What Is Meant By The Term ‘Covenant Of Quiet Enjoyment’
When it comes to rules and regulations, there’s a lot that landlords in the Cotswolds and the Vale of the White Horse need to keep in mind, and it isn’t surprising that here at Perry Bishop, we often encounter some confusion, especially when it comes to their right to access the property.
After all, legally, a landlord is held responsible for repairs and safety, and they can be hit with financial penalties if they fail to comply. But if they enter their property without permission from the tenant, they may end up being sued for trespassing and breaching their tenant’s rights under the “Covenant Of Quiet Enjoyment”.
Here, we take a closer look at this covenant and what it means for both landlords and tenants alike.
What Are The Rights Of The Tenant?
Tenants legally are entitled to “Quiet Enjoyment” of their rental property. This covenant has been implied or expressed in leases and conveyances for centuries. Essentially, it means that landlords must allow their tenants to reside in their property with no undue interference. The term “quiet enjoyment” is frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted.
As long ago as 1888, landlords were confused by the use of the word “quietly” in this context. In the case of a tenant’s rights, “quietly” simply means “without interrupting their possession of the property” rather than “without noise disturbances”. In brief, it means the tenant is entitled to live at the property peacefully without the landlord (or anybody who acts on their behalf) disturbing them.
What Are The Rights Of The Landlord?
The 1988 Housing Act and the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act both state that all tenancy agreements should have a covenant stating that tenants are required to give the landlord reasonable access to carry out repairs on the property. Landlords are also legally entitled to view their property’s condition as long as they give at least 24 hours notice about the visit in writing and only access the property during “reasonable” hours.
Achieving The Right Balance
Landlords in the Cotswolds and the Vale of the White Horse generally experience two kinds of tenants – ones who are happy to allow them to access the property without any issues and who are happy their landlord is actively maintaining their property and ones who demand that they’re present during any inspection or maintenance visits.
As the landlord, it’s down to you to determine the best way to work with your individual tenants and to forge a positive relationship with them.
Although it can be difficult to balance your legal obligations as a landlord with your tenants’ rights under the “Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment”, it’s entirely possible to manage the situation effectively if both parties can adopt some pragmatism and mutual respect.
When you work with the lettings team at Perry Bishop, we will handle all aspects of liaising with your tenants and ensure that you remain compliant with your legal obligations at all times.
We care about property. We care about you.