By: Jay Romano
June 7th, 2012
Q: I live in a rental apartment, and the landlord frequently needs access to my unit for “insurance inspections.” Today will be the fifth such inspection. He says there was flooding in another unit, which necessitates the inspections. They often occur with little notice, and he sometimes wants to do them late in the evening. When I have been present, the “inspector” is accompanied by the landlord or the super. He measures the rooms in the apartment, then leaves. Does this sound right to you?
A: Adam Leitman Bailey, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, says that the law allows a landlord reasonable access to an apartment for reasonable duration and with reasonable frequency. He added that how many visits are necessary depends on the facts of the case. “For some kinds of repair issues, there may be a need for many visits,” Mr. Bailey said, “while for others, one would suffice.” He noted, however, that the writer can refuse repeated late-evening access and can ask why measurements are being taken. “She can dictate reasonable times for the visits around the needs of her schedule unless there is an emergency,” he said. “In emergency situations, she has to provide immediate access.”