my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Did they ever say they would not provide access before you signed the tenancy agreement?
No they did not
Only after I moved in when I asked
Does the agent also refuse or are they acting on the Landlords instructions?
they initially said they didn't have keys, so I asked them to change the locks, and then they said that they considered it a security risk
on the landlord's instructions
I agree with you on this. What is it you want to achieve, the keys?
I suggested to the agent that they should say it is unreasonable but they are essentially saying that's the Landlord's decision
I agree.But I assume it does not have a clause in the tenancy agreement which states the french doors are excluded or no keys provided?
or if as they say they do not have keys, either they change the locks or permission to do so
no such clause
Then you need to ask the the agent on what basis they can enforce this? It is not in the contract.
It is clearly unreasonable but what legal claim would I have?
The contract contains all the written terms and conditions. They can't rely on something that is not in the contract
But it's also not written that I can ?
I think you have a legal claim -they are in breach of contract
What you can do is write to them, set out your position and ask they deliver up the keys within 7 days or say you will go to Court.
If they refuse then you can issue proceedings. You would need to complete forms N1
You are asking the Court order that they deliver up the keys.
The agent says very often landlords choose not to offer keys access routes
The Court will list the matter and decide whether to make the Order.
But its not in the contract
If it was in the contract you would be in difficulty.
Ok you would expect that to be in contract that no access
Otherwise they can't rely on it
Yes I would not have accepted that
There would be no point otherwise contract
Can I clarify anything else ?
Rather than going to court what if I simply change the ,locks myself and hand them back the new keys at the end of the tenancy? since they say they never had keys...
Yes you could do that as well. That may be cheaper.
But you need to keep the parts of the old locks and not dispose of them
Why is that?
Because it is the Landlords property
OK - I think though I might be in breach as there are clauses in contract about not changing locks without permission
But you are offering the keys, so that is ok
In terms of my legal rights though what are stronger grounds? - that I am I expected to be able to enjoy the property as I expected , or fire escape access, or both?
Does that help?
What do I do with these forms if that is the route to go?
You submit them to your local County Court
But I could consider just changing locks
Yes you could but offer the keys to the Landlord
If I wanted to have a solicitor write to them saying 7 days then would one of your team be able to do this?
Sadly not, because its against site rules
We can't be instructed.
OK, that's fine...last question... I probably don't want to use the doors till it's a bit warmer... any issue in me delaying or is it better to progress now at the start of the tenancy?
Well the problem may be is that say you agreed to the breach (the locks) by your inaction.
You can say that you reserve the right to bring action
OK that's very helpful, thanks...
If you dont reserve your right then it may be deemed you accepted it
OK so I should at least state my position whether I progress with Court action or changing locks in due course
Yes that is right
what would be my exact form of words please?
You reserve the right to bring action without prejudice to your position
OK and what am I implying by saying "without prejudice to your position"
By not taking action it does not prevent you from doing so in future
Would it be correct to say that I consider them in breach of contract and unless they deliver keys or agree to have locks changed within a 7 day period then I reserve the right without prejudice to my position to either change the locks myself or bring Court action...?
Because there was no term NOT to allow you access.
Final related issue - the inventory was not quite correct, omitting various scuff marks etc, minor things but worth noting - I have mentioned this and not signed the inventory as yet, awaiting their agreement - what if they do not agree to my observations?
The inventory was prepared by an independent - he just missed a few things
Yes, just clarify the things. They can't hold you to the disputed maters
Very helpful, thank you Alex
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OK thanks, ***** ***** I have all I need