My tenant without a reason change the locks of the apartment and not provided a copy. He leaves for long periods of time to another state and I don't have access to repair leaks, emergencies and town inspection.
Assuming you do not have an emergency right now, this is a tenancy which should be terminated. I assume this is a non-rent regulated unit in a family home.
Consult with counsel, especially if you have a written lease agreement.
Dear Bay Shore Property Owner:
Generally, New York State does not intrude into the forms of lease made for a single-family house. Most forms for use in single family house rentals contain terms and conditions about locks and landlord entitlement to access. Check your lease. If the lease bars the tenant from changing a lock and locking you out, go to your lawyer to prepare a legal notice to the tenant demanding a key.
I have forty years experience in the specialty of Housing Law and Tenant's Rights advocacy. The answer I provided to you does not create an attorney and client relation. You are free to check my office contact information at my AVVO profile. The answer offered is in the nature of general information, and should not be considered as tailored legal advice. I offer answers as a service to the community with my firm belief that you should try gain a good outcome for your legal issue and to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
In any standard lease, the landlord is entitled to retain a copy of keys for emergency access to the apartment. First, check your lease provisions. Speak with the tenant about the situation. If there is no lease, then presumably the tenant is month to month, you can seek to terminate his tenancy then offer him a lease with the terms you need to protect your interests. There may be an issue of "retaliatory" action on your part, but speak with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney about how best to rectify your situation.
This response is for general information purposes only, should not be relied upon as a final statement of the law applicable to your situation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Most negotiated leases have a provision requiring the tenant to provide the landlord a key to all doors within the premises. In the event of an emergency, the landlord, police, fire department, etc., must be able to enter the premises. If the tenant fails to comply with this requirement, the landlord may want to serve a notice of default upon and tenant, and if permitted by the lease's terms, terminate the lease.
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