When dealing with disrepair claims, access is an age-old issue that comes up time and time again.
These are our six top tips for access:
- Check the tenancy agreement – Ensure any request you make for access falls within the terms of the tenancy agreement. For instance, put all requests for access in writing, giving at least 24 hours notice. It’s vital that you understand and comply with the terms of your tenancy agreements, so make sure you are aware of it before making any requests. Many tenancies state that requests should be made with no less than 48 hours’ notice.
- Be specific – Make sure access letters are clear and specific, giving an exact date, time slot and reason for the visit.
- You can’t always blame the tenant – Avoid sending letters asking the tenant to contact you to arrange access. In almost all cases, it is not a breach of tenancy if the tenant then fails to make contact. Follow point two instead if your first letter asking the tenant to make contact doesn’t work.
- Turn up! – Make sure your organisation attends on the exact date and time specified. Unless you attend, the tenant won’t be deemed to have refused access.
- Evidence – If access is refused, post a card and take a picture as evidence that you attended. Then rebook the appointment by following point two, above.
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – If access becomes an issue on a disrepair claim, your organisation should already have pre-existing gas / electrical inspection / access procedures. With a few tweaks, you can use those procedures to try to gain access. If you are still having problems, seek legal advice to gain an access injunction.
If you need advice or guidance in relation to gaining access when dealing with disrepair claims, contact our expert disrepair guru: