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

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 rainstorm would.

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.

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This web page was updated on 01/06/2011.