When you rent a property or room, it becomes your home—a place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, there are situations where the property manager or owner may need to enter for inspections, repairs, or viewings. This begs the question, can a property manager enter your home in Queensland? 

It’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations that govern these entries to ensure your rights as a tenant are protected while allowing necessary property management tasks to occur.

Legal Framework and Tenant Rights

In Queensland, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 outlines the legal framework regarding property entry by managers/owners. 

This legislation recognizes that the rental property is considered the tenant’s home, and their privacy should be respected. At the same time, it provides guidelines for when and how licensed property managers or owners can enter the premises for valid reasons.

Property managers/owners are required to provide proper entry notices, except in specific circumstances outlined in the Act. These notices must state the reason for entry and the intended date and time. 

As a rent-paying tenant, you have the right to refuse entry if the correct notice has not been given or if the reason is not valid under the Act.

Entry Notice Purposes and Periods

The Act specifies nine valid reasons for property managers/owners to enter the rental property, each with a required notice period:

  1. Inspect the property: 7 days’ notice, once every 3 months.
  2. Follow-up inspection after a breach has been remedied: 24 hours’ notice, within 14 days of the expiry date on the Notice to Remedy Breach.
  3. Repairs or maintenance: 24 hours’ notice (entry can occur without notice in remote areas with a shortage of tradespeople).
  4. Follow-up inspection after repairs: 24 hours’ notice, within 14 days of the repairs being completed.
  5. Show the property to a potential purchaser: 24 hours’ notice, with a reasonable gap since the last entry for this reason.
  6. Show the property to a potential tenant: 24 hours’ notice, with a reasonable gap since the last entry for this reason, and after the tenant has given notice of their intention to leave or received a Notice to Leave.
  7. Allow a valuation of the property: 24 hours’ notice.
  8. If the manager/owner believes the property has been abandoned: 24 hours’ notice, using an Abandonment Termination Notice.
  9. If the tenant agrees to entry: At the agreed time.

It’s important to note that entry can occur without notice in an emergency or if the manager/owner believes entry is needed to protect the property from imminent damage

Additionally, no notice is required if the tenant agrees verbally to the entry or for site maintenance in caravan parks (if specified in the tenancy agreement).

Entry Times and General Inspections

Entry must be between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Saturday, unless the tenant agrees to entry outside these hours or on a Sunday or public holiday. 

For general inspections, the manager/owner of the property must specify a time or a 2-hour window, and they must enter the property within that time frame. 

However, this time restriction does not apply to other parties, such as tradespersons or property valuers.

Can a Renter Refuse Entry?

A renter is in their right to refuse entry for one or several of the following reasons:

  • The visit isn’t between 8 am and 6 pm, or it’s a public holiday
  • No written notice was given
  • The notice wasn’t given properly (e.g. not enough notice)
  • The rental provider wants to show to prospective renters but has given notice to vacate before the last 21 days
  • The rental provider wants a general inspection but one has already occurred in the last 6 months

Can the Owner/Manager Enter If the Tenant Isn’t Present?

Tenants do not have to be present for an entry unless agreed as a condition. However, entry is recommended when the tenant can be present.

Even if the tenant disagrees, the owner/manager of the property can enter if proper notice was given and if the entry is done at a reasonable time. However, they cannot enter outside of the time specified on the notice. 

Entry for Finding New Tenants or Selling

The owner/manager can only enter to show to prospective tenants if:

  • A Notice to Leave (Form 12) was given to the current tenant
  • The current tenant gave a Notice of Intention to Leave (Form 13)

A 24-hour Entry Notice is also required.

For prospective purchasers, the owner/manager must first issue a Notice of Lessor’s Intention to Sell (Form 10) before or with the Entry Notice.

Open houses/auctions require the tenant’s written agreement. Photos of the tenant’s possessions for advertising also need written approval.

Entry by Selling Agent

The selling agent must give a 24-hour Entry Notice. If unknown to the tenant, the agent must provide written proof of appointment from the owner upon request.

For non-managing agents, they must give the Entry Notice to the tenant and managing agent, plus give the managing agent the Notice of Intention to Sell.

Entry Limits

  • Entries on Sundays/public holidays or between 6 pm and 8 am require tenant agreement
  • For routine entries, a 2-hour window must be specified and adhered to (except for tradespeople, etc.)
  • Prospective buyers cannot enter unaccompanied unless the tenant agrees
  • General inspections maximum once every 3 months unless agreed otherwise
  • A reasonable time must pass between showings to prospective tenants/buyers

Moveable Dwellings

The entry rules are mostly the same for moveable dwellings, except:

  • Site maintenance entries are allowed per the tenancy agreement without notice
  • 24-hour notice is required for routine inspections in short tenancies

Dispute Resolution

If disputes arise regarding property entry, tenants and property managers/owners should first attempt to resolve the issue through open communication and negotiation. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) offers a free, impartial dispute resolution service to assist in resolving the matter.

It’s essential for both parties to understand and respect each other’s rights and obligations. Managers/owners must provide proper notice and have valid reasons for entry, while tenants should cooperate and allow reasonable access when required. 

By fostering a positive relationship based on open communication and mutual understanding, disputes can often be avoided or resolved amicably.

For more on a related topic, read ahead for whether you can negotiate rent with a property management company.

Wrapping Up

In Queensland, property managers/owners have the right to enter rental properties for specific purposes, such as inspections, repairs, and viewings, provided they follow the proper procedures outlined in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. This includes giving adequate notice, outlining the valid reason for entry, and respecting the tenant’s privacy and reasonable entry times.

Tenants, on the other hand, have the right to refuse entry if the correct notice has not been given or if the reason is not valid under the Act. However, they should also cooperate and allow reasonable access when required, as the rental property ultimately belongs to the owner.

By understanding their respective rights and responsibilities, and maintaining open communication, tenants and property managers/owners can establish a positive rental relationship that balances the need for proper property management with the tenant’s expectation of privacy in their home.