enter the house anyway. It's a basic part of your rights as a tenant.

            Comment


              #7
              To give an hour and a half window and have to call 20 mins beforehand is ridiculous.

              I'm not sure why you blew up at the workman, as I am sure he wasn't to know.

              I honestly can't think of any other tools apart from a small screwdriver necessary to change a light transformer.
              Maybe ask him to bring a trolley full of tools to do a simple job next time to make you happpy?
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                To give an hour and a half window and have to call 20 mins beforehand is ridiculous.

                I'm not sure why you blew up at the workman, as I am sure he wasn't to know.

                I honestly can't think of any other tools apart from a small screwdriver necessary to change a light transformer.
                Maybe ask him to bring a trolley full of tools to do a simple job next time to make you happpy?
                I'd be inclined to agree with you about the first bit had he not had issues with her coming round unannounced in the past. But given that he'd had problems with her, I think he was well within his rights to demand such strict measures.

                Wasn't the landlady with the workman? I got the impression he blew up at the landlady rather than the workman.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by GillsMan View Post
                  I'd be inclined to agree with you about the first bit had he not had issues with her coming round unannounced in the past. But given that he'd had problems with her, I think he was well within his rights to demand such strict measures.
                  Well, the strict measures did not work, and tenants doing so are setting themselves up for a fall. I don't know anywhere that give such minimal time windows for repairs/connections and deliveries, because life does not go to plan like that.

                  Originally posted by GillsMan View Post

                  Wasn't the landlady with the workman? I got the impression he blew up at the landlady rather than the workman.
                  Yes, my mistake, you are correct.
                  If the OP had informed the LL that the locks had been changed, it may have had a different result. Who knows.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                    Well, the strict measures did not work, and tenants doing so are setting themselves up for a fall. I don't know anywhere that give such minimal time windows for repairs/connections and deliveries, because life does not go to plan like that.
                    To be fair, though, there are a multitude of reasons for such a short time for what, presumably, is a 10-15 minute job at most. E.g., you only get in from work at 17:00 and after 18:30, you've put the the kid to bed and don't want any visitors. Or you're going out again at 19:30. Or you've got guests round.

                    It has to be said, though, that if the relationship was better with the LL (i.e. she wasn't trying to enter uninvited) you'd make an effort to agree a time. That said, I don't think she needed to call 20 minutes in advance.

                    As a tenant, I would be looking to arrange a pretty much fixed time for any such visits anyway. My time is more valuable than wasting it hanging around waiting for an unspecified amount of time for someone to turn up. As a landlord, I always agree precise times with my tenant and then turn up at that time.

                    But I think the major thing here is the fact that she's trying to enter unannounced. She shouldn't have been trying to put the keys in the lock, so I can understand why the T is acting in a way that, had it not been for the LL's behaviour, would be seen to be unreasonable.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by GillsMan View Post
                      To be fair, though, there are a multitude of reasons for such a short time for what, presumably, is a 10-15 minute job at most.
                      The time to do the job is irrelevant. He might have had a leak at another property that he just came from that didn't take the 30 mins he was expecting, but an hour and a half.

                      Originally posted by GillsMan View Post
                      E.g., you only get in from work at 17:00 and after 18:30, you've put the the kid to bed and don't want any visitors. Or you're going out again at 19:30. Or you've got guests round.
                      Such is life. Who's time isn't valuable?
                      I called British Gas today to arrange an appointment for tomorrow to re-energise a meter.
                      They gave me a 2 hour time window(8am - 10am), and will not call beforehand.

                      I have to reschedule my morning to suit, as I want the job doing.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                        Such is life. Who's time isn't valuable?
                        I called British Gas today to arrange an appointment for tomorrow to re-energise a meter.
                        They gave me a 2 hour time window(8am - 10am), and will not call beforehand.

                        I have to reschedule my morning to suit, as I want the job doing.
                        Some people value their time more than others. I think they key phrase is the bit I bolded though. If I wanted something badly enough, e.g. I'm waiting for a delivery, then I'll accept staying in all day waiting. If it's something that doesn't benefit me, e.g. my LL wants to do an inspection, then they can give me an exact time and I expect them to abide by that. I don't know what it was in the OP's case though. It'd have to be something I wanted doing fairly badly to agree to waiting around an hour and a half.

                        Maybe you're just a lot more accommodating than me though?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by smilemonkey View Post
                          Today she had contacted me to see what time I'd be in so she could come with a repair man to fix a cupboard I've been trying to get fixed for a month. I told her I'd be available between 5-6.30PM and to call when they were 20 minutes away. At 7.30 I hear noises at the front door and see her and the repair man trying different keys to gain entry. I opened the door and basically went ballistic. Turns out the guy had no tools( step ladder & screwdriver to do the job).
                          The landlord has no statutory obligation to fix a cupboard, so does your contract specify that LL is responsible for such minor, non-structural repairs?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by GillsMan View Post
                            If it's something that doesn't benefit me, e.g. my LL wants to do an inspection, then they can give me an exact time and I expect them to abide by that. I don't know what it was in the OP's case though. It'd have to be something I wanted doing fairly badly to agree to waiting around an hour and a half.
                            Well I assume that it was the OP that wanted the cupboard fixing, as why else mention that they've been waiting a month for it to be done?
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                            Comment

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