Some landlords believe that they can enter a property at any time because they are technically the owner of that real estate. On the other hand, some tenants believe that they always have a right to privacy and that a landlord can never come into the home or apartment without permission, on the grounds that the tenant has signed a lease to use that space as their own.
Neither of these positions would be technically correct. It is true that New York law prohibits landlords from entering at any time they want or for any reason, so tenants do have privacy protections. However, there are also some reasons why landlords can come in and steps they need to follow to do so.
Providing advance notice
Generally speaking, your landlord has to pick a reasonable time to enter your apartment and give you notice in advance that they are going to do so. They may do this to make updates or repairs, to show the apartment to someone else and for many other reasons. This doesn’t mean they can just barge into the apartment and begin making repairs at any hour or for any reason, but they can work with the tenant to find an appropriate time.
Entering in an emergency
There are cases where landlords can enter a property without notice and without permission, such as if there is an emergency. For example, perhaps a landlord owns a duplex and lives in one half while renting out the other half. If there’s a house fire, the landlord may be able to go into the other side of the duplex because there’s simply no time to get the necessary permission.
But emergency situations are rare, and landlords typically cannot enter without notice or permission. It is very important for both sides to understand all of their legal options if they find themselves in a dispute.