Landlord Access and Privacy

In order to conduct normal business, to comply with housing codes and to protect property, landlords (or various agents acting on behalf of the landlord) will need to enter a rented home on occasion. However, landlords must respect the privacy of tenants. A landlord may enter an apartment without consent or notice only if the landlord has a reasonable belief that there is imminent danger to any person or property. Otherwise state law clearly sets out when and under what circumstances a landlord may enter a tenant’s home. A landlord may enter a tenant’s home with a tenant’s permission at any time if both the landlord and the tenant agree to it. Vermont law says a tenant may not unreasonably withhold permission.

A landlord may also enter without a tenant’s permission, but only after no less than 48 hours notice, and only between the hours of 9:00 A. M. and 9:00 P. M., and only for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To inspect the premises;
  • To do repairs, alterations or improvements to the apartment;
  • To supply agreed upon services;
  • To exhibit the apartment.

If a landlord has given proper notice he or she, or an agent acting on his or her behalf may enter the apartment for one of the above reasons even if the tenant is not present.
If a landlord breaches a tenant’s right to privacy and peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the apartment, the landlord could be sued for damages in extreme cases, and in addition could be cited by the police for unlawful trespass. In Vermont state law, see: (V.S.A., TITLE 9, Chapter 137, § 4460. Access.)