Tenant rights

T.CrossonJuly 10, 2012

So, I am very frustrated with my landlord. Can anyone tell me if a landlord can enter your home whenever they feel like it without giving a notice. Let me explain the situation. I moved into my apt in October 2011. My landlord did not want any pets living on his property. I had a dog that was very well behaved and we were and still are very attached to her. I spoke with the landlord and asked him if he will make an exception and allow my dog to live in the apt. He agreed with the stipulation that I would have to pay a monthly pet fee of 100.00. And after 1 year with the dog living in the apt he would inspect the apt and if there were no dog damages he would give me half of my money back. Well as of last month my dog moved with my son. I informed my landlord that my dog no longer lived in the apt and we agreed that we would meet today 7/10/12 @ 5pm so that he could walk through to check for damages and to probably verify that my dog was no longer there. Well I was late getting home from work. I got home aroun 515. My landlord calls and tells me that he was already at my apt and he went in and did the walk through. I did not give him permission to enter my apt. I really feel violated. I am a VERY private person and I don't like anyone in my home when I am not there. That's why I scheduled the time for 5pm. I was very upset with my landlord and told him he should not of entered my apt. His response was he can enter my apt whenever he wants to and that he will be back tomorrow at 5pm and enter it again and there is nothing I can do about. What if I were home but in the shower and didn't hear him knocking and when I get out he's inside my apt??????? Is there really nothing I can do? Can he do this? Do I have any rights?.

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Actually, you DID give him permission to enter. You just didn't show at the agreed upon time. No offense, but LLs are people with jobs, lives & schedules to keep too, and it's an irritation dealing with a situation like this. (And excessively tardy to no-shows are more common than you might think. It gets old.) I'm saying this because you make no mention of calling to tell him you were running late. So he kept his end of the agreement but had no idea when or if
you were going to turn up. That scenario creates impatience with anyone over any kind of appointment. (I probably would have gone ahead & done the inspection without you, too.)

With that said, most states have stipulations as to entry (with emergencies often requiring no notice). You need to check what your state laws say. Mine simply says 'reasonable notice' and tenant is not required to be there. (Still, I respect my tenant's privacy as my own & give them plenty of lead time, no surprises, and make sure it's a time they can be there. ) Some states may require written notice 24 hours minimum in advance. It varies.

So can your LL enter randomly whenever he wants to? Highly unlikely according to law. But putting myself in your LL's shoes, he was probably reacting & responding to you in anger & frustration. Because you didn't keep an agreed upon appointment, apparently failed to give him the simple courtesy of letting him know you were running late, then launched on him when he kept his end of the deal.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:51AM
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I agree with Moonshadow. You had already given the landlord permission, this one time, to enter your apartment to inspect it. I would feel as violated as you do, but I do think he had the right to enter.

However, most states do not allow landlords to enter apartments whenever they want to. Google "yourstate tenant landlord law" and find out what the law is where you live. Most states require 24 hour notice or "reasonable" notice. And most states allow for the landlord to enter without notice if there is an emergency--let's say you left home with the dishwasher running and it starts to overflow and drip water into the apartment below. The landlord can enter your apartment to shut the water off to prevent damage to his building.

Also check your lease. It may have different information. In most cases, if the lease and state law are different, state law rules, and the clause in the lease is invalid.

As for the landlord entering your apartment while you are there--get a chain door lock for your door. I needed this in one apartment where the maintenance guys simply could not remember that some people work from home, so they would unlock and open the door as they were knocking. And they didn't knock very loudly either--I rarely heard them until they were well inside my apartment. So I put the chain lock on the door and they couldn't get in when I was home unless I let them.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for everyones responses. However I just want to say that I never gave him permissions to enter without me being home. I Told him I would be home from work at 5:00. I was literally 10 mins late due to traffic. I was unable to inform him of this because I don't own a cell phone. Never did I give him permission to enter my home without my presents..

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:16AM
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T. Crosson, I get how you feel about your privacy, I'm a very private person myself. But just as you have rights, so does your LL. It's your home, but his property. I'm just trying to get you to see both sides here, not just yours. I copied and pasted the paragraph below from a random site covering Oregon LL/tenant law. Because the language is commonly used.

Your landlord may enter the property after advance notice in order to make inspections, make necessary repairs, supply necessary services, or to show the property to prospective buyers or work people. If reasonable, you may deny your landlord permission to enter; however, you must act reasonably. Just as the landlord cannot abuse the right of access to harass you or enter at unreasonable times, you cannot withhold your permission to enter to hinder or interfere with the landlord's exercise of his or her rights and responsibilities.
Taken from here: http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/1246_RightsDutiesTenants.htm

Your attitude is basically one of trying to give him two choices: either wait till you show though he has no idea when that might be, and if he can't wait any longer then leave, try again another day & hope it works out. (See hindering above.) What's ironic is he didn't even initiate the inspection, he wasn't anticipating it till Fall. It was you who requested it. So he held up his end of the deal, and now you're po'd and asking about your rights. If you want to be there when he walks through then you gotta show up when you said you would. It's pretty simple.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:28AM
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" I was very upset with my landlord and told him he should not of entered my apt. His response was he can enter my apt whenever he wants to and that he will be back tomorrow at 5pm and enter it again and there is nothing I can do about."

I've had landlords like this. They could care less about the law (or your privacy). It is sad that other landlords think this kind of behavior is acceptable.

I know of one that used to go into female tenants apartments and rifle through their lingerie drawer while they were at work..... Creepy.

It isn't going to get any better.

Find another place to live.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:37PM
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I disagree.

What I read in that excerpt doesn't say anything about the LL being able to access the apartment if the tenant isn't at home. She said she would meet him, she didn't say if I'm not home you can go in. She didn't want the LL in the apartment w/o her being there. Suppose he really entered at 4:59 or 5:01? It's his word only, and this man who puts himself above the law is to be trusted? He did have the option of either waiting or leaving and I'm not saying the LL's time isn't valuable but he did have those two options then handling that particular instance however he sees fit by giving a written notice etc.

She's not being difficult, matter of fact she's complied through all his craziness about inspecting the apartment every month. It probably wasn't legal for him to demand inspection every month, but I know she agreed to it but probably could have denied him per any damages to the apartment would have been seen once the tenant ended her lease the LL does a final walk through then charge her for any damages. The LL is being hypervigilant as far as his property but I think the op shouldn't have agreed to this arrangement but probably felt compelled to agree in order to keep the dog.

I believe the op did act reasonable and the LL abused the right of access.

Op ask a lawyer, this man thinking he can go into your apartment whenever he likes is crazy. This is the issue the op is really asking about. So op no, the LL doesn't have that right and you should ask a lawyer. Most states regarding reasonable time for LL to enter the apartment says LL has to give 24 hour notice.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Sorry for my errors, I reread the op's post which doesn't say the LL wanted to inspect on a monthly basis. I guess she's saying the agreement was for him to inspect her apartment after a year then give half the money she gave for the $100.00 each month back if there were no damages. I wonder what would have happened if there were damages? Would the LL keep all the money and in addition charge for the damaged item(s)? What if the LL claimed damages were done by the dog and it wasn't? Op I think it was a bad idea to ever agree to this arrangement. You should have just agreed to pay an additional fee each month and treated the apartment as usual with the LL only inspecting upon you ending your lease and moving out, and if he said no you should have done what you're doing now by having someone else take care of the dog then moving to an apartment that approves having dogs in the apartment.

Now as I said before the LL doesn't have the right to enter the apartment with the exception of an emergency or fire, otherwise he'd have to give 24 hour notice and it can't be for frivolous reasons or any reason outside what the lease states. Also the op should always make it clear to any LL that she doesn't want anyone to enter the apartment without her being there and if she can't be there she would have to arrange for someone in her place to be in the apartment for repairs and such.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:20AM
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Now as I said before the LL doesn't have the right to enter the apartment with the exception of an emergency or fire, otherwise he'd have to give 24 hour notice and it can't be for frivolous reasons or any reason outside what the lease states.

I don't see where the OP said what state she lives in, so I'm unclear where those specific guidelines cited came from. It's been said time and again on this forum: Every state is different with their LL/tenant laws and the best thing any tenant looking for advice can do is google and then read the law that pertains to their own respective state.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 9:37AM
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