Is Dropping By Your Rental Property Appropriate?
We know you take great pride in your property and consider it your house. But once you have tenants renting the home, the rules change. Your property becomes a business – an investment – and because you are now a Landlord, there are rules and laws you have to follow. It’s still your house but it’s your tenant’s home and you need to respect that. So is dropping by your rental property appropriate?
Dropping by your rental property
The only time you and/or your Property Manager are permitted to enter the premises without notice is if there is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention to prevent loss and/or damage to the home. I.E. a broken pipe pouring water all over everything etc.
Tenants are entitled to peace and quiet enjoyment of the premises for as long as they reside in the home. That means, just dropping by your rental property unannounced to do an inspection of the premises or just to see how things are going is not acceptable.
- If you wish to view the home or property, you must provide the tenant at least 24 hours written notice prior to the time you plan to enter, (A Notice to Enter).
- Sometimes just a polite phone call to the tenant will be enough to have the tenant agree to an inspection time. If they do not agree you must issue a written notice to enter.
- If you do issue a written notice the notice must include:
- the tenant’s name
- the address of the premises
- the date/time that you plan to enter the rental unit
- the reason you are entering (routine inspection, showing it to prospective tenants/buyers, doing repairs, etc).
How often should you do an inspection?
You can’t do this every week. Once your home is occupied by tenants you are permitted, by law, to inspect as often as once a month but even that may be considered too often. Generally, if you want to do an inspection, scheduling them two or three times per year should be sufficient.
You can note any maintenance items or concerns, review the “housekeeping” of the tenants to be dealt with as needed, and check for any damages. If the housekeeping is poor and the property is being neglected or damaged, you may want to do more frequent inspections– but not more than one per month.
Naturally, if the tenant calls to tell you there’s a problem or an issue that requires your attention, you’ll be there to handle it, but on a day to day basis, the tenant is entitled to the use of the home without interference from the Landlord or Property Manager.
Third party arrangements
Any contractors or service providers that you send to the house must also be pre-arranged with the tenant. They can’t just show up at the door without warning and expect to be permitted into the property. And again, a quick call to the tenant will usually be enough to schedule a time for a contractor to gain access to make repairs, but unless the tenant has confirmed it is okay – you can’t simply walk in.
If you can’t reach the tenant by phone, a 24 hour Notice of Entry must be completed and given to the tenant in hand. If you cannot place it in the tenants hand, that’s a story for another blog post.[su_divider]