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When is a Landlord Legally Allowed to Enter a Unit?

The delicate relationship between landlord and tenant depends, in large part, on mutual respect. Part of that respect is not barging in on tenants unannounced. 

Just because landlords own the property, doesn’t mean they can wander in and out, ignoring their tenant’s right to privacy. Not only are these spur-of-the-moment visits rude and unwelcome, they’re also illegal. 

While landlords do need access to their own properties occasionally – to assess damage, check in with tenants, perform repairs – there are strict limitations around how, why, and when they can visit.

When is a landlord legally allowed to enter a unit?

 The Residential Tenancies Act sets out the circumstances in which a landlord can legally enter an occupied unit:

  • If something needs to be fixed

  • To do a maintenance inspection

  • If they’ve given the current tenants notice to move out, and are showing the unit to new tenants

In all cases, landlords are required to give 24 hours written notice before they enter. The only time this provision can be waived is in an emergency or if the tenant agrees to it. 

Landlords can only enter a unit between 8am and 8pm but the tenant doesn’t have to be at home at the time. In fact, they may prefer not to be in some cases – if you’re fixing a leaky pipe or painting a room for example. But they do need to be aware that a visit is taking place, with a written notice that clearly spells out the reason for the landlord’s visit, and the date and time.

In the case of a maintenance inspection, the Act is very clear – landlords can’t just barge in under the guise of checking a tap or seeing if the stove works. Maintenance checks have to be “reasonable” i.e. not interfering with a tenant’s “reasonable enjoyment” of the property or harassing them.

If you’re giving prospective new tenants a tour of the property, you can enter the unit between 8am and 8pm after “making a reasonable effort” to inform the current tenant that you’ll be dropping by for a showing.  

Finding trustworthy tenants

 It’s tempting to spring a visit on tenants, especially if you suspect that they’re violating the terms of their rental agreement, but dropping by unannounced can earn landlords hefty fines and other disciplinary action, levied by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Don’t risk damaging your relationship with your tenant or breaking the law, find tenants you can trust. CCPM property managers offer thorough tenant vetting and screening services that give landlords peace of mind about who’s occupying their property. Our experienced team doesn’t just handle tenant selection, we also monitor tenant activity, collect rent, schedule maintenance checks and repairs, and more. 

Get in touch today to see how we can help you earn your rental income stress-free with professional property management.



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