When can a Landlord Enter a Rental Unit?

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Hi Steven, I need your advice….my landlord is asking me to co-ordinate a time with her for a home inspection of the house I am living in, and renting from her.  I have never heard of this? Why would she be doing this? Please help! 🙂

The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) is the Law that governs Residential Rentals and Leases in Ontario.  According to the Act a landlord may enter a tenant’s unit only under certain circumstances.  Generally, the landlord must first give the tenant 24 hours written notice, stating when they will enter and for what reason.  There are some exceptions, however, such as in the case of an emergency or if the tenant agrees to allow the landlord to enter the unit. In your case, as long as the Landlord gives you 24-hour written notice, she may enter even if you’re not home (for other times Landlords may enter with and without notice visit AskRealtorSteve.com). If you don’t let her in the landlord could give you notice of termination claiming that you are interfering with their lawful rights under the Act. While most people think that home inspections only relate to purchasing and selling homes, while I was a full-time inspector, I often performed home inspections for landlords, property managers and owners who wanted a written assessment of their property.  While your landlord may be preparing for a sale, she may also simply be assessing the condition of the home in order to perform her mandatory maintenance or preparing a schedule for budgeting purposes. Your landlord does not need to give you written notice if you let her in.  If you have a good relationship with her or don’t want to ask for notice in writing you can still ask for the reason for entry.  You are entitled to know why otherwise you don’t have to provide access.

 

Landlord entry without written notice at ANY TIME:

  • if the tenant give permission to let the landlord in,
  • if there is an emergency (a fire for example),
  • if the landlord has permission in writing to come in and check on a care home tenant at regular intervals.

Landlord entry without written notice, between 8AM to 8PM:

  • the lease / rental agreement requires the landlord to clean the unit – unless the agreement allows different hours for cleaning,
  • the landlord or tenant has given a notice of termination, or they have an agreement to end the tenancy, and the landlord wants to show the unit to a potential new tenant (in this case, although notice is not required, the landlord must try to tell the tenant before entering for this reason).

Landlord entry with 24 hours written notice (must be between 8AM and 8PM)

  • to perform repairs or other work required,
  • to perform an inspection (them selves or by an inspector) to determine if repairs are required,
  • to provide access to a potential mortgagee or insurer,
  • so a potential buyer and registered Realtor(s) may view the rental unit,
  • if a condominium or potential conversion into a condominium; to allow a professionals (such as an engineer or architect) to inspect
  • or for any reasonable reason included in the rental/lease agreement.

Note: Written notice must include the reason the landlord wants to enter and at what time (between 8 AM and 8 PM) the landlord will enter the unit. As long as the landlord gives the tenant proper notice, the landlord can enter even if the tenant is not at home.  The tenant cannot refuse to let the landlord in.  If the tenant does not let the landlord in, the landlord can give them a notice of termination claiming that the tenant is interfering with their lawful rights.  A Member could order the tenant’s eviction for this reason. Also, interfering with a landlord’s lawful right is an offence under the Act, and the tenant could be prosecuted. For More Information regarding Landlord and Tennant issues in Ontario email askstevensilva@gmail.com or visit: http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/

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