Accessing a Resident’s Home

a. Housing 21 respects the privacy and tenancy rights of all residents’ and will always seek reasonable notice when access to their home is required.

b. The master key can be used to enter a resident’s accommodation on an exceptional or emergency basis. Use of the master key by either the Scheme Manager or other designated users (as per section 11) should be recorded in the scheme diary.

c. Accessing a resident’s accommodation with the master key without permission or a clear identified need, i.e., an emergency is a serious breach of policy and procedure.

d. Entering a property without permission or a Court Order is technically trespassing. Where it is identified that there has been a breach the line manager should refer to Housing 21’s code of conduct and take appropriate action.

e. Every effort should be made to gain a resident’s permission before anyone accesses their home. An assessment should be made to determine whether access is required. If there is an identified emergency, concern about the health or well-being of a resident or disrepair to a property or adjoining property (intentional or wear and tear) then the Scheme Manager may need to consider gaining access. Full guidance to assist Scheme Managers is available in Accessing a Residents Property in the Housing Toolkit.

Access for Gas Servicing
As well as pre-arranged care and support, planned visits to a resident’s home by authorised contractors and Housing 21 employees will need to take place to fulfil Housing 21’s programme of planned works and/or adhere to legal obligations, including Gas Safety testing. Please refer to the Gas Safety Policy and Procedure for further guidance.

For minor repairs requests, and other non-urgent property related issues
The master key must not be used unless permission to enter has been granted and the Permission to Access Form has been completed. A Designated Authorised User (please refer to section 11) may only use the master key

Accessing a Property for Welfare Visits
If the resident has limited mobility arrangements can be agreed to enable use of the master key by the Scheme Manager for planned welfare visits. Arrangements must be agreed with the resident and documented on their support plan/or their tenancy file. This must be reviewed every six months. Alternatively, a key safe can be fitted to assist carers who are
not Housing 21 employees and other visitors.

Accessing a Property without Receiving Permission
Access to a resident’s home without permission should be on an exceptional basis unless an assessment has been made that demonstrates an emergency has arisen i.e., something that may immediately affect the health and well-being of residents and/or the fabric of the building. In these cases, the Scheme Manager, or another authorised Housing 21 employee
i.e., relief manager or line manager may use the master key to gain access.
This includes, but is not limited to:
• When the emergency pull cord or pendant is activated
• When a serious concern about a resident’s welfare has been raised
• When a property is empty but unexplained noise or other concerns has been raised
• When unexplained smells, gas smells, and/or floods occur from the property.
Full guidance to assist Scheme Managers is available in Accessing a Residents Property guidance in the Housing Toolkit.

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