New York City Administrative Code Section 27-2008 reads: No tenant shall refuse to permit the owner, or his or her agent or employee, to enter such tenant’s dwelling unit or other space under his or her control to make repairs or improvements required by this code or other law or to inspect such apartment or other space to determine compliance with this code or any other provision of law, if the right of entry is exercised at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner of such inspections. It is the only applicable law on the subject. There is no common law right to inspect for a proposed sale and no statute granting such right.
Thus, a landlord can rely on the above code provision where in the absence of a lease provision granting that right to inspect to make required repairs and/or improvements.
However, if the purpose of the inspection is to obtain an appraisal of value of the building for a proposed sale, there is no common law right to inspect nor is there a statute granting such a right to a landlord.
In light of the foregoing, it is critical that a landlord make sure that the lease contains a provision whereby the tenant consents to all such inspections whether for repairs or for sale purposes upon reasonable notice from the landlord.