Solving 'quiet enjoyment' versus 'access for renovations' issues

Question from Juliane updated on 18th November 2010:

We have a fixed-term tenant in our property (3 month into the term). When he moved in, we advised him, that we are getting the outside of the house painted and fixed. Now he decided, that this is all causing too much interruptions with his peace and privacy and is upset about the painters and their work. We try and keep him happy but he now refuses to talk to us. We need the door jambs of the front and garage door to be painted and the doors open for this and fear he refuses acsess to the property. What can we do?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Where necessary maintenance or repairs are required, and access to the interior of the home is essential, the landlord must give the tenant a minimum of 24 hours notice of entry. Access to the outside area of the premises only does not require notice. However, in either case landlords need to ensure they do not interfere with the tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy during the tenancy. Where the work is not necessary maintenance or repairs, the landlord will need to obtain the tenants consent if access to the interior is required.

Painting the exterior of a property can be a substantial job which may interfere with the tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, and may be best done between tenancies to avoid any disruption to tenants. In this type of situation, a landlord may want to consider whether they offer the tenant compensation (i.e. reduced rent for the period of the work) if the intended work will cause them undue disruption.

To discuss your situation further, or for information about a landlord’s right of entry to the premises, you can visit the Department of Building and Housing website (, or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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