Shared house, 13 individual ASTs; access rights for L?

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  • Shared house, 13 individual ASTs; access rights for L?

    Sorry in advance if I've missed this on another post, I couldn't find it anywhere.
    I rent out a house with 13 bedrooms to students on individual TAs (AST). I am certain I've been advised in the past that I only need to give 24 hours' notice to enter those areas of the property that they exclusively occupy, i.e. the bedrooms, not the shared living rooms, kitchens, etc. However having now been challenged on it I have Googled and can't find anything to back me up.
    Have I been wrong all this time?
    If not can anyone point me to any evidence that I am right?
    Thanks a lot in advance.
    Dean

  • #2
    Originally posted by dbullen View Post
    Sorry in advance if I've missed this on another post, I couldn't find it anywhere.
    I rent out a house with 13 bedrooms to students on individual TAs (AST). I am certain I've been advised in the past that I only need to give 24 hours' notice to enter those areas of the property that they exclusively occupy, i.e. the bedrooms, not the shared living rooms, kitchens, etc. However having now been challenged on it I have Googled and can't find anything to back me up.
    Have I been wrong all this time?
    If not can anyone point me to any evidence that I am right?
    Thanks a lot in advance.
    Dean
    There are two answers: yes and no.
    "Yes" because they agreed this, I assume, in the Tenancy Agreements.
    "No" because many contributors see this as harassment and not OFT-friendly behaviour.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      You should give 24 written notice and get their consent.

      If they do not give it reasonably, then they are breaching agreement. If they are often non cooperative, you might want to give them notice to leave. But you cannot force entry.

      Also under HMO management regulations, they have a duty to cooperate with the manager regarding access to rooms.
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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      • #4
        So is there no difference between a shared house on a joint tenancy, and individual room tenancies?
        Can the tenants sign a voluntary waiver at the start of the tenancy? Would that stand? Feedback indicates they get fed up with the number of texts I send them at the moment, and that's only for access to their rooms! It would be totally impractical to have to wait for their consent to enter the shared areas of the house - many of the students are foreign and go home for up to a month at a time.
        I presume that if one tenant asks to see me I don't need to get permission from all the others, if I've been invited?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dbullen View Post
          So is there no difference between a shared house on a joint tenancy, and individual room tenancies?
          Can the tenants sign a voluntary waiver at the start of the tenancy? Would that stand? Feedback indicates they get fed up with the number of texts I send them at the moment, and that's only for access to their rooms! It would be totally impractical to have to wait for their consent to enter the shared areas of the house - many of the students are foreign and go home for up to a month at a time.
          I presume that if one tenant asks to see me I don't need to get permission from all the others, if I've been invited?
          I'd be interested to know WHY you need access into an individuals room and why is it impractical to 'wait' for consent.
          I'm guessing that in your AST's you have written in that tenants who are going to be out of the property for x number of days or more need to inform you. Thus once you have been informed surely you can then get permission to enter rooms?
          Ambition is Critical

          I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

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          • #6
            I am not complaining (or asking) about having to consent to enter people's individual rooms. I ALWAYS do this and always will. I am asking about communal areas, as per the post heading.

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            • #7
              They have exclusive possession of their rooms only, the landlord can enter the communal areas at will, but always a good idea to give notice you will be in communal ares.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
                They have exclusive possession of their rooms only, the landlord can enter the communal areas at will, but always a good idea to give notice you will be in communal ares.
                Thanks a lot for agreeing with me! I'm relieved!
                I need to persuade the University of Sheffield though - any idea what legislation I can point to that refers to the exclusive possession?

                Thanks again,
                Dean

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                • #9
                  Their contracts!

                  Individual contracts will state that they are renting a particular room. Under the Housing Act 1998 it states that the tenant has EXCLUSIVE possession of that which they contract for. (ie the room) and not the communal areas.

                  Therefore they can only exclude you from the room, not the communal area.

                  If you were renting a whole property under one joint and severally liable contract then they would have exclusive possession of the WHOLE building and not just their rooms, so you would not be able to enter the building at without their permission.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for your help. They have now backed down and admitted that is so.
                    Cheers,
                    Dean

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                    • #11
                      Not saying that you would, but if someone were the kind of landlord that kept popping up in the communal area for no good reason, this could interfere with the tenants " quiet enjoyment" of their home and they could claim harrassment. Which is possibly why attila hints that it may be good practice to give notice of entry to the communal areas.
                      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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