Can a landlord enter a tenant’s space when they’re gone?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2021 | Real Estate |

One issue that landlords and tenants sometimes face is understanding who can access the tenant’s apartment, home or other space and when they can do so.

Say a landlord owns a home that has been split in to multiple apartments. Since they own the building, they may feel like they can just enter any part of their own property any time they want. However, the tenants each feel like they should have privacy within their own apartments, as they are paying to rent them.

Who is right? If a landlord enters a tenant’s apartment while they are gone, is that a problem?

It’s a complicated situation

The best advice is for a landlord to simply avoid entering without notice. If they just talk to the tenant in advance and explain why they need to enter, the tenant will likely be fine with it and they won’t run in to any issues.

The truth is that entry without notice is sometimes legal, but it’s complicated and it depends on the situation. For instance, if there’s an emergency — such as a gas leak or a fire in the unit — the landlord can certainly enter without warning to protect the building they own. There are other potential reasons they can enter, such as:

  • Delivering packages
  • Making repairs
  • Doing upkeep
  • Serving notices
  • Showing the apartment
  • Doing inspections

Again, though, it’s best to have open communication. Rather than making a repair when the tenant is gone, the landlord should call them and schedule a time. This respect from both sides goes a long way. If there is ever a dispute, though, both sides need to know their legal options. You may want to seek the guidance of an attorney.