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I put in a maintenance request at my apartment a few weeks ago. Someone came by the next day to inspect the issue and left a note, which basically said "We will need to call technicians to fix something outside the building, but in the meantime I did [temporary fix] for your apartment." Worked for me, hadn't heard anything since.

Yesterday, I got home and found a mess in my apartment. Apparently maintenance was there again (or it was broken into by someone who likes taking apart air ducts..). No note unlike every other time they've been there, so I was pretty unnerved until I found where they'd been working.

I was not notified about this in advance. I looked through the relevant section of VA law and it says:

If the tenant makes a request for maintenance, the landlord is not required to provide notice to the tenant.

When does this "free access" expire, if ever? Is there a set time period, or does it last until they deem the maintenance request completed?

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You have accurately located the law applicable to the legal issue presented.

I would consider the application of the law to this fact pattern to be a close call that reasonable people could interpret either way.

Your suggestion that the right to access lasts until the maintenance request is completed is a pretty attractive bright line to draw between when access is allowed and when it isn't under the circumstances.

In the absence of evidence that the landlord has abandoned the maintenance order, so long as the work isn't done and someone is continuing to do work for the problem described in the order (and as you note parenthetically, this is surely what is going on) the landlord is probably in the right here. Also, it isn't terribly out of the ordinary for it to take weeks to get a repair job fixed. At some point, maybe a year or two, the claim that the landlord abandoned the maintenance order might look more plausible, but those aren't your facts.

  • Thanks, I suspected as much for my particular case, but it made me curious if there were any laws about it in general. – user812786 Aug 3 '17 at 12:36

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