§ 6025. Access to premises
1. Tenant obligations. A tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers or contractors.
A tenant may not change the lock to the dwelling unit without giving notice to the landlord and giving the landlord a duplicate key within 48 hours of the change. A victim may change the locks to the unit at the victim's expense. If the victim changes the locks to the unit, the victim shall provide the landlord with a duplicate key within 72 hours of changing the locks. For the purposes of this subsection, “victim” has the same meaning as in section 6000, subsection 4.
2. Landlord obligations. Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant reasonable notice of the landlord's intent to enter and shall enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary. An emergency when the welfare of an animal is at risk as described in section 6025-A is grounds for permitting entry without 24 hours' notice.
3. Remedy. If a landlord makes an entry in violation of this section, makes a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful that have the effect of harassing the tenant, the tenant may recover actual damages or $100, whichever is greater, and obtain injunctive relief to prevent recurrence of the conduct, and if the tenant obtains a judgment after a contested hearing, reasonable attorney's fees.
If a tenant changes the lock and does not provide the landlord with a duplicate key, in the case of emergency the landlord may gain admission through whatever reasonable means necessary and charge the tenant reasonable costs for any resulting damage. If a tenant changes the lock and refuses to provide the landlord with a duplicate key, the landlord may terminate the tenancy with a 7-day notice.
4. Waiver. Any agreement by a tenant to waive any of the rights or benefits provided by this section is against public policy and is void.
1981, c. 428, § 10; 1999, c. 204, § 1; 2015, c. 293, § 11, eff. Oct. 15, 2015; 2023, c. 336, § 2, eff. Oct. 25, 2023.
§ 6025-A. Access to care for animals
A landlord may require a tenant to provide information about any animal present in a rental unit and also require the name and contact information of one or more persons the tenant authorizes to enter the rental unit to retrieve the animal if the tenant has vacated the premises and abandoned the animal or the tenant is unable to care for the animal due to death or disability. The landlord may also require, as a condition of tenancy, that the tenant allow the landlord to enter the rental unit in the case of an emergency when the welfare of the animal is at risk to determine whether the animal has been abandoned or is in need of care.
If the landlord determines that a tenant with an animal has vacated the premises or is unable to care for the animal due to death or disability, the landlord may contact a person authorized by the tenant, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter to pick up and care for the animal. If the landlord contacts a person identified under this paragraph to pick up and care for the animal and the landlord, within 5 days, sends by first-class mail to the tenant's last known address a notice containing the name, phone number and address of the person taking custody of the animal, the landlord is not liable in a civil action brought by the tenant for personal injury, death, property damage or other damages resulting from or arising out of an occurrence involving the animal.
If an animal shelter accepts an animal at the request of a person the landlord contacted to pick up and care for the animal under this section, the animal shelter shall comply with the provisions of Title 7, section 3919-B.
2023, c. 336, § 3, eff. Oct. 25, 2023.