When and How can a Landlord enter their Rental Unit?

There are generally two different ways for a landlord to enter a rental unit, one is with notice the other one without notice. Sections 26 and 27 of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) apply. The times for entry are generally limited to between 8 AM and 8PM.

1. Entering without notice

The landlord is allowed to enter a rental unit without written notice only in the following cases:

  • Emergency, e.g. flood
  • The tenant consents to the entry at the door
  • The lease requires the landlord to regularly clean the unit
  • There is an agreement to terminate the tenancy (N11), or either party has given proper notice of termination, and the landlord wants to show the unit to a prospective tenant

2. Entry with 24h written notice

The landlord can enter their rental unit with written notice for any of these purposes:

  • Repairs & maintenance
  • Entry for a lender or for insurance purposes
  • For a prospective buyer viewing the property
  • For an inspection to see if repairs are needed
  • Other reasonable grounds

Proper service of the notice is required. This means handing it to the tenant at the unit, sliding it under the door, putting it in the mailbox or posting it on the door. You have to list your reason for entry as well as the date and time window of the visit.

If your entry is being refused, document your attempts. Then call Rental Housing Enforcement 1-888-772-9277 to see if they can help you get access. If that fails, consider issuing a notice of termination based on substantial interference with your rights as a landlord, Form N5. The tenant then has 7 days to comply, after which you can file for eviction.

What to do when a tenant changes the locks? Under the RTA they are only entitled to do so with your consent. You have two options, either file form L8 with the LTB in order to obtain a key (or have the lock changed back), or serve the tenant with an N5 for termination.

Find more information on entering a rental unit on the LTB website