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Rights of Entry

Landlord Advice line service received a call from a landlord Alice who was seeking advice regarding rights of entry as she had wished to carry out an inspection on the property, but the tenant had refused to facilitate.

Background

The tenant had been living in the property for over a year and Alice wanted to check that it was being well maintained.  Further to this Alice needed to renew her insurance as a landlord, one of the requirements of which is to conduct an annual inspection of the property.

How Landlord Advice line helped

Our adviser explained to Alice that, a tenant should not unreasonably refuse access to a property for the purpose of an inspection and that Alice could ask the tenant to suggest a date and time that would be convenient for them.

Even if a tenancy agreement states that a tenant must allow the landlord access to carry out an inspection, a landlord must still: (a) give at least 24 hours’ notice; (b) explain the purpose of the visit and (c) get permission from the tenant before calling to the property. A landlord entering the property without the consent of the tenant, except in an emergency, can be considered a form of harassment.

If the tenant repeatedly refuses access to the property, the landlord can advise the tenant that this is potentially a breach of the tenancy terms and could lead to the tenancy being terminated. A landlord also has the option of applying for a court order to oblige the tenant to facilitate access on a specified date and time.

Alice did not wish to end the tenancy or go to court but was becoming very annoyed as the tenant had stopped responding to her messages. Our adviser suggested that Alice could consider availing of Housing Rights’ free mediation service to communicate with the tenant and come to an agreement regarding access to the property. Alice agreed to this, and her tenant also agreed to take part. With the help of a mediator, they agreed to postpone the inspection for a few weeks, to give time for the tenant to tidy up the garden, and that Alice would give a weeks’ notice ahead of the next inspection.

For further information on Rights of Entry is available here

Further information on the Housing Mediation service is available here.