Tenants problems / Access by landlords ( 11.8.1.L2 )
Tenants problems / Access by landlords
Updated: January 2017
Access to flats/houses by landlords
NOTE : This information does not apply to Lodgers
Words you may need to know
Tenant – a tenant is someone who rents a property in their own right. Tenants have legal rights and must have a written lease.
Lodger- a lodger is someone who is not renting in their own right, they share accommodation with someone else and use the same facilities such as a bathroom and kitchen. They have less rights than others.
Access - a right or means of entering a property
Customary law - law developed in the courts, not made by Government
Privacy - time to be on your own, space to be alone
Enjoyment – being able to enjoy something, be happy with it
Maintenance - the care of property, to fix things
Permission - consent, the right to go ahead and do something
Sitting tenant – a tenant who is already occupying or living in a property
A landlord should give a tenant reasonable notice in writing of their need to access the property. This is usually at least 24 hours’ notice.
Always check the wording of the lease, however the customary law rights are that a tenant has a right to privacy. Providing a tenant meets the terms of their lease, their landlord should allow them peaceful enjoyment of the property.
Usually a landlord has the right to access the property to inspect the state of repair of the property, and it is recommended that they inspect the state of repair against the inventory at regular intervals to prevent problems at the end of the tenancy. A landlord may also gain access if they believe that any terms of the lease are being breached or if they believe that anything unlawful is taking place on the premises.
A landlord also has a right to access for any necessary maintenance if they tell you beforehand and you give permission. Again, reasonable notice should be given. In the event of an emergency, for example, a landlord may need to gain immediate access to prevent a fire or prevent a safety risk to the tenant and other residents. However, for all other repairs the tenants should be given at least 24 hours’ notice.
Before the end of a lease, or if the owner decides to sell the property, the landlord or his agent has a right of access for viewings by potential new tenants or buyers, subject to giving any sitting tenant reasonable notice.
A landlord does not have a right to enter in any other circumstances unless they have a court order.