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Restrictions limit when landlords may enter rental properties

When a tenant rents a property from a landlord, they likely anticipate having a certain degree of privacy. The rental property serves as a tenant's home, and a Queens tenant will undoubtedly expect to be able to live in the premises without unwarranted intrusions from their landlord. There are circumstances when a landlord has the right to enter the premises, however, and it can be helpful for a tenant to be aware of when such a right may arise to hopefully prevent landlord-tenant disputes.

One of the most common reasons that a landlord will need to enter a rental property is to perform repairs or services to the property. When the repairs are routine or agreed upon, a landlord has the right to enter the property to complete these repairs, but before doing so, they must provide a tenant with reasonable prior notice of the plan to enter and must obtain the tenant's consent. Generally, reasonable notice is approximately 24 hours in advance of entry. Furthermore, the entry must be at a reasonable time, which is often deemed to be during "normal business hours," or Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If a lease provides for entry by a landlord for repairs, they will, of course, have the right to enter the property, as well.

Another circumstance in which landlords have the right to enter rental properties is in the event of an emergency. Of course, both landlords and tenants will hope that such a situation never arises, but should there be a water leak or fire, a landlord not only has the right to enter the premises, but may do so without prior notice and without obtaining the consent of a tenant.

A tenant or landlord who has questions regarding permitted access to a rental property or who is facing a dispute regarding a contested entry may wish to consult with an attorney for legal advice.

Source: ag.ny.gov, "Tenants' Rights Guide," accessed Oct. 21, 2016

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