Can my landlord enter my apartment without prior notice?

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Question:

Can my landlord simply unlock my door while I am home and enter my apartment? I am hearing impaired. He does not knock or ring the doorbell. I cannot take a bath or nap because I don't know when he will enter next.

Answer:

What you have described is extremely inconsiderate behavior -- and illegal in most states, which have laws requiring landlords to give prior notice to tenants before entering.

Bringing your state's law to your landlord's attention might be sufficient to get him to stop. If not, consider contacting your state's agency in charge of enforcing fair housing laws. Your position is that your landlord appears to be taking advantage of your hearing impairment to embarrass or harass you. That may be enough to activate an inquiry as to whether this is a case of discrimination against a disabled person. Chances are that the mere appearance of a fair housing inspector on the landlord's doorstep will get results. Another good thing about this approach is that the agency does the work for you: You don't have to hire a lawyer to investigate and crack down on your behalf.

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