There are property owners who are under the impression they can enter their investment property without a reason at any time or without notice because they "own" the property. Savvy investors know this actually is not the case and blatantly entering a tenant's residence can lead to costly legal situations and encourage short-term tenancy. Every landlord does have the right to enter his or her rental property . . . under the right circumstances.
Implied in all residential rental contracts is the "covenant of quiet use and enjoyment." This covenant means two things:
- That the landlord guarantees that the tenant can take possession of the rental unit and has the right to privacy and exclusive use and possession of that rental property, and
- The landlord will not interfere with the tenant's privacy and right to exclusive possession.
Many tenants do not realize that a landlord does have a legal right to enter his tenant's rental unit for specific reasons. In all states, a landlord or manager may enter rented premises while the tenant is living there without advance notice in the case of emergency, such as a fire, flood, or endangerment to the residents. Of course, a landlord may enter when a tenant gives permission.
All states have laws specifically detailing when and why landlords and/or property managers can enter a property. While many are similar, they do vary and generally provide for specific reasons. To compare or check different states, go to Landlord Right of Entry - By State.
It may not seem fair to the property owner but keep this in perspective. When you rent to a tenant, it becomes their residence. After all, how would you feel if someone decided to drop into see your home for any reason at any time? It probably would generate discomfort and perhaps some animosity.
So, what is really the best way to handle seeing your investment? Remember to respect your tenant's right to privacy. Notify us if you want to visit your property and why. We find notifying residents with a friendly call, email, or letter generally gains their cooperation and eliminates negative feelings. Remember, even the best tenants can be nervous about a visit from the landlord and/or property manager.
In our experience, if we notify tenants in advance and give them a reasonable explanation for the visit, the majority do not mind or deny entry. Then, if this does not take care of the problem and there is a legitimate reason or possible tenant issue, we will follow the law and post the property correctly.
We ask you to give us as much advance notice as possible so we can do our job properly. Remember, wanting to drop in on your tenants is not a good way to encourage long-term tenancy. Just give us adequate time to set up a positive landlord/tenant experience.