Can I take a locksmith with me?

Can I take a locksmith with me?

10:43 AM, 10th August 2013, About 8 years ago 55

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I have purchased a property recently but have no keys for it. Can I take a locksmith with me?

The previous landlord says she cant find them.

I have tried to contact the tenant on several occasions but with no joy.

If I give her 24 hours notice in writing that I intend to visit the property to have the boiler checked for a Gas Safety Certificate am I entitled to force entry if i am refused?

I look forward to hearing from you

Regards

Tony



Comments

by Mary Latham

14:25 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "tony salmon" at "13/08/2013 - 11:22":

I'm really pleased that this was a storm in a teacup.

Thank you for buying my book I would love to have your feedback and a review on Amazon if you have time.

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

by David Sweeney

14:30 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "13/08/2013 - 12:54":

A couple of things to flag up.

Ex-tenant search - prices vary dramatically, even with no-find-no fee. In my experience, prices start at £36 but 'express' services obviously bump the cost up. With 6 years to pursue debtors, a 30 day search isn't usually much of a problem.

Tenants overstaying - if tenant gives notice and does not leave then the landlord should be very careful. If the landlord allows tenant to stay then a NEW tenancy is created, and that is subject to the 6 month new tenancy rule :O
The alternative is to treat them as trespassers (which they are) and evict promptly through the courts. Might take a couple of weeks from court application to bailiff

by Mark Alexander

14:37 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "13/08/2013 - 14:30":

Dave, remember that if your AST is executed as a Deed you have up to 12 years to recover the debt 🙂

See link below.
.

by Romain Garcin

15:15 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dave Reaney" at "13/08/2013 - 14:30":

"If the landlord allows tenant to stay then a NEW tenancy is created, and that is subject to the 6 month new tenancy rule"

It depends if that new tenancy is considered a 'replacement tenancy' or not.

by Recardo Knights

16:44 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

My AST states tenants should not change the locks without the landlords permission and should provide spare keys.

If they change the locks without permission I would serve notice as they are in breach of contract.

Apart from insurance issues if I got an emergency call from a neighbour bout the property, keys and entry can save a lot of damage.

I hold spare keys for my tenants and a lot of my family and neighbour, but never enter a property without notice,

If a tenant did not reply to my letters, calls or texts after 1 week I would force entry and change the locks.

It is not unreasonable for the landlord to hold keys, in past incidences a tenant that locked themselves out have been grateful, no locksmith had to be called and they didn't get the bill.

Put the question on the tenants application form "do you object to me holding a spare set of keys" If they say yes, find somewhere else to live tenancy declined.

by Romain Garcin

16:52 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Recardo Knights" at "13/08/2013 - 16:44":

If you force entry and change locks you will achieve only one thing and that is getting yourself in a heap of expensive trouble.

Truth is, it doesn't make much difference whether you have a key or not.

by Mark Alexander

16:56 PM, 13th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Recardo Knights" at "13/08/2013 - 16:44":

I like your last suggestion regarding the application form question Recardo, I will use that.

I had a long telephone chat with Mary Latham about entering when a tenant has changed the locks. Mary assured me that a court order is required, just as it is when a tenant refuses to move out even after a s.21 notice has expired. Apparently, if you do break in you a liable to find yourself up against a judge, possibly even a Civil Prosecution where the financial penalties are far higher. Obviously a judge will hear your side of the story but apparently, just not being able to get your tenant to give you permission is considered to be a pretty lame excuse and the Judge will simply ask, why didn't you get a Court order? If you say I didn't know I had to the judge will reply "ignorance of the law is no defence".
.

by Recardo Knights

15:11 PM, 14th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Romain good landlords should not fear getting into trouble, bad landlords and tenants don't seem to mind. if water or smoke is reported coming from your BTL a key does matter, or would you let the property burn, kick the door down, or serve notice.

Mark and Mary I know it is wrong in the eyes of the law. Why not get a court order?- Time - expense and uselessness. Recently evicted a bad tenant legally. It cost time and money, and lose of rent. The tenant was ordered to leave on a certain date and still remained without a judge smacking them..

Back for the bailiffs more time and money, the tenant then left a week before the nice bailiff said he was coming.

My original post--If a tenant does not answer, despond to me.

All this has nothing to do with my post. If I have spent 1 week trying to contact a tenant, and they do not respond in any way, acknowledge receiving any communication from me-- they might have left the property or died there. I will force entry.

If they respond and do not want to give me a set of keys I will not break in, I will say OK, hear is your notice, start looking for somewhere new.

To often people give advice without read or understanding the post, so scribe up and see what I posted earlier, pretty much the same as now.

Mark I have a new tenant moving in at the end of the month. I called and said I require a set of keys at all times, would that be a problem. She said NO it has always been that way. Good tenants have nothing to fear, I have always stated I will let you know 2-3-4- before I come to see you. If she say Yes, you can't have keys, OK no tenancy!

About time we stopped the bad tenants getting away with whatever they like because we are to fearful of doing anything. If you are going to do something iffy, make sure its documented. It may seem so at times but all judges cant be idiots.

by Romain Garcin

15:42 PM, 14th August 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Recardo Knights" at "14/08/2013 - 15:11":

Landlords, and everyone else, should fear committing criminal offences! I'm sure that after your first "forced entry" you'll reconsider...

Realistically if someone detects a fire they call 999 and the fire brigade boys do what they have to do. Whether you, as landlord, have a key is irrelevant unless you live across the road and can luckily be there before them.

"Recently evicted a bad tenant legally": I find it a bit scary that you felt the need to specify "legally"...

by Mary Latham

15:57 PM, 14th August 2013, About 8 years ago

The landlords legal obligation is to give the tenant a minimum 24 hours written notice before he enters the property. If the tenant does not reply the landlord can assume that he has no objections - so long as the address to which the notice was sent is valid.

If however the landlord turns up at the property and the tenant denies access or has changed the locks, which amounts to the same thing - the landlord cannot legally enter.

In my experience most tenants are happy for a landlord to hold keys - I always ask the tenant - and so long as the correct notice is given most tenants have no problem with that, and can be there if they wish or ask the landlord to come at a more convenient time.

Tenants who change locks are not always bad tenants, some of them have had bad landlords in the past and don't trust us.

I am not fearful of my tenants, I am respectful of their right to privacy. How many of us would be comfortable if we knew that every time we left our homes someone could just let themselves in? When a tenant takes Possession of a property they have the same right as anyone else and the landlord has given up the automatic right of entry - if we don't like this perhaps we are in the wrong business?

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337


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