Can a landlord just enter without notice?

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Can a landlord just enter without notice?

Landlord scheduled a date and time for a service man to come look at a heating unit but showed up on the wrong day. The landlord did not even try and call us the tenants and just walked in my home. I was in the shower and heard people in my rented house. She said she made a mistake on the day the service man was coming. She had sent us a letter with the date and time and we were ok with that. But just showing up on the wrong day, knowing we are in the house, see’s our cars in the parking lot and gives no phone call, just enters.

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, can the landlord enter without notice (or without prior notice, at least with on-the-spot permission granted by the tenant), unless it's an emergency? No. The only times a landlord may enter without notice is in an emergency situation (gas leak, water leak that could cause damage, dangerous electrical condition, fire or suspicion of fire, etc.).

Of course, if you did not suffer any injury or less (e.g. nothing broken, stolen, etc.), and this was an isolated incident, not a pattern of harassment (such as to drive you out) there would not be anything to sue for, so that sense, you have no legal course. You might consider sending a polite and professional letter to the landlord referencing what happened and stating that you understand this will not happen again, to put him/her on notice to be more careful. If you do this, send it someway (e.g. fax) that you can prove delivery.


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