Landlords Rights to Entry
Landlords should make every effort to establish a good working relationship with the tenant. Good communication and an amicable relationship will smooth the way when you need to get access for inspection, servicing or repairs.
It is important to note that, unless the tenant agrees otherwise, a landlord must give adequate, at least 24 hours, written notice of any visit and its purpose. Visits should be made at a reasonable time. Visits must not be intrusive. If they were, this could constitute harassment.
Landlords of shared accommodation may gain entry to communal areas that remain under their control at all reasonable hours but we would advise giving tenants reasonable notice of this and the reasons why, for instance testing of the fire alarm systems on a regular basis.
Tenants have a right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of their accommodation. Even if the landlord gives proper notice of a visit, the tenant may still legally refuse access. If a tenant refuses access the landlord should try and find out why before resorting to legal action. It may be the timing of the appointment is not suitable and you could rearrange. Only if the tenant will not make alternative arrangements or where the tenant persistently causes delays and in so doing compromises the landlord’s ability to fulfil their legal obligations should the landlord consider legal action using prescribed legal process or seeking a court order to secure access.
There are times when the property may have to be entered as a matter of urgency. Statutory bodies are able to do this in appropriate circumstances:
- gas: contact the National Grid emergency number 0800 111 999
- water: sewer and/or flooding: contact the utility company responsible for water in the area if closing the stopcock is ineffective and the Local Authority Environmental Health Department who will be able to offer advice and assistance on individual circumstances
- suspicious circumstances relating to criminal activity: liaise with the police
If you are experiencing difficulties in gaining entry to the accommodation for routine, maintenance or emergency purposes the we would advise seeking legal advice and/or contacting the local authority Housing Service to discuss options available to you. Landlords who enter without the consent of the tenant or against their wishes must be able to demonstrate, if challenged, that it was reasonable to enter under the circumstances. See also Harassment and Illegal Eviction.
Nuisance and Antisocial Behaviour
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is any behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household. Examples include, but are not limited to, noise, violence, abuse, threats and use of the property for illegal drugs. Adequate checks prior to letting should minimise the risk of letting to someone who is likely to behave anti-socially and the tenancy agreement should include appropriate clauses about anti-social behaviour. It is common for the Local Authority to include a licence condition for premises which require a licence under the Housing Act 2004, stating that landlords must take reasonable action to prevent and, where necessary, to remedy anti-social behaviour.
In cases where anti-social behaviour is suspected by the landlord the police or the local authority anti-social behaviour teams may be contacted by the landlord or vice versa if there is a problem in one of their properties. It is important to try to work with them to resolve the situation.
A range of measures can be used including mediation, civil injunction, criminal behaviour order, and/or eviction, depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the situation.
In cases of noise from the property contact the Public Protection section as they may be able to take enforcement action against the perpetrator including prosecution and seizing equipment and see the Antisocial Behaviour and Neighbourhood Problems page for further information.
Ending a Tenancy
A landlord in Wales can regain possession of their property even without citing tenant fault, which was previously done through a Section 21 Notice. Instead, it now involves a no-fault Section 173 notice or a Landlord's Notice under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
The notice period for the Landlord's Notice (Section 173 Notice) in Wales is six months. This applies after the first six months of periodic tenancies. For contracts that were in place before December 1, 2022, a two-month notice period is applicable until May 2023. From June 2023 onwards, a six-month notice period is required.
The process for ending a tenancy varies depending on the type of contract and the reason for termination. In cases of abandoned property, landlords can repossess the property without the need for a court order.
During the fixed term of a tenancy, notice is typically not allowed. However, a break clause can be used for terms that are two years or longer, and notice of at least six months must be given starting from the 18th month.
In the case of evicting a tenant who is not paying rent, a possession notice should be served for serious rent arrears, clearly stating the breach. The notice period is one month for missed rent and 14 days for arrears of two months or more. It's important to follow deposit rules to avoid complications. Tenants are entitled to a habitable property with alarms, safety certificates, working utilities, and a valid EPC
Legal advice should be taken from your solicitor. In most cases at least 6 months notice should be given, and if the tenant does not then leave willingly, you will need to apply to the Court for a possession order. This process and the notice periods are due to change with the implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
For dealing with an antisocial tenant, the contract should outline behaviour expectations. If there is a breach, landlords can seek an immediate possession order without waiting for court proceedings.
When a tenant wishes to end their contract in Wales, holders of periodic tenancies should give four weeks' notice.
Fixed-term contracts can end either through a break clause or mutual agreement.
In cases of tenant abandonment, landlords can repossess the property without obtaining a court order after serving a four-week warning notice and conducting investigations to confirm that the property has indeed been abandoned.