Many landlords mistakenly believe that because they own a property, they have a right to enter it as and when they wish.
To avoid breaking the law, landlords should not enter a property that they are renting out without the express permission of their tenant.
Although the landlord owns the property, whilst the tenant is leasing it, they have the right to live in the property undisturbed.
Landlords that enter a property without the permission of their tenant could even find themselves facing prosecution for harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
When can a landlord legally enter a property under lease?
- With the tenant’s permission – Landlords may enter a property providing they have given the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice and the tenant has granted them permission to do so.
- When granted permission by the courts – In certain circumstances, if your tenant is unreasonably refusing you access, you may be able to apply to the court for an injunction to gain permission to enter the property.
- Emergencies – In the event of an emergency such as a fire, gas leak, flooding or urgent structural damage, the landlord may enter the property without first obtaining permission.
If none of the above conditions have been met, then the tenant is within their rights to refuse the landlord entry.
Landlords have been known to try to add a clause to the tenancy agreement that states that they are allowed access to the property at any time. This is not legal and would not be valid even if signed by the tenant.
The law surrounding landlord rights to entry can cause problems if a landlord suspects that a property may have been abandoned by a tenant.
Even if your tenant stops paying rent, they are still the legal occupant of the property and you must not enter the property without their permission.
If you suspect that your rental property has been abandoned and require help or advice with regaining possession of the property, give our team of experts here at Debt Squared a call for free on 0800 002 9049.