Neither the Letting Agent nor Landlord have an automatic right of entry in Scotland to a property once a tenant has signed the lease. The Scottish Government’s Model Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) Easy Read Notes provides an excellent guide on what should and can be done to access a let home.
A Landlord right of entry is limited. Landlords and Letting Agents are required to give 48 hours’ notice for a list of authorised purposes such as inspections, maintenance checks, safety checks and valuations.
Emergency access is acceptable if there is a risk of damage to the property or harm to the tenant.
Equally, a letting agent or landlord can gain access to check if a tenant has abandoned a property.
Landlords or Letting Agents often include a Key clause in the lease. In our Key-Lets PRT lease the tenants acknowledge Key-Lets hold duplicate keys to their property. Alongside this will usually be a clause allowing access when no-one is at home if prior notice is given. Such clauses can be in a Letting Agent or Landlords own version of the PRT, or in the Model PRT version in Section 37.
Automatic access clauses become redundant when a tenant gives written notice banning access to the property without their express permission. There are several cases reported on the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland website against letting agents gaining access for inspections or viewings when tenants have not been home.
The Tribunal is also the body who enforce the landlords right of access where a tenant is not allowing work for authorised purposes. Of special concern are the regular safety checks landlords are legally required to carry out, although maintenance features could also be included here.
Key-Lets have represented landlords at the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland in right of entry actions. There is an application to complete and evidence to present, however the process is straight forward and time consuming.
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