By law, tenants in the UK are entitled to something called ‘the covenant of quiet enjoyment’. This allows them to use the property without the interference of the landlord, agents, or any other third party.
There are times, however, when the landlord or the letting agent is entitled to access to the property. These times are provided for under following three stipulators:
Right to Inspect
Landlords like to keep an eye on their property from time to time. There are other routine calls as well that landlords may make to their property. They are not allowed, however, to do so unannounced. A landlord or a letting agent is required to give notice of at least 24 hours to the tenant before making such a visit. This is in accordance with the Housing Act 1988.
Tenancy agreements usually cater to this, stating that the landlord writes to give notice, and visits at a reasonable hour, to allow the tenant be prepared.
A tenancy agreement should not give the landlord full access to the property, as this is not in line with the law. The tenant is, however, required to make the property available for access when necessary.
How Often Should the Property be Inspected?
The law does not specify how many times a landlord or letting agent is allowed to inspect a property, as long as they give due notice to the tenant as stipulated by the law. Some inspections are done once or twice a year, while others are done quarterly, and all with permission from the tenant. It does say that they are not allowed to abuse this provision.
Right of Reasonable Access
This right permits the landlord access to the property for repairs. The landlord is required, however, to give notice to the tenant before this time except, in cases of emergencies. Such emergencies include but are not limited to:
- A fire outbreak
- The smell of gas
- Suspected criminal activity in the property (although it’s better to call the police)
Right to Enter for Service Provision
This right provides for landlords who have an agreement with their tenants to provide services such as room cleaning. This agreement has to be specified in the tenancy agreement to allow the landlord access without notice. If it is not specified in the agreement, the landlord is required to give notice before being granted access.