Can my landlord make changes mid-lease and show up on the property unannounced?

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Can my landlord make changes mid-lease and show up on the property unannounced?

I received a letter a little over a week ago stating that effective on the first of the month, that they would be performing monthly inspections on the house, which has never been in the lease for 3 years. When I moved in it was verbally agreed upon that they would remove the stuff left by the previous tenants and fix the house settling. Nothing got done. About 2 days after I got the letter, the landlord and his son showed up with no prior notification saying I had a mess, I just had my gardening stuff out, gave 2 days to clean it saying the city complained, which I confirmed as untrue. Was this legal?

Asked on May 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A landlord does have a right to inspect rental premises on reasonable notice (typically 24 hours or more), even if such is not in the lease. So while the landlord may only do this at "reasonable" intervals, at "reasonable" times, he may be able to do a monthly inspection if he wants--so long as he provides adequate notice. He cannot show up without prior notice, or more accurately, he can come to your property without prior notice, but you have the right to refuse him entry unless it is an emergency (e.g. fire, gas leak, water leak causing damage, etc.).

The landlord cannot require you to do anything which is not in the lease, so long as there is no violatioin or complaint assessed against the landlord due to your actions. (If you cause there to be complaint against the landlord, he or she can require you to correct the situation). If there was no complaint and nothing in the lease about how you must keep the yard, the landlord would typically not be able force you to clean the yard.


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