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No Key For My Property

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I bought a flat last year that was already tenanted. I went to see the tenant , told him that I was the new owner and gave him all my contact details. I also stated that I would need him to let me have a copy of the keys .

Everything went well for a while, although I never got the keys, and then his rent payments became very erratic. Since then we have gone round in circles with him disappearing for months on end with no payments or replies to my communication , then he will pay his rent plus some arrears, before defaulting again. I need to have an EPC done now, as it has run out. This will prevent me from taking action on his rent or even selling the property.

I would like to know my legal position regarding the keys. If he still doesn't provide me with them, am I entitled to have a locksmith replace them?

If this is yes, can I then give him notice that the EPC will be carried out, and enter the property for this purpose?

 

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On 27/07/2020 at 16:19, bassguitar said:

I bought a flat last year that was already tenanted. I went to see the tenant , told him that I was the new owner and gave him all my contact details. I also stated that I would need him to let me have a copy of the keys .

Everything went well for a while, although I never got the keys, and then his rent payments became very erratic. Since then we have gone round in circles with him disappearing for months on end with no payments or replies to my communication , then he will pay his rent plus some arrears, before d You would have got a copy from the original landlord or has the tenant changed locks ?efaulting again. I need to have an EPC done now, as it has run out. This will prevent me from taking action on his rent or even selling the property.

I would like to know my legal position regarding the keys. If he still doesn't provide me with them, am I entitled to have a locksmith replace them?

If this is yes, can I then give him notice that the EPC will be carried out, and enter the property for this purpose?

 

Surely you would have made sure you had keys when you completed the purchase ?  You would have got a copy off the original owner/landlord. Unless the tenant has changed locks since ?

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give him notice to quit sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen.

 

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Could you not send a recorded letter stating that since he hasn't provided the requested copies of the keys you will on (date) instruct a locksmith to change the locks, a copy of which will be made available. State that it's necessary to facilitate the need, in an emergency, to enter the property?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 28/07/2020 at 18:34, Jen17 said:

Surely you would have made sure you had keys when you completed the purchase ?  You would have got a copy off the original owner/landlord.

Irrelevant. If T occupies, L cannot enter or force entry other than:

a.in an emergency; or

b. with T's consent.

See my post #2.

Edited by Jeffrey Shaw

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12 hours ago, Jeffrey Shaw said:

Irrelevant. If T occupies, L cannot enter or force entry other than:

a.in an emergency; or

b. with T's consent.

See my post #2.

I know that - just found it incredible that anyone would buy a property and not get any keys. 

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4 hours ago, Jen17 said:

I know that - just found it incredible that anyone would buy a property and not get any keys. 

You'd be right if the purchaser were buying with vacant possession.

But an ongoing BTL is different (i.e. if one buys subject to a sitting tenant).

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I would say communication is the key to a successful relationship. If this gets lost then its time for a new tenant.

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Thanks for your replies.

Jen 17...I bought the property at auction with existing tenant who was supposed to supply keys but failed to. The previous owners were abroad.

 

The situation has been resolved thankfully. I did inform the tenant that for an emergency I would have to get a locksmith to gain entry . I had made numerous requests previously for keys so in the light of this, I told him he would be charged if I had to pay a locksmith.

 

He decided he would hand me a set of keys and gave permission for the Epc to be carried out..I haven't tried them yet, but I think I have a satisfactory result 

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Depending on the keys working, a great outcome. Well done on your persistence and negotiation skills.

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This tenant has breached the tenancy agreement because the landlord has legal right to have a copy of the keys. The landlord only has to give 48 hours notice to enter the property for maintenance or checks.

 Why has the previous owner not given the keys to the tenant? He needs to contact the council as they have a department who can help. If he can prove the tenant is being obstructive ( texts, emails, letters - email best) he can get him out without the epc etc or if he really wants to make him suffer announce he plans to live in it himself. 

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