Dos and Don’ts of Entering a Rental Unit

Posted by Teresa on September 11, 2009 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

landlord entering home on tenant screening blogWhat are the guidelines when it comes to a landlord’s ability to enter a tenant’s apartment or house? It depends on your state’s laws, but in most, the landlord must provide notice prior to entering a tenant’s home.

Do check your state’s landlord/tenant laws: they can range from “no notice required” in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and several other states; to 12 hours in Florida; to 48 hours in Vermont.

Don’t worry about advance notice in cases of emergency, such as natural gas odor, smoke or fire, or a water leak.

Don’t “knock and unlock.” Allow your tenants to answer the door, even if they are expecting you.

Don’t assume they’re not at home and let yourself in.

Do offer more than the required notice if you can.

Do specify a window of time they can expect you. And try to stick to it. Call them if you’re delayed or early.

Do leave your tenant’s home in the same condition you found it. If your shoes are muddy, remove them before entering. And clean up after yourself.

Do conduct inspections and maintenance on your rental properties with the goal of maintaining your tenants’ privacy, too!