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Knock, Knock! When Can a Landlord Enter?

Have you ever wondered if it was okay for your landlord to enter your property?

That's a broad question but a good one for a MA real estate attorney, since each state differs with their laws regarding landlord entry.

This particular question is governed by The Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 186, section 15B(1)(a). 

While a landlord can't randomly walk into your rental property, there are several circumstances where he or she can walk in without giving you any advance notice. This does not necessarily mean that they can always walk in without notice. It's important to know the reason the landlord is walking in. It's also important to know what your lease says about advance notice. Since Massachusetts law does not specify the advance notice, perhaps this is a good question to have with your Boston real estate attorney when you are looking over your lease documents.

Here are the situations where a landlord can presumably enter your rental premises without notice:

  1. In the case of an emergency. If there is a legitimate emergency, it's perfectly okay for your landlord to enter your premises without giving you advance notice.
  2. To inspect the rental property. Yes, unfortunately, your landlord can walk in and inspect your property without giving you notice. Of course, ask your MA real estate attorney to look over your lease, as well, to see if the lease says anything about entry.
  3. To repair, alter or improve. Once again, check the terms of your lease to see what the lease says. But under state law, your landlord is allowed to enter to make repairs.
  4. To show property to prospective purchasers or tenants.

Here's what else you need to know: Under Massachusetts law, your landlord is not allowed to enter your property without notice if you are away for an extended period of time.

This list was just meant to be a primer. Contact a Boston real estate attorney or a MA real estate attorney of you want more detail.

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