Can a landlord use master key locks on apartment rentals?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2011

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Can a landlord use master key locks on apartment rentals?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A landlord in all states in this country has the right to enter his or her tenant's property provided reasonable notice is given before hand or if an emergency requires immediate entry. Reasonable notice is typically twenty-four (24) hours notice minimum.

Most landlords for safety reasons as well as common sense reasons have master keys to enter their rented out properties if need be. Such reasons could be if a tenant locks himself or herself out of the unit or if a tenant vacates the unit, locks it and does not give the landlord the key to the unit. In such a situation, the landlord will need access to the property.

Common practice is for a landlord to have master keys to obtain access to his or her rented units if need be.

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