Generally, the tenant has the right to invite in or exclude anyone from the property, including the landlord. However, the landlord has the right to enter the property under certain circumstances. The landlord may enter without invitation or consent at any time to respond to an emergency. The landlord may also enter at reasonable times after giving a 24-hour notice of the landlord’s intent to enter, so long as the landlord is entering for one of the following purposes: to inspect the property, to make agreed or necessary repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, to supply necessary or agreed services, or to show the property to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. Notice shall be provided to each individual unit and include the intended purpose for entry and a reasonable period during which the landlord anticipates making entry.
If the landlord gives the proper notice and has a proper purpose to enter the property, the tenant should allow the landlord to enter at a reasonable time. If the tenant refuses to let the landlord access the property, the landlord may sue the tenant for access or terminate the lease and evict the tenant, and in either case the landlord may recover actual money damages caused by the tenant’s refusal to allow access and the landlord’s attorney’s fees. The landlord should never physically force entry into the tenant’s unit against the tenant’s opposition.
Abuse of Access
If the landlord enters without giving proper notice, tries to enter in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated demands for access to harass the tenant, the landlord has abused the right of access to the property. If the landlord abuses the right of access, the tenant may sue the landlord to prevent future unlawful entry or terminate the lease and move out, and in either case the tenant can recover money damages of at least one month’s rent and the tenant’s attorney’s fees.
Click here for a sample notice of termination due to abuse of access.