Ask Lorraine – My tenant is refusing me access so that I can do my annual checks. What can I do?

🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

”Dear Lorraine,

My tenant is refusing access so that I can do my annual checks. What can I do to ensure they give me access?”

Lorraine’s Answer:

At this time of year, we often receive calls from landlords about problems they are facing in gaining access to rental properties.

When a landlord lets a property he is agreeing to give the tenant exclusive possession of that property and quiet enjoyment.

Check your tenancy agreement that you have a section which covers right of entry. Without the tenants permission or unless of course there is a real emergency you could be charged with trespass and the tenant could well claim damages against you or your agent. Not a nice thought when you are only trying to do your job!

Access is only permitted in one of two ways – a provision in the tenancy agreement or where the law grants a right of access, for instance, an emergency or to inspect or carry out repairs.
Landlords and agents should always give tenants notice of their impending visit, check your tenancy agreement as to the amount of notice you have to give. If the amount of notice is not stipulated on the tenancy agreement, landlords can use s11, Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 which allows access for repairs as long as landlords or agents give 24 hours notice prior to entering a rented property.

Landlords and agents should always look to give reasonable notice for access, keeping on friendly terms with tenants does help, however if the tenant is being unreasonable and constantly refusing access then the landlord or agent faces a very difficult situation. Speak to the council they may be able to help, after all if the tenant makes a complaint about the disrepair of the property to them, the council are quick to act then. Last and my least favourable option, due to the expense is to seek an injunction in the court to force your access.

It won’t hurt to be a good and friendly landlord, after all a bit of sugar goes a long way.

Until next week.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

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