My Landlord Wants to Enter My Unit without My Permission
The principle of “quiet enjoyment” gives tenants the right to:
- reasonable privacy,
- freedom from unreasonable disturbance,
- exclusive possession of their rental unit, and
- use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes.
If your landlord wants to enter your home, you can require that they first follow the proper legal procedure.
In order to legally enter a rental unit, landlords must provide tenants with written notice no less than 24 hours, and no more than 30 days, before entering. This notice must state:
- the date,
- the time (between 8am and 9pm), and
- a reasonable reason for entry, such as making repairs or carrying out a monthly inspection.
What happens next
If a landlord has followed the law by giving proper written notice, they are allowed to enter – even if you are not home at the time listed on the notice. If your landlord enters illegally, you can request in writing that they follow the legal requirements. See TRAC’s template letter, Landlord’s Right to Enter a Rental Unit Restricted. If your landlord continues to enter your unit illegally, and you have enough evidence to show that they have been breaking the law, you can apply for dispute resolution to ask for permission to change the locks. You can also ask for monetary compensation for past illegal entries, and an order telling your landlord to follow the law in the future.
Where to get help
See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
- Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC), including their Tenant Survival Guide which includes a section on Privacy in your home.
- TRAC’s online course, Renting It Right
- Residential Tenancy Branch.
- PovNet, for contact and website information for tenancy advocates near you.
- Access Pro Bono, Lawyer Referral Service, and private bar lawyers.
Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Andrew Sakamoto, March 2017.|
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
In law, the right to have the control and use of a thing. One can have a right to the possession of a thing without owning it, as in the case of a car lease, or ownership without possession, as in the case of a landlord who rents an apartment suite. See "ownership."
Conduct that is permitted both by the law. See "unlawful."
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A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction by that jurisdiction's law society. See "barrister and solicitor."
(1) A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues, or (2) to argue a position on behalf of someone.
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