Social Housing & Access – let us in!

In what situation can a Social Housing Provider enter the property without permission?

Tenants failing to allow access for necessary compliance safety checks, repairs and or improvements is unfortunately a scenario far too common for social housing providers.

If there is no access, the starting point is to look to the Tenancy Agreement, signed by both a tenant and a landlord.

The tenancy usually contains a clause which sets out that a tenant must allow access to the property for any repairs, improvements, servicing, and safety checks, including gas and electrical safety checks, and that a reasonable warning will be given for such checks to be undertaken. The ordinary position is that access cannot be gained to the property without permission, except in certain cases of emergency providing for a threat to life, and / or a serious welfare concern which must be justified.

If a Social Housing Provider enters a property without permission there is a risk that this would breach the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of a property, the right to protection from harassment under Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and / or lead to accusations of trespass, plus offences under Protections from Eviction Act 1977. This means the risks are high!

What can a Social Housing Provider do if you don’t have a tenant’s permission?

Although certain works, such as electrical and gas safety checks, are carried out for health and safety reasons, it does not mean it is lawful to enter the property without a tenant’s permission.

If, despite making attempts to gain access to the property, the tenant is not engaging or even refusing to allow access, a Social Housing Provider may consider its legal enforcement tools and make an application to court for an injunction to compel the tenant(s) to allow access.

An injunction order will likely prompt the tenant(s) to allow access and if they don’t comply with the order, the tenant(s) may be found in contempt of court. Even if the Court found a tenant in contempt, it still does not resolve the issue of gaining access. It is therefore worth considering a further application to Court to permit the landlord to drill out the locks in the property to gain immediate access.

Contact us, we are here to help

Our Social Housing team can guide you through this process and discuss all the options available to you. If you have any queries, please contact Julia Michalczyk via