Tenant Pays for Barring Her Door to Landlord’s Workmen

A tribunal has ruled that a tenant who refused her landlord access to her home to carry out renovations should have her fair rent assessed on the basis that the property is in a reasonable state of repair.

The assured shorthold tenant was on poor terms with her landlord, a social housing provider who had previously taken action against her in respect of rent arrears. The landlord’s representatives were not welcome on the premises and the tenant had persistently refused them access to carry out repair works.

Before the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) the landlord contended for a fair rent of £120 a week. However, the FTT cut that down to £86 a week on the basis that that represented the rent which the property could be expected to fetch on the open market in such a poor state of repair.

In upholding the landlord’s appeal against that decision, the Upper Tribunal (UT) found that it was an implied term of the woman’s tenancy that she would afford her landlord reasonable access to carry out necessary repairs. By not doing that, she had failed to mitigate her own loss. The fair rent therefore stood to be assessed on the assumption that the repairs had in fact been carried out. The matter was sent back to the FTT for reconsideration in the light of the UT’s ruling.