If my landlord keeps showing up without notifying me he is coming, what can I do to make him stop?

I have requested in an email that he give me 48 hours notice that he will be coming up as per the law and he will not. Then I mailed him a letter requesting that he give me hours notice before coming up and he is still just showing up. What recourse do I have to make him let me know? Does he have to notify my hours in advance when doing “maintenance” on the property?

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In non-emergency situations, a landlord needs to provide "reasonable" notice, which is generally taken  to be at least 24 hours notice, for maintenance, inspections, or to show the property for sale or rental--and those are generally the only reasons a landlord may enter. As noted, if there is an emergency--large water leak, gas leak, fire, electrical problem, etc.--a landlord can enter without notice.

Also, landlords should only enter a reasonable number of times (e.g. if its for maintenance, get it done--don't keep coming back) and at reasonable hours--usually typical work hours up through maybe 6 or 7 o'clock.

There are no hard and fast criteria in this regard, but if you feel the landlord is being unreasonable despite your notices or requests to stop, you could, if necessary, bring a legal action seeking a declaratory judgment (or court determination) of under what circumstances the landlord may enter, and an injunction (or court order) restraining him for entering other than as so determined.

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