PRIVACY AND QUIET ENJOYMENT
As a tenant you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property that you are renting. Quiet enjoyment means that the landlord/agent must not interfere with your peace, comfort or privacy in using the premises. If they do, they are breaking the law and could be fined.
The landlord/agent is not responsible for any disturbances by neighbours unless they also rent from the same landlord/agent. The local council may be able to help with complaints regarding noise, barking dogs or a loud building site.
WHEN CAN A LANDLORD OR AGENT ENTER MY HOME?
A landlord/agent may enter the residential premises between 8am and 6pm, by giving 24 hours written notice:
- To meet commitments under the tenancy agreement
- If it is reasonably suspected that the tenant has failed to comply with any provision of the tenancy agreement
- To ensure repairs have been properly carried out
- To carry out an inspection within 1 month of the commencement of the tenancy agreement
- To carry out routine inspections every 3 months, or once a month in the case of boarding premises
When a valid Notice to Vacate or Notice to Terminate has been given, a landlord/agent may enter the premises without tenant permission by giving 48 hours notice in writing, to show one prospective tenant (and anybody accompanying the prospective tenant). A landlord/agent can enter for this reason,
- not more than once each day,
- not more than 5 days in a week and
- only between 8 am and 6 pm.
When the rental premises are for sale a landlord/agent may enter the premises without tenant permission by giving 48 hours notice in writing, to show them to one prospective purchaser (and anybody accompanying the prospective purchaser). A landlord/agent can enter for this reason,
- not more than once each day,
- not more than 5 days in a week
- and only between 8 am and 6 pm.
CAN THE LANDLORD OR AGENT ENTER WHEN I’M NOT AT HOME?
DOES THE LANDLORD OR AGENT NEED PERMISSION?
If a landlord/agent is entering the rental property for one of the reasons outlined above they do not have to get tenant permission, but they do have to give the required amount of notice. However, if they wish to hold an open house (see below), or enter the property for another reason that is not mentioned in the Act they do need permission.
ENTRY WITHOUT NOTICE
The Act provides some circumstances when a landlord or agent may enter the rental premises without giving notice. These are where it is reasonably believed that:
- The tenant is ill or injured and unable to give permission
- A denial of immediate access is likely to result in damage to all or part or the premises
- There is a risk to the tenant or another person present on the premises
- Damage has occurred to the premises
- The premises have been abandoned
A landlord/agent cannot force a tenant to give permission for the open house and tenants should only give permission if they are comfortable with the idea. If a tenant does give permission, it is a good idea to remove or make sure that valuable items are not visible, to minimise the potential for theft.
CAN I BE FORCED TO LEAVE DURING AN INSPECTION?
CHANGING THE LOCKS
Generally, neither the landlord nor the tenant can change the locks to a property without the consent of the other party or a court order.
However, from 1 October 2015, if there is a Family Violent Order (FVO or PFVO) in place, a tenant can add, alter or remove any lock or security device for the purpose of protection. It is recommended that the landlord/agent is notified as soon as possible should this occur and new keys provided to them immediately.
COMPLAINTS AGAINST AGENT’S OR LANDLORD’S ACTIONS
If they continue to breach quiet enjoyment and/or continue to unlawfully enter the property, the matter can be reported to Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading. Landlord/agents breaching the privacy provisions can be fined.
A copy of the complaint can also be sent to the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) if the agent is a member. The REIT represents member real estate agents throughout Tasmania. They will only deal with complaints about members.