Suspicious Activities – How do I inspect?

by Readers Question

9:58 AM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

Suspicious Activities – How do I inspect?

Make Text Bigger
Suspicious Activities – How do I inspect?

I am a landlord and I have suspicions over the activities of a tenant. I don’t think he wants me to visit the property.

What is my legal right to inspect the property – how much notice is required.

The tenancy agreement doesn’t give the right to inspect the property.

Many thanks Sash

Editors Note:

Legal right to quiet enjoyment: Tenants have a stutory right to quiet enjoyment and must be given at least 24 hours notice in writing to gain access to their homes.

A breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment may imply harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and this is a criminal offence. Therefore if you are not given permission you cannot just enter with 24 hours notice.

When you can enter the property >> https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/making-repairs

You have a legal right to enter your property to inspect it or carry out repairs. You must give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice, although immediate access may be possible in emergencies. Your tenants have the right to stay in the property during the repairs.



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:02 AM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

Hi Sash,

If by suspicious you mean you have reason to believe there is illegal activity you should call the police. (Cannabis Farms are more common than you would think)

However, if you just want to view the property and permission is declined you could consider applying to a court to gain access or just serve a section 21 if you are outside the fixed term.

Scott Scott

11:27 AM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2016/12/landlord-access-rights/

This article is dated 2016. Have the rules changed that now allow you access to carryout repairs even when the tenant refuses access or physically prevents entry to the property?

Rob Crawford

12:16 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Scott Scott at 02/01/2019 - 11:27The rules have not changed. You must give 24 hours notice. The notice should be served in the manner stated in the AST. If the tenant refuses entry, you cannot legally enter the property. I would repeat this three times and if the result is the same, and assuming you have given a valid reason to visit the property, serve notice for possession. Note the new Fit for human habitation bill is the latest act (from March) that states the need to give 24 hours notice).

Anthony Endsor

13:44 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

You have to give 24 hours notice in order to gain access to the property, following which the tenant cannot unreasonably decline. If the tenant refuses access you can ask them if another date would be more convenient, but if they continue to refuse, you can issue a section 8 on the grounds of the tenant withholding access. If the property is in need of urgent repair and the tenant is refusing access, they will be putting themselves and the property at risk, but whatever the reason for your request, you have a legal right and in many cases an obligation to inspect the property.

Kate Mellor

17:08 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

I agree with the advice in the above comments. I would just reiterate that under NO circumstances should you attempt to force entry if it is refused by the tenant! Giving 24hrs notice doesn’t give you a RIGHT to enter if the tenant says NO. Accept the refusal politely and attempt to agree another time which is convenient. If the tenant becomes agitated or aggressive remain polite and leave immediately.

All you can do is attempt to arrange a mutually convenient appointment with the tenant. If they actively refuse permission and repeated attempts are unsuccessful then your only option is to issue the tenant with the appropriate correctly served notice to end the tenancy as soon as you can.

Always ensure your communication with the tenant is polite and professional and avoid any open conflict as this could quickly become harassment, or an accusation of harassment (which gives the appearance of legitimising the tenant refusing you access AND could have serious consequences for you). Keep records of all your communications with the tenant. Keep a log of all calls, retain all texts & emails and keep dated copies of all letters on file just in case.

Peter Poupard

18:08 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 3 months ago

If you think a criminal activity is taking place and you inform the police also ensure you tell them you will supply keys to the property otherwise you will end up having to pay for the repairs to the front door as the police won't if they find evidence of an offence, and that could be the smallest amount of weed.

Make regular checks a condition of your AST and carry them out, it's self survival these days.

Rob Crawford

8:37 AM, 3rd January 2019
About 3 months ago

Hi Sash, is your AST up to scratch? It is unusual for an AST not to state the 24 hours notice required of the landlord under "Landlord Obligations to the Tenant"!

Kate Mellor

11:57 AM, 3rd January 2019
About 3 months ago

Hi Sash, you mentioned your AST doesn’t specify a right of access, however a right of access to the property is an implied term even if the AST doesn’t specify it. It is implied because the landlord has obligations of repair which cannot be carried out without access. You can argue that the right to inspect is essential to establish whether any repairs are necessary.

However as Rob has pointed out I’ve never seen a modern tenancy which doesn’t set this out in writing. You should make sure you have an up to date, professionally prepared tenancy agreement from a reputable source going forward to ensure you don’t find yourself in difficulty in the future.

I’d suggest joining a landlord association such as the RLA. This will give you access to their professionally drafted AST agreement and lots of other forms and information, including a telephone advice service and discounts on their courses (which I highly recommend).

Sash D

15:22 PM, 4th January 2019
About 3 months ago

Hi
Thanks for the replies
Yes we have a contract from the NLA but it only says 24 hours notice for repair. Nothing like we can just inspect the property by giving 24 hours notice

Kate Mellor

11:25 AM, 5th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sash D at 04/01/2019 - 15:22
Is there nothing under the Tenants obligation section about access & inspection?

There should be.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Newly launched luxury Manchester apartments

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More