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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 30007
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My tenant is refusing to let me do an inspection visit. I

Customer Question

Hello, my tenant is refusing to let me do an inspection visit. I have given him ample notice. Can I just set a date and time and turn up at the property whether he is there or not?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Have exchanged texts/emails with him requesting for a visit but he's delaying my visit from one week to another with different excuses. i have not filled in any forms but have reported this to lettings agents.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: East Finchley, north London
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The tenant had said he wanted to leave and give his notice and I have told him I accept this but he's still not given a date when he wants to leave. I have also pointed out to him my concerns about the way he keeps the property which is not only dirty and in disarray but I have seen some damage when I last saw him. It was in immaculate condition when he moved in.
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine how frustrating it must be. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

  1. May I confirm if you carried out a professional inventory on check in please?
  2. does your tenancy agreement contain a provision that you may attend the property for the purposes of inspection subject to notice ( usually 24 or 48 hours)?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
We did an inventory by ourselves with inventory list which we both signed. The tenancy agreement has a provision that the landlord and/or his agents may visit giving at least 24hrs notice
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

thank you. Lastly, in terms of the inventory you carried out, which I note you carried out yourself rather than using an inventory clerk, have you also taken detailed photographs to go alongside that inventory report and these have also been signed by the tenant as representing the condition of the property at the time?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I took photos of the property before he moved in but we didn’t sign these
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Just want to know if I can just turn up on the property if he still refuses to let me come. Surely I have a legal right to inspect this and have given him ample notice
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hello Joshua. Are you still there?
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

thank you. Because your tenancy agreement has a provision that you may attend the property subject to notice, then providing you serve written notice in accordance with the notice provisions in the tenancy agreement or if the tenancy agreement is silent on what is required to serve a valid notice, then you can serve a notice by first class post or by leaving a notice by hand at the property, you can then attend after the requisite notice period has expired without the tenant's permission. However, if the tenant actively contacts you and refuses permission, then you cannot rely on the notice to override his refusal. To do so may be a breach of the protection against eviction act and also, the competition and markets authority have provided that such terms and tenancy agreements cannot override tenants active refusal to allow admission.

If the tenant actively refuses, then the only choice to safely and legally enter the property is to obtain an injunction together with costs in the County Court:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

before making an application, you will need to explain to the tenant what you will do if he does not allow you to inspect the property and that he will be liable for court fees and costs in respect of that application. The court fee is £332

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I can attend the property after the requisite notice period has expired? Do you mean I can go in whether he’s in or not or whether he likes it or not?
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

providing you have not received an express refusal from the tenant you can attend but you cannot force your way in. On arrival, you should not call ring and if there is no answer, use your key making sure you announce yourself clearly. If the tenant is in the property and refuses to let you in, you should not force your way and as again, this would be an offence under the protection against eviction act

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
You said I should not call ring. You mean don’t ring the doorbell but use my keys to get in and then announce myself when I am already inside the property??
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

for the avoidance of doubt, I refer above to ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door before you enter. If the tenant does not answer, and has not previously formally objected to you attending the property following service of your notice, you can then use your keys to enter ensuring you announce yourself loudly. If the tenant is in residence and tells you to leave, you should not seek to remain.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok thank you.
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I'm glad the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you. I have notified the tenant again my intention for an inspection visit in a couple of days time and will revert back to you if there’s still any problems.
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions of course, please reply back to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello. I’ve been to the property this morning after giving the tenant adequate notice. I rang the doorbell four times but he didn’t answer so I opened the door with my keys but it turned out he was inside and told me I cannot come in. So I didn’t enter. What can I do now?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello Joshua. I’ve been to my property after giving notice to my tenant that I will be visiting today at appointed time. He did not reply. After ringing the doorbell and him not answering, I opened the door with my keys as you suggested. (He was inside) He then said I can’t come in and not welcome so I didn’t go in. What can I do now?
Expert:  Joshua replied 9 days ago.

If the tenant is refusing access you will need to send an email or letter to the tenant advising that as they have repeatedly refused access and not made any reasonable proposals to allow you to access for the purposes of an inspection, if they do not allow access within the next seven days, you will have no option but to make an application for an injunction together with court fees to order access to the property for the purposes of inspection. You will need to refer to the specific provision in the tenancy agreement that gives you a right to inspect the property - you will also need this for the purposes of an application for an injunction as if there is no provision in your tenancy agreement to this effect, you will not be successful.

An application can be made for an injunction using the following form and the court fee is £332 which you can apply to be awarded against the tenant on the basis you can demonstrate that you have taken multiple attempts to access without success.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
How long does it take to get an injunction?
Expert:  Joshua replied 8 days ago.

the court will allocate court time in relation to injunctions based on urgency and need. Extremely urgent injunctions can in exceptional cases be obtained same or next day.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Joshua. Are you based in London?
Expert:  Joshua replied 8 days ago.

I am afraid not.