here is the situation... i live in this apartment complex. it's one of those situations where this company owns a few complexes all over the state and the landlord is this far away unknown person with an office building full of departments and secretaries. in the complex i live in, occasionally they have exterminators come and spray the grounds. they just knock on your door without giving any notice at all. in the past, i've occasionally turned them away because i either wasn't dressed properly, or i was trying to get out the door with my kids. well, once i refused and the guy went away... only the complex manager came by and yelled at my husband and said that we had to let the guy in. we have three kids, so there were toys on the floor, baskets full of laundry, and dishes to be done... nothing a "health risk" (no rotting food or garbage lying around). a week later i got a "notice to cease" that said my apartment had been INSPECTED by the bug guy, and that it was "unkempt/unsanitary"! i was furious, because i received no notice that i was being inspected. so i did a search, and this is what i found...
|Entering the tenant’s dwelling unit
All leases, whether written or oral, give the tenant “exclusive possession” of the dwelling unit. This means that only the tenant, or members of the tenant’s household, or people the tenant allows in the house or apartment, have the right to be there. The landlord does not have the right to come into the house or apartment whenever he or she wants. In a written lease, the landlord’s duty to not enter the tenant’s house or apartment is called the covenant of quiet enjoyment. This covenant (promise) means that the tenant has control over who can or can’t come into his or her apartment or house. Cite: Ashley Court Enterprises v. Whittaker, 249 N.J. Super. 552 (App. Div. 1991).
When can a landlord enter?
The law allows the landlord or the landlord’s workers to go into the tenant’s dwelling only in a few special situations:
-If the tenant invites or asks the landlord or one of the landlord’s workers to come in.
-If the landlord needs to inspect the apartment, but only
at reasonable periods of time—every day is unreasonable, every few months might be okay; at a reasonable time of day—4 a.m. is unreasonable, 4 p.m. might be okay, depending on whether the tenant will be home at that time; and only after giving the tenant reasonable notice that he or she is coming to inspect.
Reasonable notice usually means a written notice. It also usually means that the notice must be given at least one day before the landlord wants to come in. For buildings containing three apartments or more, there is a regulation requiring one day’s notice before a landlord can come into an apartment to make an inspection or do repairs. Cite: N.J.A.C. 5:10-5.1(c).
If the landlord or one of the landlord’s workers needs to come into the apartment to do maintenance or make repairs. If the repairs are not an emergency, they can only come into the house or apartment at a reasonable time and after giving reasonable notice.
If the landlord or the landlord’s workers need to come into the house or apartment to do emergency repairs. Under this circumstance, the landlord may not have to give one day’s notice—or even any notice—if the emergency is really serious or dangerous, for example, the apartment is on fire or water is rushing out of a broken pipe and pouring through the floor. But even in the case of an emergency, the landlord should try to give some notice if he or she can, even if the notice is just a phone call.
so... since i was harassed into letting the bug guy in and then inspected by the guy without any notice, i decided that i wasn't going to let them in any more without being given notice. so the other day, they (two maintenance guys and the bug guy) show up at my door out of the blue, and i answer through the window next to the door (since i wasn't dressed properly)... conversation went like this:me:
hi, can i help you?maintenance dude:
aren't you supposed to give me some sort of notice?maintenance dude:
they just show up, we don't know when they are coming until they get here*, you've been here for a few years, you should know that...me:
well legally, i have no obligation to let you in if you don't give me some notice...maintenance dude:
yes, you do.me:
i looked it up.maintenance dude:
so you're refusing?me:
yes, i'm not dressed properly, i'm in the middle of something, i'm taking care of my kids...
maintenance dudes and bug dude walk away.
a few days later i get a notice to cease that says "tenant refused access to apartment for exterminator inspection"
: they quote something that says "landlord shall have the right to enter the apartment at all reasonable times for purposes of making ordinary or emergancy repairs and maintenance as well as to inspect the apartment." does that mean they actually have the right to show up unannounced whenever they feel like it? the idea makes me stressed... what if i'm sick and they show up and the house is a mess because i've been on the couch all day? what if i haven't slept, or i'm in the shower? will they let themselves in? i feel like these people are breathing down my neck.
ok so, about the *... i don't buy that for a second. how could they possibly hire an exterminator and have NO CLUE when they are going to show up? and this was in the middle of a work day... the vast majority of people living here are out working when these dudes show up. what do they do about all the apartments where they can't get in