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Excessive Landlord Access.

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366 views 1 replies latest reply: 13 March 2017
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Tenant

Just after a bit of advice really, as I’m starting to feel a bit uneasy about the amount of almost uncontrolled access my landlord is expecting to my flat.

Just to set the scene, I rent a self-contained flat in a block of flats from my employer (an nhs hospital, they are my landlord and its onsite so the estates department do the maintenance) and its seem so me that I’m expected to allow them what seems to be unfettered access to my flat even when I’m not there.    The block consists of 8 flats 4 of which are multiple occupancy and 4 of which are 1 bedroom self contained flats (all of which are clearly signed as such on the front doors).

Examples of access include 

Even though it is a self contained flat which I’m responsible for cleaning (there is no clause in the tenancy agreement regarding room cleaning), I have to allow a housekeeper to let themselves into the flat once a week for about 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that all the taps are run for 5 minutes.   This apparently is to ensure that there are no “stagnant” legs in the water system.  This I can just about understand in the multiple occupancy flats as they have a sink in every bedroom that isnt always used but for a 1 bed self contained flat its seems completely overboard.  They have to let themselves in because they only work during the day and I’m always going to work when they arrive.

We are told when statutory inspections e.g fire alarm servicing, PAT testing, asbestos inspections, electrical inspections will be happening the week before they happen in the form of a notice on the front door to the block saying “Company x will need access to every room for fire alarm testing/servicing W/c …….”.  They don’t give details which block they will be doing on which day of the week, and when the question is been posed “so which day will they be in my flat?” I’m told “We don’t now they’ll go in when they need to”.

Some statutory inspections just happen with no notice what so ever, for example Fire Extinguisher checks (which are done by estates staff).  They turn up to the flat and if there is no answer to knocking on the door will just let themselves in check the extinguishers and leave.  I know they do this because I have had a complaint made about the tidiness of my flat by the member of staff doing the checks.

I have been in the flat and estates staff knocked at the do and said we have to come in right now, as we need to check what sort of radiators you’ve got and bleed them if necessary.   If I hadn’t been there they would have just let themselves in and done it without me being present.   

I’ve come home to find that with no notice, someone presumably from estates or housekeeping have been in the flat and changed the shower head / shower curtain.

The landlord doesn’t do routine quarterly/sixth monthly/annual inspections so its almost as if every time either a housekeeper or or member of estates staff comes into the flat its an impromptu inspection.   Saying that the accomodation manager has arranged to do an adhoc inspection in the past and gave me notice of the inspection so I could be there.

I’ve checked my tenancy agreement (signed 4 years ago) and Permitting the Landlord Entry reads as follows

“To permit the landlord or its agent at any reasonable time (except in case of emergency) (1) to enter and view the state and condition of the premises and the contents and if the landlord or its agent gives the tenant notice in writing or any dilapidations or want of repair cleaning…..” do I still have the “right” to expect 24 hours notice.

I dont know if i’m being oversensitive because I openly admit I’m not the tidiest person in the univerce, but I’m starting to feel that I’m not getting the right to “live in quiet enjoyment of my home”because as a minimum once a week there will be someone in my flat that effectively seems to be doing a mini inspection as to whether I’m meeting the terms of the tenacy.

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Tenant

Hello, 

Yes, you’re absolutely correct: 

You have a “right to live in quiet enjoyment of the property” which means you have exclusive access to your home and have the right to regulate who enters and when. 

The landlord or any of the estates department or a housekeeper is required to post a minimum of 24 notice on your door, requesting access on X day between Y and Z hours. 

If you’re unhappy with a served notice, you may request to reschedule. The estates department or any other person should not enter the property if you explicitly decline them access. 

For more information, please read our article on landlord access –http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/landlord-access/

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