South Australia Landlord's Entry Rights

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 may mean 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 consent to enter and to agree on a mutually convenient time and day.

South Australian law provides the particular conditions under which landlords are allowed to enter the rented the rented premises.

Under what circumstances can the landlord enter the rented premises?

Entry without notice
The landlord can enter the premises without giving prior notice in the following circumstances:

  1. Tenant’s consent—the landlord can enter if the tenant gives their consent.
  2. Emergencies—the landlord can enter without giving prior notice in the case of an emergency.
  3. Abandonment—the landlord can enter without giving prior notice if they reasonably believe that the tenant has abandoned the premises.
  4. Collect Rent—the landlord can enter without giving prior notice to collect rent if:
    • the landlord has offered another way of paying rent but the tenant refused,
    • the rent collection occurs a maximum of once per week, and
    • the entry time is arranged beforehand with the tenant.
  5. Pre-arranged garden maintenance—the landlord can enter without prior notice to conduct garden maintenance if the landlord and tenant agreed. The agreement must occur at least 7 days before the landlord enters to perform the maintenance.

Tenants are allowed to be present during entry under any circumstance.

Entry with notice
The landlord can only enter under the following circumstances if they give prior written notice to the tenant. In most cases, the landlord must use the Notice to Enter Premises. If entry is to determine whether the tenant has fixed a breach, the landlord must use the Notice to Enter to Determine Breach Remedy.

  1. Inspection: 7 days notice—the landlord can enter to conduct a general inspection a maximum of once every 4 weeks. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days notice. The entry must date must be within 14 days of when the notice is given. The notice must also provide a 2 hour block on that day when entry will occur.
  2. Garden Maintenance: 7 days notice—the landlord can enter to conduct garden maintenance. The landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days notice. The entry must date must be within 14 days of when the notice is given.
  3. Maintenance or Repairs: 48 hours notice—the landlord can enter to conduct maintenance or repairs to the property. The landlord must give the tenant at least 48 hours notice of entry. This does not apply to garden maintenance or emergency repairs.
  4. Show Premises to Prospective Tenants: reasonable notice—the landlord can enter to show the premises to prospective tenants only in the 28 days before the end of the existing tenancy agreement. The landlord must give the tenant reasonable notice of each inspection—best practice would be to give at least 2-3 days notice if possible. The landlord can only conduct a reasonable amount of inspections. Although there is no specific limit, the landlord should consider the peace and comfort of the tenant. Good practice would be a maximum of 2-3 inspections per week.
  5. Show premises to prospective buyers: by agreement or reasonable notice—the landlord can enter the premises to show it to prospective buyers a maximum of 2 times every 7 days. The landlord and tenant must both make a reasonable effort to agree on a convenient time for the inspection. The tenant must not unreasonably refuse to make the premises available for inspection. If the landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement, the landlord can conduct an inspection after giving reasonable notice—best practice would be to give at least 2-3 days notice if possible.
  6. Inspect to see if Breach Remedied: 7 days notice—the landlord can enter the premises to determine whether the tenant has remedied a breach of the tenancy agreement. The landlord must give at least 7 days notice of entry. The date of entry must be within 14 days of when the notice is given. Landlord must use the Notice to Enter to Determine Breach Remedy.
  7. Other Genuine Purpose: 7 days notice—the landlord can enter the premises if they have a ‘genuine’ reason to do by giving the tenant at least 7 days notice. The date of entry must be within 14 days of when the notice is given. A ‘genuine’ reason includes any purpose reasonably necessary for the safe and efficient management of the tenancy.

Tenants are allowed to be present during entry under any circumstance.

How should entry be conducted by the landlord?

If the tenant has indicated that they wish to be present when the landlord enters the premises for any reason (except for an emergency, to inspect a remedied breach, or for abandonment), the landlord must make a reasonable effort to arrange with the tenant for a mutually convenient time. The landlord should consider the tenant’s work or other commitments in coming to an agreeable time.

It is important that the tenant be given the opportunity to be present while the inspection occurs so they can ensure that their belongings remain safe and secure, and that no damage occurs to the premises.

When should entry occur?

Unless entry is for an emergency, with consent, or otherwise by agreement, the landlord can only enter during ‘normal hours.’ Normal hours includes any time between 8am and 8pm from Monday to Saturday. It does not include Sunday or public holidays.

The entry notice provides space for the landlord to specify the time and date when entry will occur.

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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.