Do apartment complexs have to notify you if they will be entering your apartment for maintainance a non-emergency?

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Do apartment complexs have to notify you if they will be entering your apartment for maintainance a non-emergency?

The reason I ask is because the maintance person walked into my apartment without notifying anyone and my dog bit her. Keep in mind that the leasing agent who helped me out completely lied to me because I sat there when signing the lease and asked if I would be notified, and she said yes in order to prevent this same situation. I paid the pet deposit and they have no work order that I filled out permiting them to do any maintance on the apartment. Now I have had to pay nearly $400 for my dog to be quarantined for 10 days. All I want is to get my money back for the quarantine.

Asked on April 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Landlords or their employees, agents, and contractors may not enter a tenant's apartment for non-emergency maintenance without providing reasonable prior notice, which is generally held to be at least 24 hours. When the maintenance person entered without permission or notice, you should not be liable for any damages or costs arising out of a dog bite--the maintenance person had no right to be there, and the injury was caused by his unlawful entrance. You should be able to sue the landlord for reimbursement of this cost, though before doing so, you should consider what that might do your relationship with the landlord and whether, all in all, it would worth it. Note that if the landlord does not voluntarily reimbursement, a lawsuit is the only way to get the money; given the amount at stake, if you should go that route, it would make most sense to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney. Also remember that while you seem to have a good cause of action, winning a lawsuit is never guaranteed.


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