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Landlord Access to property


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I rather foolishly let out a house to 2 T's awaiting a 3rd T in order to get some rent as opposed to no rent till I found 3 joint T's. It is due to go on as a shared contract. All they have is a written agreement that they will rent place and an AST will be issued as soon as 3rd tenant is found.

Initially the T's were ok with me doing viewings when they were not present - I always informed them beforehand.

However, suddenly 1 of the T's is refusing me access to house when s/he is not there. They are stating there are no locks on the rooms, hence no privacy and so cannot let me do any viewings or other visits to assess any repairs when they are not there. Can they do this?

Would I be better to have single AST's for each room?

It is a furnished house with shared kitchen, bathroom and lounge.

There are no locks on the 3 bedrooms.

Is there any wording in the AST that mentions landlord access?

I always thought if single AST's landlord is responsible for council Tax or that was what I was told. Previous landlords of this house always had shared AST, which I think is do do with Council Tax issue.

Any thoughts or comments, appreciated, thanks

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So basically you have let tenants move in without signing an AST? You need to get in control here and quickly.

In this case I would do an AST for each room/person and suggest you do it quick or it could get nasty. Yes, for the security of the tenants I would definitely put locks on the bedroom doors. Just think - would you be happy to live in a place with someone you did not know and not have a lock on your bedroom door?

The three sharing previously may all have been really good friends and never needed to do this and hence only had 1 AST. Here you have individuals who don't know each other so I don't see how you can put them all on one AST - expecting the others to cover for the rent of someone who does not pay who they do not know that well.

I would probably pay the council tax on the property myself for ease and recover it from the rent. The rent would have to reflect the fact that C tax was included. Maybe the previous landlords did not do it this way but then maybe they had 3 reliable tenants. You don't have that the moment and that could be some way off. Don't forget if these are students they don't have to pay C tax.

Read your AST carefully. It usually says that the 'landlord needs to give 24hrs notice to enter the premises' - but even then unfortunately access can be denied. I would think if you put the locks on the tenants doors then accessing the rest of the property would be quite acceptable - after all you would not be showing the bedrooms belonging to the tenants would you, just the common areas and the vacant room? You still have to give notice though.

Do the lock thing pronto and ease any of the hostility towards you and then at least you can show the property with the confidence of your other tenants and get them signed up!


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Thank you for your reply.

I have always given tenants 24 hour notice of any visit.

The point regarding locks on bedrooms -would that not make it a HMO?

The council Tax is quite a bit and I am not sure I can absorb that cost so I have stuck with shared contract -like the previous landlords/owners of this house. I have recently checked with my local council and individual AST's would mean I (landlord) am responsible for the council tax.

Apart from 24 hour notice criteria is there any rule that says T must be present? I ask as they requested a new internet connection which I agreed to sort out with a small amount added onto rent. But the date I've received for the connection -they are not going to be there. I was always willing to go on my own. This date is over 2 weeks away and I have kept them informed. One of the T's wanted to be there and didn't want me and internet company there without his/her presence. Other T was cool about it. Eventually both T's agreed to getting it doen without them being there.

Second point is this - what about repairs? They've told me a wardrobe is broken? Also one light in landing is not working?

Can I get it looked at after giving 24 hours notice and they not being present? If I need a carpenter, electricians etc they are available in the day.

The T's do have a day off in the week, but what if the repair is more urgent surely they don't have to be present each time I come with a worker after I have given min. 24 hour notice??

It's in their interests to get repairs, internet working as they are the ones who want these things but should co-operate with me too.

Any thoughts?

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Mortitia, Forgot to add if I did individual AST's as you suggest with diff. T's moving in or out. How will they pay/share the utility bills?

There is only 1 meter in the house. Under the shared contract all 3 T's shared the Gas/Elec. Bill, with me paying the water as thats fixed.

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Hi again,

Sounds like you are trying to do this on too much of a shoestring and what you really needed was 3 friends to take the property on together.

I don't think 3 let rooms with locks to bedroom doors constitutes an HMO but check with your local authority.

There is no rule that says a tenant has to be present when work is being done and the landlord present. I tenants have accepted rooms that need work doing then what else can they expect?

I have seen quite a few ads in my area recently offering free internet and all bills included and you might have been better off doing that arrangement where there are 3 strangers sharing. Sounds like this will be a sharp learning curve

Paying the utilities will be challenging as what happens if 1 does a runner or moves out halfway through a billing period? ' All inclusive ' would make more sense.

Sounds like you are going to spend a lot of time 'sorting out'!

Good luck,


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