We all hope that tenancies will run smoothly for everybody involved. And luckily, in the vast majority of cases they do. But every so often an issue arises that one or other party isn’t clear about. That’s why we at LetBritain, the online letting agents, have put together our Landlord Essentials series – to help you navigate the complex world of tenancy regulations.
You might be tempted to think that, as the landlord and owner of a property, you’re entitled to enter the rental property whenever you like, regardless of whether that property is currently occupied by tenants.
Due to what’s known as a ‘quiet enjoyment clause’ however, if you’re renting a property out to someone, there are certain processes you must follow before you’re allowed to enter the property.
Here’s our quick explainer of what this legal point means, and when you as a landlord are, and are not, entitled to enter your rental property.
The quiet enjoyment clause protects the tenant’s right to peace and privacy in the home they’re currently renting. The tenant therefore has the legal power to decide who, when and under what circumstances people can enter their home.
That means that by default, you can’t just walk in whenever you like. Many landlords include what’s known as a ‘full access’ clause in the tenancy contract, in an attempt to negotiate this boundary – but these won’t always stand up as legal. So as the landlord, under what circumstances can you enter the building?
Just like any person, if you ask nicely whether you can enter the property, and the tenant says yes, then your problem has been averted. In most urgent circumstances, you can clear up any problems by simply having a good professional relationship with your tenant and using decent manners.
If this doesn’t work however, the law does oblige you certain rights of access as the legal owner of the property. If, for instance, you need to carry out an inspection or regular maintenance work, you can enter the property during reasonable daytime hours, provided you’ve given the tenant 24 hours’ notice.
There are some situations in which a landlord can enter their rental property without permission or notice; if they require urgent access. These situations include:
In particular cases, the quiet enjoyment clause can be overridden, and access granted, if you have a court order specifically permitting you access. In most cases, however, it’ll be a lot less trouble to simply give the 24 hours’ notice.
While in most cases, you won’t have any problems arranging an inspection or carrying out maintenance, it’s important that you know your rights as a landlord, so both you and your tenant can be protected.
If you’re interested in finding out more about your rights as a landlord, check out the forthcoming blogs in our Landlord Essentials series. Our regular Landlord Essentials blogs aim to keep you informed of everything you need to know to keep your tenancy running smoothly.