Can the Landlord Enter My Unit?
Landlord Access Law
The landlord may enter your dwelling unit with your consent. The law says that you shall not “unreasonably withhold consent.” 9 V.S.A. § 4460(a).
What is unreasonable depends on the facts. If the landlord has not given you advance notice, you may refuse if the landlord’s request is unreasonable. For example, it’s unreasonable if the landlord wants to make a noisy repair while your children are sleeping. It’s unreasonable if the landlord shows up during a family gathering. It’s unreasonable if the landlord wants to come in and out instead of scheduling a time to come and make a repair. But you cannot refuse just because you don’t feel like letting the landlord in.
The landlord doesn’t need your consent if the landlord gives you 48 hours’ notice. Even then, the landlord can only enter between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and only for one of the reasons listed below. 9 V.S.A. § 4460(b).
- when necessary to inspect the unit
- to make necessary or agreed repairs, alterations or improvements
- to supply agreed services
- to show the unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers or contractors
Your landlord can come in without consent or notice if the landlord has a reasonable belief that there is imminent danger to any person or to the property. 9 V.S.A. § 4460(c). For example, the landlord can come in if there appears to be a fire or a gas leak.
Using the guidelines above, your landlord can enter your unit as often as is “reasonable” under the circumstances.
If your landlord violates the access law described above you can:
- Send your landlord a letter demanding that the landlord follow the access law. Use our sample letter.
- Contact us at Legal Services Vermont or another lawyer to discuss if would be a good idea to file a police report or a Notice Against Trespass.