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Your Privacy Rights as a Tenant

You have the right to use your rental without interference and be informed in advance before your landlord enters the apartment.

Landlord tenant law in the United States prevents your landlord from disrupting your privacy by entering your rental unit whenever he or she feels like it, harassing you in any way, letting neighbors harass you, or interfering with your ability to enjoy the space in any other way.

Landlord entry laws

The Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act specifies that a landlord cannot enter your rental unit without your permission whenever he or she feels like it. Your consent and advance notice are required except in the case of an emergency, like a fire or anything else that would threaten someone's life in the very short term.

Some states also enacted their own entry laws, so check to see if your state's law offer more specifics.


Some states have laws that define what is and isn’t considered neighbor harassment as well as landlord harassment. For example, in New York and California, there is a detailed list of things that a landlord can and cannot do to a tenant. If something classifies as harassment, you can sue them for damages.

If your neighbor or landlord is intentionally disrupting your ability to enjoy your rental unit in a significant way, then you may be able to invoke the legal concept of quiet enjoyment.

You're also protected from sexual harassment by a landlord (or any of their employees) by the federal Fair Housing Act.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.