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Notice to access premises requirements

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Notice to access premises requirements

Postby Nabby » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:52 am

Hi, all. I live in Nebraska and have a couple quick questions: first, my landlord usually has an exterminator come around every few months to spray, and provides a 24 hour notice that someone will be in tomorrow to spray kitchen, bathroom and hallway. But this last time, when I let in the exterminator, the landlord walked in behind him and started walking around the place, inspecting things. I'm not sure if this is okay, if the one notice that states a reason for entry still covers anyone else entering at the same time for any reason. Now to make things worse, I woke up to a notice that our management company has decided to inspect apartments "some time during business hours between Monday and Friday next week." It says no more information will be given, appointments can not be made, and if we are not going to be home, to kennel any pets. Does this really meet the legal requirements for a 24 hour notice? To just leave the date and time so broadly open like that? I don't like having strangers in my home as it is so I'm getting frustrated with these inspections, but it's even worse if they're going to show up unannounced and come in when I'm not there, or wake me up when I'm sleeping (I work overnights). Thanks for any insight.
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Re: Notice to access premises requirements

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:16 am

Many states do not have restrictions on landlord access to rental property, but Nebraska does, even though it's very lenient in favor of the landlord.

Nebraska landlords must provide one day’s notice of entry. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § § 76-1423, and 76-1432 for almost any purpose, including emergencies, inspection, repairs and to show property to prospective tenants.

That doesn't mean, however, that a LL can just waltz in whenever they wish. At a minimum, unless there's an emergency, they must give one day's notice, and that usually means written notice that states the day, time and purposes of the requested/demanded access.

In NY our opinion is that is a negotiation. While a tenant must give access, that usually means the tenant can then tell the landlord the date/time is not convenient or acceptable and provide the landlord with alternative acceptable times - say when you're home from work and at a reasonable time. You need to negotiate in good faith, as does the landlord.

Also LL's can't inspect every nook and cranny as if they were police with search warrants. You can restrict their visit to certain rooms they have specified (i.e., no closets, drawers, etc). You can restrict their ability to take photos and so on.

Of course tenants need to approach all of this in a reasonable manner. For example, the LL or the agent might want to take a photo of a broken window to show their bosses in the office, a repair vendor or an insurance company. That might be OK but that doesn't mean they can take photos of an entire room. Remember, photos can be used in a court against a tenant, so we would recommend caution in what you allow the LL to do.

A lot depends on the LL's attitude and your relationship with the LL.

BTW, a notice of extermination - in our opinion - means that the exterminator is available, if you want them to come in. It doesn't mean you must let them in.

As for the new notice, well you can tell them the LL has already inspected. More over, the new notice does not give you a specific date or time. It is unreasonable to ask you to be available for that length of time. And, while a yearly inspection might be reasonable, monthly inspections are not.

I would send them a written notice that this is unacceptable, and that you will be available on (pick your date and time and give them a window of a few hours - for example, Wednesday between 9 and 11 AM). I would give them three alternative times but state VERY plainly that they must confirm one of the three alternatives in writing at least three days in advance, in order for you to allow access. I would even put in writing that you work at night and can only allow limited times for appointments.

One other issue is keys. In many areas LL's demand that tenants give them keys to the units, or the local law requires that. While that can make sense for emergencies, it can also allow them to enter when you're not there. That's why many tenants change the locks.
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