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Renting a home/house means that one has exclusive rights to make it their own and set the rules that all people have to abide by, especially regarding entry. In principle, any homeowner/tenant is allowed to determine who is allowed to enter the house after renting it. This raises the question amongst many tenants of can my landlord enter my property without permission UK?
In the UK, this question implies that many tenants are in the dark about who can be prevented from entering their rented spaces. The reality is that the tenant is empowered by the law to bar anyone from entering the house without permission, including even the landlord.
Many reasons may prompt a landlord to enter their rent out properties. For example, a landlord may want to have a routine inspection of the premises or fixing some spoilt stuff in the house, such as peeled paint or a faulty tap. Also, there could be an emergency service such as a fire or violence in the premises that requires an abrupt entry. However, some situations may seem compelling to have the landlord enter the premises; they are in principle barred by UK law from doing so. The tenancy agreement may have a treaty that the landlord may be allowed under special circumstances. Nonetheless, according to UK law, such an agreement is irrelevant, and the tenant has the statutory right of deciding who enters their rented premises. This is enshrined under the right to quiet enjoyment, which prohibits any attempt to infringe on a tenant’s privacy.
Can Landlords Enter?
The landlord can still enter the tenant’s premise even while under-occupancy by the tenant, provided that they fulfil some key requirements. The legally provided means of doing this is via serving the tenant a written notice, which must be done at least 24 hours before the landlord wants to enter the designated property. If the tenant is comfortable with the arrangement, they can just allow the landlord to come in. However, the tenant can decide to deny the request, especially in instances when the landlord wants to enter the house at inconvenient times. The landlord can only enter during reasonable periods, such as when the tenant is also present on the premises on the day. The tenant can deny a landlord who insists on entering the house during weekend hours the opportunity.
In addition to serving a written notice to the tenant, the landlord must also indicate who will be entering the house together with the intention of the entry. If you are a landlord and are unsure about the exact rules and want professional advice ask our team of landlord solicitors.
When Tenants Deny Entry
There are some situations where the tenant may feel justified to deny the landlord entry to their premises. For example, if the landlord insists on visiting during wee hours, the tenant can refuse and have the landlord explore other means of gaining access. If what the landlord intends to do in the house is justified, he/she can decide to negotiate with the tenants on the terms. This is by providing a compelling reason on why their entry to the house is significant and the undersides of failing to enter the house at the intended time. For instance, if the intention is to make repairs, the landlord can inform the tenant of the risk of not repairing the faulty stuff at the right time.
Nonetheless, there are some exceptions when there is no room for negotiation, and the landlord can demand entry even when there was no prior notice. Such scenarios include:
- A gas leak in need of urgent repair
- A fire outbreak
- Serious flooding
- Criminal operations in the house.
A landlord can also demand entry to the house when a tenant is moving in so that they can view the condition of the house before allowing the tenant to sign the tenancy agreement. Also, landlords are allowed by UK law to conduct regular inspections to determine if the tenant well maintains the house. The law also compels the landlords to make yearly inspections of the gas installations and determine their safety.
If you are a tenant and are unsure about the exact rules and want professional advice ask our team of tenant solicitors.
Property Management companies and letting agencies
In cases where a property owner uses a property management company or letting agency, caution should be observed to ensure that the tenant’s right to privacy is not breached. Just like landlords, property management companies or letting agencies have an obligation to allow tenants to live in their residences without disturbance. As such, they should give reasonable notice to tenants and seek permission to gain access to their private spaces. The process can only be bypassed if there’s a genuine emergency case to be addressed.
For more critical insights into tenants’ rights in their relationship with landlords, consider the advice of expert landlord and tenant solicitors, a UK based law firm with numerous years of experience in property law. With our assistance, you cannot get anything about the legal dimensions of landlords and tenants wrong.
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