When Can A Landlord Enter Your Apartment?

By Stirling G. Gardner

As a property manager, you might own a rental dwelling, but once an occupant begins living there, you can’t enter the building any time you would like to. The fact of the matter is, occupant privacy rights are very specifically watched over, even though the legalities are different from state to state. This holds true even if you don’t have a written.

But, although there are variances in the manner every state looks out for tenants’ rights, there are some overall boundaries that apply in nearly all circumstances.

Even though the rental lease agreement says that the property manager can have unlimited accessibility to the property, the property manager hasto supply adequate advanced notice, either in writing or verbally, that she might the property and the situation for entering. If it is not an emergency, the 2 circumstances for entering are to fix something, or to display the property to a potential occupant.

“Reasonable notice” is most of the time understood to demonstrate that the occupant is given adequate preparation to vacate the property if they decide to, or at least not be surprised by an humiliating circumstance.


There happens to be another valuable thing to make note of about having given advanced notice. Although you have notified the occupant you may be entering, you do not have the ability to go into the dwelling anytime of the day or night unless it happens to be a genuine crisis. To go in whenever you want would violate the renter’s right to the ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property, and the renter’s right to have full dominion over the unit. If a property manager takes away these rights by consistently coming into the building with their own keys and without posting notice, the occupant may file a lawsuit provided she can display they have suffered damages because of this landlord. A great instance of this is if the occupant works out of their apartment, and the apartment manager’s consistent entering has resulted in the occupant to not be able to complete her work.

Having the knowledge to know when you as property manager are able to go into an property is not as challenging as it might appear. Here’s how it is best laid out:

– If it is a blatant crisis such as fire coming out of the property – property manager may enter and the occupant would not be able to complain.

– If it is a substantial repair, but not a crisis such as replacing a broken appliance – the property manager should be able to enter though the occupant does have some say as to the timing of the job.

– If it is to display the property to a potential occupant – here is where the occupant has the most say, and the property manager will have to understand their rights when setting up a time to show the property. You might want to lay out the rules for entering in your rental lease agreement.

Every state may have varying requirements regarding how the property manager can enter the leased apartment. So what is the ideal way to make sure you don’t get taken to court for ignoring a renter’s right to privacy? Have a rental lease agreement that clarifies when the property manager is allowed to gain entry, and be familiar with your state’s privacy laws and regulations. Google your State Attorney General’s Office or Consumer Protection Agency to learn about occupant privacy laws.

About the Author: Stirling Gardner is a writer and property management expert. He consults for EZ Landlord Forms.com – your best online resource for a state specific

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