Does a landlord have the right to demand that you close your windows when you are not home?

The landlord also let themselves in to the apartment to close the windows without my permission. They claim having the windows open can cause water damage if it starts to rain and poses a risk of entry through the fire escape. I agree that it is good practice to do so but do not feel this can be mandated. Any legal recourse?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes it can absolutely be mandated. If you live in an area with a high crime rate or an area that has a building with street access simply through usage of a fire escaape, then your landlord has an absolute responsibility to minimize danger to you and other tenants. Simply asking or demanding you close your windows (and presumably lock them) when you are not home is reasonable. It would be the same as if you had a ladder propped up against a window on the second story if you lived in a single family residence. The water damage issue is a lesser argument but the risk of entry is enough. The landlord coming in to your home prior to giving you notice regarding this window closure requirement is not appropriate but he or she should put that in writing and indicate to you that entry will occur if you are not home and the window is open. If you are still unsure, contact your state's consumer protection agency that handles landlord tenant matters and see if it can help mediate this matter.

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