Posted by PK on January 11, 1999 at 02:37:13:
In Reply to: Re: Landlord entering apartment, any lawyers please read posted by Liz on January 08, 1999 at 22:09:55:
: : I would advise you to add a very heavy door chain , so that you can open the door a few inches. It's too bad that you didn't have a dog tear him to pieces. I would file a complaint with the Police Dep't so you have a written record of what he did. Try to find another place to live. This guy is an animal !! " DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FILE REPORT OR SEND LETTER "
: I appreciate what you are saying. But I do not know if I am overreacting, underreacting, or what. The lease stipulates that I may not change the locks. I am hesitant to call the police on my own landlord for trying to enter a house he owns. I don't want to be a troublemaker. I know he is supposed to give notice before coming, but if he doesn't, is his attempt to enter really on the same level as a stranger's? Does anybody know what the actual LAW is on this?
In Connecticut, the law is clear as to when the landlord may enter. See Connecticut General Statutues 47a-16 (http://www.cslnet.ctstateu.edu/statutes/title47a/t47a-p2.htm#I38). The landlord can always enter, without the tenant's consent, (1) in an emergency, or (2) when the landlord has a court order, or (3) when the tenant has abandoned the premises, or (4) when the tenant is in the middle of an "extended absence" (e.g. vacation) if the landlord wants to "inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed to repairs, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed to services or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen or contractors." (CGS 47a-16a).
The tenant is not permitted to "unreasonably" refuse entry if the landlord wants to make necessary or agreed to repairs, inspect the premises, etc. BUT if the tenant DOES refuse entry -- whether or not this refusal in unreasonable -- then the landlord MUST get a court order if he wants to enter the premises legally (except in cases (1), (3) and (4) above). If the tenant's refusal was unreasonable the landlord may recover damages (e.g. legal bills) necessary for getting the court order.
If the tenant refuses entry, and if cases (1)-(4), above, do not obtain, and if the landlord enters, then the landlord has entered illegally, then the tenant may recover damages not less than one month's rent and attorney fees. Furthermore, if the landlord makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful but which have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, then the tenant may recover damages not less than one month's rent and attorney fees.
This is all in Connecticut. You should look up the laws in your state.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and my interpretation and presentation of Connecticut law should not be construed as authoritative or as good legal advice.
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