Q: Last week the city was working on replacing gas lines in our neighborhood, which required turning off the gas. When they were done, they went house to house, turning the gas on and then going inside to relight pilot lights. They explained that this was a necessary safety precaution. We gave them permission to enter, but our tenants were upset when they found out. Were we in the wrong? –Donna and Mike
A: Many states regulate the reasons for which landlords may enter unannounced and without permission from the tenants. Shared by all of them is entry in order to deal with an emergency, such as to address a suspected gas or water leak, to respond to sounds of distress inside, and so on. The common thread is that landlords may enter to stop serious property damage or personal injury.