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I live in a flat that I rent. I understand that I must provide my landlord and their representatives access to the flat for things like maintenance (after proper notice from them when not in an emergency situation).

However, if the landlord has to perform some kind of maintenance on the flat as per some legal requirement. Can I refuse entry to a specific representative of theirs (e.g. a plumber), and if so, on what basis am I allowed to refuse?

Response to answer/comment:

My reasoning for wanting to refuse them access is as follows:

  1. I do not trust the representative (rep). Mostly because I don't know them so why should I.

  2. I currently work from home.

  3. This particular rep has been very unprofessional, particularly with communication and time management (always late, has twice cancelled after they were due at the property, always underestimates ETAs - by months sometimes). After many complaints about this, I am sure the rep has passive-aggressively, and purposefully employed this same behavior to get back at me - though I have no proof of this.

  4. Given the above, I have to adjust my work schedule during their visits to mitigate disruption to my work and to monitor their work. This, coupled with their poor time management, wastes my time. The landlord is not offering me any compensation for this, nor are they offering any guarantee of the rep's punctuality.

  5. On one occasion, in the flat, when I tried to nail down a follow-up appointment with said rep, and also complained to them about their tardiness. They were rude to me.

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    What basis would you want to refuse them?
    – Joe W
    Mar 9, 2022 at 14:58
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    Have you told the landlord any of this? They might be willing to send a different representative if you ask them nicely. Mar 9, 2022 at 16:35
  • Yes, the landlord is very well aware. They don't care.
    – Griffin
    Mar 9, 2022 at 17:02
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    Thanks for the additional information but I am not sure point one matters as it is unlikely that you would know the people who are coming to do the work anyway. As for point two I think that gives more reason to no refuse them as you could monitor what they are doing more easily. And with work from home hours likely being the same hours as the person doing the work it makes it pretty much impossible for them to do anything if that prevents them from doing work.
    – Joe W
    Mar 9, 2022 at 17:45

2 Answers 2

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I am assuming in this answer that the lease or rental agreement provides the landlord with a right of access for required maintenance. The question is not clear on that point.

If there is a specific and reasonable ground for refusing a particular representative or agent of the landlord, you might be able to do so. If, for example, that particular worker had previously insulted you in your apartment, or had attempted to steal from you there, you could probably refuse entrance and request the landlord to send a different worker to do the job.

But in general the landlord may choose his or her agents, and if it is a reasonable for an agent to be admitted, you must admit whatever agent the landlord sends. You can probably demand reasonable notice, depending on the terms of the lease. You may be able to demand to be present when the agent is to be in the premises, again depending on the lease. But I fo not think that the tenant can arbitrarily choose which agent the landlord will use.

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  • Thanks. I've added my reasoning. Would this be reasonable grounds (and would you have a source for that)? Also, just to be clear, I'm not trying to arbitrarily choose which agent the landlord will use. I just wish to veto this single agent.
    – Griffin
    Mar 9, 2022 at 16:08
  • @Griffin I do not have a specific source at hand. This is, I believe, going to depend on the language of the rental agreement and the attitude of the landlord.. You mention "many complaints about this" but not whether any of them have been to the landlord. I suggest asking the landlord to supply a different worker and explaining why, politely. If that doesn't work, there may be a problem. You may be able to exclude the unwanted worker, but then the repairs may go undone. Mar 9, 2022 at 16:55
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    As this question is tagged as UK, I have to respectfully disagree with this answer; see my answer. In brief: landlords have no automatic right of entry to their property, except in an emergency. Mar 10, 2022 at 9:30
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In England & Wales (at least), the principle of quiet enjoyment means that a tenant may refuse entry to a landlord (or anyone working for the landlord, e.g. letting agent, plumber, etc), except in an emergency.

In any case, the landlord must give at least 24 hours' notice of any visit, but the tenant can still refuse.

In practice, negotiation between the landlord and tenant is obviously the best way to ensure that any visits happen in a mutually convenient manner - but that clearly relies on both sides being reasonable. In this instance, it sounds like the landlord is (from the tenant's point of view) being unreasonable.

Sources: source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4.

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