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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7672
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Hi, I own my flat which is leasehold and is part of a Victorian

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Hi, I own my flat which is leasehold and is part of a Victorian house conversion, 2 there are two flats in total Ground and First Floor. The managing agents are now requesting a key for the front door of the property so they can access the communal area which is about 5ft by 3ft if that, there is nothing in this area accept the entrances to both mine and the lady upstairs flat. Do we have to give a key to them. I am really worried about security. They have said that if we do not provide the key then they will change the locks and charge us.


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

The difficulty with this is that the lease you have will likely impose a right on you (and all other leaseholder) to allow the managing agents to discharge their responsibilities in managing the buildings. This would include allowing them access to such communal areas, if the only means of access is via your flat and with a key to the door.

You can check your lease to make sure, but I would be very, very surprised if provision were not made in the lease for the managing agents to manage the communal areas.

Acting on the assumption that there is right in favour of the managing agents then if you were to effectively deny them their legal right under the lease then you would place yourself in breach of your lease. The managing agents would therefore be entitled to take enforcement action to remedy the breach (if you did not remedy it yourself).

This would include changing the locks. As it would be a breach of contract they would be entitled to damages, which would mean they would be entitled to cost of changing the locks together with their reasonable administration fees (which most tenants consider to be high).

I would therefore advise your insurer (in writing) and get them to acknowledge their right of access and possession of a key. If they say it’s fine then it’s problem sovled. If they say that it’s not then you would have to ask them to make a policy amendment which may slightly increase your premiums.

In the meantime I would calmly explain your concern and what you are doing about it with the insurer and state that you will provide access to them in the meantime on reasonable notice until you have resolved the insurance position.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

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