There are many reasons why a landlord will need access to a rental unit over the course of a tenancy. Part of a landlord’s duty is to make sure the rental is in compliance with all health and safety codes, and not just at the beginning of the tenancy. And, since the asset belongs to the landlord, regular inspections are not only recommended but necessary. A landlord can only rely so much on a tenant’s self-reporting of any issues in the rental unit, and in some cases the tenant may not even be aware of an issue that needs attention.
New Hampshire law regarding the landlord’s right to entry can be found in the statute RSA 540-A:3, IV-V. The statute provides the specific guidelines for landlords and tenants about when and why a landlord can enter the unit, and the type of notice required.
Here are the details:
- Landlord may not enter the premises without prior consent of the tenant, other than to make emergency repairs.
- Entry to make emergency repairs may include entry by the landlord to evaluate, formulate a plan for remediation of, or engage in emergency remediation of an infestation of rodents or insects, including bed bugs.
- This type of emergency entry must take place within 72 hours of the time that the landlord first received notice of the infestation.
- The tenant may not willfully refuse landlord access to the premises to make necessary repairs, or to perform other reasonable and lawful functions associated with the ownership of the property. Access must be granted at a reasonable time after notice was received and given the circumstances.
- Landlord must not willfully fail to investigate tenant’s report of an infestation of insects, including bed bugs, or rodents in the premises within seven days of receiving notice. Landlord must take reasonable measures to remediate an infestation.
- Tenant shall not willfully refuse landlord access to the premises to make emergency repairs and evaluate whether bedbugs are present after the landlord receives notice that bed bugs are present, either in a dwelling unit adjacent to the premises or a dwelling unit that is directly above or below the premises. The landlord must give 48 hours written notice of his need to enter the unit for evaluation of bed bugs.
- Tenant must not willfully refuse to comply with reasonable written instructions from the landlord or a pest control operator to prepare the premises for remediation of an infestation of insects or rodents, including bed bugs. Instructions must be provided to an adult member of the household with at least 72 hours notice before remediation efforts are to be conducted.
- The only reasons that a landlord can enter the premises without the tenant’s consent is to make emergency repairs, or if the landlord has an order authorizing entry from a court of competent jurisdiction.