Landlord's Access

Landlords have rights to access residential rental units in some situations, but there are important restrictions on those rights.

Accessing and showing rental units during the pandemic

A landlord may enter a rental unit, while wearing a mask, for any of the following reasons by providing the tenant with proper notice

  • Conducting move-in and move-out condition inspections
  • Making regular repairs
  • Conducting a monthly condition inspection
  • Showing the unit to prospective tenants - restricted to a maximum of six people, if space allows

Guidelines for accessing units

  • Give appropriate notice
  • Follow public health measures including physical distancing wherever possible
  • Wear a mask
  • Follow cleaning protocols set out by public health officials

When communicating with prospective tenants, a landlord can consider:

  • Showing vacant suites
  • Using virtual tours, video conferencing, photos, and online floorplans
  • Sending documents via email and using electronic signatures
  • Using online payment methods
  • Conducting communications by email, phone, or video conferencing

More information

Landlord Right to Enter

A landlord may enter:

  • Any common areas that are shared with others like hallways, courtyards and laundry facilities – no notice is required
  • The rental unit once per month to inspect the condition of the property – proper notice to tenants is required
  • The rental unit to complete repairs or maintenance – proper notice to tenants is required
  • To show the property to prospective buyers or tenants – proper notice to tenants is required

The tenant doesn’t need to be present for the landlord to enter as long as proper notice was provided.

Proper notice means a tenant is given written notice of the date, time and purpose for entering the property. By law, notice must be delivered in-person or considered by law to have been given to the tenant at least 24 hours before the landlord enters the unit.

The time scheduled for entry must be between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless another time is agreed upon by the landlord and tenant.

The purpose for entering a rental unit must be reasonable – a landlord may enter a tenant’s rental unit only in one of these circumstances:

  • There’s an emergency and entry is necessary to protect life or property
  • The tenant is at home and agrees to let the landlord in
  • The tenant agreed, not more than 30 days before, to let the landlord enter
  • The tenant was given written notice outlining the date, time (between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.) and purpose – at least 24 hours before and not more than 30 days before
  • The tenant has abandoned the rental unit
  • The tenant lives in a hotel and someone comes in to clean the room
  • The landlord has an arbitrator’s order or court order to enter the rental unit

Tenant rights and responsibilities

When the landlord has given proper notice to enter the rental unit, the tenant must not prevent the landlord’s access (or access by the landlord’s agent).

The tenant, or a representative of the tenant, may be present at the time the rental unit is entered. The landlord cannot require that a tenant leave when the rental unit is shown.  Tenants who are concerned about their possessions may be present. 

When a rental unit is being shown to prospective buyers or prospective tenants, the landlord or the landlord’s agent must be present.

Video: Landlord Access

Unlawful Access

The landlord must always follow the proper process for lawful entry into a tenant’s home or manufactured home site. If a tenant thinks the landlord has entered illegally, they should ask them to follow the required process for legal entry. A tenant can also apply for dispute resolution asking for an order that:

  • Requires the landlord to comply with the law
  • Allows the tenant to change the locks and keep the only keys – returning them to the landlord upon moving out

In the case of a manufactured home site tenancy, an arbitrator can suspend or set conditions on a landlord’s right to enter the site.

Manufactured Home Park Tenancies

Landlords have limited rights to access sites in manufactured home parks, sometimes called mobile home parks. A landlord may enter the tenant’s site only under the following circumstances:

  • To collect rent or to give / serve a document
  • There is an emergency and entry is necessary to protect life or property
  • The tenant is at home and agrees to let the landlord enter the site
  • The tenant agreed, not more than 30 days before, to let the landlord enter the site for a certain reason
  • The tenant has abandoned the site
  • The landlord has an arbitrator’s order or court order to enter the site
  • The tenant was given written notice outlining the date, time (between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.) and purpose – at least 24 hours before and not more than 30 days before
  • Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act (External Link)

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: June 3, 2020.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch