While being a homeowner has its perks, many people enjoy apartment life. You simply live in your space and let the landlord take care of the maintenance and other work involved. However, as a tenant, you may be concerned about your rights. After all, your landlord owns your apartment. That means he or she can enter your apartment anytime, right?
Not necessarily. While landlords do have rights, so do tenants. You have a right to privacy in your own apartment. This means that your landlord cannot simply barge in at all hours of the day. A landlord does, however, have the right to enter your apartment under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more about New York landlord laws.
Landlord Apartment Entry Laws
When can your landlord legally enter your apartment? There are several situations in which it is acceptable:
- At a reasonable time and with reasonable notice for repairs, services, or showing the apartment to prospective tenants. A “reasonable time” usually refers to Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays. “Reasonable notice” is frequently defined as 24 hours for inspections and one week for repairs. The notice must be in writing.
- The tenant invites the landlord into the apartment with little notice.
- An emergency situation has occurred. This, generally speaking, is the only time in which a landlord can enter your apartment without any notice whatsoever. An emergency would include a fire, water leak, gas leak or medical situation.
- The apartment has been abandoned. If the tenant has left the apartment and no longer resides there, the landlord has the right to enter the apartment.
Even if there are situations outlined in the lease in which a landlord can enter your apartment, the entry must be done so with sufficient notice—typically at least 24 hours.
What Do I Do if My Landlord is Invading My Privacy?
If your landlord is invading your privacy and showing up unannounced, it is time to say something. You do not have to live like that. The first step is to talk to your landlord. Let your landlord know that you would appreciate more notice with future visits so you can be prepared. You should put your conversation in writing and be sure to list all your contact information so you can be informed in advance of any future visits.
If these two steps are ignored, be firm. This time, send a certified letter to your landlord asking the behavior to stop. If it does not, threaten to take legal action. If the situation persists, consider mediation or hire a lawyer.
Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Landlord Negligence Attorney
While your landlord may technically own your apartment, that does not give him or her the right to access your apartment at any time. If your landlord is invading your privacy and entering your apartment at all hours of the day without notice, then you may be able to file a lawsuit.
These conditions may break the warranty of habitability, which is illegal. Discuss your case with the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum. He can assess your situation and file a claim. Call our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586 to schedule a consultation.