If my landlord recently put a lock on the basement door of the house that I rent but did not give me a key, as a tenant what are my rights?

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If my landlord recently put a lock on the basement door of the house that I rent but did not give me a key, as a tenant what are my rights?

Asked on June 12, 2015 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Do you rent the basement--that is, is it included within the space you are leasing and for which you are paying?

If yes, you must be given access (i.e. a key). If the landlord will not give you access to space you rent, he is violating the lease and you may be able to 1) treat the lease as terminated as move, if after notice or a request (make it in writing, sent some way you can prove delivery) he doesn't give you access; or 2) sue the landlord to receive compensation, such as a rent rebate for the time you are not getting access to everything for which you are paying.

If  no, if it's not part of the space you are leasing, then the landlord has the right to exclude you.

If you rent the whole house, it would typically be part of your leasehold (leased space) unless a written lease specifically says otherwise.


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