Does my landlord have the right to go into my apartment unannounced due to complaints from other tenants?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2012

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Does my landlord have the right to go into my apartment unannounced due to complaints from other tenants?

I was caught with a cat in my apartment when I did not pay a pet fee. The landlord went into my apartment initially to spray for bugs. However, I was not notified in advanced. She wrote me up for a lease violation saying I had a cat and that the apartment was unsanitary due to presence of feline defecation on the floor. I cleaned up the carpet steamers and ditched the cat, but I am still getting unannounced checkups in my apartment. My copy of my lease is not legible photocopied poorly. I was told she has received complaints from other tenants. Do I have the right to privacy? Can she spray for bugs without notifying me? What can I do?

Asked on September 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord does not have an absolute right to enter your apartment for no valid reason.  Their right to enter is balanced against your right to privacy.  Lanlord's have a right to enter unannounced in the case of an emergency.  Otherwise, they have a right to enter to repair or inspect with notice to you.  Now, the right has to be reasonable and balanced with your rights as well.  Spraying monthly is reasonable and you should be gien notice as to same.  Harassment is not reasonable but may be hard to prove here.  Speak with your landlord and let her that you wish to have notice of the day the exterminator is coming.  That you have valuables in the apartment that you wish to safeguard as well.  If the "checkups" are frequent contact a tenant's rights organization in your area.  Good luck.

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