Queensland Landlord's Rights to Enter the Premises
During a tenancy, it may be necessary for the landlord to access the premises. This may be to perform repairs, conduct inspections, or to show the premises to prospective buyers.
This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?
It is important to remember that during the tenancy, even though the landlord owns the premises, the tenant has been given exclusive occupation. This means that the tenant has the right to generally determine when other people are allowed into the premises. In the case of shared accommodation, this means that the tenant has the right to determine who and when other people, including the landlord, can access their room.
The best approach is generally for the landlord to ask for the tenant’s agreement to enter and to agree on a mutually convenient time and day.
When the landlord enters the premises, they can do so with another person if it is necessary for one of the purposes listed below. For example, if entry is to carry out repairs then the landlord can enter with a tradesperson.
Entry by agreement with Tenant
The landlord can enter the rented premises at any time if the tenant agrees. This is generally the best way for the landlord to gain access as it allows for a mutual agreement about how and when entry to the premises occurs. The landlord can only enter the premises at the time and date agreed to by the tenant.
In the share accommodation situations where the tenant has exclusive occupation of a room and shared use of certain facilities, the landlord will need to gain the tenant’s agreement to enter the room.
Entry only after giving notice to tenant
The landlord must notify the tenant of entry using the official Entry Notice form 9 before the minimum notice period. In the entry notice form, the landlord must state a period at most 2 hours in which they will enter the premises—e.g. 2pm-4pm. The landlord can only enter within that period.
The landlord can only enter the premises after giving the tenant adequate notice in the following circumstances:
- Inspections: 7 days notice - the landlord can conduct regular general inspections of the rented premises. The landlord can only conduct one inspection every 3 months. The landlord must give at least 7 days written notice.
- Routine Repairs / Maintenance: 24 hours notice - the landlord can enter the premises to conduct routine repairs or maintenance. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Inspect Repairs / Maintenance: 24 hours notice - if repairs or maintenance have been performed, the landlord can enter within 14 days of their completion to inspect whether they have been carried out properly. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Smoke Alarms: 24 hours notice - the landlord can enter the premises to ensure compliance with smoke alarm laws. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Electrical Safety Switches: 24 hours notice - the landlord can enter the premises to ensure compliance with smoke alarm laws. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Show to Prospective Tenant: 24 hours notice - the landlord can enter the premises to show it to a prospective tenant. However, the landlord can only enter if the tenant has given a notice of intention to leave the premises, or the landlord has given the tenant a notice to leave the premises before or when they gave the notice of entry to the tenant. The prospective tenant must not enter without the landlord. The landlord should accompany the prospective tenant at all times while inspecting the premises. A prospective tenant may enter without the landlord, however, if the tenant agrees to this. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice. A notice must be given for every inspection. There must be a reasonable period between each inspection.
- Show to Prospective Buyer: 24 hours notice - the landlord (or agent) can enter the premises to show it to a prospective buyer. This can only occur if the landlord (or agent) has given the tenant a notice of intention to sell the premises either before or when the tenant is given the entry notice. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice. A notice must be given for every inspection. If there are different agents selling and renting the premises, then the selling agent must give the renting agent a notice of intention to sell and an entry notice before each inspection. A prospective buyer must be accompanied during an inspection by the landlord (or agent) unless the tenant agrees otherwise. There must be a reasonable period between each inspection.
- Valuation of Premises: 24 hours notice - the landlord can enter the premises to conduct a valuation of the premises. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Premises Abandoned: 24 hours notice - if the landlord has a reasonable belief that the premises that the premises has been abandoned by the tenant, then they may enter. The landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice.
- Inspect whether Breach Remedied - if the landlord has given the tenant a notice to remedy a breach, and that breach is significant, then the landlord can enter the premises within 14 days of the end of the period allowed to remedy the breach to inspect whether the breach has been remedied. A ‘significant breach’ is any of the following:
- using the premise for an illegal purpose
- exceeding the maximum number of occupants allowed
- keeping a pet at the premises when not allowed by the agreement
- if the cost of rectifying the breach is more than 1 week’s rent
When and how can the landlord enter with notice?
When the landlord enters the premises after giving notice, they can only do so at certain times. Unless the tenant agrees otherwise, the landlord cannot enter on a Sunday or a public holiday. The landlord also cannot enter between 6pm and 8am on any day. When the landlord does enter, it must be at a reasonable time. The best approach is to simply discuss the entry.
Entry without giving any notice to tenant
There are a limited number of circumstances when the landlord can access the rented premises without giving the tenant notice and without the tenant’s agreement. These circumstances are:
- Emergency - the landlord can enter the premises in an emergency. Examples of an emergency include: tenant or occupant in imminent danger or seriously injured, to carry our emergency repairs to the premises.
- Protect Premises from Danger - if the landlord reasonably believes that it is necessary to enter to protect the premises from imminent danger or any further damage.
Emergency repairs is work to repair the following: burst water service or serious water leak, blocked/broken lavatory, serious roof leak, gas leak, dangerous electrical fault, flooding/serious flood damage, breakdown of gas/electricity/water supply, breakdown of hot water, cooking or heating services/appliances, faults or damage making the premises unsafe or insecure, any fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or inconvenience the tenant, and a serious fault in a common area like a stairwell.
Landlord must not use photos of Tenant’s Belongings
The landlord must not use any photographs or other images that show any of the tenant’s belongings to advertise the premises. If the tenant gives written consent however, then the landlord can use the photographs.
Open Houses and Auctions—require tenant’s consent
The landlord (or agent) can only conduct an open house or on-site auction for the premises if the tenant gives written consent.
Resolving Issues about Access to the Rented Premises
If issues arise for a tenant or landlord regarding access, the first step should be to negotiate a solution with the other party.
If negotiation does not work, then either can apply to the Tribunal for an order to resolve the problem. Landlords can seek an order from the Tribunal authorising them to enter the premises. The tenant can seek an order limiting the time and days when a landlord (or agent) can access the premises for any purpose.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.