What rights to privacy do I have as a tenant?

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What rights to privacy do I have as a tenant?

I live in a new apartment building that’s still under construction in other areas. Being a new building, there have been some kinks to work out and things needing to be fixed. I setup a web cam in my apartment and on 2 separate occasions, contractors entered my apartment without permission or prior notice. The second time it happened, the property manager wasn’t even aware they were in there. They were apologetic the first time, but this most recent occurrence, they don’t seem to care. What can I do to remedy this and ensure my privacy is protected?

Asked on October 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, the landlord or his agents (e.g. contractors) can only enter (1) if you've given them blanket permission; (2) for good cause and upon proper (usually 24 hour) notice--so making repairs would be a good reason, but they have to give you advance notice first; or (3) if there's an emergency--water leak, fire, smoke injured person, etc. Otherwise, you are paying for possession of the apartment; the landlord and his agents can't simply enter at will. If they persist and they do not listen to you, you can try enforcing your rights, though it may take legal action (e.g. a lawsuit) to do so. If this does persist, you should speak with a landlord-tenant attorney to see what your best recourse is, how you would pursue it, cost to pursue, whether you could expect to collect an damages, etc. Good luck.


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