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.
Landlords have the same responsibilities for repairs and safety checks even during national lockdown or when local restrictions are in place.
Government guidance for landlords and tenants says that unless you're self isolating, the following can still take place in all areas:
gas and electrical safety checks
any repairs including non urgent work
planned maintenance and inspections
Annual gas safety checks remain an important legal requirement.
Some private landlords will also need to arrange access for electrical safety checks before 1 April 2021.
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
The guidance says that landlords should respect that some tenants will want to be cautious.
You could ask your landlord to delay any non urgent repairs if you don’t want anyone to come into your home right now. For example, if you:
expect to be vaccinated soon
are at higher risk from coronavirus
have minor repairs that could wait until lockdown ends
If repairs are necessary you could agree steps to take to minimise contact.
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
Your landlord should postpone or reschedule appointments for repairs, safety checks and inspections if you ask them to because you're self isolating.
If you refuse access for repairs and inspections entirely, you could be breaking your tenancy agreement and putting your health or safety at risk.
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: 12 February 2021