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David L
David L, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3255
Experience:  Attorney licensed in multiple jurisdictions.
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My daughter signed a lease and in the lease it says that the

Customer Question

my daughter signed a lease and in the lease it says that the property manager has the right to come into their apartment at any time. If they try to come in and are denied access then there will be a $75 charge for each incidence. Is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  David L replied 1 year ago.

Hi and thanks for asking your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you. There is no specific statute in Georgia governing right to entry. As a general legal premise, a tenant has the right to the exclusive use of the lease premises. A provision such as the one in your daughter's lease goes contrary to that premise. In most circumstances and in most leases, common sense would dictate and a lease would usually provide that a landlord would give reasonable notice prior to entering tenant's apartment. Of course, there are exceptions such as emergencies, but otherwise, a landlord shouldn't have an absolute right to entry. That type of provision defeats the purpose behind the basic legal concept giving a tenant exclusive use.

In daughter's case, I might send landlord a letter stating that she expects reasonable notice prior to entering the premises and she will be more than happy to comply with any such request. However, unannounced visits will not be tolerated, without extenuating circumstances such as in the case of an emergency.

I don't think a court would ever enforce a provision giving the landlord unfettered access. I also think a landlord that attempted to actually use that paragraph and start unannounced visits would run into legal problems if the tenant filed suit to prevent this from happening.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you for that info, what about the $75 fee and suggestion of eviction if they dont pay it

Expert:  David L replied 1 year ago.

I think the first time they try to enter without permission, she can tell them that she expects reasonable notice. If they fine her, I think she has pretty good defenses and maybe even a good counterclaim, if they try to evict her.

In reality, this may not be an issue and the landlord may never try to enter, so I'm not sure the issue needs to be raised now. But if it becomes a problem, then I think all of the above information applies and daughter should assert the position that she requires reasonable notice prior to entry, other than in an emergency situation or something similar.

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