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Landlord refusing access to property

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267 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 February 2016
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Tenant

I signed a six month lease for a flat on the 04/09/2015.

I gave the landlord my keys back on the 23/01/2016 with over one month of lease remaining as I felt i was being exposed to danger due to other tenants smoking (smells like cannabis) every night and only one fire escape which is made of wood, a staircase. The boiler keeps breaking down (no gas safety cert shown to me) and my landlord is not interested in my complaints. The landlord advised me that I would have to complete my terms of tenancy agreement and give one months notice in writing.

On the 24/01/2016 I asked for my keys back so I could complete my tenancy agreement legaly and without getting a bad credit rating ETC. After several emails and even a lenghty letter and after paying the final months rent and giving one months notice in writing to complete my 6 month tenancy agreement. The landlord is still refusing to return the keys and denying me access to the flat I am paying rent for. They are now claiming I have abandonet it and by law I’m not allowed back in. I find this very Difficult to accept.

Can anyone help me please.

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Administrator

Hi April

You have paid your rent so I don’t think this can be abandonment – I’m not a lawyer but my understanding of abandoment is a tenant walking away without paying rent and without giving notice.

If the landlord doesn’t allow you access when your rent is paid and you are not in breach of your tenancy agreement then this could be an illegal eviction. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence for landlods and even stopping you from getting into certain parts of your home counts as an eviction. You could say to the landlord that you’ll be taking action against them for an illegal eviction unless they return the keys (more info here). You could also sue for breach of tenancy to get that last month’s rent back as it’s part of the landlord’s obligations to ensure you have access to the property.

My only concern is whether you willingly returning the keys would invalidate any of the above – I don’t think so but it might be worth checking with Citizens Advice, Shelter or a law centre.

Alex

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