The circumstances in which a landlord can enter your home are normally set out in the contract.
Most assured and assured shorthold contracts say the landlord can come in to carry out inspections and repairs. This type of visit normally requires 24 hours notice and should take place at a reasonable time. Notice is not required in an emergency situation such as a suspected gas leak.
If you do not have a written contract, or your contract fails to mention this type of visit, or fails to mention, for example, the requirement to give 24 hours notice, don’t worry - your landlord still has to abide by the rules.
Written contracts often mention other circumstances in which a landlord can enter your house. For example, most contracts say the landlord (or his agent) can show the house to prospective tenants. This type of visit is often restricted to the last few weeks or months of the contract so you can say no if the landlord wants to enter the house for this reason at other times.
Allowing the landlord access to carry out inspections and repairs is the only type of landlord visit implied into oral (verbal) contracts.
If you have a resident landlord your contract might say that your landlord can enter your room without giving any notice. In some circumstances, for example where the landlord provides your meals and cleans your room, this can be lawful. In other circumstances, for example where you and the landlord live completely separate lives, it may not be lawful. Unfortunately, because living with a resident landlord normally means you can be evicted more easily, it can sometimes be difficult to balance your right to privacy and your need to stay in your home. Contact the Student Advice Centre if you would like to talk to an adviser about this.
Page updated 15 June 2015