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Landlord’s Right Of Access

(credit:  Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - You’re finally out of school and renting your own apartment. When can – and when can’t – your landlord come in?

Chef Penny Davidi – who recently won a round of “Chopped All Stars” on the Food Network – has sued her landlord whom she claims entered her apartment and then took thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff.

You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that breaking and entering is illegal. But what about just the “entering” part given that the landlord owns the place and keeps a set of the keys?

It may be your home, but your landlord does still have some right to enter. It doesn’t mean he can get in whenever he wants; he can’t enter to check up on you or at an unreasonable time like 4 in the morning, but in general the landlord has the right to get in, so long as he provides 24 hours notice, especially to make reasonable repairs or show the place once you’ve let him know you’re moving out. And in an emergency like a water or gas leak, for example, he may have right to get in immediately.

You never wanted your parents snooping around; and now your landlord can get in without your permission – but at least he can’t tell you to make your bed.

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