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I live in a large house shared with several roommates. We each have our own lease with the landlord. The landlord has been letting himself into the house frequently with no explanation. I was under the impression this was illegal, but am not sure considering the landlord only enters common areas such as hallways and the kitchen (though these are still within the confines of the house).

I found the information here saying

A landlord may enter:

  • Any common areas that are shared with others like hallways, courtyards and laundry facilities – no notice is required

This seems to be talking more about apartment buildings with hallways anyone can walk through.

Without warning or reason, can the landlord knock on the door and be allowed in if whoever answers says it's okay?

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    First you say "letting himself into the house" and then you say "allowed in if whoever answers says it's okay". These are potentially very different situations, please explain which one is occurring or that both are happening. – Nij May 3 '18 at 10:14
  • If any resident allows someone on the premises, that person is allowed on the premises. Otherwise, you have a situation where you must get approval from each of the other residents before you may invite a friend to visit you. – phoog May 3 '18 at 14:38
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The actual law in BC, the Residential Tenancy Act, guaranteed a tenant's rights to the rental unit and the common areas, and restricts the landlord's right to enter the rental unit. Common areas are distinct from the rental unit. A common areas is "any part of residential property the use of which is shared by tenants, or by a landlord and one or more tenants", and a rental unit is a "living accommodation rented or intended to be rented to a tenant". In this case, that would be the room. There is no restriction at all on landlord's access to common areas, and there is no requirement that landlord access to common areas be for specific purposes. Access to the rental unit, on the other hand, must be for a reasonable purpose.

  • "Common areas are distinct from the rental unit" I can't find where it says this? – bighouse May 3 '18 at 23:52
  • The law doesn't say that literally, this follows from the three relevant terms that they define: common area, rental unit, residential property. – user6726 May 4 '18 at 1:28
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I called an information officer and this was the answer I was given (taken from memory)

The landlord is allowed to enter common areas, such as the kitchen, without notice. However, they must have a valid reason. So for example they can't just hangout.

  • Who decides if the reason is valid? – user6726 May 3 '18 at 23:01
  • @user6726 a judge. – bighouse May 3 '18 at 23:48
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So it seems that in this house, you signed a lease for a specific bedroom and then got access to the other parts of the house that are common areas and every roommate has signed a similar lease. Under this situation, the Landlord may not enter any rented bedroom but may enter the rest of the house. Additionally, any resident of the house (all lease signers and the Landlord to the extent of the common areas) may allow anyone else into the house. Additionally, all your roommates count as valid invites for 4th Amendment purposes, so if the police come and your roomy lets them into the house to conduct a search, your room is not off limits unless the door is locked or the roommate gives them explicit denial to enter that room (The Lease should prevent the Landlord from opening your room to the cops without a warrant as he is explicitly told he may not enter without your permission).

  • 4th Amendment to what (in Canada)? – Tim Lymington May 3 '18 at 21:24

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