Is entering unit without our knowledge trespassing?

SN writes:

Dear Paul: My spouse and I went on a four-week vacation and while we were away, I found out that the property manager and one or two board members had entered into our unit. Nothing appeared to be missing. Even though they had our contact information, we were not advised that they entered our suite before doing so. I have not yet asked them why they were in our place. Is this not considered trespassing?

Paul replies:

Dear SN: Excellent question. I am not a lawyer however the Act does allow the condo corporation to enter a unit unannounced in case of an emergency. For example, if the unit below complained of water leaking from the ceiling the property manager would need to investigate quickly to avoid any further damage to the suite below. Not knowing where the water came from, it is a logical assumption that it may be from the suite above. Since you were not home and were not expected to be back soon, they have the right to enter. If you were home, the Act provides that the corporation has a right of entry to inspect the property, but because there is no emergency, they must provide you with notice. The Act states:

Right to enter limited

90(1)       A condominium corporation, or a person authorized by it, may enter a unit, or a part of the common elements of which a unit owner has exclusive use, to perform the corporation’s mandate and duties and exercise its powers, but only if

(a) an emergency exists and entry without consent or notice is necessary to deal with it;

(b) a person occupying the unit consents to the entry; or

(c) a notice of entry is given to the person occupying the unit in accordance with subsection (2).

Notice requirements for entry

90(2)       The notice of entry must

(a) be written;

(b) specify the purpose of entry;

(c) specify the time or times of entry, which must be reasonable; and

(d) be given to the person occupying the unit at least 24 hours but not more than two weeks before

(i) the specified time of entry, or

(ii) if more than one time is specified, the first specified time.

Alternative time may be proposed

90(3)       The recipient of the notice of entry may propose in writing a reasonable alternative to the specified time. The condominium corporation or its authorized representative may enter the unit only at that alternative time.

As you can see the right of entry should not be without cause or your consent. When you lock your door behind you, you should expect that it is secure.

TIP: Remember to check with your insurer before leaving for an extended period. If no one checks on your property on a regular basis during your absence, your claim could be denied.

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