Can my landlord show my place during the pandemic?
Your landlord normally has some rights to show your place if they give you proper . The time they are coming in must be between 8 am and 8 pm. You can agree to a different time, but you don't have to.
To show your place to a possible buyer, insurer, or mortgage lender, your landlord must give you notice in writing at least 24 hours ahead of time.
Your landlord can show your place to a possible tenant only if:
- you have given notice to move out,
- your landlord has given you a notice to move out, or
- you and your landlord have agreed that you will move out.
In these situations, the landlord doesn't have to give you a written notice but they must make a reasonable effort to let you know when they are coming.
Showings during the COVID-19 emergency
Many tenants don't want to let people into their home during the COVID-19 outbreak. If your landlord has followed the above rules about notice and time of entry, you might have to try to persuade them not to show your place. But your landlord might not agree to your request.
Tell your landlord if:
- you're self-isolating or quarantined based on public health information or directions,
- you're actually ill from the virus,
- you're concerned that people coming into your place could be spreading infection, or
- you just want to follow public health recommendations about “social distancing”.
Landlords must follow COVID-19 rules when showing a unit to a possible renter or buyer, especially if you're still living in the home. Landlords should not show your place if there is someone living there who is in quarantine or who has a health condition that makes COVID-19 riskier for them.
You should also review current public health information and contact your local public health unit about your concerns. If your landlord is using a real estate agent, you can read the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) guidelines on COVID-19.
You might want to plan to be outside when your place is being shown. You can ask your landlord to make sure people don't touch anything. You can also ask the landlord to disinfect things like doorknobs and cupboard handles after each showing.
If you're at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 because of a medical condition that you already have, this counts as having a under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This means your landlord has to your needs. Your landlord can ask for medical documentation to confirm what you say.
Refusing to allow showings
If your landlord or their agent still wants to the show the place and you're not satisfied that they are taking enough precautions, you might decide not to let them in. It's a good idea to tell the landlord in writing and explain your reasons. The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations has created a sample letter you may want to use.
Try to get legal advice if you are in this situation. There are some risks to refusing to let your landlord show the place if they have followed the rules about notice and time of entry.
Your landlord could give you an claiming that you're interfering with their legal rights. If this happens, your landlord can't evict you unless they get an from the (LTB).
Your landlord might sue you later, claiming that not being able to show the place has cost them money.
If you were directed to self-isolate or quarantine, or if you have a disability that your landlord didn't accommodate, the LTB or the court should consider that when deciding if you were justified in stopping people from coming into your place.