Charlotte, NC asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Is it legal for my landlord to use a window (not open) to enter my home while we are away? He lost his key

This is an email the landlord sent while I was away. Is this legal to do for him? The reason is that he have lost his key.

"We did test the boiler for the third time this morning and it started up without hesitation. I left the heat on so it should be warm when you arrive. I did have to find a way into your house through the front kitchen window - sorry but I had no choice as the thermostat had to be calibrated. And sorry again as I left some dirt in the kitchen."

Related Topics:
3 Lawyer Answers
Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Elaine Shay
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: In NYC landlords are required to obtain the tenant's consent to enter an apartment for a non-emergency reason. The method of entry is not defined.

Daniel Michael Luisi and Steven Warren Smollens and 2 others agree with this answer

Roland Godfrey Ottley
Roland Godfrey Ottley
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It is not lawful for the landlord to enter into your apartment in the way that you have described. As a tenant, you have exclusive possession of the space that you are paying rent for. If the landlord would like to get access to your apartment, the landlord has to request reasonable days for access. In an emergency situation, the landlord does not have to obtain your consent to enter your premises.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You could file a complaint of trespass, and burglary with the local police precinct [https://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article140.php#p140.00]. Your landlord's email, at a minimum, is a confession/admission of the crimes. A criminal does not exculpate himself by saying I'm sorry, but I felt I had to do so.

You could declare that the non-emergency entry (which would be the same problem if the landlord used the key to enter without your advance permission or prior notice of a need to do so) ended your lease and you move out.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.