Repairs and inspections: access to your rented 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 says that unless you're self isolating, repairs and gas safety inspections can still take place.

This applies during national lockdown or if local restrictions are in place.

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

If you're self isolating, no one should come into your home unless it's to fix a serious problem that puts you at direct risk of harm.

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 have concerns about access to 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. For example, if you:

  • are at higher risk from coronavirus

  • have minor repairs that could wait until lockdown restrictions end

If repairs are necessary you and your landlord could agree steps to take to to minimise contact. 

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.

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. 

Last updated: 5 November 2020

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