Tenant's Right to Privacy (FAQs)
Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (Hammond Office)
FAQs About Unannounced Entries
Can My Landlord Come In to My Apartment or House at Any Time? +
Generally, no, but you should read your lease. The lease may allow the landlord to enter for specific reasons or at specific times. A landlord may need to enter to make necessary repairs or for general inspection of the unit. Some leases permit a landlord to show the rental during the final month of the term. It is common for a lease to require 24-hour notice prior to arrival, but your lease may be different.
A landlord cannot generally enter your apartment without advance notice or your consent. The same limits apply to third parties entering on behalf of the landlord. This is part of your right to “peaceful possession” of your home under Louisiana law.
What about in an emergency? +
In the event of an emergency, your landlord may be allowed to enter your apartment without notice. The emergency must be one that endangers the property or someone’s physical safety. For example, if the house is flooding or on fire, or if they have reason to suspect a violent crime is occurring on the property.
What Can Be Done About Sexual Harassment? +
It is illegal for a landlord to sexually harass a tenant. A landlord may not deny you repairs or evict you for refusing to have sex with him. If he won't leave you alone, talk to a lawyer about suing him for violations of the Fair Housing Act.
What Can I Do If My Landlord Comes in Without Giving Me Reasonable Notice? +
Write a letter asking your landlord to give reasonable notice before entering your apartment. The letter should also describe the times when the landlord entered the property without notice. If a landlord refuses, or repeatedly enters without notice, it could be a violation of your privacy and peaceful possession. You may sue a landlord for damages for unreasonable invasion of privacy if you can prove damages. Additionally, repeated violations of your privacy may be sufficient grounds for terminating your lease.