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Question

Entry and Refusal (England)

Property inspections

14 Dec 2017 | 3 comments

Can you clarify the rules on inspecting a property please?

If, as a landlord, we give notice (24Hrs?) to inspect a property can the tenant say it’s not convenient and keep putting us off indefinitely?

Thanks

Peter

Answer

3 Comments

  1. guildy

    Yes they can.

    In doing so, they would likely be in breach of tenancy but in reality, it can be difficult obtaining possession on those grounds or enforcing entry through the courts. You would normally choose the section 21 ‘no fault’ route.

    • walkerbout

      If the tenant keeps putting off inspections in the eyes of a court are they saying there happy with the condition of the property. Only asking as I’m about to serve a section 8 over rent arrears. The tenant wont allow a mid term inspection and I don’t want her trying it on with the courts saying there’s issues with the property so the section 8 is over ruled.

      • guildy

        A claim for repairs is always a risk with the section 8 notice and the main reason why the ‘no fault’ section 21 is often used by landlords – even when there are rent arrears.

        However, if you have a good log of attempts made it would massively assist your reply to any claim.

        Furthermore, in order to owe some form of compensation that could be offset from the rent (thus reducing the arrears) you would have to be in breach of your repairing obligations. Where the repair is within the property, you’re not in breach until (a) you’ve received notice of the defect (which could be from the tenant or during a routine inspection) and (b) you’re still not in breach if the works are then carried out “expeditiously”.

        Even if repairs were required within the property, it wouldn’t necessarily mean anything could be offset. It’s all about the quality of your logging any inspections (or refusals for entry) and how repair requests / completion are logged (and convincing the court of the accuracy of those records).

        Please see this article for more information about repairing obligations.

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