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A landlord may need to enter a tenant’s apartment for a variety of reasons, and will usually need to provide a signed Notice to Enter as a way of notifying the tenant of his or her intent. Common reasons for requesting to enter a tenant’s apartment or other rental unit include:

  • inspecting the property
  • making or assessing the need for maintenance repairs
  • supplying necessary or agreed-upon services
  • showing the rental unit to prospective buyers or tenants

Landlords and managers can legally enter a tenant’s apartment for legitimate purposes if they give the tenants reasonable advance notice (usually 24 hours) using a Notice to Enter. In some states, landlords can only enter an apartment during normal business hours, unless it’s an emergency. In the event of an emergency like a fire or a gas/water leak, landlords can enter without the tenant’s consent. A landlord or manager can also enter a tenant’s apartment without seeking permission if it’s not really reasonably possible to give advance notice, for example if the tenant is away for an extended period of time.

As long as the landlord complies with state and local landlord/tenant laws, the tenant can’t unreasonably refuse entry. If the tenant repeatedly unreasonably denies the landlord access to the apartment, the landlord can legally enter as long as it’s done at a reasonable time of day, and in a peaceful manner. However, if the tenant is present and bars entry, the landlord cannot come into the apartment.

In the case of a serious conflict between landlord and tenant, the parties should seek mediation to help them reach a compromise. If a compromise can’t be reached, the landlord may be able to evict the tenant, if right-of-entry provisions were included in the Rental Agreement.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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