Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

Access to your rented home for repairs and inspections

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

  • check gas and electrical safety

  • fix things that you have reported

  • deal with anything that makes your home unfit to live in

Your tenancy agreement could give more reasons. For example, regular inspections, improvements or viewings for new tenants. Your landlord should not use these as an excuse for visits that are too frequent or disturbing.

Your landlord should not disturb you in your home without good reason.

This is sometimes called having a right to 'quiet enjoyment' of the property.

It could be harassment if your landlord keeps turning up without notice or permission.

When your landlord can visit

Landlords or anyone acting on their behalf should only do work or inspect your home at reasonable times.

A 'reasonable time' means a time that is likely to be convenient for you. It should not be too early or too late, or when most people would be busy.

You should get:

  • at least 24 hours' written notice of an inspection

  • reasonable notice if someone needs to carry out repairs

'Reasonable notice' is usually at least 24 hours. But it could be very short notice if you need emergency repairs. Your landlord must tell you first and should not just turn up.

If an appointment is not convenient

Suggest a different time.

You may not need to be there in person. You could:

  • ask a family member or neighbour to let them in

  • give your landlord or agent permission to enter with a key

You can copy our template into a message or email:

You've asked to visit on [date] at [time] to [inspect or do repairs].

Unfortunately, this will not work for me because [your reason].

Would [date] work instead? I can be more flexible that day.

If I do not need to be at home for the visit, I am also happy to [try and arrange for someone else to let you in, or allow you to enter while I am out].

Your landlord should not just turn up if you do not agree to an appointment.

Shared houses

Your rights may be different if you live in a shared house.

Your landlord cannot come into your home without permission if you have a joint tenancy for the whole property.

If you have separate tenancy agreements for your own bedrooms, your landlord cannot come into your rooms without permission. But they can usually access communal areas like kitchens and bathrooms without asking.

They must still have a good reason to enter and should treat the property as your home. They should not enter too often or at inconvenient times. Your tenancy agreement might give you more rights.

Your landlord can only enter your room without permission if you have a licence agreement rather than a tenancy. This is not common.

Your licence agreement should tell you more about your rights.

Do not refuse access for repairs

Refusing access for repairs, inspections and safety checks could:

  • put your health and safety at risk

  • break the rules of your tenancy agreement

  • make it more likely the landlord will evict you

If you're worried about your health

Let your landlord know if someone coming into your home might put your health at risk.

You might be able to agree steps to reduce contact and get work done while staying safe.

You can copy our template into a message or email:

You've asked to visit on [date] at [time] to [inspect or do repairs].

This might put my health at risk because [explain why you are vulnerable].

To reduce this risk, I need to ask that [for example, everyone uses hand sanitiser, avoids touching surfaces, maintains physical distance and wears a mask].

I am happy for the visit to go ahead if we can agree these steps to look after my health.

If you have bad physical or mental health

You could ask to delay a visit until you feel better.

Make it clear that you will agree a different time as soon as you are well.

You can copy our template into a message or email:

You've asked to visit on [date] at [time] to [inspect or do repairs].

I am not well at the moment [give more details if you are happy to].

Please could we agree a new time when I am feeling better?

I will be in touch to update you on my situation and arrange the visit as soon as possible.

Access for painting and home improvements

Painting and decorating are not repairs unless your landlord needs to do this after fixing something in your home. For example, repainting after fixing a leak.

Bigger jobs such as a new kitchen, bathroom or windows are not usually repairs unless this is the only way a problem can be fixed.

Check your tenancy agreement for what it says about allowing access for improvements.

You might have to allow access for improvements if your tenancy agreement says so. But your landlord should not use this as a reason to disturb or harass you.

If your landlord wants to redecorate before you leave

Sometimes landlords want to decorate or renovate as soon as you give your notice. This is usually so that new tenants can move straight in.

You do not have to give access for this if you do not want the work to go ahead while you still live there.

Viewings when your landlord is selling

Your landlord might ask you to let them in to show potential buyers the property if they sell your home.

You do not have to let them in unless your tenancy agreement says so. But you could tell your landlord dates and times that are convenient for you.

If your tenancy agreement says you must allow viewings your landlord still needs you to agree to them. They might take legal steps to access the property for viewings if you refuse.

Last updated: 27 September 2023

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

Get help