Landlord Entered My Apartment When I Was Not Present – What Are My Rights?

That depends. In most states when a landlord rents you an apartment, you have the exclusive right to possession of that apartment. Some landlords don’t realize this and can get into serious trouble by entering without your permission which is both an invasion of privacy and breach of your right to the quite enjoyment of your property. Some landlords incorrectly believe that because they own the property they have the legal right to enter the apartment. The statement is true, but for the fact the Landlord gave up this right and others  the moment he rented you the apartment.

Contract Law

Tenant law is based on contract law. You agreed to pay the rent, and he agreed to give you possession and the right to the quite enjoyment of the property. The landlord is bound by the agreement just as you are. If he violates your right to exclusive possession, he is committing a trespass and has invaded your right to privacy. But there are exceptions:

Exceptions

If there is an emergency – a fire or flood in the apartment building, for example – no court is going to punish the landlord for going into your apartment in an effort to prevent injury and save property. And some states have laws allowing the landlord to enter the property so long as the landlord provides you with reasonable written notice, specifying the exact day and time the landlord will enter to make normal repairs, inspect the premises, and if the lease expressly allows, to show the place to prospective renters.

Legal Right To Reject Notice

You have the legal right to reject the notice on the basis that you will not be present on that specific date and time, but you must provide the landlord with written alternative dates and times that you will be present. If the court believes you were not acting reasonably, the judge might find in favor of the landlord.

More on Renters Rights, Security Deposits, Eviction, Repairs, Privacy, Rental Leases…

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