Does a Landlord Have the Right To Enter a Rental Property in New York?
New York landlords have a right to enter rental property based on whatever is agreed in the lease or required under the law. Since the landlord is legally responsible for habitability, there’s aright to enter for maintenance and inspectionsas well asemergencies.
Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission in New York?
New York landlordscan legally enter a rental property without permissionfor a valid reason under the law or lease, such as property maintenance.
Can a Landlord Enter Without the Tenant Present in New York?
New York landlordscan legally enter a rental property without the tenant present.
Can a Landlord Show a House While Occupied in New York?
New York landlordsusually can’t show a house while occupiedunless they reserved this right in the lease. A landlord of a rent-stabilized property does have a statutory right to show it while occupied.
How Often Can Landlords Conduct Routine Inspections in New York?
New York landlords haveno specific limiton how often they can enter for inspections. The landlord isn’t allowed to enter unreasonably often, but what’s reasonable gets decided case by case.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need To Provide in New York?
New York landlords haveno specific amount of advance noticethey legally have to provide. However, since New York protects tenants against willful interference with quiet enjoyment of a rental property, at least 24 hours of advance notice is reasonable outside emergencies.
Can a Landlord Enter Without Notice in New York?
New York landlordscan enter without notice.However, since New York protects tenants against willful interference with quiet enjoyment of a rental property, a landlord might be liable if entering without notice unless there’s a provable justification (like an emergency).
How Can Landlords Notify Tenants of an Intention To Enter in New York?
New York landlords can notify tenantsverbally or in writingabout an intention to enter.
Can a Tenant Refuse Entry to a Landlord in New York?
New York tenantscan refuse entry to a landlordfor any reason that’s not allowed in the lease or carrying out a legal obligation of the landlord (like maintenance or inspection). There’s no general right of entry in New York.
What Happens If the Tenant Illegally Refuses Entry to the Landlord in New York?
New York landlords can take any of the following actions if the tenant illegally refuses entry:
Get a court order to force access.
Deliver a written 30-day Notice to Cure (which begins the eviction process).
Sue for damages.
Can a Tenant Change the Locks Without Permission in New York?
New York tenantscan change locks without permissionif the lease doesn’t say otherwise. It’s reasonable for tenants to provide keys when installing new locks; the landlord still has a right to enter for specific reasons, and sometimes the law requires tenants to copy keys upon request.
What Can a Tenant Do If the Landlord Enters Illegally in New York?
New York tenants can take any of the following actions if the landlord enters illegally:
Get a court order to ban the landlord from entering.
Recover cost of any actual damages.
Break the lease (for severe cases where the landlord’s violation is deliberate).
“In the absence of a reserved right of entry, the landlord has no common-law right to enter upon the demised premises.” People v. Scott, 26 N.Y.2d 286, 290 (N.Y. 1970). In light of B F Bldg. Corp. v. Liebig, 76 N.Y.2d 689, 693 (N.Y. 1990) (“The Legislature is presumed to be aware of the law in existence at the time of an enactment and to have abrogated the common law only to the extent that the clear import of the language of the statute requires”), this means a landlord only has right of entry as expressly prescribed by contract or statute. At common law, the default remedies available are monetary damages, and injunction.
“[A]n out-of-possession landlord may maintain a ‘degree of control,’ and thus may have an obligation to abate a nuisance, where there is a right to re-enter in order to inspect or repair, when the nuisance is ‘a significant structural or design defect that is contrary to a specific statutory safety provision.’”
“[Eviction is a potential remedy when] the tenant has unreasonably refused the landlord access to the housing accommodations for the purpose of making necessary repairs or improvements required by law or for the purposes of inspection or of showing the accommodations to a prospective purchaser, mortgagee or prospective mortgagee, or other person having a legitimate interest therein; provided, however, that in the latter event such refusal shall not be ground for removal or eviction if such inspection or showing of the accommodations is contrary to the provisions of the tenant’s lease or rental agreement.”
Nonbinding guidance from the Attorney General’s office typifies the standard under New York law: “Tenants have the right to privacy within their apartments. A landlord, however, may enter a tenant’s apartment with reasonable prior notice, and at a reasonable time, and with the tenant’s consent, either to provide routine or agreed upon repairs or services, or in accordance with the lease. If the tenant unreasonably withholds consent, the landlord may seek a court order to permit entry. In an emergency, such as a fire or water leak, the landlord may enter the apartment without the tenant’s consent or prior notice.”
There are major local exceptions to the lack of notice requirement. For example, NYC requires entry in a ‘reasonable manner’ which in most cases will require notice: “No tenant shall refuse to permit the owner, or his or her agent or employee, to enter such tenant’s dwelling unit or other space under his or her control to make repairs or improvements required by this code or other law or to inspect such apartment or other space to determine compliance with this code or any other provision of law, if the right of entry is exercised at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner.”
New York law on curing tenant breaches has evolved in an idiosyncratic way. N.Y. Real Prop. Acts 753(4) (2022) says a 30-day stay shall be issued in any summary action for possession (the quicker form of eviction process) where there’s a curable breach of the lease unrelated to rent payment. Under Mannis v. Jillandrea Realty Co., 94 A.D.2d 676, 678 (N.Y. App. Div. 1983), this has been interpreted to mean the tenant gets the statutory cure period automatically whenever the landlord files an eviction. This in turn has evolved into a de facto expectation that the statutory cure period be allowed before eviction gets filed in court. Most caselaw discusses 10-day notices to quit because that’s what the statute required historically; it was amended at the end of 2019 to 30 days. Since notice to quit for breach of lease terms is the landlord’s primary remedy for most of the stuff discussed in the various articles, New York law gives the tenant 30 days to correct most breaches of the lease.
“In the event that such proceeding [by landlord, for possession] is based upon a claim that the tenant or lessee has breached a provision of the lease, the court shall grant a thirty day stay of issuance of the warrant, during which time the respondent may correct such breach.”
“Every tenant of a multiple dwelling, except a tenant of a multiple dwelling under the supervision and control of a municipal housing authority, occupied by him, except as a hotel or motel, or college or school dormitory, shall have the right to install and maintain or cause to be installed and maintained in the entrance door of his particular housing unit in such multiple dwelling, a lock, separate and apart from any lock installed and maintained by the owner of such multiple dwelling, not more than three inches in circumference, as an ordinary incident to his tenancy, provided that a duplicate key to such lock shall be supplied to the landlord or his agent upon his request.”