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Landlord Legal Issues

Landlord and tenant lawyer, Tessa Shepperson of Landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. I have bought a property with  some sitting tenants but do not hold a set of keys. I have asked the tenants (who have been in the property for over 30 years) to let me have a set as I will need them when doing any repairs but they have refused, saying that they do not want me to do any work at the property when they are not there.  What can I do about this?  

A. I am afraid there is no law which says  that landlords are entitled to hold a set of keys for tenant's premises. So if they do not want to give you a set of keys that is up to them.

If they have been in the property for as long as you say, they will be protected tenants under the Rent Act 1977 and so you will not have any power to do anything (such as evict them) if they do not do as you wish. They will have long term security of tenure.

Under law you are only entitled to enter the property with their permission anyway, even if this is to do something you are authorised to do, such as essential repair work.  

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