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What’s the law on inspections for landlords?

Posted by: In: Real Estate 03 Nov 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo: StockMonkeys.com

As a landlord, your properties are not only a means of investment; they are a livelihood, which means that you want to be absolutely sure that they’re being given the care and respect that they deserve. Part of this will mean inspecting your property whilst there are tenants using it. In the vast majority of cases this will be a simple and hassle free affair for both you and them, but it’s good to know where the law stands just in case there are and disputes or difficulties.

The Specifics

Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 is relatively clear about what needs to be done on the side of the landlord.

  • The person actually doing the inspection should be the landlord, but if it isn’t, then the person should have written authorisation to do so. Simply calling and instructing someone to check a property is not permissible.
  • The inspection should be done at a reasonable time of day. While this is open to some interpretation, most people would agree that normal working hours of around 8-6 are reasonable.
  • The appointment time must be made more than 24 hours’ notice, and again it must be in writing. In most cases you’ll be able to call and chat with your tenant, but remember that to stand up to the law it should be written.
  • The actual reason for inspection must be for either condition or repair. You may not insist on an inspection for any other reason, though it’s highly unlikely that you’d ever need to.

The law is very favourable to tenants, so you should be aware that failing to adhere to these laws is likely to mean that the tenant has every right to refuse your entry. If you do everything by the book however, then they shouldn’t have any reason to do so, and you may inspect when you feel you need to. It is worth pointing out however that excessively frequent inspections could potentially be classified as harassment, so it’s best to carry out inspections only when necessary.

Emergency Procedure

Bear in mind however that in an emergency, the rules on notifying your tenant are not applicable, and you have the right to immediately enter the property. Generally, an emergency is when someone’s safety is being threatened, such as fire or gas leak.

To briefly conclude, most of the law is simply about common sense and courtesy. It’s there to ensure that you can check up on the condition of your property, but also that the tenant can enjoy what is of course their home. Be reasonable and courteous and neither you nor your paying tenants will have any issues when it comes to inspection time.

UK, Industry Issues

Source: The Movechannel


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