To sue or not to sue...

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  • To sue or not to sue...

    Hi there,

    I have been trying to find a similar post but I couldn't find the exact answer for my issue.

    I am a T, and I have evidence that some contractors accessed my property (at least 3 times!) without my permission.

    The first time was 6 months ago. I was very angry when I found out (through an email from the LA), and I asked my LA to give me written notice as I wanted to be present for any future repairs that were going to be done.

    Last Friday, I realised that someone had accessed my property because the storage room was messier than usual and there was not hot water! I asked my LA and it seemed a contractor came to check the boiler and switched it off and messud up our stuff. They apologised, but I obviously got really really angry this time and told the agency that this was unacceptable. I have been checking if I can sue them as I believe they can't access the property without a 24 hour written notice.

    I asked them again (for the fifth? time maybe) that I wanted to be at home (and obviously aware of) when anyone (LA/LL or contractor) was going to access my property.

    Today the LA just apologised (again!) because the contractor came to the agency during the agent's break, took the keys of my flat, went there and repaired the boiler. Obviously I wasn't aware of that... This experience has been very frustrating and I really want to sue them.

    My contract says the following (which I think is standard):

    Access and Inspection
    12.1. To allow the Landlord, the Agent, any Superior Landlord, professional advisers, or authorised contractors to enter the
    Premises with or without workmen and with all necessary equipment. Except in an emergency, the Landlord or the
    Agent will give the Tenant not less than 24 hours written notice. The Tenant is only required to allow access when:
    • the Tenant has not complied with a written notice under clause 10.12 of this Agreement and the
    Landlord or the Agent wishes to enter the Premises in accordance with that clause;
    • the Landlord, the Agent, or an appointed contractor seeks to carry out work for which the Landlord is
    responsible (those responsibilities are set out in clause 26.3 of this Agreement);
    • a professional adviser has been appointed by or authorised by the Landlord or the Agent to visit or
    inspect the Premises;
    • the safety check of the gas appliances is due to take place;
    • the Landlord or the Agent wishes to inspect the Premises.

    Can someone give me some advice regading this issue? Shall I sue them and/or ask for any compensation? Shall I look for a lawyer/solicitor?

    Many thanks for your help.


  • #2
    I appreciate it is a breach of the "quiet enjoyment" of your property and could have resulted in damage or even theft of your property/personal possessions, but what grounds are you suing them for? I don't think you would get any monetary benefit out of it - rather more stress, court costs and at worst LL/LA may get a rap on the knuckles and a bit of bad press in the local newspaper!

    Frustrate any further entry by changing the locks - as long as you keep the originals and replace them, or give you LL/LA a key when your tenancy ends, you are within your rights to do this.

    Write them a letter (keeping a copy) documenting all details of the suspected unapproved entry to your property and send it to LA with copy to LL. Include reference to the breaching of your tenancy agreement and tell them you expect a minimum of 24 hours notice, and reserve the right to refuse entry even on receipt of this notice, if the appointment it not convenient to you.


    • #3
      Can someone give me some advice regading this issue? Shall I sue them and/or ask for any compensation? Shall I look for a lawyer/solicitor?
      You could I suppose, how are you going to explain what harm you have suffered? Was the visit from the workman in order to do the yearly gas check?

      Of course you should have 24 hours notice, so the agent has been a bit naughty.

      I think the best way forward for you is to change the barrels of the locks and keep all the keys, save the old ones to replace when your tenancy finishes.

      That does mean that if there is a genuine emergency situation in the future when you are not at home the agent will have no keys, so you might end up paying to replace the door.

      You had a problem with the boiler, it was switched off, then repaired as soon as possible. That sounds responsible to me.
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


      • #4
        Many thanks for your quick reply LesleyAnne!

        I just arrived home and the contractor had forgotten to switch off the lights... Can I ask for some kind of compensation for a thing like that?

        If they are violating the mentioned, can I at least report to the police that my LA has permitted a contractor to access 3 times my property without even my knowledge? I really want to do something that might cause some sort of trouble to this agency... Is suing is going to be expensive and is not going to have any compensation, I would like to scare them a different way... Is reporting it to the police a good idea? Any other suggestions?

        Thanks again,



        • #5
          Do not even think about suing.


          • #6
            Are you still in your fixed term? Are you keen to stay in the property? I ask because you could be looking at eviction if you persue this. Annoying it is, but if you write to them as I suggested, and they still persist, change the locks.

            I don't honestly think the police will be interested. They have far more important things to deal with than an argument with your LL/LA. No one has died, been injured or nothing stolen, damaged or vandalised - I think they would laugh at you to be honest. Don't waste the police's valuable time!


            • #7
              Hi all,

              Thanks for your answers.

              I don't want to change the lock as I don't want to spend any of my money (as it's not my fault at all).

              I want to scare them as much as I can, that's why I was thinking on suing them. You're right, nothing happened to my stuff so I can't ask for anything in return... But will it make sense to report it to the police? It is illegal to enter my property, right? Will this be of any interest?

              Thanks for your help!



              • #8
                Today the LA just apologised (again!) because the contractor came to the agency during the agent's break, took the keys of my flat, went there and repaired the boiler.
                I would be more concerned with the security issue here. If the LA is really saying the contractor was able to enter the shop and take the correct set of keys without anyone knowing, then that would mean anyone could do the same again in the future!

                Of course, if this isn't the case then what they have said is probably BS too.


                • #9
                  Whilst I understand that you don't want to spend any of your money - a new eurolock barrel could cost you less than a tenner, suing would cost you heck of a lot more. Which is worth more - your peace of mind or your pride?

                  FWIW changing a eurolock is a 5 minute DIY job (1 screw) and instructions are on youtube.


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