Repairs and inspections: access to your rented home

This page has been updated following the coronavirus outbreak

When your landlord can access your home

You should allow your landlord access to your home to:

  • carry out repairs
  • do an annual gas safety check
  • inspect your home for any repairs needed

You don’t have to allow access for improvements that don't count as repairs.

Guidance during the coronavirus outbreak

Government guidance for landlords and tenants is clear that repairs and gas safety inspections can still take place if no one in your home is self isolating. 

Landlords and contractors should follow guidance on working safely in people's homes and social distancing. 

If you're self isolating

The guidance says repairs and gas safety checks should only be carried out if there's a serious problem that puts you at direct risk of harm.

Your landlord should delay non urgent repairs and gas safety checks unless there's a direct risk to your safety.

Annual gas safety checks remain an important legal requirement. You should allow access for the inspection once you're able to do so safely. For example, if you've finished a period of self isolation and no longer have symptoms.

If you've been shielding

You can ask your landlord to agree to delay any non urgent repairs if you don’t want anyone to come to your home.

If you live in an area where a local lockdown means you are still advised to shield, no one should visit your home unless a serious problem puts you at risk.

External repairs 

Your landlord can carry out repairs and maintenance to the outside of your home. If someone in your household is self isolating, your landlord should only do this if they can carry out work outside without entering your home.

How much notice you should get

You should get at least 24 hours' written notice if your landlord or agent wants to inspect your home for repair problems.

You’re entitled to reasonable notice if your landlord or a worker needs access to your home to carry out repairs.

Reasonable notice could be short if urgent or emergency repairs are needed.  

Times of visits  

Your landlord should only carry out work or inspect your home at reasonable times of the day. Asking for access late at night is unlikely to be reasonable.

Suggest a different appointment if the time proposed isn't convenient.

You may not need to be there in person. If you're comfortable with it, you could:

  • ask a family member or neighbour to let them in
  • give your landlord or agent permission to enter with a key

Be flexible about access times if you want repair issues to be resolved quickly.

You have the right to live in your home without being disturbed unreasonably. This is sometimes called having a right to 'quiet enjoyment' of the property.

If your landlord keeps turning up unannounced, or enters your home without notice or permission it could be harassment.

If you refuse access

Your landlord should postpone or reschedule appointments for non urgent repairs or gas safety checks if you ask them to because you're self isolating. 

If you refuse access for repairs or gas safety inspections entirely, you could be breaking your tenancy agreement. 

This doesn't mean that either your landlord or contractors can just let themselves in. Your landlord would have to apply for a court order to get access. 

Private renters could be at risk of section 21 eviction if you refuse access for repairs or gas safety checks. Court action for eviction is currently on hold until at least 20 September.

Last updated 31 July 2020 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.