Fact Sheets

Most residential tenancies in Tasmania are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (the Act). The Act applies to public, community and private tenancies, and sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords, agents and tenants.

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?

The Act sets out a number of reasons for which a landlord/agent can enter a rental property, and states how much notice must be given.
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?

The Act does not require a tenant to be home when a landlord or agent enters. However, the landlord/agent should make a reasonable effort to make a suitable time with the tenant(s) and be considerate of their privacy.

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

OPEN HOMES

If a landlord/agent wants to hold an open house, (where members of the public are invited to view the property that is for lease or sale) they must receive written permission from the tenant. If a tenant agrees to the open house, the landlord/agent must be in attendance for the duration.
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?

No. All tenants are allowed access their residence during open homes and inspections.
PHOTOGRAPHS
A landlord/agent or one of their representatives must have the written consent of the tenant consent to display to the public a photograph or video of the premises that displays any object in the premises that may identify the tenant or another person.
(Changed August 1, 2015 – Previously permission was needed to take the photographs, now permission is only required if the photographs will be displayed to the public. Entry to take photographs should comply with standard notice periods. Photos of the exterior can be taken without notice or permission.)

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 a landlord/agent unlawfully enters a property and/or does not provide quiet enjoyment of the property, a tenant can notify them that they are in breach of the Act, preferably in writing, keeping copies of this correspondence relating to their loss of privacy.
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.
Real Estate Institute of Tasmania
33 Melville Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 6223 4769
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not legal advice. It is intended as a guide only. It applies only to legislation current in Tasmania as at 1 August 2015. For information regarding a specific tenancy problem please phone the Tenants’ Union on 1300 652 641 or (03) 6223 2641. The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania Inc. accepts no responsibility for actions based on this information, nor for actions based on electronic translations of this.

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