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Can landlord enter yard of single family home without permission?

My family rents a single family home that has a small backyard. We have been renters since July 2008 and for the first year we had a lease (it was specified as a one year lease) but the lease was never renewed and a new lease was never drawn up. My question is this: is the landlord able to access the backyard at any time without prior notice? Is the backyard considered part of the premises or is the inside of the house only considered? I have tried to look this up but everything I have read addresses multifamily units and / or apartments with common areas. Since this is a single family home we don't have any 'common areas' unless the backyard is considered a common area.

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You would have to look at the original lease, at the description of the premises to be rented.  There are, of course, rules about when a landlord can enter rented property in MA, but if the lease only rents the house, then the landlord is free to enter the yard or any outbuildings.  If the lease is silent, I would guess a court would find a presumption that the entire property is being rented to the tenant. 



In the original lease the premise is the address although as I stated that lease agreement was clearly stated as one year and we've been here for years without renewing the lease.


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