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Can landlords enter your home without permission?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Landlord/Tenant

New York has strict landlord laws to protect tenants from property owners entering their homes without permission. However, there are some situations in which a landlord could enter your home without permission.

Emergencies

If a pipe has burst or there is a fire, landlords could enter your home without needing to inform you because these are emergency situations. The landlord will want to prevent further damage to the property. Maintenance issues that could cause injuries or harm your health also count as emergencies. Other examples of emergencies that grant your landlord access to your home are frozen pipes, broken doors, broken locks, flooding, heating problems in the winter, electrical problems, intruder break-ins and extended power outages.

Invitation

If you invite the landlord into your home, then this overrides the rule that landlords must give a certain period of notice before entry. When you ask the landlord to come over, they can enter without notice. Agreeing to the landlord coming over is also inviting them.

24-hour and one-week notices

For non-emergency repairs, inspections and showings, landlord and tenant law states that landlords must give their tenants reasonable notice before entering. New York courts tend to interpret this as at least 24-hours’ notice before inspections and showings and at least one week’s notice for non-emergency maintenance and repairs. You can agree for the landlord to make repairs sooner than a week as your invitation to entry would overrule the one-week rule.

It’s not legal for landlords to enter your home without your permission unless it’s an emergency situation. Most scenarios won’t require a lawsuit to resolve; you should send your landlord a written letter about the problem and remind them of the law. A judge will want to know that you made attempts to resolve the issue before filing a lawsuit.