Here is a question to the blog clinic from Emma who is a tenant
Are there specific laws relating to how many sets of keys a tenant is allowed to have?
The reason I ask is that I live alone in a block of flats and have been provided with 1 set of keys. The problem is that the block entrance is fob access and the only way to obtain a fob is through the letting agent.
I have been renting for 15 years and have always given a set of keys to friends who visit regularly, family as well as a trusted cleaner who I sometimes need to come when I’m away or out to feed my cat, clean etc.
I have never had fob access before renting this flat, in the past I have just had normal keys for all doors so I have been free to get as many as I need copied. However this is not the case with fobs.
The letting agent say that as there is one tenant they give out one set of keys. However this is severely limiting my freedom to live in my normal way in what is currently my home.
Without additional fobs (for which I am happy to pay), my ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of the property is limited. Please can you advise what the law states on this point and what, if any, rights I have to have as many sets of keys as I require for lawful purposes. Thanks.
So far as I am aware the law has no pronouncement on this and you need to look to your tenancy agreement.
If your tenancy agreement is silent on the issue then it is down to what you can agree with your landlord and the agents.
You ask whether the failure to provide adequate fobs is a breach of your covenant of quiet enjoyment as it prevents you from using the property as you wish.
The covenant of quiet enjoyment is a rule that says that the landlord must allow the tenant to use the property in peace. Breach is normally down to things like entering without notice, harassment and failure to carry out essential repair work.
I don’t think failing to give enough keys and fobs for your friends and cleaner to enter the flat really come within this but maybe others would disagree. What do readers think?
In the meantime you are left with trying to negotiate something with the agents.
Note – a definition of a key fob from Webopedia:
A fob, or more commonly called a key fob, is a small security hardware device with built-in authentication used to control and secure access to network services and data.