1.4 Right to Enter
In order to legally enter a rental unit, landlords must provide tenants with written notice no less than 24 hours, and no more than 30 days, before entering. This notice must state the date, the time (between 8am and 9pm) and a reasonable reason for entry, such as carrying out a monthly inspection or making repairs. As long as a landlord has followed the law and given proper notice, they are allowed to enter, even if you are not home at that time.
Yes, emergency situations are an exception to the rule. If entering your rental unit is necessary in order to protect life or property, then a landlord is allowed to enter without providing 24 hours written notice. They are also allowed to enter if they have obtained an order from the Residential Tenancy Branch granting them permission to do so.
If the situation cannot be resolved through effective communication, and you have enough evidence to show that your landlord entered illegally, you can apply for dispute resolution for an order allowing you to change the locks. You can also ask for monetary compensation for past illegal entries, and an order telling your landlord to follow the law in the future.