If you know your landlord is scheduled to visit your rental, you probably at least think about tidying up. You make sure you don’t need to take a shower during their anticipated arrival window. You hide any contraband.
But say your landlord has just arrived, completely unannounced. That can’t be legal, can it?
The not-at-all-simple answer: It depends. Rules for landlords accessing rental properties vary by state. In Victoria, landlords must give at least 24 hours notice before entering your rented property, and must enter at a time agreed upon by both parties. In Western Australia, seven days notice is required for an inspection, and landlords must give 'reasonable notice' for other circumstances, unless in an emergency. In New South Wales, seven days written notice must be given for an inspection, but only two days are required for Health and Safety inspections.
If you’ve requested maintenance, the notice period in your state may not apply to that request. If there’s an emergency akin to a fire or a burst pipe, that notice period also doesn’t apply, and honestly, you have bigger problems to deal with.
But if you want to make sure your landlord doesn’t just “drop by” because they were “in the neighbourhood,” take a look at what your rental agreement specifies and compare it to your state law. In this case, a quick internet search will show you what you need.