Darwin Community Legal Service

Access and Privacy

What are my Rights?
You have a right to quiet enjoyment of the premises without interruption by the landlord or their agent. They must not disturb you or allow anyone else such as a tradesperson disturb your peace, comfort and privacy.

 

Can my Landlord enter the property whenever they want?
No. Your landlord can only access the property for certain reasons and when the correct notice is given. The following table provides information and timeframes that are required under the law

 

Reason for access

Minimum notice required How often?

What time?

Collection of rent At least 7 days Every 7 days At a time previously arranged with you that is not before 7 am or after 9 pm
Inspection of premises 7 days Every 3 months At a time previously arranged with you that is not before 7 am or after 9 pm
To repair the premises 24 hours verbal or written notice No limit Not before 7 am or after 9pm
To complete an ingoing or outgoing property condition report 24 hours verbal or written notice No later than 3 business days after the start of the tenancy, and 3 days after the end of the tenancy Not before 7 am or after 9 pm
To show the premises to prospective tenants 24 hours verbal or written notice No more than a reasonable number of occasions Not before 7 am or after 9 pm and only during the last 28 days of your tenancy agreement
To show the premises to prospective buyers 24 hours verbal or written notice No more than a reasonable number of occasions Not before 7 am or after 9 pm
In an emergency or if the landlord reasonably suspects that significant damage has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur No notice required No limit

 

Can I be home when my Landlord accesses the Property?
Yes, you are allowed to be home when your landlord accesses the property. If you cannot be home at the time, you can ask a family member or friend to be there on your behalf.

Your landlord can enter the property without you being there only if:

  • you have agreed;
  • you have said that you do not want to be present;
  • you are not at the property at the agreed time; or
  • it is an emergency.

TIP: The landlord can not come on to the property without your consent. Even if they have a right to access under the law, they still require your consent. You cannot however, unreasonably refuse to provide that consent.

 

What if my Landlord does not give me proper notice?
If your landlord fails to give you enough notice before coming onto the property you can refuse to consent to them being there. Whilst you cannot physically stop them coming onto the property without your consent they may be breaching your right to peace and quiet enjoyment and you can provide them with a breach notice to make them aware that they are in breach of the law. If they do not comply with that notice, you can apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘NTCAT’).

NTCAT can make orders:

  • To stop your landlord entering the premises
  • To limit the days and times your landlord can enter the premises
  • To make sure your landlord complies with your tenancy agreement
  • To allow you to change the locks
  • To end your tenancy
  • To give you compensation for any breach

You can also use the Tenants’ Advice template letter called ‘Privacy and Access’ found on our website if you want to send the Landlord a letter asking them to stop this sort of behaviour.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Tenants’ Advice Service for legal advice about these matters on 1800 812 953.

 

Darwin Community Legal Service 2019: Non-profit community groups have permission to reproduce parts of this publication as long as the original meaning is retained and proper credit is given to DCLS, as the publisher.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is a guide to the law in the Northern Territory. It is not a substitute for legal advice. You should talk to a lawyer about your particular legal issue. The information contained in this factsheet is current as at October 2019.