(Amri Murray)

Notices of Entry: Misconceptions and How to Spot an Illegal Notice

Tenants are often provided with notices of entry by landlords for various reasons. The reasons for entry can sometimes include for repairs or inspection.

There is the misconception many tenants have that an inspection can only be done once or twice per year. The Residential Tenancies Act actually stipulates that inspections may be carried out if:

  • The inspection is for the purpose of determining whether or not the rental unit is in a good state of repair and fit for habitation. The inspection must further be for the purpose of determining whether the unit complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards, which are consistent with the landlord’s obligations under the Act.
  • It must also be reasonable to carry out the inspection.

Tenants often insist that they must be present every time a landlord enters their unit. Tenants often deny entry to landlords because they are unable to be present upon entry by the landlord. The Act makes no provisions that a tenant should be present. It is reasonable that a landlord should try to accommodate a tenant who wants to be present but this is not a requirement. A tenant who often denies entry for this reason would therefore be in violation of the Act and may find themselves being issued with a notice of termination by the landlord.

When it comes to the other side of the coin, we find that some notices provided to tenants by landlords are illegal notices for failure to comply with the requirements of the legislation. On a number of occasions, we see landlords providing notices several times a year to tenants without providing a reason for their entry or a reason which complies with the legislation.

These notices must further be provided 24 hours in advance with a reasonable time frame for entry. There is a prevailing misconception that once the notice is provided detailing that the landlord will enter between 8am-8pm, that this is sufficient. A twelve-hour widow or even a 6-hour window have been often viewed by the Courts and the Landlord and Tenant Board as unreasonable. If the landlord is unable to provide an actual time, a reasonable window of time should be provided.

In addition to those factors mentioned previously, a landlord may only enter a rental unit under the following circumstances:

  • To carry out a repair or replacement or do work in the rental unit.
  • To allow a potential mortgagee or insurer of the residential complex to view the rental unit.
  • To allow a person who holds a certificate of authorization subject to the Act or another qualified person to make a physical inspection of the rental unit to satisfy a requirement as stipulated under the Act.
  • To carry out an inspection of the rental unit based upon the purposes mentioned above.
  • For any other reasonable reason for entry specified in the tenancy agreement.
  • To allow for a potential purchaser to view the rental unit subject to the Act.

You can spot an illegal notice of entry where the foregoing requirements are not complied with.

Both Tenants and Landlords are encouraged to contact a licensed paralegal or lawyer for assistance should they be uncertain about their rights pertaining to notices of entry.

All articles provided though these blog posts as posted by AJ Murray Legal Services are not to be construed as legal advice. For legal advice concerning your specific circumstances, please contact a licensed paralegal or a lawyer.