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Ensure your property is being maintained

Ensure your property is being maintained

Do you know how to ensure your property is being maintained properly? The Letlaw team recently received a query from a landlord who suspected their tenant was hoarding items within the property. Although the tenant had always paid their rent, they had denied the landlord access to carry out inspections, over a long period of time . The landlord asked: should they insist on gaining access to the property given the rent is always paid on time, to allay their concerns, but risk 'rocking the boat' with their landlord/tenant relationship

Under a short assured tenancy, landlords normally have a right:

  • of access to carry out repairs or inspections provided tenants get reasonable written notice
  • to dispense with such notice in case of emergencies

As such access clauses ultimately rely on the tenant's cooperation, the difficulty arises when access is denied. To convert a contractual right into a legal right, the landlord must go to court to obtain a court order. To protect yourself, our advice in most circumstances is to secure a court order allowing you to enter the property, rather than simply forcing access regardless. This usually happens when the landlord gets fed up and frustrated!

Where there is a concern about a tenant cluttering the property and in turn creating a potential fire/health and safety hazard, should a landlord go to court to force access to inspect? Or simply ignore the issue?

Under The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 it is a landlord's responsibility during a tenancy to ensure:

  1. the property's fittings, fixtures and appliances (provided by the landlord) are in a reasonablestate of repair and in proper working order;
  2. any furnishings provided by the landlord are capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed; and
  3. the property has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

To comply with the above parts of 2006 Act's Repairing Standard, landlords should carry out regular inspections to ensure the property is safe and that any appliances whether electrical, gas or otherwise are maintained. This will also allow the landlord to determine whether the property is being adequately heated, ventilated, and cleaned by the tenant!

If you have any issues regarding accessing your property, please contact a member of our LetLaw team for further advice.

1 Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Written by : Super User