What qualifies as a “necessary repair” as stated in a lease agreement?

UPDATED: Nov 9, 2011

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What qualifies as a “necessary repair” as stated in a lease agreement?

My lease states my landlord can enter the premises to “make necessary or agreed upon repairs, alterations, etc.” Do I have the right to say “no” to cosmetic changes or does he have the right to change whatever he wants regardless of whether it’s “necessary” or not?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Most written elases define certain terms within them such as in your case "necessary repair". As such, carefully read your written lease (assuming you have one) and see if the term is defined. If not, the term will be defined in its ordinary sense. Meaning, repairs that are customarily needed as to a structure including cosmetic repairs.

In your situation, a landlord has the right to enter a rental upon reasonable notice. Typically 24 hours is deemed reasonable notice by a landlord to enter a unit to make repairs, show the property for sale, to make repairs.

In your situation, your landlord has the right upon reasonable notice to make cosmetic repairs to the unit.

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