Understanding privacy rights as a landlord

10.12.13Being a landlord comes with many rights, but it’s also important to consider the rights of your tenants.

One such right concerns privacy, and dictates how and when landlords can access their properties when they’re being rented out.

For example, if you own an investment property in Sydney that you’re renting out, there are specific guidelines in place regarding entry into a property.

Property owners in New South Wales must follow the rules set out by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010.

As long as you have consent from the tenant, you or anyone authorised by you may enter the premises at any time.

The only time you or an authorised person may enter the premises without consent is in the event of an emergency, in order to make urgent repairs, if you believe the premises have been abandoned or in accordance with an order from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

You may also enter your property without consent if you have a serious concern regarding the health or safety of a person on the premises, but only after trying to gain consent beforehand.

You are only allowed to inspect your property four times in any 12-month period, and each inspection must come with seven days written notice.

You can carry out assessments regarding necessary repairs and work that is required to meet health and safety obligations as many times a year as you wish, but these require two days written notice.

You can enter the premises for valuation purposes only once each year, and this requires seven days written notice.

When it comes to showing off the property to prospective tenants or buyers, there is more flexibility. For potential renters, you can show off the property a “reasonable” amount of times in the 2-week period before the tenancy agreement ends with “reasonable” notice.

For buyers, you can show off the property up to two times in any given week, but tenants must be given 14 days written notice before the first showing, and 48 hours notice before each successive showing.

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