Q. My tenancy agreement allows me to access the property without notice. Due to my job it is difficult for me to know when I will be able to attend to do inspections. However, my tenant is now refusing to let me in unless I give 24 hours written notice and has changed the locks of the property to prevent me going in when she is not there. Can she do this?
A. I am afraid your tenant is in the right. All tenants are entitled to at least 24 hours written notice if the landlord or his/her agents want to do an inspection. Any tenancy agreement clause which allows you to enter without giving any notice at all will be void under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
All tenants have what is called the 'covenant for quiet enjoyment' that entitles them to live in the property without interference from anyone, even the landlord (apart from special situations such as the Police with a warrant). If it is hard for you to arrange times for inspections then I suggest you delegate this work to a letting agent or other property professional.