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Landlord's right of entry


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I recently visited my tenant to pick up the monthly rent. I had texted him a few days in advance.

I had no reply, but this wasn't out of the ordinary.

When I actually turned up to pick up the rent, the lights were on but nobody was home, the curtains were not drawn, so you could see into the lounge and out the back. I knocked on the door and rang him, to no avail.

I didn't have a set of keys on me at the time, but if I had I think I would have entered the property as I was concerned something wasn't right.

It turned out later that the tenant's suddenly grandmother was taken ill, the tenant had to leave immediately, he did pay the rent two days late and appologised.

Anyway, I know a landlord has limited entry rights (normally having to give 24 hours notice), but what are the official rights of a landlord, if he turns up at his property and suspects an emergency and cannot contact the tenant after several times of trying. Is there a black and white answer, or is it always going to be a grey area?

Also if you have given notice, i've heard you can enter your property to show prospective new tenants around, is this the normal 24 hour notice?

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My View is:

Turning up and seeing lights on but no-one in occupation, by looking through the window, does not constitute an emergency.

Turning up and seeing the lights on and peering through the window and seeing water coming through the ceiling or evidence of perhaps fire etc. does constitute an emergency.

The (generally) rules are:

As much notice as possible but not less than 24hrs notice to Tenant of access required and of course a valid reason for entering the property.


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Beware of trespass if you enter the property without the tenant's prior agreement. Always best to give advance warning and confirm. Highly unlikely if you live away that you'd notice an emergency that someone else hadn't unless you'd been snooping. If tenant goes away for 2 or more weeks it's best if they advise you beforehand.

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