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Q&A: Right to Inspect

By: Adam Leitman Bailey

August 1st, 2013

Q: Under New York law, does a landlord have a general right to inspect leased residential premises in the absence of a specific lease provision granting that right? Assuming no written lease, no specific agreement on the issue, and that the inspection would not be for the purpose of determining if repairs are needed, it would only be for an appraiser to value the building.

—Looking Around

A: According to Dov Treiman, the landlord-tenant managing partner at the Manhattan-based law firm of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., New York City Administrative Code §27-2008 reads: No tenant shall refuse to permit the owner, or his or her agent or employee, to enter such tenant’s dwelling unit or other space under his or her control to make repairs or improvements required by this code or other law or to inspect such apartment or other space to determine compliance with this code or any other provision of law, if the right of entry is exercised at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. The department may by regulation restrict the time and manner of such inspections. It is the only applicable law on the subject. There is no common law right to inspect for a proposed sale and no statute granting such a right.

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