Gaining access to a property with 24 hours notice
This is a question I was recently asked.
Help, I need to carry out a Gas safety Certificate on my rented property, but the tenant keeps saying it is inconvenient. As a Landlord it is my duty to ensure a current certificate is always in place. Can I go in with my keys with the Gas Engineer as long as I give the minimum 24 hours notice?
This is a very common question I get asked, whether it be for the Gas Safety Certificate as in your situation or general repairs or viewings.
Most tenancies have written in to permit access after 24 hours notice, however this is for emergencies only (and that means something serious, such as a fire). A tenancy gives exclusive possession of a property to the tenant and they have the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ during their tenancy, a term or concept which is implied in all Tenancy Agreements. It does not mean that tenants have to be quiet or enjoy themselves it means the Landlord should leave tenants to live in the property in peace.
The tenants’ right to keep everyone out of his property will override and access can only be gained by invitation or acceptance from the tenant. This can be particularly frustrating to a landlord when they are looking to gain access for viewings in the final month or as in your case trying to access the property to conduct a legal requirement by you the landlord.
You can apply to the courts for an injunction to gain access The general rules are if after three attempts on trying to gain access you have still not been able to gain entry and you can prove this (copies of letters) and you have contacted health and safety and reported the matter you will not be prosecuted as failure to have a Gas Safety Certificate in place can lead to a £5000 fine. This is probably not what you want to hear, however the law is strict on this. Under no circumstances try to access the property with your own keys without agreement from the tenant.