Is this a legal/enforceable term in England? (Landlords rights to notified yet unpermitted access)

Tenant (assume residential tenan(t/cy)) agrees... "To permit the landlord or his agent or authorised workman, from time to time upon a minimum of 24 hours prior written notification (except in case of emergency), to enter the premises during working hours and or at other reasonable times including at weekends, to inspect the premises, its fixtures and fittings, and to do work which might be required from time to time in order to fulfill obligations under this agreement or relevant legislation.

Note that it stipulates unilateral notice must be served but not that acknowledgement, confirmation or permission and agreement of acceptable time by the tenant must be obtained.

This would seem as I understand it to breach the quiet enjoyment covenant. Can a tenancy term override an implied covenant?


2 Answers 2


Yes, see section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985:

(1)In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor—

  • (a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

  • (b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and

  • (c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.


(6)In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.

Also see the dot.gov guidance, especially the section entitled "Your responsibilities":

You should give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.

  • Why do you refer to gov.uk as dot.gov? And there are many articles that say that you must grant them access, but they also similarly explain that if the LL is unable to reach the T or otherwise to obtain the T's permission then that doesn't mean that they can simply take it upon themselves to issue notice and let themselves into the premises. Many sources (without making specific citation of statutes or case law, yet nonetheless with considerable consensus such that it must come from somewhere) further explain that while a LL requires explicit affirmative permission and while a T is
    – Fred
    Aug 26, 2022 at 18:57
  • theoretically required to grant that, the only one that can compel access without T explicitly/affirmatively granting LL permission is a judge by issuing an injunction mandating the T to allow the LL access. If the LL is allowed to simply let themselves in as you are suggesting this act provides, then where do court injunctions enter into the picture?
    – Fred
    Aug 26, 2022 at 18:58
  • 1
    Joseph the point is, that the landlord does not need the tenant's permission. The 24 hours notice is because of the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment, but the landlord not only has the right to enter and maintain (or inspect) their own property, but the duty to do so. If you have changed the locks, you are obstructing the landlord in their legal duty. Aug 26, 2022 at 19:21

There's this opinion of this lawyer

Landlords are not entitled to enter the property without the tenants permission. 
This is a fundamental right tenants have which is included in all tenancy agreements by implication, 
even if not specifically stated in the tenancy agreement. 
So if landlords start entering the property without the tenants knowledge
or consent, the landlord is in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement.
  • 1
    This infomal blog is a very loose interpretation. "Landlords like to retain control over their properties and this includes having sets of keys so they can gain access whenever they want." Landlords do no not, in general, gain access whenever they want, but give the tenant 24 hours notice of, for example, a gas safety inspection, or a regular maintenence inspection, as they are required to do. I always like to be present when the landlord (or their representative) enters, and this notice give me the opportunity. Aug 28, 2022 at 14:47
  • 1
    Obviously "if landlords start entering the property without the tenants knowledge" is wrong. The blog also states that the clause is "unfair", with a link to another of its own "unfair clause" pages, quoting the House of Lords. I find it hard to believe that the HoL would find it "unfair" when a landlord enters the property to conduct a statutory gas or electrical safety check, having advised the tenant with at least 24 hours notice, or that such a clause in the Agreement to cover this eventuality is unfair. Aug 28, 2022 at 15:08
  • 1
    Very good link. It links to a couple of other articles and between the several pages there are a lot of informative perspectives among the comments threads. Aug 28, 2022 at 23:36

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