Here is a question to the blog clinic from James (not his real name) who is a tenant
We have been renting the same house for 3 years. We have always been good tenants & have never missed/been late with our £1K pcm rent. We have always made it clear we do not want people in the house unless we are here.
Recently we have had a carpet moth problem & had the council in to deal with it. The Letting agent insisted on checking the work so we arranged a date. On that day at 9.30am my wife was in the shower and after a late night, I was asleep.
The Agents employee rang the doorbell and when it went unanswered let herself into our home. My 11 year old daughter encountered her in the hallway and thought “maybe we’re being burgled”. When told of the situation (me asleep wife in shower) she wrote a note and left.
In addition she did not operate the Yale lock properly and couldn’t shut the door. After a few attempts she left it open and ajar and drove away.
We are very annoyed by her actions and the upset she caused and wonder where we stand legally – Yes we’d like amends!! I have lodged a formal complaint with the Letting Agent who were very apologetic on the telephone.
I can understand your annoyance in this case. However it sounds as if this is an isolated incident and maybe the agents employee had not received proper training.
For a start, it is not as if the agent was just turning up out of the blue. This was the day you had arranged for the agent to check the work. It would probably be best however if in future you set a specific time for the agents to attend and make it clear
- that you may not be available outside this time and
- that the agent MUST NOT let him or herself into the property if you do not answer the door
Technically, if the landlord or his agent enters the property without your consent, this is trespass which is actually a criminal offence. However for an incident like this where it sounds as if there was a misunderstanding, I do not think you would get very far, for example with a prosecution.
The problems with the lock are also very unfortunate, but doors and locks can be tricky things.
I think the most you can expect is an apology, which you have already had from the agents, and confirmation that it will not occur again.
However if the agents make a habit of coming round and letting themselves in without warning and going off leaving the door ajar then obviously you would need to take further action. From what you say however I doubt that this type of incident will happen again.