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Landlords and locks.

Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby gid » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:43 pm

It's not clear that the barrister is backing your views as expressed here. The barrister himself wrote:

...you have a limited right to enter (and may have more if your agreement says so) but you can’t go in if the tenant is trying to stop you, and its wisest to be aware of that. ...a clause preventing a tenant from changing the locks when it was reasonable to do so is unfair.

This is a very murky area of law with lots of strong opinions, and lots of large payouts by incautious landlords.
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby shootist » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:47 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
dls wrote:The discussion of trespass is at best anticipatory. It arisesonly after an assumption is made that somehow a landlord's actions are not in accordance with the tenancy agreement.

There must be some sort of guidance as to what may be lawfully put into a tenancy agreement for that to be correct. If not, a tenancy agreement that states the landlord may take ownership of any item on the property at any time would be a nice little earner. (Daft example I know, but it makes the point)

Hairyloon wrote:They may be in response to my tangential question:
Hairyloon wrote:OP was prompted by a local tale from someone who had had a nocturnal visitor who had not broken in: the suspicion was that perhaps a former tenant still had a key...

Which brings me to a tangential question: what crime might have been committed there?
Not "Breaking and entering" if they had a key, and not burglary if nothing was taken...

Breaking and entering went away with the Larceny Act IIRC. The offence of burglary does not necessarily require anything to be taken (I assume you mean 'stolen' as a landlord, or even a previous tenant with a key, might lawfully retrieve property he was entitled to.)
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby theycantdothat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:00 pm

...you have a limited right to enter (and may have more if your agreement says so) but you can’t go in if the tenant is trying to stop you, and its wisest to be aware of that. ...a clause preventing a tenant from changing the locks when it was reasonable to do so is unfair.

I do not think that that contradicts anything I have said in this thread. It is certainly the case that a landlord's right to enter is limited as he cannot enter willy-nilly. He can only enter for a purpose specified in the terms of the tenancy. If he wishes to enter for an unspecified purpose he needs consent. It is not necessarily the case that he can enter for all purposes specified. Some specified purposes must be lawful and cannot be unfair because they are implied by statute. Others are more doubtful. There may be a difference of emphasis but we are agreed on the crunch point:

The default position is that all the property that is leased (what lawyers call “the demise”) belongs to the tenant for the duration of the tenancy. Entering onto the property without a specific right to do so would be a trespass.

However, the tenancy agreement _may_ give the landlord rights to enter and, provided they are reasonable and provided the landlord complies with whatever conditions there are in the tenancy agreement, the landlord will not commit a trespass by entering the property under that right.

He goes on to confirm that if force is used the landlord commits a criminal offence.

Getting practical, the advice for any landlord who wishes to avoid defending a claim is not to enter if the tenant objects, not least because the tenant may be convinced he has a case because someone in a law forum says so. The advice for a tenant is that the view that a tenant has an absolute right to exclude his landlord cannot be justified by pleading an exclusive right to occupation or that exercising a right of entry is a breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment or a derogation from grant.

Problems arise because entrenched positions are taken. If landlords and agents make peremptory demands for access it may encourage the tenant to look for advice online where he is likely to be misinformed as to his rights. Landlords and agents need to appreciate that tenants may feel their privacy is being invaded. Tenants need to realise that landlords have rights apart from the right to be paid rent.
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby diy » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:15 pm

I've taken a different stance to keys and locks on my rentals. I don't hold keys and don't care if the tenant changes the locks as long as they are as good as those I supplied and I get the right number of keys back at the end. In fact I always change one of the locks between tenants just in case someone has a key. I'd rather not have anything to do with their security and can't therefore be blamed if I don't have a key. My ASTs do however, ask them not to modify anything without permission. So they should ask.

There's no way I'd turn up and gain access to the property with a key, you expose yourself to all sorts of claims.
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:06 pm

theycantdothat wrote: A proposition is picked up by someone whose agenda it suits and it then gets repeated and repeated. Anyone visiting a few forums will get the impression that the proposition must be correct because it is found everywhere with little to correct it...

Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes accepted as truth...
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby dls » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:18 am

I once did the opposite.

We acted for the landlord. A business tenant was moving premises, but was delayed and decided to hold over for a few weeks (putting two fingers up at our client). He had given notice and I told the client that on the Sunday night the notice expired, he should add a padlock to the front door.

By 1130 next morning the tenant had agreed to a treble rent until he left.
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Re: Landlords and locks.

Postby theycantdothat » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:23 am

Landlords do of course have more freedom of action when it comes to business tenancies which do not include residential accommodation.
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