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Tenant has changed locks, gone away and left lights on.

(264 Posts)
Brightonhome Wed 08-Feb-17 12:59:34

New tenant is two months in to a six month let (to be extended after 6 months) No issues before, although he does have a weird habit of leaving all the lights on all the time (the property we let to him is visible from our house). He has a regular job, and it's his electricity bill, but I still find it a bit odd. He has been away for at least a couple of weeks now with all the lights still on. I sent him a nice text asking him if he would mind me going in and turning the lights off (concerned about overheating / electrical problem) I waited for two days with no answer. I then went over there, thinking he may be ill, to discover he has changed the locks (as is his right) but without telling me. As the owner of the property, I feel a bit uneasy about this. Don't I have the right to a set of keys? I would never enter the property without the tenant's consent, but in the case of an emergency, there is nothing I can do without keys. Not sure what to do now re lights. Am I being overly cautious and worried over nothing? I've been letting this property for six years (two different tenants in that time) with absolutely no problems whatsoever. I have always had keys.

Spam88 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:05:13

I don't understand why you're concerned about lights being left on, but my tenancy agreements have always stated that I can't change locks without prior permission from the landlord. Only at one property have I ever needed to change the locks, and as part of that permission being granted I was told how many copies of the keys they would require. I obviously fully expect the landlords/agents to have keys. Do you have no such clause in your tenancy agreement? I would contact your tenant advising them that you need new keys in the first instance, and hopefully it won't need to go any further than that.

As an aside, I also have always had to notify landlords if I'm leaving a property empty for more than a specified period of time.

Morifarty Wed 08-Feb-17 13:05:29

* I would never enter the property without the tenant's consent*

But you did.

steppemum Wed 08-Feb-17 13:13:50

You should have a copy of the keys.

have you been inside since the tenancy began?
Having lights on all the time sounds liek a canabis factory

BofAlorsStance Wed 08-Feb-17 13:14:57

The house could be lit up like Blackpool illuminations morning, noon and night OP and that really has fuck all to do with you, even as Landlord (unless you know you have dodgy electrics in which case wtf). I say that as a tenant and a landlord. You just can't make that kind of stipulation. You must know that.
I am surprised at the change of locks. Pretty sure that's not legal and you do Ned a spare set. But you also need to give minimum of 24 hours for visits, they cannot be excessive or it's harassment/tenants have right to peace in their home.
How did you know locks were changed, are they significantly different looks-wise? Maybe he thought you would let yourself in.
You must realize that is totally illegal.

Brightonhome Wed 08-Feb-17 13:14:59

Yes, I tried the key in the door after giving him two days to reply to me. In my text message I told him that if he didn't mind, I would go over and turn the lights out as I was concerned about electrical safety. He was given plenty of notice of my intentions and reason. When I got there I saw that the lock was different. I was concerned about him and my property. I don't see that I've done anything wrong?

TipBoov Wed 08-Feb-17 13:15:48

You wouldn't know he'd change the locks if you didn't try and enter without his permission. Its not an emergency, you shouldn't be concerned about lights on if he's paying the bill.

Poor guy probably feels stifled, leave him alone!

BofAlorsStance Wed 08-Feb-17 13:16:09


Briette Wed 08-Feb-17 13:17:38

Do you actually know he's away on a trip? If he's been apparently away for weeks, cannot be reached and doesn't seem to be home, he could be really sick (or worse).

Do you have any other contacts for him?

namechange20050 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:18:12

Good lord! The lights being left on does not constitute an emergency! You have no right to do that, at all.

TwitterQueen1 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:18:41

Why is it his right to change the locks? There's no way I would ever have allowed this. The property is yours. You would be within your rights to force entry, change the locks again and ensure he never does it again. And bill him for the expense too.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 08-Feb-17 13:19:38

The tenant is allowed to change locks and you should not have attempted to enter their home without permission.

BofAlorsStance Wed 08-Feb-17 13:21:00

You were trespassing.

You needed permission/agreed time that tenant would be there.

They also can change locks without you having a key according to the link above.

reallyanotherone Wed 08-Feb-17 13:22:19

I quite often leave lights on, for security. Hall, living room and a bedroom. Sometimes all day if i'm out early, or a week or more if i'm on holiday.

I believe it's recommended by the police.

If he's abroad he may not have a phone signal.

You sound like a nightmare landlord, sorry. Checking if he's left lights on, watching the house from yours, trying to access the property without permission in a non-emergency situation.

Electrical safety? Come on. Unless you know the wiring isn't up to code or something equally illegal a few lights are not a hazard.

Having said that, i think he's in the wrong chamging the locks. Write him a letter asking why you weren't notified, and why he did it.

namechange20050 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:22:45

Because it's the tenants home. They are entitled to quiet enjoyment of their home without being harassed by their landlord. and no, the LL isn't within their writes to force entity, change the locks and bill the tenant hmm

Cloeycat Wed 08-Feb-17 13:23:44

I am a tenant and am just curious- if a landlord has no contact despite requesting to enter a property at what point are they allowed to enter? A week? A month later? Surely with no response a landlord has a right to enter the property to check everything is ok at some point?

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 08-Feb-17 13:24:51

The landlord may only have a right to own a set of keys, if they specifically added such a clause in your Assured Shorthold tenancy agreement. If there is similar wording in your tenancy agreement, you may owe your landlord a set of keys to your property.

This is from that link.

If it is in the lease then yes they do have to give keys.

LeninaCrowne Wed 08-Feb-17 13:25:00

Maybe the lights are on as he's sublet it as a cannabis farm.

Just because the OP is a landlord doesn't mean she's an evil harasser and he's an angel.

NerrSnerr Wed 08-Feb-17 13:25:05

I'd feel like I was being spied on if I had received that text. You clearly tried to enter without permission. Let him do what he likes with his lights!

namechange20050 Wed 08-Feb-17 13:27:53

lenina letting yourself into a rental property without permission is against the law. If op thinks he is running a cannabis farm she calls the police.

kayleighnotts Wed 08-Feb-17 13:29:10

What if he is away on a trip and has left the lights on to deter burglars? if he is still paying rent i would leave it.

steppemum Wed 08-Feb-17 13:30:31

Cloey - there was a thread about this recently (actually it was a sidetrack on another thread)

the popular belief is that you have to give 24 hours notice to enter and then can enter.
This is apparently incorrect.
You should give 24 hours notice of the time you WANT to enter, and then you can come in IF the tenant agrees. In other words it should be a mutually agreed time.

I don't think the LL is allowed to enter at all if the tenant doesn't agree. (Contrary to popular belief.) However if repairs need to be done, or there is an emergency I think there are sligtly different rules. But it still has to be agreed.

In other words, if you don;t reply to your LL and your tenacny is in order, there is no way they are allowed in.

Atenco Wed 08-Feb-17 13:32:34

Really you are overstepping the mark, OP. It is really none of your business if he chooses to waste his money and global resources. What you were attempting to do was illegal.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 08-Feb-17 13:37:24

You are so far across the line op I'm surprised you can even see it any more.

Stop harassing your tenant and mind your own business. I say that as a person with a thinking brain also a landlord but not sure that's relevant when dealing with Stalker McStalky

PragmaticWench Wed 08-Feb-17 13:38:11

I used to be a landlord and I'm stunned that you not only bothered your tenant about this (check out rights to peaceful enjoyment) but then tried to access the property illegally. You need to inform yourself of the law around landlord and tenant rights.

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