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Landlord Rights: When Can They Enter Your Apartment?

Jun 20 2016

Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

As a tenant, it is important to feel that you have established a “home” in your apartment whether you live with family, friends or by yourself.  A large part of feeling at home is the sense of privacy that comes with having your own space.  Privacy, most importantly, means that people are not barging into your space unannounced and without permission—especially your landlord.

So when can landlords legally enter your apartment?  Landlords can legally enter the property you are renting based on: the landlord-tenant laws of the state in which you reside, the terms stated in your lease, or in the event of an emergency.  Keeping these factors in mind, it is important as a tenant to learn the law in your jurisdiction, understand the exact terms to which you are signing your lease by reading the fine print, and get a safe to lock all of your valuables in the case of an emergency where a third party may have the right to enter your apartment.    

Otherwise, a landlord generally cannot enter your space without notice. Virtually every state requires 24-hour notice by a landlord to a tenant in order to enter the rented property.  Entry without a tenant’s permission could result in civil action for trespassing and even criminal charges.  Each tenant has the right to use their property without worrying that the landlord will show up unannounced.  If the landlord violates these conditions, a tenant can take appropriate legal action or move somewhere they feel more at home by terminating the lease without penalty.

To find out more information on the landlord’s right of entry contact an attorney experienced in landlord-tenant law. For New Jersey residents, more information regarding the landlord’s right of entry can be found through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/publications/pdf_lti/right_of_entry.pdf

Barnegat Lawyer | Landlord-Tenant | Right of Entry