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October 2015

What are the notice requirements if a landlord wishes to enter a rental property?

Privacy is understandably a major concern for tenants, and there are a number of laws in place preventing a landlord (or agent) from entering the premises without authorisation – even if the landlord is the actual owner of the property. This piece will explore the laws in relation to the rights and responsibilities for landlords when it comes to entering a rental property.

Occupation by the tenant

The landlord must ensure that there is no legal hindrance towards the tenant once the tenancy agreement has been entered into, and during the period of the agreement. Furthermore, the landlord must ensure that the tenant has vacant possession to any part of the property for which the tenant has exclusive possession from the moment the tenancy agreement takes effect.

The right to quiet enjoyment

Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of the rental property, and a landlord must not interfere with, or cause or permit interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant. In addition to the landlord not interfering with the quiet enjoyment of the tenant, they must also take reasonable steps to make sure that the tenant’s neighbours do not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant as well.

When is a landlord allowed to enter the rental property?

The landlord or any authorised person such as an agent, may enter the rental property with the consent of the tenant or with an order from the relevant state or territory body.

There are certain situations where the landlord or any other authorised person may enter the rental property without the tenant’s permission and without providing notice, such as:

  • during emergencies, including circumstances where there is reasonable cause for serious concern about the tenant’s health and safety or any other person on the property;
  • urgent repairs need to be carried out on the property;
  • if the landlord holds the reasonable belief that the premises has been abandoned.

What notice must a landlord provide if they wish to enter the rental property?

Landlords may enter the rental property under the following circumstances, and upon providing the statutory notice to the tenant depending on the applicable circumstance:

·         to inspect the premises (written notice must be provided);

·         to carry out non-urgent repairs and maintenance;

·         to inspect or assess the work required in order to comply with the landlord’s obligations relating to health or safety of the property, once the required notice has been provided;

·         to value the property;

·         to show the property to prospective tenants with reasonable notice and not before the allowable period preceding the end of the tenancy agreement;

·         to show the property to prospective buyers provided the statutory requirements have been met depending on the state or territory.

In addition to adhering to the notice requirements when entering the rental property, landlords or their representatives may be in breach of the tenancy agreement by taking or publishing any photos or videos of the interior without permission from the tenant.

Entry by other parties on behalf of the landlord

Any person entering the rental property on behalf of the landlord must produce written evidence to enter the premises either from the landlord or agent.

If a person enters the property on behalf of the landlord or agent, such as a tradesperson for example, and property is either damaged or stolen, the tenant may apply to the relevant body seeking compensation from the landlord.