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Can my LL demand access for unnecessary repairs and the removal of fixtures in preparation for the sale of the apartment?

Brooklyn, NY |

Our out-of-town LL has sold our apartment; the closing date is scheduled for the day after our lease ends. Lease provides for LL access w/ reas notice for the purposes of arranging a future sale.

a) If our LL demands access two weeks prior to our lease end for non-essential repairs to ready the apartment for the closing (patch/paint/etc) plus to remove fixtures (built-in shelves, the bolted-in kitchen island), does that fall under "for the purposes of arranging the sale" and must we allow him access?
b) Is his demand a breach?
c) Can the LL remove fixtures, to which we thought we'd have access for the full lease?
d) If he comes in & does the work & removes the items over our objections, is that trespass & breach?
e) Can we move out in anticipation of the breach & sue for prorated rent?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Seek legal counsel. if the landlord removes items while lease is in effect, then you may be entitled to compensation and possible termination of your lease.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  2. Dear Brooklyn Tenant:

    Your issues are driven by the terms of a unique lease, and so, you should seek an attorney to review the lease and your landlord's demands.

    You may be entitled to compensation for an alteration to the premises prior to the end of the lease. Generally, a landlord is entitled to access to the premises for making repairs or improvements, but not demolition during the course of the tenancy. A trespass arises when the landlord enters the premises, for an impermissible purpose, and without the tenant's consent. Your landlord is operation under a tight schedule and so may be eager for your cooperation.

    Of course, the lease may anticipate this event, and your rights may not be greater than the rights you negotiated when you started the tenancy.

    Generally, a tenant is entitled to the premises, as is, through the duration of the lease, subject to repairs from time to time, to maintain habitability.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


  3. Your lease will control. The landlord sounds like he is acting reasonably. However, you have the right to the same fixtures until the day you leave. Which fixtures? And, will 2 weeks really make a difference in your life? I mean will it be worth litigating? Move out 2 weeks early and sue for prorated rent?

    I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists.

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