The more I investigate this breach of the Property Act, the more common I realise this is. Landlords DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to enter their rental property without issuing a Form Nine (entry notice). It called unlawful entry and any landlord or real estate agent who does it is in serious breach.
The problem seems to lie in the issue of ownership and control. While the majority of landlords are respectful and allow their tenants the right to quiet enjoyment, there are a handful of frightful cases where home owners seem to forget that they can’t come and go as they please. To put it mildly, it’s illegal.
This is succinctly put on the website flatmates.com.au
“It is important to remember that during the tenancy, even though the landlord owns the premises, the tenant has been given exclusive occupation. This means that the tenant has the right to generally determine when other people are allowed into the premises. In the case of shared accommodation, this means that the tenant has the right to determine who and when other people, including the landlord, can access their room.”
Let’s have a look at some examples of this I found.
My very first landlord was a control freak and doing dodgy stuff all the time.
When I bought a new car and had it parked in the driveway, he drove past and saw it, assumed that I had someone staying over, and decided to let himself into the house.
He then came into my bedroom to “catch me out” but I was just having a nap with the light on. I woke up to this 50-year-old man in my room and I screamed and he ran away. Who thinks I can’t have a guest stay in my rental property anyway?
I really wanted to report him and get him investigated, because I knew he was illegally running houses with too many people in them. But I was young (18) and had bigger fish to fry.
Anonymous, Mont Albert VIC
I actually ended a lease on the perfect property due to a very bad landlord. He let himself into the property numerous times (even though it was leased through an agent) on the excuse that he was doing maintenance work.
On the first occasion I was in the front yard and did not see him enter the building, and he locked all the doors on the way out. On 5pm on a public holiday, I returned without keys and a mobile phone and had to find a locksmith. This happened another four times, even though I reported it to the real estate. They advised that he shouldn’t have a key. I wrote to the QLD Tenancy Board to have him charged but was able to end the lease on my own terms early.
I still have a fear that I will run into this man, I do not go up to that beach anymore [where the property was located]. Moving was the only way I could see myself literally getting out of the situation, as the real estate warnings were not working at all.
Alyce Haack, Cairns QLD
“The landlords came over many, many times onto the property without giving any notice, knocking very hard and yelling my name until someone came to the door if they knew we were home. The husband also was found in our backyard several times without letting us know he was there, once scaring one of our housemates who was home alone. The wife also once came over with no warning, knocked on one of my housemate’s bedroom windows when my housemate was in bed, to yell at her about having a chair on the lawn in the backyard. They would regularly come over to yell at us for things they didn’t like in the backyard.
Action simply makes the situation worse – basically if you don’t like it, leave!
“We complained to our real estate agent several times and asked them to make it clear that they were acting illegally in their role as landlords. And we also blocked the one-way door they had connecting their house to ours in the backyard with a bench so that they could no longer come onto the property without warning. Soon after that we were issued us a ‘no reason’ notice to vacate.” –
“The owner and family lived in two houses that our rental backed on to. We would return home to find the owner in our garden pottering around. He even pulled down the back fence to install a rain tank that would service his own property, not our rental, and would diminish our backyard space by a third. The family constantly came past and repeatedly asked about the nature of our relationship (LGBTI). When we got an electric shock from their shoddy wiring, the daughter came uninvited to our door and threatened eviction if we cost them more money.” –
Caz, Ascot Vale