Broken Fence - Emergency Access?

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  • Broken Fence - Emergency Access?


    Current landlord-tenant relations are not great and all communication is taking place in writing. The tenant is due to leave at the end of February. However there is an issue that may require the landlord to gain access to the property.

    A few months ago, high winds damaged a part of the fence bordering with the neighbour. The landlord inspected the damage and agreed it needed to be repaired. The tenant said her partner would fix it by buying the materials and sorting it out. The cost of this would then be taken off rent payments by the landlord. A month later, the tenant claimed that her partner had bought the materials and would begin work soon. Nothing has been heard since.

    The other day, when posting a letter through the door, the landlord noticed that the fence had not been fixed at all and was in really bad condition. He asked the neighbour about the situation and she mentioned that since the fence had fallen through onto her side, it was a danger to her children.

    Since the tenant currently refuses the landlord entry, can this be deemed an emergency situation for a contractor to gain entry to fix the problem?

    Cheers duck,


  • #2
    If there is a risk that someone may get hurt then yes it is an emergency.
    However, you say that the fence has been like this for months! Can it not wait another 2 weeks?


    • #3
      Well, yes it could. However, the last time the fence was seen, only one panel was damaged. Due to the tenant not allowing the landlord onto the property, he has only just seen the extent of the increased damage.

      Furthermore, i advised him that it might be a good idea to get it sorted now because he and the tenant only verbally agreed the plan for the tenant's partner to fix the fence and minus it from the rent payments. The tenant is awkward and this could have implications when it comes to claiming arrears and the deposit.


      • #4
        Then class it as an emergency and complete the works on the basis that it is a danager to the children.


        • #5
          There is no obligation for a landlord to repair a fence under S.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985. If the broken fence is removed then it ceases to be a danger but that would be the landlord's responsibility, and it should not be left to the tenant to sort out.
          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.


          • #6
            I moved in to a property last year and all fences had been blown down as the result of high winds - but it was not the tenants' responsibility - it was the landlords under the tenancy agreement.

            However, then discovered that the LL disputed agreement and that the fence was another owner bordering on the property.

            So if the LL made out that it was the responsibility of the client - he was in the wrong. So whether she did or didn't replace the fence - is neither here nor there particularly if he never paid via the removal of costs via rent.

            In my case - after 6 months - I got really fed-up with Management Checks saying I had not upkept the fence - when it was never done to start with - then got Shelter involved - and then suddenly the fence got fixed by the neighbour who was responsible.

            LL dropped case against me - but shouldn't have called it in the first case!


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