Landlord Entry Rules
I was talking to someone who was interested in renting a unit the other day. She asked what our policy was on entering an apartment that someone lived in. I explained our policy (which is detailed below) and she then said that the reason she was moving out was because her landlord has used the key to enter her unit twice after knocking. The tenant was home both times and was startled and a little scared. No advance notice was given and she said there was no emergency. The landlord stated that the reason for entry was to make sure the tenant was OK. This obviously made the tenant feel very uncomfortable. Her lease is up and she is now looking for a new place to live.
Know The Laws
Responsible landlords in Kentucky know that they are required to give at least 2 days of advance notice before they can enter an occupied rental. This is for situations that are not an emergency and entry of the unit must be at a “reasonable” hour. This includes instances where a landlord intends to make a requested repair or show the unit to a prospective renter. It is up to the landlords and tenants in Kentucky to work out what constitutes “reasonable” hours in the lease agreement.
However, if there is an emergency situation, landlords in Kentucky are usually allowed to enter an occupied unit without prior notice when the situation threatens the unit’s inhabitants. The lease does not need to specifically state this. An example of this would be a water leak in an upstairs unit that is flooding the lower units. You would be able to enter the unit to stop the water leak and then schedule the repair.
Notify The Tenant
Tenants have rights even though they don’t own the property. You can notify the tenant by calling them, emailing or texting them. But, if the tenant objects, you will need to give them 48 hours notice by sending them a certified letter stating the date and time you are going to enter the unit.
If the tenant still refuses to allow you to enter the unit on the date and time stated in the certified letter, in Kentucky, you would then send a Cease & Desist. I am not an attorney, so if you are faced with this type of situation, please be sure and get advice from an attorney familiar with real estate laws in your area so that you know how to proceed.