General Question

eadinad's avatar

Is it illegal for your landlord to just walk in with no notice/no request?

Asked by eadinad (1278points) August 26th, 2008

Actually it’s the property manager, not the landlord, but he has this habit of just coming into our apartment, or knocking and then immediately unlocking our door, or just showing up randomly and pushing his way in with his workers to do something or other. We feel this is really inappropriate and an invasion of privacy. We’ve asked him to give notice but he has ignored us. What do you think?

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22 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

No. When I was in college our building owner was almost arrested because he would often pop in unannounced, especially on college co-eds

blastfamy's avatar

Look at your Lease Agreement. If there is no specific mentioning of his right to enter without notice/consent of any kind, look at who reserves what rights.

This is obviously on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of @tinyfaery, I can’t imagine that there is nowhere where the owner does not posses this right…

trudacia's avatar

Check your lease, if you have one. You’ve likely given permission… I did and it’s completely annoying!

cheebdragon's avatar

they are only suppose to enter if its an emergency, so…unless your place is on fire…..he should be required (in most states i believe) to give you at least 1 days notice about any maintenance work, before entering your apartment (depending on your agreement of course) .

trudacia's avatar

@cheeb, I think you’re right . Problem is they detemine if it’s an “emergency”. My emergency is not my landlords emergency. At least in my building…

tinyfaery's avatar

CA law. on rental properties. Look on page 30–35. There is really no case where a landlord can enter the unit without prior notice, only in case of emergency (like fire, gas leak, etc.).

cheebdragon's avatar

an alternative would be to get one of these

cheebdragon's avatar

i had the same one and i put it in every apartment i ever lived in… works great!
and its only $6

blastfamy's avatar

If the landlord already likes to enter at will (regardless of his right to do so, or as it may be proven later, not), the landlord would not like something installed that would prevent him from doing so…

cheebdragon's avatar

the landlord cant walk into the home while they are home just because he feels like it…. it will only be locked if they are there, and they can just go open the door if they need to…..

blastfamy's avatar

I still think that the landlord would try to block it on the grounds that it is an unapproved addition.

cheebdragon's avatar

if he doesnt like it and they want to get rid of it, it can be removed in seconds with a screwdriver…

crunchaweezy's avatar

Haha blast, you’re a funny one.

roadventer's avatar

You should check your state laws which typically govern this kind of thing. It is very likely that the answer is no, he can’t do that lawfully. Very simply: nobody is entitled to enter your home as long as you reside their legally and are in compliance with your obligations as a tenant. Even if he is the property owner, his entitlement to enter the home without permission (except for emergency or other extenuating circumstance) was surrendered when he accepted your tenancy.

JackAdams's avatar

When I lived in Denver, my landlord thought he could do that, so when he tried it one day, I pulled out my gun and pointed it at his head, saying, “You’re under arrrest for breaking and entering!”

The Denver cops showed up, and based on my formal complaint to them, they carted his sorry ass off to jail, where he had to post $5,000 bail to get out.

I pressed the charges and he was found guilty of unlawful entry (he didn’t know that anyone was home, which is why he did what he did), then paid a hefty fine and I followed up with a civil suit, which he lost, and was ordered by the court to pay me $25,000 in damages, of which my attorney got one third.

He learned my #1 rule, from that:

Don’t screw with me, unless you have a shaved vagina!

August 27, 2008, 2:08 AM EDT

crunchaweezy's avatar

JackAdams, high 5!

That’s how you get it done! Take note everyone.

JackAdams's avatar


August 27, 2008, 3:06 PM EDT

Judi's avatar

It really depends on what state you live in. California requires 24 hour notice and the reasons they can enter are limited. Even if your contract states something different the law supersedes the contract. I’m in the business but I am mostly familiar with California law. Hopefully you don’t live in Texas. Residents have very few rights there.

Judi's avatar

With all due respect for cheebdragon, I would charge you to replace the door casing if you put one of those locks on our doors. Most contracts say not to alter the apartment and putting screws in my wood trim is pretty bad. I would suggest one of these instead. You would scare the crap out of her too!

Response moderated (Spam)
Aster's avatar

Decades ago, we lived in an “all bills paid” apt and the landlady would just walk in whenever she thought we had left (on weekends) and turn off the a/c. I Hated that! Then , after not damaging anything, she kept our damage deposit . So my husband simply lifted the lawn chairs and stuck them in our UHaul when we moved. Unfortunately, they were those cheap poly-strap folding ones.
I was told with any cheap apartments they NEVER give back your damage deposit.

Pandora's avatar

I know in Virginia it is not legal. Even if they skipped. We could only enter without permission if there is proof that people skipped. Like they had their power turned off. Or we can visually see there is nothing in the apartment if it is on the first floor or they left their door open and we saw it was empty.
Otherwise, we had to send them a letter and post it on their door letting them know that we intend to visit. Even with that. If there was no answer, we could not enter.
Even if their mail piled up at the door.
The only other time we could enter without permission is if there is a leak coming from the apartment or water entering the apartment. Then we have the right to enter in order to protect our property. Short of that or an eviction (which the police notify you with a notice on your door if your not home), we cannot enter without your approval.
I would definetly go over their heads and talk to the property owners.
If you did call in for some maintance work and you feel they should only come when it is convient for you than that is another matter. You can ask them to leave but then don’t complain if it takes longer to fix your problem. I use to have some tenants like this. We only had one maintance guy and he would try to fix things in the order they were called. If you refuse than your call goes back to the end of the list, and further down if there are a few emergency calls along the way.
People always like to do it by appointment but that is not always an option if there is only one guy, and he works only from 9–5. He can’t wait for you to get home from work. He has to go home too. As for the manager going with him, I have one question? Do you complain a lot?
If you do than he is probably going along with his maintance guy to ensure that you don’t claim he stole something or did or said something wrong or that he didn’t do the work required.
We would do that if we felt we had a tenant who seemed to look like they were looking for some excuse to complain and break the lease.

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