Does a Landlord Need to Provide a Reasonable Ballpark Time Window For Notice of Entry?

When a Landlord Provides a Notice of Entry to a Tenant, Details of a Reasonable Window of Time Is Required.

A Helpful Guide On How to Understand the Requirements of Proper Notice of Entry As Required Prior to Entry Into a Rental Unit By a Landlord

Notice of Entry Relating to a Residential Lease Requirement

People lead busy lives and will have many tasks with daily pressures to attend to. Accordingly, whereas a landlord, or agent of the landlord such as maintenance workers or even a realty agent working to show units to future tenants or prospective buyers, may have a right to access a tenanted unit within a twelve (12) hour period between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm provided that at least 24 hours of advance notice is provided to the tenant, the notice must provide a reasonable window of time within that period of time.

The right to enter is provided by, and limited by, section 27 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 17 (the "RTA") which includes the limitation that entry must be between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm; however, the RTA fails to state whether a landlord may simply provide notice to expect entry at some unknown time within the entire twelve (12) hour period.  Specifically, section 27 states:

27 (1) A landlord may enter a rental unit in accordance with written notice given to the tenant at least 24 hours before the time of entry under the following circumstances:

1. To carry out a repair or replacement or do work in the rental unit.

2. To allow a potential mortgagee or insurer of the residential complex to view the rental unit.

3. To allow a person who holds a certificate of authorization within the meaning of the Professional Engineers Act or a certificate of practice within the meaning of the Architects Act or another qualified person to make a physical inspection of the rental unit to satisfy a requirement imposed under subsection 9 (4) of the Condominium Act, 1998.

4. To carry out an inspection of the rental unit, if,

i. the inspection is for the purpose of determining whether or not the rental unit is in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards, consistent with the landlord’s obligations under subsection 20 (1) or section 161, and

ii. it is reasonable to carry out the inspection.

5. For any other reasonable reason for entry specified in the tenancy agreement.

(2) A landlord or, with the written authorization of a landlord, a broker or salesperson registered under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, may enter a rental unit in accordance with written notice given to the tenant at least 24 hours before the time of entry to allow a potential purchaser to view the rental unit.

(3) The written notice under subsection (1) or (2) shall specify the reason for entry, the day of entry and a time of entry between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The law requiring notice of a reasonable time frame is found in the case of Wrona v. Toronto Community Housing Corporation, 2007 CanLII 3228 where it was said:

[3]  In order to obtain entry, the landlord was required to give Mr. Wrona written notice pursuant to s.21 of the TPA.  Section 21(2) of the TPA states in part that the notice “… shall specify the reason for entry, the date of entry and a time of entry between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.”  In our opinion, a common sense reading of the language of ss.2 requires the notice to specify a time of entry within the twelve hour window, not as was done here, a nine hour period within the window during which an entry would be made.

[4]  In that regard, we agree with the finding of Member Graham of the Tribunal in his Decision in file #TNT-04362, a proceeding between these same parties that:

I do not accept that a landlord is required to specify the exact hour and minute of a required entry into a rental unit and although the hours of entry set out in this notice are clearly between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., I do not find that a six-hour entry period complies with the requirement that the Landlord specify a time of entry between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Accordingly, per section 27(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 as well as the Wrona case, generally, a landlord is required to provide notice of entry with reasons for the entry and reasonable window of time for the entry within the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm. 

Summary Comment

For various reasons, a landlord may issue a Notice of Entry providing 24 hour notice of intent to enter the unit of a tenant.  The landlord, unless an emergency or other rare exception, must enter a unit between 8:00am and 8:00pm; however, the twelve (12) hour period for entry within which a landlord may enter is without an entitlement for the landlord to simply state that the entry will occur at some point during that period.  A landlord is required to provide a reasonable window of the time within which the entry will take place.

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