Repairs and inspections: access to your rented home

Find out your rights and what to expect if your landlord wants access to your home for repairs or inspections.

When your landlord can access your home

You need to allow your landlord access to your home to:

  • carry out essential repairs to the property
  • do an annual gas safety check
  • inspect your home for any repairs that need to be done

You don’t have to let your landlord in for any other type of inspection unless your tenancy agreement says you have to

How much notice you should get

Your landlord shouldn’t enter your home without giving you notice.

If your landlord or letting agent needs to inspect your home for repair problems you should get at least 24 hours' written notice.

You’re entitled to reasonable notice if your landlord or one of their workers needs access to your home to carry out repairs.

Reasonable notice could be shorter if there's serious disrepair in your home.  

If you want repair issues to be resolved, it's sometimes a good idea to try and reach a compromise if your landlord needs access quickly.

Reasonable times  

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

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

If your landlord wants to come to the property at a time that isn’t convenient you can suggest another time and try to reach an agreement that suits you both.

If you can’t be there

You don’t always have to be there in person if this isn’t practical. For example, if you can’t get time off work. 

You could:

  • ask your letting agent to be there
  • make sure a friend or family member is at home  
  • give your landlord or agent permission to enter when you're not there

If you refuse access

You could be breaking your tenancy agreement by not letting your landlord into your home to do essential repairs.

If you refuse to allow them access, your landlord isn't allowed to let themselves in. They'd have to go to court for an order to get access. 

If the court decides you refused access unreasonably, they will order you to let the landlord in to the property.  

You will normally have to pay your landlord’s legal costs if they get a court order

It's a good idea to try and keep a good relationship with your landlord if you want to stay in your home in the long term.

If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord could decide to evict you using a section 21 notice if you refuse access for essential repairs or gas safety checks.

Access for improvements

You don’t have to let your landlord into your home if they want to do improvements that don’t count as essential repairs.

Improvements could include:

  • fitting a new kitchen or bathroom
  • building an extension
  • redecorating or fitting new carpets

If you don't want your landlord to do the work while you're living there, you could ask them to wait until you've moved out 

If you're happy for your landlord to do the improvements but the work will cause you inconvenience, you could:

  • agree in writing that the work will only take place at certain times
  • ask the landlord to provide you with alternative accommodation

Last updated 05 Aug 2019 | © Shelter

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