Author: Bruce Parsons
Date Posted: March 29 2020

Entering a Rental Unit and Physical Distancing

A landlord can only enter a tenant’s unit in specific circumstances. In most cases, the landlord must:

  • give the tenant 24 hours written notice
  • state what day and time they will enter (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
  • state the reason for entering the unit

There are some exceptions to this requirement, for example, in case of emergency. If the landlord has a valid reason for entering the unit, a tenant cannot refuse to let the landlord in.

COVID-19 update: During this unusual time, patience and understanding from landlords and tenants is necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Landlords are encouraged to request entry only in urgent situations and to follow physical distancing guidelines.

Landlords who are selling tenant-occupied homes are strongly advised to follow the guidance of the Real Estate Council of Ontario and avoid in-person showings. Landlords are subject to the Human Rights Code and have a duty to accommodate tenants under protected grounds, including people with disabilities. For example, conducting an in-person showing when a tenant has an immune-compromising condition could lead to a complaint under the Code.

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