Tenants expect privacy when they agree to lease a space. At the same time, landlords want to make sure that their premises are safe and retain their value. There are valid reasons that they have for wanting to get in and inspect their property. Both tenants and landlords alike often ask question where boundaries lie concerning when and why these entries can happen.
While laws and regulations in each jurisdiction may vary, landlords are generally entitled to enter a tenant’s space in four primary instances. Property owners can go into a renter’s unit if they suspect there are safety or health concerns, to perform maintenance to it, to rent or sell it or if a court order allows them to do so.
Landlords are allowed to lawfully enter a tenant’s unit in other cases though.
A landlord may do so if they need to make repairs that will allow the space to remain habitable. This is the case whether the tenant requests them to be performed or not. The same logic applies if the landlord has intentions of making improvements to the property, whether functional or aesthetic ones.
Landlords may also lawfully gain access to a tenant’s unit if they need to drop off a large package, evict or perform a service that you’ve requested of them. Property owners can generally enter units if they are aware that the tenant has abandoned the premises as well.
Most local laws limit landlords to entering a tenant’s premises during reasonable hours. They may go into a unit outside of those times in emergencies such as a fire, flood or gas leak though.
Tenants are generally restricted from changing locks on their unit without the expressed permission of their landlord.
If you and your landlord are having difficulty getting on the same page about when they’re entitled to come into your unit, then you may want to consult with a Queens lawyer. An attorney can advise what your rights are here in New York. Your lawyer can also let you know what legal remedies are available to you if they’ve been violated.