Privacy rights

Can the landlord enter my rental home without my consent?  

It depends on your lease. Read your lease carefully to understand when the landlord is allowed to enter your home. Most leases, like the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) lease, give a lot of reasons for which the landlord may enter your home. 

Unless the lease agreement says that the landlord can enter your apartment or house, the landlord has NO right to do so, except perhaps in emergencies and for repairs you have requested. A tenant has exclusive possessory rights to the property.

If you’re home, and you don’t want the landlord to come in, you can always lock the door with the keyless deadbolt that every landlord has to provide to tenants. Of course, it is good to try and get along with your landlord if possible, so if a landlord wants entry, you should try to work something out if you can.

What can I do to prevent the landlord from entering my home without my consent?

Unfortunately, the landlord’s right to enter your home is governed by the lease. Your lease may legally give your landlord permission to enter your home even if you do not want them to. There aren’t many legal protections for you. You can always ask your landlord for privacy, but you may not have legal rights to enforce it.

How will I know if my landlord entered my home?

Your lease might require that the landlord leave a written that they went inside your apartment and why they were there.

I want more privacy!

We deserve more privacy rights, as tenants. Unfortunately, Texas has poor tenant-landlord laws. If you want better rights, as a tenant, call your legislator, and tell them about it.

If you and your neighbors are having similar privacy issues, you might want to join or form a tenant association so that you can have more power when negotiating with your landlord.

BASTA has created signs that you can post on your door to protect your privacy during COVID-19 (en español).