Landlord Right of Entry and Tenant Right of Privacy
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The landlord or property manager has a reasonable right of entry for inspection purposes, to make repairs to the rental unit, show the premises to a prospective new tenant, and for emergencies.
Landlords should give tenants at least 24 hours notice except for emergency situations.
In all states, the landlord or property manager has the right to enter the premises while the tenant is living there without any advance notice for emergencies such as a fire, water leaks or roof leaks. The landlord can enter any time the tenant gives the landlord permission.
Entrance to Make a Repair
The landlord has the right to enter the premises to make repairs with advance reasonable notice. Usually 24 hrs is reasonable.
Entry to Show Property to Prospective Tenants or Buyers
Typically, a landlord has the right to enter the premises after giving reasonable notice to show the property to prospective new tenants or purchasers.
Invasions of Privacy
The landlord cannot enter the premises just to check up on a tenant. If the landlord continues to do this, the tenant should meet with the landlord to make sure that it will not happen again. If not, then the tenant may be able to break the lease and move out. The tenant can claim that the landlord's repeated violation of their privacy is a constructive eviction. If the landlord's conduct is interfering with the tenant’s peace of mind, the tenant may be able to sue the landlord in small claims court as well.
Giving Tenant Information to Strangers
Your landlord has the legal right to give out normal business information to strangers such as banks, creditors or other landlords, and the information must be factual and true.
Calls to Workplace
It’s okay for your landlord to call you at your workplace under certain circumstances, such as a relative or friend visiting and needing access to your apartment, or for emergencies or if you have given the landlord permission to do so. But it is not okay for the landlord to show up at your workplace or to talk to your boss about any late payments or other rental related problems. That would be considered an invasion of your privacy and you could sue the landlord for such actions.
Restricting Guests Without Cause
It is not okay for your landlord to restrict guests staying at your apartment for short periods of time. Some leases may require you register guests.
It is not okay for your landlord to be spying on you, and it could be considered stalking which is illegal. Tenants can file a complaint with the police department if the activity does not cease after talking to the landlord nicely about it.
It is considered an illegal eviction for a landlord to do a self-help eviction, meaning taking matters into their own hands and locking a tenant out, changing locks or turning off utilities because a tenant did something the landlord thinks is outrageous or the tenant has not paid their rent. Landlords could find themselves in a lot of trouble legally if they do so due to eviction law. There are penalties for landlords who break the law in this manner. Landlords and property managers should never intimidate or threaten tenants. The tenant can sue for trespass, assault , battery, slander or libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unlawful eviction depending on the landlord’s actions and collect money damages for cost of temporary housing, value of spoiled food, and for penalties such as several months rent. It is best to go through the proper legal channels to evict a tenant.
Fair housing laws prohibit sexual harassment and sex discrimination by a landlord to a tenant or vice a versa. Sexual harassment means making a sexual demand on a resident in exchange for repairing or maintaining the rental unit or creating a hostile environment that affects the psychological well being of the tenant.
- The content of this guide is provided for informational purposes only. If you need help with a rental or real estate question, please click here for a Free Case Review from a local real estate lawyer.