Can your landlord inspect your house or bring around a buyer during COVID-19?

Co-authored by Mikayla Hutchins and Callum Dyer

With Melbourne back in lockdown, you maybe wondering whether your landlord or agent can organise inspections in your home.

 

Generally, yes, your landlord or agent can still inspect your house or arrange for prospective buyers or tenants to inspect, but there are some restrictions you should be aware of.

 

Under the lockdown, open inspections and auctions are banned

Even under normal circumstances, it’s up to you whether you want to let your landlord or agent have an open inspection or auction (though your landlord does have a right to arrange private inspections by appointment). Regardless, open inspections and auctions are both prohibited under the current Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire stage 3 lockdown.

 

There are restrictions for private inspections regardless of COVID-19

Your landlord might want a prospective buyer or tenant to have a look at your property. They may also want to inspect the property themselves, or have an agent do it for them, to check that everything is in order. In either case, your landlord always needs to give you 24 hours written notice whenever they are coming around, or someone is being taken around.

 

If your landlord wants to inspect the property themselves, they cannot do this if:

  1. It’s within the first 3 months of your first lease; or
  2. It’s within 6 months of their last inspection.


COVID-19 specific restrictions and refusing repairs and renovations

For those living in an area underlockdown, if you are ill, regardless of whether you have COVID-19, you can refuse your landlord entry to your property if they want to make an inspection or bring someone around.

 

You can also refuse your landlord entry to your property if you are ill, and they want to fix a non-urgent repair.

 

In fact, even under normal circumstances landlords do not have the right to complete renovations during a tenancy, so you can refuse them entry if they want to complete any kind of non-essential work around the house.

 

You have a right to stay in your home, even if your landlord is completing an inspection

 Your landlord cannot force you to leave your home if they want to make an inspection themselves, or arrange to bring someone around to inspect your property.

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