Renting an apartment or even a house does have some disadvantages. The property owner can enter the property with notice. Depending on the state where you are renting has different time frames for giving notice. The most common advance notice time frame is twenty-four hours. If you are not going to be home, the property owner can still enter the property. This is a law and does not leave any room for discussion. The owner may choose a different time if they choose to, but they do not have to.
Some property owners prefer to enter the apartment or house when you are not there to make repairs or even show the apartment if you are vacating the premises. If the place is up for sale or rent, you have to allow access anytime. Most property owners and real estate agents prefer the current residents to be gone when the place is being shown. Most people do not like this arrangement and no one can blame them. You never want people coming into your home and looking or touching your personal belongings. You could discuss this with the property owner and ask to be present, but in another room without causing a distraction.
This is where privacy issues arise. Many renters do not want the property owner coming into their homes for inspections or even for minor repairs. If you are someone that feels this way, you might want to rethink renting the apartment. Of course, any apartment lease you sign will have this clause included in the agreement. Renting an apartment or a house from someone does allow him or her access to his or her property at anytime with proper notice.
One thing a property owner cannot do is show up at your door at night without notice. Some property owners may attempt this, but you do not have to allow them into the apartment or the house. This however may strain the renter/property owner relations. If you like where you are living, you will want to stay in good standings with the owner. However, there is a fine line between uninvited and invited. You might discuss this issue with potential property owners before you even agree to rent the place. This way, any privacy issues can be avoided in the future if you rent the apartment or house.
If you do find that a property owner is entering your home when you are not there without proper notice, you can take some legal action, but again, you must have proof. You could change the locks, but then you would be in contempt of the lease agreement.
You must allow the property owner to have a new set of keys if you change the locks. This would be grounds for eviction. You may try talking to the property owner, but it may just be easier to move and find a property owner who will respect your privacy and only enter the apartment with proper notice and when you agree.