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Visit from your landlord, is that allowed?

Are landlords allowed to come into tenants' rooms? To summarize: Yes, they can because they have visiting rights, but only with your permission (except in force majeure situations) and as long as it happens in compliance with the law.

The law that gives the landlord (no) permission to enter your room:

Art 14 of the Residential Tenancy Decree of 01/01/2019 deals with the landlord's obligation to ensure peaceful enjoyment:

'The landlord is obliged to give the tenant the quiet enjoyment of the rented property for as long as the tenancy lasts. (...) the landlord may enter the property at agreed times in order to be able to fulfil his obligations in accordance with article 25 ( ed: this reference is made to the landlord's maintenance and repair obligation) and to ascertain whether the tenant is fulfilling his obligations (ed: this reference is made to art 26: tenant's maintenance and repair obligation, art 27: provisions concerning urgent repairs and art 28: tenant's use of the leased property 'as a good family man').

This means that:

  • The landlord is not allowed to enter for another reason: e.g. to check your lifestyle;
  • You must always give your permission to the landlord if he wants to visit. This consent may be given verbally or in writing, whereby the written consent (via email, sms ...) is preferred in case you should be able to prove that you did or did not give your consent;
  • It is best to ask the landlord why he wants to visit and to agree on a date and time together;
  • You always have the right to be present at that time;
  • You can also refuse permission (e.g. you have to be in class or for another reason why you are not present, you are ill ...) but you cannot continue to do so without a valid reason. The landlord has the right to visit the premises in order to carry out inspections and he can, if necessary, enforce this through the Justice of the Peace or even ask the Justice of the Peace to terminate the agreement;
  • In situations of force majeure, which must be demonstrable, e.g. a burst water pipe, broken window due to a strong gust of wind, etc., the landlord may enter (this falls under art. 25 as mentioned above);
  • If the landlord enters without your permission and without any question of force majeure, there is a question of 'trespassing', which can lead to criminal prosecution of the landlord. For this you have to file a complaint and be able to prove that the landlord has been in your room without your permission;
  • In principle you are allowed to change the lock of your room. The landlord has no right to have a key to it, because he can only enter with your permission. However: if there is a situation of force majeure, the landlord can enter: he can recover the costs from you (e.g. cost of a locksmith), as well as the costs of the repair if the landlord did not enter or entered too late.