What is a landlord’s right to enter a commercial premises?

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What is a landlord’s right to enter a commercial premises?

I rent a warehouse space for the storage of autos for my business. There was a rain storm and there was a “puddle” of water on the concrete floor of my unit. The landlord called me and asked if I could meet him at 5 so (my car insurance policy requires me to be present as they are treating it as “private” storage). I got a call later around 1 stating the landlord went in with the cleaners and lifted heavy dehumidifiers over the cars and climbed over my cars to get to the bathroom sink for drainage. There are scratches on the car, but I can’t prove that they weren’t there before.

Asked on July 24, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In commercial leases, the written lease typically sets forth the terms and conditions of the rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant which usually spells out the right of the landlord to obtain access to the rented property for inspection purposes.

If your lease does not set notice periods, 24 hours is typically a reasonable notice period to enter into a rented unit by the landlord. Less notice is needed if there is an emergency situation such as flooding or water intrusion as you have in your situation.

Have you spoken with the landord why he went into the rented unit several hours earlier than what you were given notice for? Has the leak or water intrusion become worse? Given the water intrusion issue at the rented property, the landlord's entry to fix and clean up the problem seems allowed even if it was done a few hours earlier than you were given notice for. However, you should get an explanation for this.

As to the scratches on you car, if you cannot prove that the crew cleaning up the water issue caused it, bringing a lawsuit against the clean up crew for the scratch repair would seem to be a wasted effort on your part.


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