Last time we discussed the Landlord’s legal way to enter a tenant’s apartment, condominium or house and the importance of including reasons for entry in the lease. No landlord wants to be confronted by the tenant’s lawyer for violating the tenant’s right to privacy. This week we discuss consent by a tenant, written, verbal or implied.
When a tenant signs a lease on an apartment, condominium or house, there is tacit agreement that the landlord may enter due to a busted pipe or other damage. The basis for this access is the “implied” consent of the resident allowing entry in response to the resident’s request for repair, or the lease obligation to provide periodic service or maintenance. A landlord’s reliance on implied consent may be more reasonable when it is in response to a request for maintenance or repair. A landlord’s reliance on implied consent may be unreasonable when service or maintenance is conducted that is infrequent and likely unexpected by the resident, such as unannounced service of the smoke alarms or air conditioner.
The most common method of gaining access is obtaining consent of the resident, whether it be for inspections, services, repairs, or showings. In response to a phone call or email, the resident approves the entry into the rental. If the resident’s approval is over the phone, the landlord should make a note in the resident’s file of the authorization, including time, date and initials of the staff member who spoke to the resident.