Landlord’s Right Of Access To Premises

By on January 22, 2018

From the very moment the keys to a rental property is officially handed over to a tenant, until the time when the keys are returned to the landlord, there are rules that spell out the landlord’s right of access into the house.

If an eviction process is started, then this period will last until the proceeding is completed.

This can feel illogical to landlords since they are after all, the legal owners of the property.

But law is law.

And if you are to interpret it from the tenants’ perspective, you would probably find that this is a fair regulation after all.

The reasons for these rules is of course centered on the tenants’ rights to their own privacy.

Whatever the case, the landlord does retain rights to enter the rental property as long as the rules of entry are observed.

Bear in mind that different states will have differing rules around these things.

Under unique and extraordinary situations, a landlord will have the right to gain immediate access to the premises.

These situations include emergencies like:

  • fire
  • flood
  • matters concerning life and death
  • etc

In the absence of a true emergency circumstances, the landlord would only be able to access a house by providing a reasonable and proper notice, coupled with a reasonable notice period.

What constitutes to a reasonable notice period will depend on the rules that govern these situations that differ from state to state.

Most states go with a period of between 24 and 48 hours.

At the same time, entry to the house should only be conducted during reasonable hours during the day.

And if need be, a proper notice of landlord’s notice to enter the premises should be used.

There must also be proper reason for a landlord to enter a dwelling. Entry to homes without proper reason can lead to claims of harassment by tenants.

But the power don’t always lie with the tenants.

Because tenants have no grounds to refuse legitimate access to the house. They have to grant access if it’s for official business.

If lawful access is not granted to a landlord, he or she can officially send a written letter of noncompliance. Which can in turn become the first step towards eviction should the tenant continue to deny access to the property.

Valid reasons for landlords to enter the property include:

  • maintenance works
  • inspections
  • repairs
  • showing property to potential buyers and tenants
  • etc

However do note that even though the reasons listed above are justifiable reasons to enter the premises, abuse of these rights can be legitimate ground for tenants to file complaints.

Finally, it is best for landlords to document any request or access including the actual access itself.

This means that you should keep copies of notices sent.

These documentations can play a critical role in future when the need for them arises.



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