Should Agents Be Able to Visit Rented Houses Anytime They Like?
Definitely not, in my opinion. Of course, under housing law, Landlords or Agents have to give a minimum of 24 hours notice if they need to visit, and tenant can refuse them entry. Housing Law recognises that a tenant is entitled to “quiet enjoyment” of their home. I think if I were a tenant, I wouldn’t want the Landlord or Agent rocking up to my house disturbing my privacy anytime they felt like it. if tenant continually refuses them entry just to be awkward; and if they have a valid reason for visiting such as a GSI renewal or H&S visit etc., they can eventually gain entry providing they follow certain criteria, but that is for another day.
Of course, sometimes a Landlord/Tenant relationship can become toxic, whereas even if a tenant drives an Agent to distraction, the Agent should always maintain as professional a relationship as possible under the circumstances.
As an Agent or Landlord who might be responsible for several dozens of houses, you would have thought this could prove to be a nuisance. Not at all. Tenant doesn’t mind a trade visiting their house in nine cases out of ten, especially if he/she comes to fix the boiler or stops a leak coming through the ceiling, or similar. They prefer to let the trade in themselves at a mutually suitable time and the rest of the paperwork surrounding such a visit can be done online.
In all the years I have been a Landlord, I have never been refused entry by a tenant until 2020. I have been refused a few times during 2020, and that was because of Covid. And you don’t mess with Covid. Have you ever refused or been refused entry to a rented house?