As a landlord, it's important to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to entering your rental property. This includes when you are permitted to enter the unit, how much notice you must provide, and your tenant's rights during the entry.
Landlords often think they must wait to obtain a tenant’s permission to enter the unit, or they can send a notice by email without any agreement for service as such.
Landlords also have the right to enter a rental unit under certain conditions and tenants do indeed have the right to privacy. However, balancing these rights can sometimes be challenging and it is important for both parties to understand the current laws governing these issues.
When Can a Landlord Enter a Rental Property in Ontario?
According to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), in summary a landlord can enter a rental property in any of the following circumstances:
To carry out a repair or replacement or do work in the rental unit.
To show the rental property to prospective tenants or buyers.
In an emergency (without notice).
If the tenant consents to the entry at the time of entry (without notice).
To clean if the tenancy agreement requires the landlord to clean the rental unit at regular intervals (without notice).
To allow a potential mortgagee or insurer of the residential complex to view the rental unit.
If the tenant has abandoned the rental property.
To allow a person who holds a certificate of authorization within the meaning of the Professional Engineers Act or a certificate of practice within the meaning of the Architects Act or another qualified person to make a physical inspection of the rental unit to satisfy a requirement imposed under subsection 9 (4) of the Condominium Act, 1998.
For any other reasonable reason for entry specified in the tenancy agreement. Additionally, a landlord or a broker or salesperson registered under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (with the written authorization of a landlord), may enter a rental unit in accordance with written notice given to the tenant at least 24 hours before the time of entry to allow a potential purchaser to view the rental unit.
It's important to note that a landlord can only enter the rental property during reasonable hours, which are typically considered to be between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need to Give?
Pursuant to the RTA, a landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of entry at least 24 hours before the intended entry. Most importantly, which is often overlooked by many landlords, is that the notice must include the entry's date, time, and purpose.
A tenant has the right to refuse entry if the notice of entry is invalid because it fails to conform to the legislative requirements for entry.
It is important to note that if the landlord has provided a legally valid notice of entry, the tenant must not interfere with the landlord’s right to enter. A tenant can be subject to a termination notice for failing to allow entry.
A landlord may decide to move forward with entry if the tenant is not present. This can sometimes result in tension and hostility between the landlord and the tenant, where the tenant insists upon being present. How this situation is handled varies depending on the specific circumstances and it would be beneficial for a landlord to consult a legal professional.
It is critical for landlords in Ontario to understand their rights and responsibilities when entering a tenant's unit. Landlords can promote a positive and respectful relationship with their tenants by providing proper notice, respecting the tenant's privacy rights, and adhering to the laws governing this matter.
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If you are unsure about how to proceed in your specific situation, its best to consult a lawyer or paralegal who practices within this area of law. Please feel free to call me for a free 30-minute consultation at 1-888-217-6707.
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About the Author
AJ Murray Legal Services P.C.