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    • MoneySavingUser
    • By MoneySavingUser 10th Feb 18, 9:56 PM
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    MoneySavingUser
    Tenancy inspection query
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 18, 9:56 PM
    Tenancy inspection query 10th Feb 18 at 9:56 PM
    I usually have an inspection by the EA every 6 months.

    The LL has recently changed the EA that he uses. The old EA did an inspection in mid-Jan and the new EA wants to come in mid-Feb to do their own inspection.

    They have described this as a "mid-term" inspection.

    1) Is two inspections in two months too much - can I refuse and ask them to come at the next six monthly interval?

    2) They have just said which day they will come on and stated "they cannot provide an appointment time". The old EA would give a timeframe (i.e. between 10 and 1) and if you called them would happily tell you a specific time. I know they say they can let themselves in, but if I wanted to be here it seems unreasonable to expect me to wait around all day for them?

    I am on a periodic tenancy as the AST has expired. The contract (which was done by the old EA) says they can enter the property for inspection with 24 hours notice - it doesn't say anything about how often.
Page 2
    • crispy duck
    • By crispy duck 14th Feb 18, 11:14 AM
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    crispy duck
    On the basis that I have the right to be here when the inspection takes place it seems unfair that I am expected to potentially take the day off work and wait around for them?
    Originally posted by MoneySavingUser
    I'm not sure that you do have that right.

    I've not been here long enough yet to post links, but www dot gov dot uk slash private-renting tells you your rights and responsibilities.

    You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hoursí notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless itís an emergency and they need immediate access.
    As far as I can see, it says nothing about a right to be present. I think 'reasonable time of day' means not at 4am. The fact is that the landlord (or their agent) has the right to enter the premises with 24 hours' notice, and they've given you this notice so there's not much you can do. I doubt I need to say this, but DO NOT change the locks as someone has suggested, this is undoubtedly an unauthorised alteration to the property. IANAL, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were grounds for eviction.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 11:18 AM
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    Comms69
    I'm not sure that you do have that right.

    I've not been here long enough yet to post links, but www dot gov dot uk slash private-renting tells you your rights and responsibilities.



    As far as I can see, it says nothing about a right to be present. I think 'reasonable time of day' means not at 4am. The fact is that the landlord (or their agent) has the right to enter the premises with 24 hours' notice, and they've given you this notice so there's not much you can do. I doubt I need to say this, but DO NOT change the locks as someone has suggested, this is undoubtedly an unauthorised alteration to the property. IANAL, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were grounds for eviction.
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    s.21 requires no 'grounds for eviction'. Changing the locks is perfectly legal.


    The tenant has a right to be there whenever they choose.
    • crispy duck
    • By crispy duck 14th Feb 18, 11:41 AM
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    crispy duck
    s.21 requires no 'grounds for eviction'. Changing the locks is perfectly legal.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    It's legal, in the sense that it isn't a criminal offence, yes. If the tenancy agreement states that no unauthorised alterations may be made to the premises (and every tenancy agreement I've ever had has stated that) then it would be a breach of that agreement, and potentially render the tenant liable to a s.8 eviction. The landlord has a legal right of access to their property either way - changing the locks is not a clever ploy to get round that.


    The tenant has a right to be there whenever they choose.
    They do, but this is massively pedantic - what they don't have is a right to oblige the landlord to schedule the inspection at a time that is convenient for them to be there, which is clearly the substance of what I was saying.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 11:46 AM
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    Comms69
    It's legal, in the sense that it isn't a criminal offence, yes. If the tenancy agreement states that no unauthorised alterations may be made to the premises (and every tenancy agreement I've ever had has stated that) then it would be a breach of that agreement, and potentially render the tenant liable to a s.8 eviction. - yes, potentially, and potentially the tenant will win the lottery next week.... if you can find case law where a judge has granted an eviction for this, ill accept it, but £5 to a charity of your choice says you cant. The landlord has a legal right of access to their property either way - changing the locks is not a clever ploy to get round that. - actually it is, it stops access and forces the agent and ll to the negotiating table.




    They do, but this is massively pedantic - what they don't have is a right to oblige the landlord to schedule the inspection at a time that is convenient for them to be there, which is clearly the substance of what I was saying.
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    Except they do, because as previously stated, the tenant can simply refuse access.


    Why would the LL want to evict a good tenant over such a small issue is beyond me. But landlords on the whole dont evict good, paying tenants. and agents cant evict period.
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 14th Feb 18, 11:52 AM
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    fairy lights
    It's legal, in the sense that it isn't a criminal offence, yes. If the tenancy agreement states that no unauthorised alterations may be made to the premises (and every tenancy agreement I've ever had has stated that) then it would be a breach of that agreement, and potentially render the tenant liable to a s.8 eviction. The landlord has a legal right of access to their property either way - changing the locks is not a clever ploy to get round that.
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    But how will a landlord ever know that the tenant has changed the locks, unless they try to gain unauthorised access to the property?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 14th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
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    saajan_12
    The tenancy agreement can give the LL a contractual right to enter the property, giving 24hours written notice, entering at a reasonable time, with reasonable frequency (eg not every week). This does not contravene the tenant's statutory right to quiet enjoyment.

    Except they do, because as previously stated, the tenant can simply refuse access.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Physically, yes the tenant can block access by changing the locks. However if they don't change locks, they cannot prevent reasonable access by simply denying the LL's notice if the TA states reasonable access upon notice and doesn't allow for the tenant's agreement or a mutually convenient time.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 12:08 PM
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    Comms69
    The tenancy agreement can give the LL a contractual right to enter the property, giving 24hours written notice, entering at a reasonable time, with reasonable frequency (eg not every week). This does not contravene the tenant's statutory right to quiet enjoyment.



    Physically, yes the tenant can block access by changing the locks. However if they don't change locks, they cannot prevent reasonable access by simply denying the LL's notice if the TA states reasonable access upon notice and doesn't allow for the tenant's agreement or a mutually convenient time.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    Indeed, but LLs and Agents should be wary when the £200 cash goes missing from the kitchen drawer... having the tenant there is obviously beneficial to actually point out problems too.


    Most agents are not trained to spot everyday problems by sight.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 14th Feb 18, 12:19 PM
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    saajan_12
    Except they do, because as previously stated, the tenant can simply refuse access.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    having the tenant there is obviously beneficial to actually point out problems too.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    The smart action is another issue, this is a question of rights - the LA employee is insisting on access for a tick-boxing exercise, which the tenant doesn't have the RIGHT to refuse. If the LL/LA has served proper notice for reasonable access which is permitted by the tenancy agreement, then unless the tenant physically changes the locks, they can't simply refuse access.

    But how will a landlord ever know that the tenant has changed the locks, unless they try to gain unauthorised access to the property?
    Originally posted by fairy lights
    By gaining access which was authorised by the tenant through the tenancy agreement (assuming the tenancy agreement allows reasonable access upon 24 hrs notice, without a clause for mutually conventient time, and the LL complies with this)
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 12:34 PM
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    Comms69
    The smart action is another issue, this is a question of rights - the LA employee is insisting on access for a tick-boxing exercise, which the tenant doesn't have the RIGHT to refuse. - yes they do. I'm sorry we seem to be just arguing the point, but the tenant can refuse access to anyone. If the LL/LA has served proper notice for reasonable access which is permitted by the tenancy agreement, then unless the tenant physically changes the locks, they can't simply refuse access. - So hypothetically the tenant stands in the way, are you suggesting they can force their way in? Yes that's extreme, but the tenant can refuse access. What can they do if the LA/LL ignores it, well not much.


    By gaining access which was authorised by the tenant through the tenancy agreement (assuming the tenancy agreement allows reasonable access upon 24 hrs notice, without a clause for mutually conventient time, and the LL complies with this)
    Originally posted by saajan_12


    I think this is all getting out of hand. At the minute it's just a stubborn agent
    • crispy duck
    • By crispy duck 14th Feb 18, 1:58 PM
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    crispy duck
    By gaining access which was authorised by the tenant through the tenancy agreement (assuming the tenancy agreement allows reasonable access upon 24 hrs notice, without a clause for mutually conventient time, and the LL complies with this)
    It's nothing to do with the tenancy agreement. It's the law. Specifically, section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
    • crispy duck
    • By crispy duck 14th Feb 18, 1:59 PM
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    crispy duck
    I think this is all getting out of hand. At the minute it's just a stubborn agent
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Or a stubborn tenant...
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Feb 18, 2:01 PM
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    Comms69
    Or a stubborn tenant...
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    who allowed inspection just 1 month ago?...
    • Annabee
    • By Annabee 14th Feb 18, 4:22 PM
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    Annabee
    How did it go, OP?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 14th Feb 18, 5:03 PM
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    saajan_12
    It's nothing to do with the tenancy agreement. It's the law. Specifically, section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    Have you actually read the Act? Section 11 doesn't mention anything about rights to refuse access.

    And every heard of contract law? The tenancy agreement also forms 'law' for the parties involved.
    • MoneySavingUser
    • By MoneySavingUser 14th Feb 18, 7:24 PM
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    MoneySavingUser
    Do the landlords own numerous properties in the block which they are planning to inspect on the same day?
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    They do own multiple properties, not sure where the other ones are I don't think they are in the same block.
    It's legal, in the sense that it isn't a criminal offence, yes. If the tenancy agreement states that no unauthorised alterations may be made to the premises (and every tenancy agreement I've ever had has stated that) then it would be a breach of that agreement, and potentially render the tenant liable to a s.8 eviction. The landlord has a legal right of access to their property either way - changing the locks is not a clever ploy to get round that.
    Originally posted by crispy duck
    My understanding is that case law has ruled that you need to leave the property in the same state as it was originally - so changing the locks and putting the old ones back in when you leave is OK.

    This article says it is ok to refuse access and change the locks: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2016/12/landlord-access-rights/ but I can't vouch for its accuracy.

    There is some interesting discussion here: http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/09/09/all-about-landlords-rights-to-go-into-their-tenants-property/

    http://www.privatehousinginformation.co.uk/site/148.asp seems to be a council run website
    It is the tenantís right to refuse access if the tenant wishes. If access is refused the landlord cannot enter - this is because the tenantís right to exclude people from the property overrides the landlordís right of access if the two are in conflict. However, refusal to let the landlord inspect at all, will put the tenant in breach of the tenancy agreement.
    Normally a tenant will refuse access because they wish to be present at the inspection visit and the suggested appointment date is not convenient. This is entirely reasonable and is indeed in the landlordís favour to have the tenant present as it will then be less difficult for the tenant to raise any accusations of theft against the landlord if items go missing in the property.
    https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/guidance-to-access-to-properties.shtml

    Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.
    This allows access to carry our repairs on at least 24 hours notice. It also permits access to carry out inspections to see if repairs are needed again on at least 24 hours notice. Note however that the statutory power of access will only authorise access if this is genuinely needed to carry out repairs or inspect to see if repairs are needed.
    How did it go, OP?
    Originally posted by Annabee
    I wasn't able to be here, but I was able to arrange for a relative to be here.

    My relative had to wait around until after 4pm for the agent + LL to turn up (I'm annoyed at this). Apparently, they had not visited as many houses as they planned to, so presumably I am lucky they turned up at all! I have actually had an agent call up once at 6pm and say they didn't manage to get to me, can they come tomorrow!

    The inspection was uneventful, they said the house was in much better condition than the others they had seen.

    I emailed the agent this morning to say that my relative would be here and I would respond more fully to him later.

    I think I am just going to say that I have the right to refuse him access and to be present, in future he needs to agree a specific date and time with me.
    • Annabee
    • By Annabee 14th Feb 18, 8:13 PM
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    Annabee
    Hmm, yes that is annoying. Hope your relative wasn't too inconvenienced.

    The stiff letter yes, a good idea (a lawyer's letter maybe - or is that overkill, would cost you obviously). They can't say you are being obstructive, as you are perfectly fine with letting them come in FOR AN AGREED APPPOINTMENT. They would obviously prefer to just let themselves in, though, but you need to try and squash that. Unfortunately they caught you on the hop this time, due to not much notice (probably deliberate).
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 15th Feb 18, 9:31 AM
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    Norman Castle
    I would change the locks. The new agent only seems interested in their rights and convenience and clearly expects tenants to accommodate them. They will only find out if they try to gain access.
    If access is needed in an emergency presumably they have your number. Can you leave a key with anyone local?
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 15th Feb 18, 11:50 AM
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    martindow
    If access is needed in an emergency
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    The fire brigade or gas company are not going to fiddle around getting a key from the landlord, an agent or someone living nearby for an emergency - they will just break in.

    The agent's enthusiasm for repeated inspections is probably because they are charging the landlord a fee each time.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 15th Feb 18, 2:14 PM
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    Norman Castle
    The fire brigade or gas company are not going to fiddle around getting a key from the landlord, an agent or someone living nearby for an emergency - they will just break in.
    Originally posted by martindow
    Clearly, but non life threatening emergencies such as a water leak allow time. Access to a key is better than a bill for damage.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
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