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17th May 2021

NRLA - Gaining Access

For most of us it isn't news that in order to gain access to our properties to make repairs or carry out a scheduled inspection we need to first provide notice to the tenant.


But, how much notice do you need to provide? and what constitutes a written notice?


Here's what and what not to do in order to stay lawful and respectful of your tenant, and also what to do if permission is refused.


  1. The tenant has the right to refuse entry to anybody including the landlord. Trying to access the property without permission is trespass and carries pretty serious consequences.

  2. Your initial tenancy agreement should outline when you as the landlord will likely need to make a visit to the property for inspections/maintenance etc.

  3. Even if you have a good relationship with the tenant and you are 'just popping by' you still need to provide written notice and receive consent from the tenant.

  4. All written notice needs to be provided at least 24 hours in advance of the visit.


So, what constitutes 'written notice'?:

- a letter posted to the address

- a Whatsapp/text message

- an email


Phone call permission must be followed up with written confirmation in one of the above forms.


When do you not need to give notice?

There are rare times when you don't need to provide 24 hours notice to access your property. You can access communal areas only of a HMO without notice as all tenants are on a room by room contract basis. This may be necessary to carry out certain maintenance tasks in order to protect the safety of the residents, however access to each individuals room requires written notice and permission before visits. Although you are able to access these communal areas, it is still best practice to communicate your intentions with your tenant before carrying out any visits.


If a tenant refuses access?..

A tenant is well within their right to refuse you access to their home. First of all you need to work out why they refused access as most of the time this can be resolved by a simple change of date or time. They may have another appointment at that time and want to be around when you inspect the property or they may just be sick or at work. If the refusal is persistent, there are three steps to follow:


  1. Highlight the importance of the visit

  2. Keep a log of all contact - but be careful not to harass the tenant with continuous notices

  3. Seek advice & support from NRLA or BLA


Property Industry Eye - UK House Price Boom!

Rightmove has unearthed that the average asking price of a house in the UK has grown by a whopping £6,000 in 1 month. Seeing the average house price go from £327,000 in April to £333,000 in May!


The amount of new properties coming up for sale hasn't altered much compared to the long-term average however demand for property continues to soar especially in the North.


Price increases have hit double digits in:

Wales up 13%

North West up 11.1%

Yorkshire & The Humber 10.5%


Meanwhile London has only seen increases of 0.2% since March 2020. The price gap between the North and the South (although still very substantial!) is the smallest it's been since 2013 with houses in London on average being 'just' 2.9 times higher than those in the North.


On average only 52% of Londoners are looking to move locally in comparison to 84% of Northerners.. Are house prices swinging people away from London and further up North?


Sources:

https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/where-to-start-with-gaining-access

https://propertyindustryeye.com/uk-house-prices-hit-all-time-high-in-buying-frenzy-rightmove/




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