Most people have experienced that the landlord or janitor knocks on their door and wants to go into the residence for one reason or another. But when is the landlord allowed to access your residence? This is one of the questions that will be answered here.
The first section of the Danish Rent Act says, that the landlord is not entitled to access to your residence, and especially not without your permission. However, there is an exception to this; “when circumstances require it”. It is undefined what “when circumstances require it” includes. This is up to the courts to assess.
If the landlord wishes access to your residence, two criteria must be met. Firstly, the landlord must request permission from you. Secondly, the landlord must explain why he/she wants permission of access your apartment.
As a tenant you should permit access in all cases regarding repairs, maintenance, modernization, etc., where it is obviously relevant for the landlord to acquire access to your residence.
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Keys for the residence
Your landlord has no right to keep a key for your residence – You have a right to demand all keys for your residence. This is, however, not recommended. In emergencies (which will also be discussed further down), it is only to your benefit that the landlord has access to your residence. However, if the landlord abuses this access, it can be wise to make use of your right to get all keys to your residence handed over.
In an emergency where it is strictly necessary that the landlord enters the rented residence and there is no time to wait for the tenant’s permission, the landlord may obtain access without explicit permission from the tenant.
Strictly necessary situations can for example include fire, leaking gas pipes, water pipes or similar situations that require immediate attention. It is only in absolute emergencies that your landlord can access your residence without your permission. In these situations, it is of course always an advantage that your landlord has a key to your residence so that they or others are not required to damage the residence further to gain access e.g. smashing a window or damaging the door when trying to gain access.
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Renovations and such
Your permission and several notifications are required in situations where your landlord needs access to your residence to renovate or repair any defects.
Minor renovation and repair
Should the landlord do minor renovation or repair to anything in your residence, they should notify you 6 weeks in advance, according to the Rent Act.
Minor renovations and repairs include situations where your landlord quickly and easily can do the work without being a big inconvenience to you as a tenant.
Major renovation and repair
Should the landlord make major renovations to your residence, they must notify you 3 months in advance according to the Rent Act. In these situations, it is important that you are aware of what is expected of you as a tenant – should furniture be removed? Therefore, be sure to have a good chat with your landlord and ask what is required of you. If you need help to make the necessary preparations, it is also a good idea to inform your landlord of these.
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Terminating the lease
If you have terminated your lease, you are obligated to make your apartment available for display a few hours every other day. As a tenant you have the right to determine the time, but this cannot be at a time that is “inconvenient”. If you cannot be present during this period of time, you can demand that your landlord (or one of their choosing) is there for the display instead, to ensure that nothing is stolen, and the door is locked etc.
If, after reading the above, think that your landlord is abusing his access to your residence, please contact DIGURA here and get your case assessed.