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Question

Entry and Refusal (England) | Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England) | Retaliatory Evictions (England)

Tenant not allowing repair works

7 Jun 2016 | 3 comments

Hello – My tenant complained about repair work. My management agent sent has sent out contractors on 5 different occasions and she’s turned them away for various reasons or not been home at a pre-agreed time. Her tenancy is coming to an end and she wants to stay longer but I can’t extend the lease. I suspect she’s playing at the Section 21 not being valid on the basis of ‘revenge eviction’. She’s threatening to call the council – which I’d be extremely glad for so that we can have access to the property! Also – she’s not letting us in the do the gas safety check. We called the HSE to report this. They told us to call the GSR, who didn’t know why we were calling them. We’ve filed an online advice request form on the HSE website. Please can someone advice me on how best to protect myself/report the situation to so that 1. I can get access to the property to do the work (especially the gas inspection) 2. cover myself in case we have to evict her and ensure that the Section 21 is valid. Thank you

Answer

3 Comments

  1. guildy

    From what you describe, I think you are doing everything you can. You may not enter when you are refused.

    The retaliatory eviction process would require a “written request for repairs” in the first instance and then you must provide an “adequate response in writing” within 14 days. Therefore, if you get a written request for repairs, you would just need to reply in writing setting out what you plan to do and adequate time-scales. As long as you followed the time-scales, that would be an adequate response.

    You should get the section 21 2 months notice served as quickly as possible in my view – especially if the tenant hasn’t yet provided a “written” request for repairs.

    Keep a log of all the attempts you make and the refusals for future reference.

    Please see this article for detailed information on retaliatory evictions as above is a very basic starting point. From what you describe, I think it unlikely you will be affected by the provisions.

  2. Jovie

    Thanks Adrian, the tenant did ask for repairs. This was 2 months ago. She will only allow works when she is home on Saturday. We agree on email about the works to be done on email, and then she finds something to complain about. Eg: last Sunday we confirmed that 2 contractors will be there and work 10-2. One contractor was running late so the other showed up at 10 and wanted to start the work. He also told her that he had to take the old toilet seat to the store to get a color match. She expected that he would have gotten the toilet seat with him and that 2 contractors should have come. So there was a ‘discrepancy’ between the email and actual situation. The result would’ve been the same. The second contractor would have come within the hour and all the work would have been completed if she had let us have access to the property. There is some sort of drama every Saturday along these lines. Sometimes the paperwork doesn’t have the companies logo, sometimes she doesn’t like the contractor. 3 different contractors have refused to return and an new contractor needs to go in and see the work on the first visit and bring materials etc on the next visit. She’s threatened to go to the council, which would help me at this point. Is there any reason as to why the countil would issue me a warning in this case?

    • guildy

      This all sounds perfectly reasonable from your part. We would personally (on our own property) never even offer to do works on a weekend (unless it was an emergency such as broken boiler).

      I believe the council would issue an informal letter in the first instance given the circumstances and as long as you have opportunity to tell them all the circumstances. It would be exceptionally harsh if they were to send a formal improvement notice.

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