Section 3

Privacy

Sub-Section 3.1

General Information


Legislation


s. 54, The Residential Tenancies Act
The Privacy Act


Definitions

Rental unit: for the purpose of this policy, a rental unit includes the yard of a single family dwelling or a yard which is for the exclusive use of a tenant.


Policy

The Residential Tenancies Branch has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants. This includes disputes over a landlord’s right to enter a rental unit. The Privacy Act doesn’t apply to these disputes.

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A landlord usually needs to give a tenant written notice before entering a rental unit. A landlord must give a tenant at least 24 hours written notice before entering. A landlordmay give notice oftheir plan to enter up to two weeks in advance. If a landlord plans to enter more than once, they must set out all the proposed times of entry in the notice. It may be difficult for a landlord to be exact on times if they’re hiring tradespeople to do work in the unit. However, whenever possible, a landlord should be as specific as possible.

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A landlord may enter the rental unit at reasonable times. A reasonable time depends on the reason for entering the unit and the tenant’s schedule and lifestyle. The Branch encourages landlords and tenants to discuss any special requirements for entry.

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If a landlord needs to enter all or several rental units in a complex, the landlord must give each tenant notice of the entry. For example: A landlord needs to enter all units to test the smoke alarms. A landlord can’t just post a general notice of entry in the common areas of the building.

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A tenant doesn’t have to be present when a landlord enters the rental unit. As long as the landlord gives proper notice, the landlord has the right to enter.

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When a landlord gives a tenant a notice of entry, the time may not be convenient for the tenant. If it’s not convenient, the tenant may tell the landlord, but the tenant must give the landlord another reasonable alternative time to enter the unit. A tenant should have a valid reason for changing the time of entry. The fact that a tenant can’t be at home is not a valid reason for changing the time. If a landlord and tenant can’t agree on a time for entry, they can ask the Branch for help.

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A landlord has the right to inspect a rental unit during a tenancy to see if they need to do any work in the unit. If they plan to take pictures of damage, they should tell the tenant ahead of time. A tenant may refuse to allow the landlord to take pictures of their personal belongings.

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When a landlord hires someone to do work in a rental unit, the landlord doesn’t have to stay in the unit while the work is done. However, the landlord is responsible for the activity of the tradesperson.

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A landlord has the right to enter a rental unit to show it to prospective tenants once the tenant gives, or is given, notice to end the tenancy. A landlord doesn’t have to tell the tenant before showing the unit. However, when the notice ending the tenancy is given, the landlord may want to let the tenant know that they will show the unit without advance notice. If the tenant works evenings or nights and sleeps during the day, they should let the landlord know. The landlord and tenant may then be able to schedule set times to show the unit.

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When a tenant knows a landlord plans to enter the rental unit, the tenant should take reasonable steps to prevent damage to or loss of their personal belongings.

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A tenant must allow a landlord to show a rental unit to prospective tenants. If the tenant doesn’t co-operate, the landlord may not be able to re-rent the unit. If the landlord loses rent, the landlord may choose to file a claim for compensation against the tenant.

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The Branch has the authority to issue Orders about a landlord’s right to enter a rental unit. If either the tenant or the landlord don’t comply with an Order, the Branch may ask Manitoba Justice to consider prosecution for breach of an Order.



Procedure

Overview

An officer receives a complaint from a landlor or tenant about entering a rental unit. The officer contacts the other person to discuss the complaint. The officer encourages the landlord and tenant to agree on entry. If necessary, the officer issues an Order.


Steps ▼

When a tenant refuses to allow a landlord access to a rental unit:

  1. An officer receives a complaint from a landlord that a tenant is refusing to allow the landlord to enter a rental unit. The officer ensures that the landlord gave the tenant the required notice; or, the officer confirms that either the landlord or tenant gave notice to end the tenancy.

  2. The officer contacts the tenant to discuss the landlord’s concerns. The officer explains the landlord’s rights to enter the rental unit. The officer encourages the landlord and tenant to agree on a time for the landlord to enter the unit. If the landlord and tenant agree, the officer may put the agreement in writing.

  3. If the landlord and tenant can’t agree on a time for entry, the officer may issue an Order setting a time and date when the landlord is allowed to enter the rental unit.

When a landlord enters a rental unit without proper notice:

  1. An officer receives a complaint from a tenant that their landlord has entered the rental unit improperly. The officer asks the tenant for information on the date and time of entry and how the tenant knows the landlord was in the unit. In some cases, the officer may ask the tenant to make a written statement about their complaint.

  2. The officer contacts the landlord to discuss the tenant’s concerns. The officer explains the landlord’s responsibility to give notice before entering the rental unit. The officer cautions the landlord about entering without proper notice. The officer may send a letter confirming the information they gave to the landlord.

  3. If the landlord enters the rental unit without proper notice again, the officer may issue an Order not to enter the rental unit without notice.

  4. If the landlord continues to enter, the officer may allow the tenant to end the tenancy agreement and file a claim for compensation for moving costs against the landlord.


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing

For information on showing a rental unit to prospective buyers, see this section.
For details on mediation, see Section 1.
For more information on claims for compensation, see Section 9.


Policy Developed

March, 2004 *


Last Revision


May, 2015

Other Resources

None


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