Locking communal area | The Tenants' Voice
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Locking communal area

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536 views 1 replies latest reply: 21 January 2016

I currently live in private student housing. Our letting agents have been awfull, havent had heating in my room for 4 months, no hot water for 3 months, no internet for a month and window wouldnt shut for a month, they just never bother fixing any of these problems for months even after numerous phone calls and emails. This morning I came downstairs and the landlord had sent someone to install a lock on the communal lounge so that we cant access it due to it being “too messy” even though all there was were a few plates and a bit of litter on the floor. Is the landlord allowes to do this and what action should we take?

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I’m not a lawyer but it depends what kind of tenancy agreement you have. If your tenancy agreement is for the entire property, including the lounge, then no they can’t stop you entering it unless they want to give you a rent reduction for the reduced space. Technically, they might even be in breach of your tenancy. If the tenancy is just for your individual room then it’s a bit less clear. It’s probably a good idea to speak to someone at your student union or Shelter, Citizens Advice or a law centre – they can read your tenancy through and help you understand what your options are.

In terms of the heating and hot water, the landlord must by law provide and maintain a source of hot water. If the heating was there when you moved in and is mentioned in the tenancy then they must also maintain that or they are in breach of the tenancy and you could potentially sue them. There’s some more information here and I would suggest that you speak to someone at the places mentioned above to get some help deciding what to do next.


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