When I rented this house in May, the landlord told me he'd be by on the 1st day of each mth to collect rent and chg the A/C filter. He showed up to collect July's rent and chg the filter in the AM of June 30th. I was asleep when he began banging on the door. I woke up and was trying to get dressed when he opened the door and yelled out "Landlord....I'm coming in!" He came in and shut the door behind him. At that point I acknowledged him. He told me he needed to chg the filter and then from outside my bedroom door he asked for July's rent. I told him the rent wasn't due until the 1st and that I'd have my husband call him when he got home from work. It was a very uncomfortable situation. Was he wrong to enter the home on 6/30 w/o giving me prior notice as stated in my rental contract?
Carefully read the lease. In GA, when a property owner leases to a tenant, he parts with possession and no longer has the right to enter, except to protect and preserve the property from damage. Replacing the filter doesn't qualify. However, most form leases include a provision allowing the landlord to enter for certain defined reasons, most commonly to inspect, repair, or show the home to prospective tenants. If there is no provision in the lease allowing entry, the verbal agreement or understanding that he can enter to change the filter may be enforceable unless the lease is for a term exceeding one year (in which case it would have to be in writing to be enforceable), or unless the lease contains an "entire agreement" clause that says that no verbal agreements are binding. Bear in mind, even if there is no entry provision and there is an entire agreement clause, you can mutually depart from the written terms by a course of conduct evidencing a mutual intent to vary the terms and the mutual departure could constitute an agreement to allow entry. Confusing, I know.
If there is no provision allowing entry, you are in the driver's seat, and need to come to a clear understanding of what the terms will be.
In any event, he should give you reasonable notice of his entry, but what is reasonable is not a very easily defined term.
YIKES! This is a scary situation. First, you need to read the lease carefully. He should not have the right to just enter and when he is entering on a non-emergency basis, he should be coordinating with your schedule. The next issue is if you complain, he will likely not renew your lease.
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