Access to your rented home for repairs and inspections

You should allow access to your home so your landlord can meet their legal responsibilities.

Your landlord must:

  • fix things that you have reported

  • arrange gas or electrical safety checks

  • inspect your home for any repairs needed

You don’t have to allow access for improvements that don't count as repairs unless you want the work to go ahead.

If your landlord enters your home without permission

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.

When the landlord can visit  

Your landlord and their contractors should only carry out work or inspect your home at reasonable times.

You're entitled to at least 24 hours' written notice of an inspection and 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. But they must still make an appointment and shouldn't just turn up.

Suggest a different time if the scheduled appointment 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.

Coronavirus guidance

Government guidance for landlords and tenants says that unless you're self isolating, the following can take place:

  • gas and electrical safety checks

  • repairs and maintenance including non urgent work

Annual gas safety checks remain an important legal requirement.

If you're self isolating

No one should come into your home unless it's to fix a serious problem that puts you or someone you live with at direct risk of harm.

Your landlord should postpone or reschedule appointments for non emergency repairs or gas and electrical safety checks. 

You should allow access for repairs and safety checks once you can do so safely. For example, if you've finished a period of self isolation and no longer have symptoms.

If you're concerned about having others in your home

You could ask your landlord to delay any non urgent repairs or inspections if you don’t want anyone to come into your home right now. 

For example, if you:

  • are at higher risk from coronavirus

  • expect to be vaccinated or get your booster soon

The government is no longer advising people at higher risk from coronavirus to shield.

But you could explain your health concerns to your landlord and agree steps to minimise contact if someone needs to come into you home. 

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 can do the work outside but they shouldn't enter your home.

If you refuse access to your home

You might break the rules of your tenancy agreement and put your health or safety at risk if you refuse access for repairs and inspections.

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

You could be at risk of section 21 eviction if you rent privately and refuse access for repairs or gas or electrical safety checks. 

Last updated: 28 January 2022

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