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Landlady let herself into my flat while I was in bed

(104 Posts)
BaeHole Wed 25-May-16 00:57:30

Hi just wondering how I should handle this. I was in bed this morning at about 10.30am, having worked until about 4am. I heard the door knock briefly (a few seconds, I was half asleep and ignored), and then someone let themselves into the flat. It was my landlady. I called out from my bed "hello?" and she replied that she had just come to clean the hallway and wanted to get some water from the sink. She said immediately - "Oh are you sleeping?" and I said, "Yes, sorry". She went straight back out. I assume she only let herself in as she assumed I wouldn't be there and it would do no harm filling her bucket up with some water. I am not really angry, but I am uncomfortable with this. I'm aware it's illegal, and also don't like the idea she might just wander into my flat whenever she feels like it, without notice and agreement. I want to say something, and really want it to never happen again, but also want to maintain the friendly rapport that we have and not spoil the good relationship between me, Landlady and Landlord. How do I broach it? WWYD?

GibbousHologram Wed 25-May-16 01:03:24

How about texting and saying something like 'I work shifts so I never know when I'll be there or be sleeping. Can you text me first if you want to come round? I need my sleep!'

Which is politer than saying fuck off out my flat.

Sultanashirls Wed 25-May-16 01:03:25

Are you allowed to change the lock?

EBearhug Wed 25-May-16 01:06:40

I would say I work shifts, and for that reason, it would be preferable if they could keep to the requirement of giving at least 24 hours notice before visiting, in case it would be better to rearrange to a more suitable time.

BaeHole Wed 25-May-16 01:07:54

Hi thanks for the responses. I don't know if I'm allowed to change the locks, but I don't really want to go that far anyway. I just want to send a text that says clearly - never do this again - but also, doesn't put things on a hostile or harsh note. We've had a good relationship till now (something to be relieved about when dealing with landlords/ladies) and I don't want to spoil our friendly rapport. So it's really a question about how to word the text message. Any suggestions appreciated!

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 25-May-16 01:08:41

I'd change the doorlock, retaining the original to be refitted when I moved out. As you are aware, your ll have no right whatsoever to enter your home without your previous agreement. You now have evidence that they think it's ok.

They'll only notice the lock change if they do it again, and at that point it'll be up to them to start an awkward conversation.

Of course, you may then be given notice to quit, so you'd have at least a couple of months to find somewhere else. Might be an idea to put some cash aside so you have the necessary first month's rent + deposit just in case.

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 25-May-16 01:11:06

Xpost, sorry.

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:13:50

Text this:

I've been thinking about what happened today and I'm very uncomfortable with the fact that you let yourself into my flat. Can you text or call in future if you want to enter my flat? I don't want to feel as though I have no privacy.

That's that.

I bet she wanted to snoop.

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:15:12

Hirples while I see where you're coming from, OP changing lock is a bad idea.

Landlords need to be able to enter in an emergency. It is their property...if there were a flood and she couldn't get in then OP would be in bother. I've always rented and LLs always have a key. It's normal.

What's NOT normal is her coming in!

BaeHole Wed 25-May-16 01:15:55

Thanks Ebearhug and Gibbous. Yes, think that might be worth mentioning. Am wondering whether to turn it round - tell them if they let me know in advance I can make sure I'm there and everything is in order ready to receive them, etc. To be honest though, I don't want them ever letting themselves in at any time of the day, ever. Unless we've agreed it in advance, obvs, which I'm always happy to do. I suppose I just sort of want them to know in principle that I'm not down with it. Without pissing them off. How does this sound - Hi there XXXX just wanted to let you know that my hours vary quite a bit. If you were able to always give me 24 hours notice before entering the flat, that would be ideal - and I can make sure I'm there to meet you, or know to expect you'll be round. Many thanks, BH"

Does this sound ok? Like I say, I'm keen to maintain the pleasant and friendly rapport we've established.

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 25-May-16 01:21:14

Violet, I also rent, and my ll have a key, which they have never used. In case of genuine emergency, they can break the door down. (And pay for repairs)

A doorchain would stop them entering while op is in and asleep, but of no use if she's out.

Yes, Bae, your text sounds fine, and more than reasonable in the circumstances. smile

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:21:28

I think that's too humble OP.

Say

I would rather that X didn't enter my flat without prior notice and as my hours vary a lot, I'd like to have 24 hours notice in future if access is required.

You're paying for the flat. You're not indebted to them and you have rights.

BaeHole Wed 25-May-16 01:22:06

Thanks Violet and Hirples! I don't want to go so far as changing locks. As I say, until now we've had a pleasant relationship, and so I don't want to go 'hardline' on them. I think they're just 'casual' landlords, and from what I could hear this morning, LL mopped all the landing and hallway. I think she basically just wanted to grab some water and probably thought it was harmless enough and I'd never find out. I want to phrase a text message in a way that says - never ever do this again - but also - I'm not angry, I still like you people (and not cause a bad atmosphere) - etc.

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:25:07

Is it a flat with communal hallway? I'd want to know why she felt the need to mop! Unless she also lives in the block.

To be honest I've always avoided tenancies where the LL has too much involvement in the property day to day. For eg. I once went to see a house and the LL said he wanted to continue to do the garden!

I was not interested from then on in. Why would he do that? It would be mine to all intents and purposes...I want to garden myself.

BaeHole Wed 25-May-16 01:26:08

I've had real asshole landlords in the past, and am keen to maintain good relations with the current people (on a personal level they strike me as ok, and I don't want to get really curt with them, although I know I have the right to lay everything out very bluntly if I wanted to - obviously!).

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:26:43

Why is she mopping the hall though?

Sultanashirls Wed 25-May-16 01:26:49

I'd be more assertive. From your text I got a sense that I could still let myself in if I gave you some notice.

Maybe say something like this (I'm not very assertive usually so maybe even this is a bit mild!):-

Hi xxx, I've been thinking about what happened today and I'd prefer it if you didn't let yourself in to my flat. I'm sure you appreciate my desire for privacy. If you'd like to visit, I'd be more than happy to make sure I'm available to meet you.

INeedNewShoes Wed 25-May-16 01:27:14

I agree that it's best to keep things friendly, but I don't think your text is quite clear enough.

I think you need to make it clear that landlord mustn't enter the flat without your permission.

Your wording with the 'ideally' bit makes it sound as though you're saying 'if possible give me 24 hours notice' which makes it sound as though you wouldn't mind them entering without giving notice at a pinch.

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 25-May-16 01:30:23

When I lived in a flat with communal stairs/hallway, each household took their turn in washing/mopping - a notice was popped through the door when it was your "turn", and you passed it on to the next flat in due course. Can you take on this duty, Bae? Perhaps phrase it as saving your ll the bother? (If they live in the same block, they can use their own water, after all.)

Iknownuffink Wed 25-May-16 01:31:29

Put a chain bolt on the door.

RTKangaMummy Wed 25-May-16 01:31:42

How about one of those chain thingys?

So when you go to bed or even better as soon as you come home so you can have bath or shower or sleep knowing that she can't walk into the flat without you knowing she is there

But also agree to send text about shifts

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:33:20

A chain won't stop the landlord from entering when OP is out. And while she doesn't know that this is going to happen...she doesn't know it won't either.

OP can you clarify about the mopping? Does Landlady live in the block too?

INeedNewShoes Wed 25-May-16 01:33:38

'I was surprised that you let yourself into the flat today. I wouldn't expect you to do so without discussing it with me first unless there was an emergency. I'm sure you understand my need for privacy. 24 hours' notice that you need access to the flat tends to be the norm so perhaps we could stick with that? '

Or something along those lines.

VioletBam Wed 25-May-16 01:36:17

Shoes that's well worded in my opinion.

Iknownuffink Wed 25-May-16 01:37:20

Next time it happens call 999.

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