“The owner comes to our door unannounced every time and even walked straight in last week. Do I have grounds for breaking this lease? I currently have another 6 months to go.” Tenant, NSW”
We asked Managing Director at Murray Property, Michael Murray, for his advice:
“The owner is unable to enter the property without issuing the required notice,” Michael said.
“This is a breach of the Residential Tenancy Agreement.”
Michael said in this instance, you could apply to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal to have the lease terminated.
Your rights as a tenant in NSW
You are entitled to ‘reasonable peace, comfort and privacy’ in the use of your rental premises. So, your landlord/agent must not interfere with, or cause or permit anyone to interfere with your peace, comfort and privacy.
Your landlord’s right to enter the premises
Other than as outlined below, the landlord/agent, or another person authorised by the landlord, must not enter the premises.
If the landlord/agent gives you the proper notice (if applicable) and they have a valid purpose, you must allow them to enter. This applies whether or not you are on the premises at the time (see below).
|Purpose||Maximum frequency||Minimum notice|
|To inspect the premises||4 times in any 12-month period||7 days written notice each time|
|To carry out or assess the need for:
||(none – as required)||2 days notice each time|
|To value the premises||1 time in any 12-month period||7 days notice each time|
|To show the premises to prospective tenants||A ‘reasonable’ number of times in the 14 days before the tenancy agreement ends||‘Reasonable’ notice each time|
|To show the premises to prospective buyers||2 times in any period of a week||
Interference with your privacy
Examples of this include:
- the landlord/agent coming to the premises for no reason and without notice
- a tradesperson coming to do non-urgent repairs without proper notice
- prospective buyers with keys coming around without notice or written consent from the landlord.
If your privacy is interfered with
Complain to the landlord/agent in writing and demand that they stop breaching your tenancy agreement. Keep a copy of the letter. You can also:
- apply to the Tribunal for orders:
- to stop the landlord/agent entering the premises (Apply within 3 months after you become aware of the landlord’s/agent’s breach.)
- to specify or limit the days and times on which, and purposes for which, the landlord/agent or other authorised person can enter (Apply at any time during the tenancy.)
- for the landlord to carry out a term of your residential tenancy agreement (Apply at any time during the tenancy.)
- to allow you to change the locks or refuse the landlord a key to the premises (See Factsheet 07: Locks and security.)
- to end your tenancy (See Factsheet 09: You want to leave.)
- for compensation for loss of or damage to your goods (Apply within 3 months after you become aware of the loss or damage.)
- report trespass to the police
- complain to NSW Fair Trading.
If your complaint is about a real estate agent, tell your landlord about the agent’s behaviour.
Have a question you would like to see answered here? Let us know!