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Received this from a friend, and I gave my own answer though not yet fully awake nor completely confident in my answer, but I will share mine below on which I welcome all feedback/critiques as well as better answers in themselves.

But in short, what legal remedies or legal implications does this have?

My landlord is at my house doing a full inspection of the property without communicating that was her intent. She said she was coming with a worker following up previous communication about fixing a pipe so I was under the impression that was what she was up to. What should i do?

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    What's the issue? Did they inspect larger parts of the apartment than your friend expected? Did it take longer? Was it noisier? Apr 30 at 21:58
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    Put the bong away this time so that everyone has plausible deniability about there being any illicit substances on the premises. And in the UK, hide your TV and fold up the aerial? As long as it's quieter than a jet and during business hours.... and surely the lease doesn't specify specific rooms must be denoted, simply e.g., 'the premises' and the time frame of notice to which you're entitled, having agreed in writing that they are 'allowed access' at those times. - However, indeed: what's the issue?
    – Mazura
    May 1 at 4:27
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    @BernhardDöbler There doesn't have to be an issue aside from the visit itself. Under common law in E&W, tenants have the right to "quiet enjoyment" of their property. This means the right to use it without interference. Usually the contract will specify a right for the landlord to inspect, but this will typically be subject to a notice period.
    – JBentley
    May 1 at 15:09
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    Title says she would only be there to follow up a pipe repair. That sounds to me like the visit was announced an necessary. May 1 at 21:30

2 Answers 2

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It is usual for a lease to specify for what purposes and on what notice the landlord is entitled to access. Often there is a provision allowing the landlord access on no notice in an "emergency" which is often not specifically defined. Access for purposes of repair, and for purposes of inspection may be on 24 hours notice, or 48 hours, or some other period, or on "reasonable notice" with no specific period specified.

Access for a reasonable purpose (such as inspection) on reasonable notice that does not actually inconvenience the tenant, and that is not demanded with unreasonable frequency will probably not constitute such a breach as to justify ending the tenancy, and may well not justify sizable damages in the absence of other breaches. Much will depend on the wording of the lease or rental agreement, and on the practice of the local courts.

One might well ask oneself "what actual harm will an inspection with insufficient notice do me" because a court might ask a similar question if an action is brought. If the inspection does cause a problem, then that should be addressed.

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    What is reasonable might be defined in a jurisdiction. In Germany, 24 hours is the absolute minimum but for an emergency.
    – Trish
    Apr 30 at 21:28
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    This answer doesn't seem to address the heart of the question, which is not about the amount of advance notice provided (24h, 48h), but about the scope of access -- only the room(s) needed to repair the pipe (the stated purpose of the visit) versus the entire property. One benefit of quiet enjoyment and notice of entry is that the tenant gets some human grace to live with some private messes, without being chewed out for poor housekeeping or morals like in a military barracks. Examples of possible harm from unexpected inspection of the entire property, including rooms far from the pipe: ...
    – nanoman
    May 2 at 1:11
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    ... Embarrassment to tenant and negative assumptions from landlord due to untidiness or private items visible in another room (perhaps clutter was shoved there to get it out of the way); berating of tenant for minor maintenance issues in another room that tenant is supposed to fix and/or report, but hasn't had a chance to notice or address yet (now tenant has to explain themselves and justify that the issue just emerged very recently or isn't serious); interruption of a household member who was occupied with work/study/sleep in another room and thought they would not need to be disturbed.
    – nanoman
    May 2 at 1:13
  • @nanoman Both the amount and the scope of the visit are largely dependent on the wording of the lease provisions, and in the absence of any provision may well be pegged to the unspecific term "reasonable". Thus the answer to the question how much notice in time more or less answers the related question about notice to what parts of the apartment. But I think once the landlord has been allowed in,. it would be hard to confine the visit to a single area of the premises,. May 2 at 1:17
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    "One might well ask oneself "what actual harm will an inspection with insufficient notice do me"" Be careful with this line of thinking, as it is not far removed from the "if you don't have anything to hide, why worry?" argument. I'm not saying you're quite there, but it's definitely starting to edge in that direction.
    – Flater
    May 2 at 9:30
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Hmmm... Off the top of my head, chronicle and document the relevant facts, although I don't think there are necessarily any specifically set out penalties/remedies for that.

Legally any violation would stem from your right to "quiet enjoyment" / "peaceful enjoyment" which evokes the human rights act (British implementation of the European convention on Human rights, kind of like US's bill of rights) so taken quite seriously, which a landlord must respect including by giving "reasonable" advance notice of any visits. However... i feel like it's not precisely statutorily defined anywhere and that there are various different schools of thought as to how that legal term is quantitatively interpreted, from about 24-48 hours, though from the letter I sent you it seems like it would hardly be unreasonable to insist on 48.

In this case it sounds like she did give reasonable advance notice and prearrange the visit, however she failed to disclose either one of the purposes of her visit or possibly the true purpose or nature of her visit.

I don't see that as heavily impacting/damaging you other than if the true nature of the visit actually caused her to stay longer than you'd been given an impression that she would. I mean how did the deception/failure of disclosure regarding the purpose of her visit adversely affect you or affect Scott's day?

If it did then theoretically you could sue her for damages that would try to quantify that damage due to her violation of your peaceful enjoyment, apart from the fact that it is in itself from what I can tell quite minor if any adverse impact at all, so a court might decide that no damages are due or not hear it, or just award accordingly negligible damages so that pursuing them wouldn't be worthwhile.

More likely it would form part of a pattern or tendency of behaviour of disrespecting your rights and enjoyment of the property which you're entitled to, and if there are ever any more egregious violations that carry defined and more substantial remedies clearly defined in law, like anything to entice or attempt to make you leave or worse, then this episode might become more relevant in depicting the generally insincere and vain character of the landlady.

What do you think was her motive for telling you that her purpose was something different than it was?

And obviously you should challenge/confront her about that, because as a matter of basic decency deception/lying is always contemptible.

And sorry that does actually sound a bit worse than it was in my mind upon rereading it. Idk I'm still not really fully awake, sorry

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    This seems like a reasonable interpretation. Note that "quiet enjoyment" is a very old concept, and pre-dates the ECHR by centuries. Also: that saying about "never attribute to malice..." may apply in part here: her intention at the time that the visit was arranged may have been exactly what she said; but then perhaps she later thought that if she was going to visit the property, she might as well inspect it at the same time. Apr 30 at 10:22
  • Okay that is fair, but simultaneously this is a historically unscrupulous landlord in general.
    – Joseph P.
    Apr 30 at 10:30

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