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When can a landlord enter your residence?

Landlords have limited rights of entry. Depending on the province or territory that regulates the residential tenancy act, landlords have to give notice to the tenant before entering but requirements may differ from province to province.

Notice requirements

The notice period is very important. A landlord cannot just enter a tenant’s unit or premises without having a good reason. However, a landlord is letting the tenant know he is entering the unit in this way because permission is not required, which is why there are restrictions on the times and circumstances when a landlord may enter the unit.

Tenants also have privacy concerns and rights when the landlord is accessing the property which is why the landlord has to give written notice to the tenant before entering the unit without permission.

In many provinces, such as New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta the appropriate notice period to the tenant is 24 hours before entry.

The amount of hours or days for notice is not the only requirement that most landlords have to follow.

Landlords may also have to do the following in order to give proper notice to their tenants:

  • Be in writing;
  • Be given to each tenant;
  • Be signed by the landlord or the landlord’s agent;
  • Give the reasons that the landlord is entering the unit;

Landlords are also restricted at which hours they may enter the unit, unless it’s an emergency situation. Often the hours during which they may enter are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but again this may vary from province to province.

For what reasons can a landlord enter with notice?

  • To make repairs to the premises (sometimes the notice period for this is longer, depending on the province or territory);
  • Pest control;
  • Inspect the state of repair of the premises;
  • Show the premises to prospective tenants after tenant has given notice to end a tenancy.

Note in the last case of the landlord showing the premises to prospective tenants, depending on what province or territory you live in, the landlord may not have notice requirements.

It’s important to consult the residential tenancy act of your province or territory in regards to whether notice is required in cases where a tenancy is ending.

When can a landlord enter without notice?

There are limited and specific circumstances when a landlord may enter a tenants unit. The following are instances of when a landlord may enter a tenants unit in British Columbia. Many provinces/territories follow these rules as well although some things may vary, especially notice periods and times.

  • There’s an emergency and entry is necessary to protect life or property;
  • The tenant is at home and agrees to let the landlord in;
  • The tenant has abandoned the rental unit;
  • The tenant lives in a hotel and someone comes in to clean the room;
  • The landlord has an arbitrator’s order or court order to enter the rental unit.

If the landlord enters illegally

If the landlord enters without giving proper notice or following the rules set out in the residential tenancy act of your province or territory, then the landlord is entering illegally.

You could try to speak to the landlord about it, write a letter complaining about the conduct as a first step. If the conduct persists, then you can complain to your provinces’ tenants’ board or dispute resolutions body.

If the conduct of entering without permission rises to the level where you are afraid for you safety you could contact the police.

Again, you should consult the residential tenancy act of your province and territory to verify what rights of entry your landlord has.

If you have continuous problems with a landlord or a tenant you may want to contact a lawyer who can inform you of your options.

Read more:

Landlord’s Access British Columbia

Landlord’s Right of Entry Alberta