Can a landlord let the police into a tenant’s apartment without the tenant’s permission to arrest someone who is there?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a landlord let the police into a tenant’s apartment without the tenant’s permission to arrest someone who is there?

The warrant for arrest was issued in a different county and the police came to an acquaintance’s apartment to arrest said individual. This person was not on the lease and had never used this address as a place of residence. This was for a non-violent offense.

Asked on November 24, 2015 under Criminal Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the precise circumanstances: if there was reason to believe that a person sought on a warrant was in the apartment (it wasn't just a "fishing expedition," but there was some good reason to believe he was there) and that unless the police arrested him shortly, he may move or disappear, then those "exigent" (urgent) circumstances relating to public safety and the police function would justify the landlord allowing access.
Even if, under these circumstances, it wasn't justified, there is nothing to do about it: 1) it won't affect the validit of the arrest; 2) one violation of the tenant's quiet enjoyment doesn't let him/her terminate the lease or avoid paying rent; 3) the courts won't give the tenant any compensation for this.

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