Can a landlord legally inspect a property 4 times a year if they refuse to give a specific date of when they will inspect?

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Can a landlord legally inspect a property 4 times a year if they refuse to give a specific date of when they will inspect?

We are new to Tennessee and the apartment we are living in has informed us of the first of 4 ‘quartely’ inspections’ that they will be performing. They claim that it will happen some time within a 12 day window, and they refuse to give us a specific date even when asked. They also indicated that they will need access to EVERY room. Our concern is that we are being asked to Crate our animal for more than one week to avoid the inspectors getting bitten. Yet, even when told this the only response was – crate the animal. Is This Legal? Specifically when we have asked for a date.

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally, whether in privately-owned apartments or federally-subsidized housing (Section 8), notice of inspection is given indicating the date and time-frame of the inspection (for example, "inspection will occur on June 23 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m."). This is done so that the tenant can decide whether to be present during the inspection (some tenants don't like people in their apartment when they are not present), to allow the tenants to make any preparations that they need to (such as arranging to have pets crated), and to indicate whether or not tenants may have guests/visitors present during the inspections (if the tenant cannot have visitors present, this allows time for the tenant to cancel having guests over during the inspection date).   

If no date is given, the tenant cannot make required preparations as stated above.

It seems strange to me, but I don't know Tennessee law or what your lease states. Perhaps when you signed the lease, you agreed to these "dateless" inspections. But they are out of the ordinary and usually, in other states, illegal because some kind of advance notice is required.


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