If you have ever had either the owner or the super of your apartment building enter your home without your consent, you likely wondered, “Can my landlord enter my apartment without my permission?”
In NYC and basically just about every place, tenants have the right to privacy in their rental units.
As a matter of fact, the NYC HPD (Housing Preservation & Development) suggests that a landlord is NOT generally allowed to enter a tenant’s apartment without their consent.
The landlord owns the building, but the rental units are considered to be the tenants’ private property, at least until their least terms end.
However, there are some instances in which a landlord may enter a unit without their tenant’s consent.
Let’s dive right in.
With Prior Notice
Your landlord may enter your apartment with prior notice and at a reasonable time for the following reasons or purposes:
- To provide necessary services and repairs in accordance to the agreed-upon lease term.
Services and repairs may include unit improvements, alterations, decorations, and more.
- To show the unit to a prospective tenant or an actual tenant (who will be living in the unit as soon as your current lease term ends), prospective buyer, actual buyer, appraisers, repair services or contractors, and mortgagees
- To deliver large packages in case your mailbox is too small for the package
- For inspection regarding health and safety concerns
Keep in mind that “reasonable time” generally refers to normal business hours and days, so anytime between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM, from Monday to Friday should be fine.
In NYC, landlords are required to deliver a written notice to their tenants at least one-week in advance for non-emergency services.
For health and safety inspection, landlord must provide a written notice at least 24-hours in advance.
Without Prior Notice
In response to emergency situations, for example, fire, flooding, natural disasters, gas leak, or other situations in which you are reasonably considered to be in danger, your landlord is allowed to enter your unit without notice and at any time.
That said, the requirement for prior notice may also be lifted if:
- Your landlord has acquired your consent to enter the apartment
- Landlord is under court order to enter the unit
- You have abandoned the unit
Especially for an abandonment case, unfortunately there is no statute to cover this in NYC law.
Please inform your landlord anytime you need to leave for a considerable amount of time, just so your landlord does not think you have abandoned your unit.
Unannounced/uninvited entry to your apartment, even by your landlord, is inappropriate and illegal.
The first thing to do if this occurs is usually finding a resolution through mediation.
There is at least one non-profit free mediation service in every borough in NYC. If that still doesn’t work, you have the legal option to file a lawsuit against the landlord for invasion of privacy.
So to answer your question, “Can my landlord enter my apartment without my permission?” Simply put, yes and no. It really depends on why.