When can a landlord legally enter a property?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2021 | Landlord-Tenant

Based on numerous factors, the relationship between landlord and tenant can range from effortless to contentious. No matter how challenging the landlord-tenant relationship is, however, there are numerous legal rules in Ontario designed to protect a tenant’s privacy. To that end, the landlord simply cannot enter the tenant property unless certain conditions are met.

Generally, a landlord can only enter the residence without notice under specific circumstances. The landlord may enter at any time with no notice if:

  • There is an emergency
  • The landlord is responsible for the cleaning of the residence
  • It is a care home or retirement home and the tenancy agreement indicates the landlord must check on the tenant’s condition

Most of the time, the landlord is required to provide 24 hours’ notice before entering the residence. This category makes up most times the landlord will need to enter the tenant’s dwelling. Notice must be provided in writing 24 hours prior to the visit and the reasons can include:

  • Making repairs in the unit
  • To investigate whether certain repairs are necessary
  • To show the residence to a potential buyer, insurer or mortgage lender
  • To allow a real estate agent to show the residence to a potential buyer
  • To complete a property inspection prior to turning the building into a condominium

The rental agreement might also allow for landlord entry for reasons such as upgrades, insect control or HVAC maintenance.

Additionally, the landlord is legally allowed to enter the property to show the residence to potential renters. In these situations, the landlord is not required to provide the same 24-hour notice, but they must make a good faith effort to communicate their intentions. The visit is required to occur between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and must be based on one of the following conditions:

  • The renter has given notice that he or she is moving out
  • The landlord has given notice that the renter must move out
  • The landlord and tenant have agreed that the renter is moving out

If you have questions regarding your legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.