Landlord entry a hot-button issue

Rules surrounding uninvited visits revisited

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Q: My landlord keeps coming into my apartment, usually when I'm not at home. He doesn't even leave a note. Can landlords just come in anytime they want? A: Depends on the situation. When there's an emergency, yes. Anytime they're in the mood, usually not. According to Jan Portman, author of "Every Tenant's Legal Guide," there are five basic reasons a landlord may enter the rental premises, which include emergencies, inspection, repairs, showing to prospective tenants, and during a tenant's extended absence. Even though entry rules are usually governed by state law, and vary widely, landlord entry specifically for emergencies is allowed in all 50 states. What's considered an emergency? Any sudden or unexpected situation that requires immediate attention. Flooding, fires, a resident's sudden disappearance, or loud screams fall into that category. To avoid emergency situations, use common sense. Check that all smoke alarms are in working order. Most have an ear-splitting sound that c...