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Entering the house while we are not at home?

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53 views 1 replies latest reply: 20 November 2016
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Tenant

Hello there,
I just need to ask your advice for a matter that really really annoys me.
We are living in a newly built house since April 2015. We had to leave our old house as the owner died and the house was going to be sold.
So we were in a bit of a hurry to find something new to live. And that is the reason why we had to sign the contract as it was.
It now turns out that the agents properly inform us about a week before the appointment they will come to inspect the property.
That is okay by me as long as I am around. But they tell us in their notice that we do not have to be around when they are coming as they will let themselves in and that due to a lot of appointments of this kind it is impossible to choose another date.
I have no problem whatsoever with them inspecting our “home” as this is obviously the law. But I have a huge problem with people I don’t know sniffing around in our stuff while we are not present.
These people do not identify themselves, just tell us they are from “Blabla Agency” and expect to be let in. That last woman even refused to give me her name although I asked for it several times.
Do we have to let this happen? Can everybody with a key walk in the house we pay a lot of money for every month whithout our presence and put our privacy ad absurdum?

Thanks for any advice!

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Tenant

Everybody with a key might go into the property. Surprisingly, not a lot landlord, letting agents, or service providers ever have any respect for tenants’ privacy. 

Typically, the law requires a minimum of 24 hour notice to be given before visiting the property. Your agency gave you a week, which is good, but they can’t, or rather shouldn’t go in, if you explicitly tell them not to enter. 

Tenants acquire the so-called “right of peaceful enjoyment”. This means that you’re the exclusive occupier of the property and have the right to deny access to everybody who wants to enter, including the above listed and the police (without the right court order). 

Tell the letting agent that you’ll consider this a harassment and invasion of your privacy and threaten them with legal action if they enter without your permission. 

Additionally, you can request the landlord to change the locks and keep only 1 key for their use and 1 key for you.

If things are so bad that you can’t feel calm or safe in your home, you may even think about changing the lock yourself and control the access to the property on your own. However, you must understand that by doing so, you’re breaking the tenancy agreement and may suffer some discount from your deposit and also tighten the relationship between you and your landlord. Only do this as a last resort.  

Here is some more info:http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/landlord-access/

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