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Help! Landlord demanding 24/7 access.

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Wednesday 05 July 2017 10:54:21 am

Problems with UK landlord... knowledge of tenant/LL law and advice please.

Our landlord is currently demanding 24/7 unlimited access to the garage which is located in our back garden via our driveway.

At the initial viewing, the Agent did not mention that access to the garage would be a requirement, only that the Landlord was storing things in there and that he was still moving some things out of the house. He did not go into detail about what was being stored however the implication was that it was things furniture from the house. Due to this it was not included in the let, however we still would benefit from off road parking as the driveway is long enough for 2 cars. For both car insurance purposes this was one of our requirements.

The property is located on a quiet, private gated estate. Privacy and quietness was top of our list when looking for our new home.

Having been here 3 weeks, the LL arrived with his 2 children, unannounced boldly walking down our driveway through to our back garden. He informed us that he would access our property as he desired in order to have 24/7 access the garage and drive his 2 super cars whenever he wanted.

The garage is located in our back garden directly next to our secluded lawn/patio area and only accessible via our driveway both of as listed on the listing and which we are responsible for.

We explained to him that we were not aware of his access requirement and that we certainly are not in agreement with this. We reminded him that the contract states that even for him or someone acting on his behalf to gain access to our property for inspection or repairs there has to be a minimum 24 hours written notice agreed by us.

The Landlord said he told the agent of his requirements. This was not relayed to us and neither is it in the agreement that we all signed. Yesterday I contacted the agent who admitted that he knew the LL had super cars in the garage and would desire to drive them when he wished. He admitted to not informing us of his access requirements or making us aware of what was being stored. However, he disagrees that he knew the extent of his access requirements. Regardless as to what extent, it is now apparent to us that the agent listed the property incorrectly by omitting vital details, misrepresented the LL by not explaining his requirements in full to us upon our viewing the property and failed to define access requirements both verbally and within our tenancy agreement.

The LL is now stating that he will continue to access our property to use the garage/cars 24/7 and the most he will do is send a text notification 24 hours ahead of time Monday-Thursday and Friday - Monday it will be 30 minutes notice via text, demanding the driveway remain clear of our cars Friday - Monday. To clarify he is NOT requesting or trying to arrange a convenient time with us, these texts are to INFORM us that he will be there whether we agree or not and that he expects our driveway clear of our cars.

This is unreasonable and ultimately he is in breach of the tenancy agreement which he signed stating; The Landlord shall permit the Tenant to have quiet enjoyment of the Property without interruption by the Landlord.
Having super cars revved up day or night in our back garden and dictating when we can use our drive and have solitude in our garden is hardly quiet enjoyment without interruption!

We have been advised by CAB that the law overrides any clauses or exclusion that the LL or Agent makes that are not in line with the law as it states Tenants have the right to live without unnecessary interference from the landlord, and also prevent them or anyone on behalf of the landlord to enter the premises. If a landlord disregards the law and enters the property without permission, they could be prosecuted for “harassment”. Due to the garage location in our garden and accessibility only via our driveway, if he arrives and proceeds to come onto our property he is in effect breaking the law

They have advised us to readdress the situation with him again clearly outlining:

A) Although the garage has been excluded an annexed clause that he is retaining use of and unlimited access to the garage does not override legislation and that he should arrange a convenient time with us to collect and relocate them if he wishes access at his leisure.

B) He can not in-force us to park elsewhere as the driveway was listed as part of the let.

C) If he wishes to continue storing his cars in the garage he must do so without demanding access and without leaving his cars connected to our mains supply being charge as this is theft of our utilities.

We have also been advised that his actions opens up issues to council tax liability as the garage has been excluded from the let. Due to us not having usage of the entire property, the LL may fall liable for the entire council tax charge.

We are non confrontational people and do not wish to be in a position of harassment or trespassing by the LL. We believe the agent did not make the LL intentions clear perhaps mis-selling the property to us by concealing relevant info but most importantly we just want to ensure that the advice we have received is correct.

The LL has already said in quite a manipulative tone that he'll happily accept our notice if we don't wish to abide by his wishes but we have no desire to move. We know that we will be perfectly happy here if he understands that he can not harass us and make unlawful demands. We have signed a 12 month lease and wish to remain here.

Please can someone with knowkedge on property/housing law confirm if we have been advised on all points correctly so that we can approach the landlord in the right way.

Thank you.