Tip of the Month - January 2011
Tenant’s Right to Privacy
Source: Renter’s Rights-The Basics/2nd Edition
By Attorney Janet Portman & Marcia Stewart
Allowable Reasons to Enter
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Landlords always can enter your rental unit under certain situations:
When you give permission:
There is nothing wrong with agreeing to a Landlord’s request to
inspect for needed repairs. Many Landlords schedule once-or
twice-yearly walk-throughs to check for necessary maintenance.
(You may see a provision establishing this practice in your Lease or
Rental Agreement.) Actually, most Tenants are delighted when the
Landlord is so conscientious! But more frequent visits are
generally unnecessary (unless there is a need to track down a
persistent problem, such as a water leak).
Don’t let your self be coerced into
“agreeing” to excessive visits that become harassing.
These are illegal.
Anytime there is a genuine emergency:
Common sense is the name of the game here: a broken dishwasher hardly
qualifies, yet windows left wide open in the face of a driving
To make needed repairs or improvements:
Most states allow the Landlord to enter to perform his maintenance
duties. This includes entry with Contractors or Designers as well
as Workmen. Your Landlord must still give proper notice and enter
@ reasonable hours.
To show the property to prospective Tenants or Purchasers:
If you are given notice or your Lease is about to expire, you must
accommodate your Landlord’s reasonable efforts to re-rent.
The same is true when he/she attempts to sell or refinance.
However, you are not obligated to hold endless open houses or
accommodate showings with insufficient notice. Losing the use of
your home every Saturday morning for an open house or being expected to
clear out while potential Buyers tramp through two or three times a
week would be unreasonable in most people’s estimation.
This web page was updated on 01/06/2011.