Modified entry and inspection process
COVID-19 Modification Notices and amendments to those Notices that impact the processes involved in the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 have been gazetted. These Notices provide the framework for the Territory’s response to tenancy issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
In order to alleviate some of the stresses landlords and tenants may face, modifications have been made to how inspections may be undertaken, and when a landlord may gain entry to the premises.
These measures generally cease at 11:59pm on 15 June 2022, as the Declaration of Public Health Emergency ends at that time.
Tenancy agreements signed on or after 16 June 2022 will be governed solely by the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 and as detailed in the Guide to Renting in the Northern Territory.
However, the modifications to the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 that existed during the COVID-19 public health emergency will generally continue to apply to those tenancy agreements that were signed before 16 June 2022, until the tenancy ends.
Further information about the changes from 16 June 2022 can be found in our Fact Sheet .
While periodic inspections are an important tool for monitoring the tenant’s compliance with the tenancy, they do not generally have the same weight as the ingoing and outgoing inspection reports when settling disputes at the end of the tenancy.
The previous modification of Section 70 to the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 has been revoked as of the 5 June 2020. Therefore, normal periodic inspections now apply. However, if a request for an inspection occurred during the modification period (28 April 2020 - 5 June 2020) a periodic inspection cannot occur for two months after the last inspection occurred.
Modified timeframes for entry:
To alleviate some of the interruptions to daily activities caused by the COVID-19 emergency, the modification notice modifies the timeframes for entry to the premises by the landlord under certain circumstances, and suspends other entries. The entry may be gained for the following purposes, subject to the amended timeframes:
- repairs and maintenance;
- at a time agreed between the landlord and tenant, with at least 48 hours written or oral notice unless the repairs are emergency repairs, where the timeframes remain unchanged (between 7am and 9pm and 24 hours notice);
- preparation of a condition report (other than periodic inspection);
- at a time agreed between the landlord and tenant, with at least 48 hours written or oral notice; or
- inspection by prospective tenant or purchaser:
- for inspection by a prospective tenant: during the 28 days before the termination of the tenancy agreement at a time agreed between the landlord and tenant with at least 48 hours written or oral notice; or
- for inspection by a prospective purchaser: at a time agreed between the landlord and tenant with at least 48 hours written or oral notice before the termination of the agreement; and
- the number of inspections is limited to two per week;
- inspection of premises for sale:
- for a person authorised by the landlord to carry out an inspection for the purposes of creating reports relating to the sale of the property;
- at a time agreed between the tenant and the landlord with at least 48 hours written or oral notice; and
- inspections for this purpose are limited to two per week.