Can a Landlord Withhold a Tenant’s Access Temporarily?
Being a landlord brings a lot of responsibilities. This includes having a suitable place for tenants to rent and making sure that it is safe and secure for them.
One landlord had a challenging experience with two of his tenants. Let us call the two tenants A and B.
Tenant B called the landlord when Tenant A smashed his place and tried to break down the door to B’s flat. The door and lock were badly damaged that B cannot get out of his place. There hasn’t been an argument between the tenants, but it is suspected that A might be going through a crisis. It’s also good to note that A is alone in his flat
The landlord called the police and advised B to do the same. The authorities arrived and found that A was nowhere to be seen. They also got a locksmith to get B’s door open so he can get out. This situation forced B to leave and stay with his family. The authorities then secured A’s flat and alerted Mental Health Services.
Not only has A smashed up his place and B’s door, but he also smashed the main communal door. After a locksmith fitted a new lock, police advised the landlord to not let A back in via the communal door or give him a spare (B and the locksmith has keys to the communal door). When he does turn up, the police urged him to call them first.
After a day, A hasn’t been sighted. The police updated other agencies and reminded the landlord to not let him into the building until the police arrive or he has seen a psychiatrist.
The main question of the landlord is: can he deny A’s entry temporarily? He believes he can’t force him to see a mental health specialist and at the same time, he can’t deny him access. Does to contact the Council? What should he do?
Lock Doc NI has security experts and emergency locksmiths in Belfast in charge of keeping locks strong and secure. These security experts and locksmiths also deal with this kind of problem for homeowners and landlords. Their main advice is to ensure that A’s communal door key and keys to his flat are handed to the police. Then notify A by either using text, email, notice on the communal door that he should collect them from the police.
This makes it that the landlord cannot be accused of denying him access. Until he is charged with criminal damage sanctioned under the Mental Health Act, the landlord cannot deny access. Do note that the landlord must leave the keys to the police, not to the locksmith. Tenant A could convince a locksmith that it wasn’t his fault and he was pushed to his breaking point by someone else. This burden must not be placed on a locksmith. Lastly, notify the Council as soon as possible.
This is a horrible situation where you can easily go wrong, however, you can get in touch with a locksmith to help you get through. Save a number of a 24-hour locksmith in Belfast like Lock Doc NI. We are available at any time and can reach you at a moment’s notice. Lock Doc NI also provides a variety of locksmith services in Belfast, catering to anyone in need. Give us a call and we will be there quickly.