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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
The landlord (or agent) can only conduct an open house or on-site auction for the premises if the tenant gives written consent.
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.