Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.
Landlords are known for ruling over their properties with an iron fist, and that’s no joke. We have all heard about landlords that get a little too excited about having power. Sometimes, it can turn into a downright horror story worthy of the news. There are a lot of grey areas that make people worry about the true power a landlord can hold. What can a landlord do during an inspection?
Ever wonder what they can do and where the line gets drawn? It’s a common question among renters, and that’s why it’s good to know your rights. To make things easier, we’re going to explain it out as a list.
A landlord has a lot of power when it comes to what they do with their properties. A typical landlord is allowed to do the following:
If you have already signed a lease agreement, don’t be fooled into thinking that your landlord can now get away with whatever they want. The most common question is often, “can landlords do random inspections?”. Even though you are renting, you have the right to privacy, so frequently, people wonder if their landlord can enter their home without permission.
In short, the answer is no. Your landlord must inform you beforehand, in writing, if they need to enter the property, except in the case of an emergency. Tenants have the right to privacy, but landlords also reserve the right to enter the rental property under the approved conditions. These are in your leasing agreement.
However, if a landlord tries to come into your home without advanced written notice, say for a “random inspection,” the tenant has every right to refuse entry.
According to the law, all legal tenants possess what is known as the “Right To Quiet Enjoyment.” This, by definition, means “A property owner or tenant’s right to possess and use their property without disturbance, including by a person with the superior title. A disturbance of an owner or tenant’s possession or use may constitute a nuisance.
A deed or lease may include a covenant of quiet enjoyment to insure an owner or tenant against a disturbance.”
This law gives you the right to live in a rental property peacefully and without disturbance. Your landlord violates your request for quiet enjoyment if, for example, your landlord frequently makes unnecessary and unannounced visits to the property or your landlord harasses you on the phone or in person.
There are still limitations to a landlord’s power. These issues below are things that cross the line:
If you feel like your landlord violated your tenant’s rights, there are ways to take legal action against them. You should never feel that, as a tenant, you do not have the right to live peacefully and undisturbed in your rental residence.
Just because the landlord owns or is in charge of the property, it doesn’t mean that they can do whatever they like. And if they do something illegal, you can certainly take action and get your landlord in trouble.
The first thing you should do is review the terms of your lease and make notes of any actions your landlord has taken that you think might be illegal or violate your rights. It’s essential to have as much detail as possible if you intend to sue or take legal action.
Some common reasons people choose to take their landlords to court include refusing to return a security deposit, refusing repair requests, entering the property without proper notice, and violating the Fair Housing Act.
If it’s a matter of your landlord locking you out of your house, then your best bet is to call 911 and report an illegal eviction. On a similar note, you should always get a real estate lawyer to look over the situation.
Document things, and make sure to look for a new apartment as soon as you can. You’ll be glad to get out of there.