The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on legal issues within the Province of Alberta. The purpose of this topic is to inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities. This is not legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.
This topic discusses the rights and obligations of you and your landlord in regard to apartment entry.
Your Tenancy or Lease Agreement will set out the conditions under which you rent your premises. However, the conditions under which the landlord may enter your premises are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act. Any term in your Tenancy or Lease Agreement respecting landlord entry that is contrary to the Act will be void.
The landlord may not be on site at all times. There may be building managers, caretakers or janitors who are employees of the landlord. Your landlord and their employees may only enter your premises under one of the following situations:
- When you have given your permission or another adult lawfully in the premises have given their permission.
- When the landlord reasonably believes that there is an emergency, they may enter your premises. For example, if there is water leaking that could damage the buildings or other apartments in the building, the landlord may enter your apartment to check the origin of the leak. Also, if there is a gas smell, a broken window of other, the landlord may enter the premises.
- When the landlord believes that you have abandoned the premises. For example, if the landlord sees a moving truck loaded with furniture leaving your apartment and the rent has not been paid or there was no notice of termination of the lease, it may be reasonable to believe you have abandoned your apartment.
- On 24 hours notice, the landlord may enter if they wish to inspect the general condition of your premises, or make necessary repairs, or to show prospective tenants or buyers the premises, or to control pests. If no notice is given for the necessary repairs, you can either let them in for the repairs, ask them to come back at a more convenient time or ask for the 24 hour notice. The 24 hour notice must be in writing, signed by the landlord or their agent, tell you the time they want to enter and the reasons. The time must be reasonable and be between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The entry cannot be on a holiday.
If your landlord does not follow the conditions under which they may enter your premises, you may call the nearest Landlord Advisory Board. If you think your landlord is being unreasonable, you can apply to the The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) for a remedy. The RTDRS offers landlords and tenants a method of resolving disputes without going to court. You may also wish to consult a lawyer. The Lawyer Referral Service can give you the names of lawyers who deal with landlord and tenant matters.
You cannot change the door locks without the landlord’s consent. A deadbolt or similar security device may be installed if it can be activated from the inside only and if it can be installed and removed without damage.
Dial-A-Law is a Calgary Legal Guidance public service project funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.