Legally Entering the Tenant’s Unit

All questions relating to entry into a tenant’s unit are regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act. This Act is a large volume of law which contains fairly detailed rules which both the landlord and the tenant must follow. Not knowing these rules often, unfortunately, leads to conflicts between landlords and tenants and lengthy procedures in the Landlord and Tenant Board. This post will focus on one aspect of the rules contained within the  Act: the landlord’s entry into the tenant’s unit. In general, the rules revolve around the tenant’s right to privacy. As a result, the landlord does not usually have the right to enter the tenant’s unit without the tenant’s consent. At the same time, there are exceptions. The landlord may enter the tenant’s unit when

  1. The tenant has consented to the landlord’s entry when the landlord came and knocked at the door.
  2. There is an accident in the rental unit, and the tenant is not home. For example, if a pipe broke in the rental unit and is flooding the tenants below, the landlord may enter the unit with no notice and in the tenant’s absence to correct the problem.
  3. There is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant that cleaning is included in rent. In this case, the landlord or his/her employee may enter the tenant’s premises to clean at a mutually agreed upon time.
  4. The rental agreement is ending by consent or proper notice of termination, and the landlord must show the unit to potential new tenants. In this case, the landlord must make every effort to give notice of each showing to the current tenant, but he or she does not require the tenant’s consent for entry. These showings can only take place between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.

Further, the law prescribes situations when the landlord may enter the rental unit after giving the tenant proper notice of the same. This notice must be given 24 hours prior to the landlord’s attendance, and must contain the following information:

  • The reason for entry
  • The time the landlord will enter the unit, which must be between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm

There are several situations in which the landlord can enter the rental unit having given the tenant notice.

  1. For repairs to the rental unit or equipment, which can be completed fairly quickly and quietly. Other rules apply to lengthy, serious repairs.
  2. To show the rental unit to a potential property insurer or lender, who will insure the property or issue a mortgage, and must, therefore, evaluate the premises
  3. For inspection of a condominium rental unit by a specialist. Such an inspection must be periodically conducted in condominiums.
  4. To show the rental unit to potential purchasers of the property. This showing can be done by a real estate agent. The tenant must receive 24 hours notice before every showing.
  5. The landlord or his/her employee may enter the rental unit to inspect its condition and evaluation of potentially necessary repairs.
  6. For other reasonable purposes. Of course, this right must be used reasonably and not interfere with the tenant’s rights.

In order to avoid future complications or conflict, it is important for the landlord to enter the rental unit in accordance with the rules. It is equally important for the tenant to co-operate with the landlord in reasonable requests for entry. For example, if the tenant in any way obstructs showings of the rental unit to potential tenants or purchasers, he or she may become responsible for the landlord’s damages associated with the sale or rental of the unit.

Please note that the above article is not legal advice, and should not be considered as such. For legal advice in your particular matter, please contact a legal professional.

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