Access to your home
When you rent a property from a private landlord, while they own the property, it is your home. During your tenancy the landlord or their authorised agent has an obligation to ensure you have peaceful occupation of the property. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary or there is an emergency situation e.g. fire or flood, a landlord should not call to the property unannounced or enter the property without your permission.
Landlords and/or their authorised agents may request access at reasonable intervals to carry out repairs or inspections of the property. This must be done at a date/time agreed with you in advance. If a suggested time is not convenient an alternative should be arranged as soon as possible. There is no legal minimum period of notice that must be given e.g. 24 hours. It is a matter of what is agreed between both you and your landlord/agent.
In arranging for repairs to be carried out, your landlord/agent may need to get a third-party specialist such as a plumber, electrician etc. to visit the property and this may not always be possible to arrange within your normal schedule. Many tenants wish to be in the property to allow access, but this may involve having to organise time off work, college or other commitments. Alternatively, you may agree for your landlord/agent to organise access in your absence.
Approaching the end of your tenancy, your landlord or agent may seek access for viewings by potential tenants or buyers if the property is being sold. There is no right under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019 for a landlord to access a dwelling for the purposes of viewings to prospective purchasers or tenants. Where there is a clause in a lease to this effect, the RTB Tribunal have indicated that any requirement to facilitate two or more viewings a week in the last month of the tenancy would breach the tenants right to peaceful and exclusive occupation of the dwelling. In the absence of a lease or specific provision, a tenant may agree to a compromise between the parties to facilitate viewings, bearing in mind the RTB Tribunal’s ruling. Any viewings should be arranged at reasonable intervals at a date and time agreed in advance.
Entry without permission is a breach of the landlords’ obligations and if this happens repeatedly you can refer a dispute against the landlord to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
What to do
Agree at the start of the tenancy how frequently inspections will be carried out and how much notice will be given.
Establish the process for reporting repairs and facilitate access to carry out the repairs as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing problems with your landlord or agent trying to access your property without your permission, write to your landlord/agent outlining that any future breach will result in you taking further action by referring a dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board. Use the template letter in the Useful Downloads section on this page.