Balancing your ability to inspect your property and your tenant’s right to privacy can be a challenging task. The law limits when and how you can enter your property -- a smart landlord will do their best to abide by the law but to also make their tenant feel trusted and comfortable. In our experience managing properties, we’ve become very familiar with Ontario laws and how landlords can best inspect their property.
Entry with 24-Hour Notice
A tenant must receive a formal written notice 24-hours beforehand if you need to enter the premises (even if they’re not home) for the following reasons:
To see if the unit is in need of repair.
Conduct repairs or do other work on the unit.
To allow viewings by a potential tenant, purchaser or insurer.
Any reason specifically stated in the rental agreement.
You may also bring in professionals like architects or engineers to perform inspections.
Entry Without Notice
Of course, there are certain situations you may need to enter the property without a 24-hour notice. The law allows for these emergency or critical situations, but only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for the following:
The lease requires or allows you to clean or maintain the property.
The current tenant’s lease is ending and you need to inspect, clean or show the property to a potential tenant.
You believe the tenant has abandoned the property; if you do not know where the tenant is, the tenant is gone, the tenant has left behind furniture and other belongings, and the rent is unpaid for 15 days.
You have a court order to enter the property.
You may enter the property without notice or outside the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. if there is an emergency on the property, like a flood or fire, or if the tenant has given you permission.
When Should You Inspect the Property?
There is no written rule that landlords or property managers should inspect properties. But if you prefer, you can perform property inspections biannually or quarterly. However, this may be intrusive and intimidating for your tenants. Instead, we suggest properly screening tenants beforehand and conducting inspections less often is the best way to keep both the property and tenant relationship in good order. When tenants feel trusted, they’re more likely to take good care of the property and are more likely to alert you to issues if they know you’ll respect their privacy while you take care of any problems that arise.
As a general rule of thumb, most properties should be inspected yearly unless you have reason to believe something is amiss or damaged. Of course, inspections should also be performed after the tenant moves out and before another moves in.
If a tenant feels that you inspect the property too frequently, as to interfere with their reasonable privacy, or that you’ve broken a law, they can take their case to the Landlord and Tenant Board.
If you’re found guilty, the tenant could be awarded compensation, including rent abatement, or permission to end the lease and leave your residence. The best way to avoid this is to have strong, open communication with your renters.
Property Management Company
Central Erin Property Management has the skill to handle your property inspections while being respectful to your tenants. We can also help you navigate difficult situations if your inspection hasn’t gone as planned. Reach out to our professional property management team at CEPM. Call us at 1-(855) 839-3082 for a FREE consultation today!