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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 5577
Experience:  Solicitor
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I hope a bit of background history will help you understand

Customer Question

Hello
I hope a bit of background history will help you understand the problem I have.
I have a tenant who is on an AST until April 2019. He has been a tenant of this property for about 25 years and after a long battle last year, we managed to agree to signing an AST so that he was no longer old type tenancy which protected him from eviction. Before this AST was signed, I had given him a year's notice, 2 years ago, at which time he had agreed to leave until the end of that 1 year. At this point he changed his mind and attitude - he became very difficult and did not want to communicate after that.
Eventually, at the end of the second year. I agreed he could stay on, but only on an AST and under the condition that he let me in to investigate the works required to upgrade the electrical wiring, so that he, the tenants above and the neighbours were safe and also so that a valid certificate for the property could be obtained (it was for these and other extensive works why I had asked him to leave in the first place).
He agreed to the electrical works at the time of signing the AST, but it has been a year since and I can barely make contact with him and when he does accidentally pick up the phone to me, he doesn't want to discuss the inspection and works that might be necessary. In fact, he insists I should leave the works until he vacates in 2019 and also says that the electrical works are not necessary as the flat was rewired before he moved in (25 yrs ago). I was not the landlord of the property at that time and I do not have any evidence of the works having been carried out. I've told him that either way, I would need to be sure of this for his, his guests, the tenants upstairs and neighbours' safety. I have also promised him that even though it will eventually cost me twice as much, I will do the least amount of work required (if possible), so that he his not disrupted too much now and then I'll do the full works when he leaves.
He just not interested and I feel my hands are tied. I have been sending him letters, emails, messages (trying my best not to harass him - although he still seems to think I am), but he won't respond positively to my requests and I know I can't just turn up unless it's an emergency, but in this case the emergency could be a fire which would be too late....
I believe he has run cables into the large garden at the back. These, I believe, have been run to the buildings he has constructed in the garden without permission. He is a sculptor and works with wood, so there are heaps and heaps of timber in the garden which could potentially be a fire hazard if the cables he has run have been setup incorrectly. I believe this is the main reason he will not allow me access.
As this is highly essential work, do I have the right to go into the property after giving him sufficient notice for the date and time I will be entering with the electrician for the inspection? And once the electrician has inspected the flat can I again give him notice on the the date and time for the actual works to commence - just to take the electrics to a standard where everyone is safe? If a fire should occur and should cause injury, damage or fatalities, will I be held liable if the electrics are not up to standard - if the law will not allow me to 'impose on his privacy', then I don't know where I stand in these circumstances...
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this

Have you written to him?

Does the tenancy agreement allow for works to be carried out?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have written letters to him (posted and hand delivered too) several times and have also emailed him, left text messages and voice messages.I would have to check the precise wording of the contract - but I don't believe it contained anything about electrical works being carried out specifically. He was being very difficult about everything at the time of preparing the agreement - even though I had agreed to allow him to stay on against my wishes.I think you should know that he is on housing benefits, as well as other benefits, which allows him to claim legal aid services. So his attitude is to drag things out as he has no costs. He did this for no good reason when we were negotiating the new tenancy and it ended up costing me thousands in legal fees - something I can't afford again...
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

Ok - what you need to do is serve notice that you will come in and do the works/inspection and if he refuses you will seek a Court order.

If you get no response then you can issue proceedings using form n1:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf

And N16a:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n016a-eng.pdf

The court will set the matter down for a hearing and decide whether to make an order, making him give you access.

If the Court does and he refuses then this is contempt of Court which he may be warned, fined or sent to prison.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am unable to read your reply properly unfortunately. There seems to be an intermittent issues with the website or the internet connection. I have sent an email re this to justanwer. I will try to read it again shortly. Thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

I will repeat it for you:

Ok - what you need to do is serve notice that you will come in and do the works/inspection and if he refuses you will seek a Court order.

If you get no response then you can issue proceedings using form n1:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf

And N16a:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n016a-eng.pdf

The court will set the matter down for a hearing and decide whether to make an order, making him give you access.

If the Court does and he refuses then this is contempt of Court which he may be warned, fined or sent to prison.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi
I have sent you a response to your suggestion but haven't heard back.
Can you please respond to it as I'm still it clear? Thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

I cant see your further response?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello. Here it is again. There seems to be an issue with the website.Hi JamieI have only been able to read your reply. But I have a couple of issues. I would like to confirm if I'm obliged as a landlord to carry out electrical works i.e do I have to have an electrical cert by law of the tenant doesn't want me to? The council don't seem to be bothered whether I do or I don't have one as it's not an hmo, but I'm concerned as there is a flat above.If I do need one and I go down the route you suggest, then these forms are not clear to me unfortunately. I don't want to get them wrong. The N1 form seems to be a form for a claim (money?). If it is, what am I claiming for? And the second one, N16a, has a couple of bits which aren't clear...Regards
Shalini
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

Yes you need an electrical cert. this is usually every ten years.

N1 is generally for a money claim but that part 7 procedure is for any time of claim, not just debt.

Which bit on n16a are you stuck on?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I thought it might be easier for me to upload pictures of the forms with what is confusing me in the bubbles.Do I serve these both at the same time?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

Details of the claim - tenancy commenced on xxxx. A provision is to allow access under x clause.

The tenant had been asked on x dates for access and has refused.

The claimant seeks an order compelling the tenant to permit access.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry about this. I am sure I responded to you last entry. This is what I said:
I'm afraid I don't feel like it is clarified. I still don't know where these details that you mention need to go.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 6 months ago.

I am not sure I understand you? Can you please bit a little clearer so I can assist?