Identifying Lawful Entry of Premises by Persons other than Lessor or Managing Agents:
Many landlords see the December/January holiday period as an ideal opportunity to do repair work or minor renovations of their investment properties. Or in our changing economic climate, many owners find themselves now re-financing their mortgages. Are you aware of the new rules of entry to the premises?
“The Residential Tenancies Act 1994 is specific as to who is authorised to enter the premises and under what circumstances a person, so authorised, may enter thepremises……and does not preclude entry on to the premises by persons who are lawfully required to enter, such as police officers, meter readers, council and other inspectors.
Unless the tenant agrees or the situation is an emergency, entry can only be made after the issue of an Entry Notice in the approved form and the required timeframe (7 clear days plus 2 days allowing for mail) is complied with. The legislation provides that "the lessor or lessor's agent" may enter premises only under certain conditions, (see Section 109)”
Mr Bill Randall, a Magistrate and Referee at the Brisbane Small Claims Tribunal, has raised the question in his March 2008 article published on www.rta.com.au as to who else is to act on the "lessor's behalf, other than a managing agent to do a specific act such as repairs or a general inspection of the premises?
He clearly states “…the term "secondary agent" is defined as an agent who is not the renting agent, provid(ing) that if the lessor has an agent who is authorised to stand in the lessor's place written notice of name of that agent shall be given to the tenant...It also follows that a "secondary agent" is … not restricted to commercial agents and could include any person authorised in writing to act on the lessor's behalf.
It would therefore be lawful, provided all other conditions relating to entry have been met, for a tradesperson or valuer to give the tenant a notice to enter under Section 111” Best practise would also dictate that the tradesperson or valuer would make a copy of such entry notice
simultaneously available to the renting/managing agent to update their records.