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Can anybody offer me advice on how to handle this.

 

I am being evicted on 13 Jan 2013.

 

I am likely to struggle to find another place because

a) fewer letting opportunities over Christmas and

b) Leaders the letting agents will probably not provide a good reference.

 

I am also worried about my deposit.

 

Having waited for months for a completion date on the sale of my home

I had to move quickly when it was finally agreed or risk losing the sale.

 

A family member was seriously ill with a heart attack and we were very stressed.

 

We found a property with Leaders - it was expensive but we had less than a week and so had to take it.

 

We signed the rental agreement five minutes before they were due to close the branch on a Saturday evening.

There was an error in the amount of rent - £1295/month instead of £1275/month

- but I didn't query it at the time because I wasn't fully aware of the discrepancy; it was a niggling doubt.

It was only when I got home and checked it to the advert etc that I noticed.

 

The agreement stated that Leaders would notify in advance of a visit to inspect.

It also agreed that no pets without permission from the Landlord, and no smoking in the property.

 

The day we moved in we noticed that the shower attachment in the bathroom wasn't working,

the alarm kept 'beeping' and the blind in the bathroom fell down.

 

We also noticed a pipe protruding from the centre of the small garden.

We notified Leaders about the pipe and the alarm, but nothing was done.

 

A week later the front door starting getting stuck, but they did not send anyone round.

 

Recently a friend of ours had to go and visit her sick mother up north (we are in the south)

and she asked if we would look after her cats for a few weeks

- it was urgent, so we said we would.

She had given us the cat food and the Frontline flea treatment etc.

 

One day,

Leaders let themselves into the property without any prior notice.

I was asleep in bed and didn't even realise they had visited until I was sent the visit report (I had been up all the previous night, by the way).

 

Their report mentioned the cats and evidence of smoking.

I had friends round the previous night and they were smoking, but on the patio not in the house, and I brought the ashtrays in afterwards.

The report also said the property was clean and in good order and there was no damage from the cats.

 

Two days later I received a letter from Leaders inviting us to renew for another six months.

A day after that I received a notice to quit because of cats and smoking!

 

I have not been sleeping and still trying to find a house to buy with the little money I have,

and find work since being made redundant, and now I have to move a week or so after Christmas.

 

I should also add that I had no TV signal in the area (now using Freesat) and no phone/internet for six weeks.

Leaders must have known this and did nothing to warn us before we moved in.

 

I don't think there's much point fighting the eviction notice, but I feel violated knowing that they walked around my home while I was asleep - what if I'd been naked for crying out loud (which I wasn't, but what if.....). This is causing me a lot of distress. The cats aren't a big deal but Leaders are using them as an excuse to remove us. The fact that all the three documents were written and signed by the same person makes me think that she wasn't too bothered by the moggies but someone above her has pushed this. The lady over the road is also being evicted because she wouldn't agree to a large rent increase. All the houses are owned by a local housebuilder who I believe is trying to sell them.

 

Any thoughts anyone? I know I breached my tenancy agreement and probably don't have a leg to stand on, but I'm a nice tenant and look after their property, and I pay my rent six months in advance because I have a poor credit rating. This could make it very difficult for me to get another rental. I've only been here three months. The landlord did not make right any of the damage (stains on carpet, marks on walls) caused by the previous tenants, but we have to have all the carpets professionally cleaned and the house 'de-flea'd' and have certificates to confirm this. They haven't given me the option to do this myself - not that there are any fleas or stains left by us, but I was going to clean the carpets myself and I could always spray a cat flea killer as a precaution.

 

I'm so scared that I and my daughter will end up homeless. Letting agents have to look out for the landlords, I understand, but I think they lose sight of the people paying the rents - ridiculously high rents in some cases, and they force the rents up all the time.

 

Eve

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A day after that I received a notice to quit because of cats and smoking!

 

It is worth checking that the notice was explicitly a request to leave due to cats and smoking, as it is not unexpected for requests to renew to be issued at the same time as Section 21 notices. If a Section 21 notice is not issued, you don't need to renew and the agent doesn't get its renewal payments.

 

Have you paid a deposit, and was it protected?

 

As you say, there may be little you can do if LL/agent want you out and if the notice is correct and enforceable. However, it may be worth discussing with them.

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Hi Steve

 

Thanks for your response. The notice is explicit about cats and smoking. I'm surprised the 'landlord' requested this as cats have been approved in other dwellings eg next door - and their cat keeps coming in our house!

 

The s21 notice you are referring to was already given to us with our 'welcome' letter, so this new one is specific and they mean it.

 

I doubt I will get this turned around but I am appalled they can act this way and totally shocked that they could just let themselves into my home and invade my privacy like that. Surely I have some rights? They claim I am in breach of my tenancy agreement, but they are also in breach of their agreement by not giving me notice of a visit (I would have hidden the cats, esp as they are only here temporarily).

 

My deposit is protected, but Leaders (from what I've heard) are notorious for finding reasons to make deductions from it. Again, I feel powerless and it's happening a lot nowadays, what with car insurance mis-selling, overcharging by companies and so on. I'm sick of being treated like this.

 

It took BT six weeks to connect my internet here, and now I will have to move and might again have to wait six weeks for a connection. I am self-employed and cannot manage without internet. These people are f*****g with my life! It was hard enough getting this place because of poor credit so I am genuinely concerned that I could end up homeless.

 

I am at breaking point to be honest and too old to be dealing with this sort of nonsense.

 

thanks

Eve

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Some quick questions to check whether the s21(s) is/are valid.

 

General

 

What is the start date of your tenancy agreement?

What period is it for? Is an End Date specified?

Has your deposit been protected in an approved scheme?

Have you received the Prescribed Information?

 

Re the s21 you were given with your "welcome letter"

 

Did you receive this before or after you signed the tenancy agreement?

Did you receive this before or after you received the Prescribed Information?

 

Re the "Notice to Quit re cats/smoking"

 

What form does this take? Is it just a letter asking you to leave?

 

General (again)

 

What is the date on the s21 notice?

How is it expressed (eg "We require possession of "X" (being the address) on "Y" (date)" or "We require possession of "X" after "Y")

 

But just to reassure you - you do not need to leave on 13 January. A s21 notice is merely a form informing you that after the date on it, the Landlord will go to Court to seek possession. Unless a tenant gives notice, the only way for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to end is for the Landlord to get a possession order from the Court.

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Hi

Start date was 14/7/12, and it was for a period of 6 months with an option to extend - they charged the £72 extension fee up front!

Deposit is in an approved scheme

 

We signed tenancy agreement in Leaders branch. But it was just before closing time so we didn't get an opportunity to read it fully, but everything seemed ok. The only issue we had was that the rent figure they've charged for is incorrect. I will ask them for a refund of the extra amount paid.

 

We received the original s21 letter with our welcome pack about a week after we moved in. This had attached to it the s21 which was basically a formal notice of the agreed end date - 13/1/13.

 

The NTQ is a letter stating the reason why and attached to that is a s21 which is exactly the same as the original s21 we received just after moving in. They've asked me to sign a copy of the s21 as acknowledgement and return to them.

 

The original s21 was dated 31/7/12, but the new one is dated 10/10/12. The wording is "I give you notice that I require possession of the dwelling house known as ........ after 13/1/13.

 

I will avoid them going to court because that will go against us and no doubt they'll offset the cost of this against our deposit. We've already started looking for another rental. But references could be a problem. I will ask a friend to say we were living at theirs for six months.

 

But this has really affected me because as we were moving in my daughter's dad had a heart attack, then he had to go for heart surgery and was in a coma for a week, then he came out of hospital and a friends new born baby died. It has just been a nightmare time. It took six weeks to get my internet. I've only just got into a position to start looking for work and also getting my business going again (I need the internet) and now I've had the rug pulled out from under me. I'm losing the will to live to be honest. That's what I meant by them messing with my life - how can they just do this to people for such a stupid reason. I don't get it. We will be getting chucked out and moving just at the busiest time for my business - this is going to cost me dear.

 

thanks

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It may seem the whole world is conspiring against you, but it is not.

LLs cannot serve NTQs, only valid s21s 'to seek reposession after end of fixed term' s21 is a 'No fault' notice.

I would suggest any Court repo order may take until March. Of course you can leave ON 13 Jan without giving Notice, though if you want a LL ref, prob not a good idea.

 

"But references could be a problem. I will ask a friend to say we were living at theirs for six months."

Do not lie to future LLs, providing false info on a T application is grounds for immediate s8 eviction. Be open, you don't have pets, a friend asked you to look after theirs temp, you did not realise this would be a problem as residents in adjacent HA flats kept pets.

Also I would declare you run an internet busiiness from home, specifying type of business.

 

".. how can they just do this to people for such a stupid reason. I don't get it."

It may be your home, but it is LLs investment/business and deserves equal protection. Pets can create additional problems, fleas, fouling, damage. A LL can prohibit pets, unless prior written approval is sought. Such approval should not be unreasonably witheld. You run a business and no doubt have the occ client problems, so how do you handle them?

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Can anybody offer me advice on how to handle this.

 

I am being evicted on 13 Jan 2013.

 

I am likely to struggle to find another place because

a) fewer letting opportunities over Christmas and

b) Leaders the letting agents will probably not provide a good reference.

 

I am also worried about my deposit.

 

Having waited for months for a completion date on the sale of my home

I had to move quickly when it was finally agreed or risk losing the sale.

 

A family member was seriously ill with a heart attack and we were very stressed.

 

We found a property with Leaders - it was expensive but we had less than a week and so had to take it.

 

We signed the rental agreement five minutes before they were due to close the branch on a Saturday evening.

There was an error in the amount of rent - £1295/month instead of £1275/month

- but I didn't query it at the time because I wasn't fully aware of the discrepancy; it was a niggling doubt.

It was only when I got home and checked it to the advert etc that I noticed.

 

The agreement stated that Leaders would notify in advance of a visit to inspect.

It also agreed that no pets without permission from the Landlord, and no smoking in the property.

 

The day we moved in we noticed that the shower attachment in the bathroom wasn't working,

the alarm kept 'beeping' and the blind in the bathroom fell down.

 

We also noticed a pipe protruding from the centre of the small garden.

We notified Leaders about the pipe and the alarm, but nothing was done.

 

A week later the front door starting getting stuck, but they did not send anyone round.

 

Recently a friend of ours had to go and visit her sick mother up north (we are in the south)

and she asked if we would look after her cats for a few weeks

- it was urgent, so we said we would.

She had given us the cat food and the Frontline flea treatment etc.

 

One day,

Leaders let themselves into the property without any prior notice.

I was asleep in bed and didn't even realise they had visited until I was sent the visit report (I had been up all the previous night, by the way).

 

Their report mentioned the cats and evidence of smoking.

I had friends round the previous night and they were smoking, but on the patio not in the house, and I brought the ashtrays in afterwards.

The report also said the property was clean and in good order and there was no damage from the cats.

 

Two days later I received a letter from Leaders inviting us to renew for another six months.

A day after that I received a notice to quit because of cats and smoking!

 

I have not been sleeping and still trying to find a house to buy with the little money I have,

and find work since being made redundant, and now I have to move a week or so after Christmas.

 

I should also add that I had no TV signal in the area (now using Freesat) and no phone/internet for six weeks.

Leaders must have known this and did nothing to warn us before we moved in.

 

I don't think there's much point fighting the eviction notice, but I feel violated knowing that they walked around my home while I was asleep - what if I'd been naked for crying out loud (which I wasn't, but what if.....). This is causing me a lot of distress. The cats aren't a big deal but Leaders are using them as an excuse to remove us. The fact that all the three documents were written and signed by the same person makes me think that she wasn't too bothered by the moggies but someone above her has pushed this. The lady over the road is also being evicted because she wouldn't agree to a large rent increase. All the houses are owned by a local housebuilder who I believe is trying to sell them.

 

Any thoughts anyone? I know I breached my tenancy agreement and probably don't have a leg to stand on, but I'm a nice tenant and look after their property, and I pay my rent six months in advance because I have a poor credit rating. This could make it very difficult for me to get another rental. I've only been here three months. The landlord did not make right any of the damage (stains on carpet, marks on walls) caused by the previous tenants, but we have to have all the carpets professionally cleaned and the house 'de-flea'd' and have certificates to confirm this. They haven't given me the option to do this myself - not that there are any fleas or stains left by us, but I was going to clean the carpets myself and I could always spray a cat flea killer as a precaution.

 

I'm so scared that I and my daughter will end up homeless. Letting agents have to look out for the landlords, I understand, but I think they lose sight of the people paying the rents - ridiculously high rents in some cases, and they force the rents up all the time.

 

Eve[/QUOT

One day,

Leaders let themselves into the property !

This I find absolutely appalling, and this is definitely NOT legal! They should NOT have a key to YOUR property anyway and I would definitely seek advice about this abuse and invasion of your right to privacy, have you a Law Centre nearby?or citizen's advice? I would get advice immediately as this company 'Leaders' sound very dodgy to me and also very petty. I feel that they have been extremely heavy handed and have not even asked for you to explain the two issues i.e.smoking and cats, how dare they enter your home or even arrange to visit, they MUST NOT be allowed to get away with this. I am pretty sure that because they acted illegally by entering and holding a key to the property that you rent that you can prosecute them..you need legal advice straightaway.. Try giving SHELTER a ring for advice-as they really know this field better than most and they have a freephone helpline which is 0808 800 4444.

I am sure that you have the law totally on your side here please get advice asap

wishing you very good luck,

katykatz

Edited by katykatz

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The agents would have keys in order to do periodic checks and to enable them to do viewings for any prospective new tenants.

 

However entering the property without giving notice is definitely out of order!

 

It should be somewhere in the tenancy agreement regarding access and what is required.

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Dotty50

Please check out this site Landlord Property Investment and "Landlords Right of Entry". Here as well as other reputable sites it states:

"It is in fact Illegal for a Landlord to enter his/her property without agreement from the tenant" And Office of Fair Trading doc.356 Reads "3.32 We would object to a provision giving the landlord an excessive right the rented property. Under any kind of lease or tenancy a Landlord is required by common law to allow his tenants 'Exclusive possession' and 'Quiet enjoyment' of the premises during the tenancy. In other words, tenants must be free from unwarranted intrusion by anyone including the landlord. Landlords are unfairly disregarding that basic obligation if they reserve a right to enter the property without giving reasonable notice or getting the tenant's consent except for good reason" The website (for landlord property investment) also says "Irrespective of what may be written in the agreed contract between Landlord and Tenant for e.g.a clause that states 'the landlord is allowed to enter the property without permission' The law will ultimately overrule the clause. Not even a contract will help a Landlord if s/he steps into the property thinking they can do so because of what is agreed in the contract"

I wanted to answer this person's request for help because it is an area of law that I have had and am having a lot of concern with. I would NOT attempt to answer a query without having all my facts up-to-date and correct.

Also, I have received such tremendous help in the past from this forum and I think from you personally, that I feel that if I can help anyone in any small way then I am paying back a little towards a massive amount of support I have received from you and other caggers.

I am sorry, if I did not follow rules that I did not know of or that I am not entitled to share my knowledge without perhaps registering as a contributor or other kind of membership

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We're all here to help and give advice from our own experiences Katy, I too had major issues with a landlord when my son was in a shared house with fellow students.

 

As I said in my post, entering the property without giving notice is against the rules and I also posted the link to the Shelter site which confirms this.

 

As an aside, one of the things mentioned in the forum rules is to put paragraphs in when posting as it is difficult to read blocks of text.

Edited by Dotty50

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Dotty50,

I appreciate your advice and thank you! I shall, in future, try to abide by the rules and put my advice down in paragraphs.

I do apologise for not doing this in my contribution(which was my first). In spite of my failure to do so, I hope that it still conveyed my message easily to the writer of 'Being evicted for keeping a cat..'

If I can offer any help in the future I shall be sure to 'paragraph'....and to think, my English language, (grammar, spelling etc) was at one time, quite reasonable...think I have spent too much time tx-ing..er sorry...texting on my mobile!

 

Cheers Dotty50,

katykatz

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No apologies necessary katykatz!

 

I am sure the OP (original poster) will be grateful for all the assistance given. :-)

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Hi KatyKatz

 

You need to start your own thread to get the best advice you have tagged onto someone elses thread will flag up for you.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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I think you have misread the post stu007, KatyKatz was assisting the OP, not asking for help! :-)

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Hi

 

Thank you KatyKatz and Dotty for the help you have given me. I am really pleased that I can hit Leaders with something. I know I've broken the agreement with the cats, but that's a bit different than breaking the law. I will take legal advice and if there is any way I can sue Leaders then I will. I feel violated now, and everytime we leave the house we are wondering whether they are in there snooping around our stuff. It is unbelievable that they thought they could just do this.

 

My daughter and I are decent people - we are clean and we respect the property. So for nearly thirteen hundred quid a month, I expect to be left alone and not harrassed by a letting agency.

 

Since that incident, my daughter has found out she is pregnant, so we are urgently looking for another rental. This is a major stress that neither she nor I need right now, so I will take this up with CAB or a barrister we know.

 

I still haven't discussed the incident with Leaders or acknowledged their eviction letter - I wanted to be sure of where I stood before speaking with them. They really are scary!!!

 

thanks again

Eve

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"my daughter has found out she is pregnant"

 

Well now, how about you and your daughter pay a little visit to the local council's homeless persons unit for advice. I assume you will remain living together as a family unit when the baby arrives? If so, your daughter has now placed you in "priority need" for social housing and advice.

 

This team have to act to prevent your homelessness, which of course doesn;t mean giving you the first council house that comes up, although that would be grand, but they have many other tools in ther box. They will certainly investigate your case, the reasons for eviction, the problem you had with the landlord entering the property. They will attempt to negotiate to keep you in your current accommodation, failing that they can assist you into another private let. Some people qualify for help from them for Deposit and Rent in Advance Schemes (have to be paid back but at a rate you can afford). They will most certainly help youwith return of your deposit - after all, if you were to get that back, it would reduce the amount of help they had to give you!

 

Shelter is just as good on legal matters and arguing on your behalf, but if it were me, I'd take the time to go and see a local authority homeless persons advisor - nothing may come of it, but hey ,something might!

 

Good luck, what a nightmare. Incidentally, when I was a LA Housing officer, I had no problem with pets, I preferred them to most of the tenants! Easier to deal with in some cases.

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Hi KatyKatz

 

You need to start your own thread to get the best advice you have tagged onto someone elses thread will flag up for you.

 

Hi Stu007,

 

Yes, sorry for causing some confusion-but could not quite get my first message offering advice right.

 

I had attempted to quote a particular sentence of someone's thread to include in my message of advice but accidentally finished up with using their entire message. Hopefully, I shall improve if I can offer help in the future.

 

As I explained to Dotty50 I am so grateful to this website, as I have received so much help in the past where nowhere else could help.

And the mainstays of this forum have my total respect for their dedication and upkeep of this brilliant service.

 

I take your advice with thanks and hopefully will improve the way I input a reply to a thread in the future and then will not use up contributor's time and energy trying to get me on the right path when I offer advice.

 

Thanks to you all,

katykatz

ps. just hope I have posted this correctly:oops:

Edited by honeybee13
Putting in some spacing. :)

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It is NOT illegal for LL/agent to enter property with a key, PROVIDED written Notice is given, allowing for min of 24 hrs from presumed date of Service. It is ADVISABLE for LL/agent to arrange a mutually acceptable time for visit (appt) or to knock & wait before entering, to avoid situation described above. Single entry is unlikely to be deemed harrassment.

I retain a set of keys, as does MA and Ts are aware of this. Ts have option to change locks at own expense, though tech they need LLs prior written approval, provided original locks are re-installed before they leave.

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It is NOT illegal for LL/agent to enter property with a key, PROVIDED written Notice is given, allowing for min of 24 hrs from presumed date of Service. It is ADVISABLE for LL/agent to arrange a mutually acceptable time for visit (appt) or to knock & wait before entering, to avoid situation described above. Single entry is unlikely to be deemed harrassment.

I retain a set of keys, as does MA and Ts are aware of this. Ts have option to change locks at own expense, though tech they need LLs prior written approval, provided original locks are re-installed before they leave.

 

Hi Mariner51,

Thank you for your advice as above. As I did explain to Dotty50, i only offered advice where I had believed I had something to offer. I did do my research before actually sending my advice in the the forum and the thread as above ref: Evicted for keeping a cat. I did actually obtain confirmation of details I gave from www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk under the heading: "Landlord's right to entry" and from Hounslow City Council and have copied and pasted here (below):

"How do landlords get access to the property?

 

It is the tenant’s right not to be disturbed or harassed while living in the property. Landlords are not entitled to enter the tenant’s living area without permission as they have the right to use the property as their home.

Where necessary, landlords can get access to inspect the condition of the property. A convenient time should be agreed with the tenant, or landlords may write to the tenant giving at least 24 hours’ notice.

Landlords cannot let themselves into the property without first giving this prior notice. If the tenant refuses to let the landlord in, the landlord cannot force entry unless there is a fire or flood.

If the tenant changes the lock, landlords are not entitled to a key unless it says so in the contract. If you do change the landlords locks it is advisable to preserve the fixtures and fittings. However, the tenant should not unreasonably withhold access, and if he or she does, the landlord can apply to the county court for an injunction.

If the house is in multiple occupation, landlords are entitled to use a key to enter the shared areas of the property."

 

I am most sorry for upsetting your loyal, hardworking and very respected pool of advisers at Consumer action group, I only offered my advice to the person with the thread 'Being evicted for keeping a cat' as I thought I had something to give back to the forum. I have received such an excellent standard of advice from the forum on various problems I have had and they have been the only source of advice I found helpful and appreciated their help so much that when I saw a subject where I did think I could offer some advice I attemped to do so.

From the many emails I have received from the group with various criticisms regarding my advice, I shall stand back and refrain from trying to offer advice as I obviously have been more trouble to the exceptional service that this website provides.

I am sorry if I caused offence to your contributors and do not want to take up the time and energy that people who are asking for advice.:-(

Kind Regards,

katykatz

Edited by katykatz
wanted to highlight my words
  • Haha 1

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Katykatz - don;'t fret = all advice is invaluable. You are NOT wrong either, i worked as a Local Authority Housing Officer for 26 years and then another 3 for a HA that was all AST's.

 

In the first job if I had entered a tenants property without their express permission I'd not only leave myself wide open to all kinds of accusations, if I was found out I would have been suspended. I had powers to enter in certain circumstances only; welfare of tenant being the main one, and if I suspected that a property had been abandoned AND there was damage that would allow others to enter. Otherwise it was injunction, and always with a police officer present. The exception was in sheltered accommodation and life line systems, keys were always kept at a control centre, with agreement of tenants/carers, and it was always an emergency entry.

 

With the AST's, we did not keep keys to tenants homes, unless there was a written agreement with the tenant, and that would be for personal reasons, such as they constantly lost keys, couldn;t get to the door on a booked visit etc.

 

Landlords/agents (especially lone workers) should always consider what they might be walking into if they feel they have the right to do so.

 

I always worked to Chartered Institute of Housing Standards.

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Katy, take a chill pill!

 

As jackie and wayne states, your advice is not wrong either!

 

Have you really had emails to put you off posting? That's not nice and you only tried to help, as we all do.

 

There will always be people who disagree but that is good as far as I am concerned because it give the OP and chance to consider ALL the advice given.

 

DON'T let people scare you off!

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katykatz, any abusive/citical PMs received should be reported to mods for appropriate sanction.

All contributed advice to an open public forum is welcome and subject to debate.

You quoted "Irrespective of what may be written in the agreed contract between Landlord and Tenant for e.g.a clause that states 'the landlord is allowed to enter the property without permission' The law will ultimately overrule the clause. Not even a contract will help a Landlord if s/he steps into the property thinking they can do so because of what is agreed in the contract"

Substantially correct but Statute and rel case Law allows for single entry by LL.agent if T fails to respond to reqd min 24hr written Notice so earlier website conclusion that 'entry is illegal without permission' may be erroneus

In this thread OP is adamanr that she will be evicted on 13/1 13 via LL ' NTQ for keeping cats

Yet s21 was issued 1 week into T,before cat issue arose.

The OP is now claiming LL disrepair as a defence yet publicaly accepting breach of Contrac to No Pets AST clause

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