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Tenants who refuse access to show through prospective tenants

February 5th, 2014.

Our North Shore Property Managers have recently had two instances where the Tenants, after having given notice to vacate, have refused us entry to show through prospective Tenants.
It is a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act for a Tenant to unreasonably withhold consent for access. Refusal to allow access for the Landlord to show through prospective Tenants is deemed to be an Unlawful Act which could carry a maximum fine against the Tenant of up to $1,000.
Whenever a Tenant refuses access for viewings, we find that it first pays to approach them and politely ask them to explain their concerns to us and to see if a mutually agreeable arrangement can be made for access, while at the same time reminding them that it is a breach of their agreement to unreasonably refuse access. Most of the time approaching the situation in this way allows you to understand why the Tenant may have concerns and to find a reasonable compromise between the two parties.
On occasion you will get a Tenant who just completely refuses to allow you anywhere near the property while they are still in it.  In our experience this is normally a petty attempt by the Tenant to cost the Landlord money through lost rent. These are normally the same Tenants that will stop paying rent for the last 3 weeks so that the bond cannot be used for any potential cleaning or repairs.
In these situations our approach to this is to slam the Tenant hard and fast, and by this I mean issuing them with a 14 Day Breach Notice and formally advising them that they have not kept their responsibilities’ as a Tenant and as such you are making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal against them.  We go on to advise them that we will be seeking exemplary damages to compensate the Landlord for the lost rent that was incurred. We have found this approach to be very effective and normally find that very quickly an agreement can be reached and enable access to show prospective Tenants through the property.


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