When Does a Landlord Have Permission to Enter Property
Landlords, whether the property owners themselves or an agent acting on behalf of the owners, have the ability to regularly enter a property to inspect it. The landlord/tenant laws from state-to-state vary on the notifications that are required for this. In Colorado, no notice is necessary to enter a rental property to inspect it or perform maintenance. On the other hand, the state of Washington requires a 48 hour notice, preferably in writing, for any inspection with a specific time period listed on the notice. Tenants are not required to let landlords into their home if it is not an emergency situation and the visit occurs outside of the times listed.
How Often Is a Regular Inspection Allowed?
Most landlord/tenant laws allow for a regular quarterly inspection of a rental property. At issue here is that most jurisdictions allow tenants to have reasonable peace and solitude to enjoy the rental as it is their home. Constant inspections, regular sales tours, and other disruptions which interrupt the lives of the tenant can actually be considered a breach of contract on the landlord.
Can Landlords Enter For Basic Repairs?
In most jurisdictions, a notice is required for a landlord to enter a premises to make basic repairs. If the repairs are external in nature, this notice may not be required. Some states allow landlords to enter in order to determine whether any repairs are necessary to the rental property.
How About an Extended Absence?
If a tenant has notified their landlord that they will be away from their property for 7 days or more, then some jurisdictions allow the landlord to enter the property without notice to guarantee the safety of the property and the tenant's personal possessions.
What About Emergencies?
If there is a fire, a serious water leak, or other health and safety emergency suspected or known to be on a rental property, landlords are often allowed to enter without notice to inspect damage and make preparation for needed repairs. This courtesy is often extended to repair personnel as well. Without advance notice, most landlords are not allowed to enter a rental property. Only emergency situations trump any notification laws that are in place unless the tenant's permission to enter has been obtained. A failure to provide notification may result in a tenant's ability to begin litigation for potential damages.
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