Legal Questions & Answers

Can My Landlord Enter My Apartment When I Am Not At Home?

Unless it is an emergency, no landlord can enter an apartment, absent a lease provision or a court order. Pursuant to G.L. c. 186, §15B, a lease for residential property can provide that the landlord may enter to inspect the premises, to make repairs or to show the same to a prospective tenant, purchaser, mortgagee or its agents before the termination date of the lease. The landlord also has the right to inspect the apartment within the last thirty (30) days of the tenancy or after either side has given notice. But Housing Court judges have repeatedly ruled that even where the landlord has the right to enter, reasonable notice must be given to the tenant that an entry will be made at a specific and reasonable time. Thus, the tenant can seek an Order from the Housing Court to insure the right to have that notice. Conversely, if the landlord gives that notice, and has the right to give that notice, the landlord can also come to the Housing Court for an Order permitting entry at a reasonable time and reasonable notice, if the tenant refuses entry.