How To Fix a Burst Pipe

When you have a pipe burst in your home, either because the weather turned cold or there was a failure in the craftsmanship of the pipe itself or its joints, then here’s some good news: you don’t need some serious plumbing skills to fix the problem.

You’ll just need a few tools, some solder that is lead free, and some replacement pipe and fittings.

The first step is to make sure that you’ve turned off your water supply.

Look for the main valve for your water in a heated area of your home.

Many times the water shut-off is located near the water heater, furnace, or primary electrical box.

Open up the lowest fixture you have to make sure your plumbing system completely drains.

 

1. Allow your pipes to thaw out.

If you have frozen pipes that have caused the burst, then you’ll need to make sure they’re completely thawed out before you begin the repair.

Wrap the pipe with insulation if necessary to make sure the ice begins to melt.

2. Cut out the damaged section of pipe.

When you’ve located where the pipe has burst, you’ll need to cut out that damaged section.

The easiest way is to use a pipe cutter.

Rotate the the cutter around the pipe and keep tightening it a little bit with every rotation until it cuts all the way through it.

You’ll likely have burrs on the cut.

You can clean these up with some steel wool.

Avoid using the kitchen steel wool pads, however, because the detergents can make the job more difficult.

3. Cut a new section of pipe to install.

You’ll need new pipe to replace the burst pipe.

Cut the new pipe to the appropriate size.

Because you’ll be connecting the new pipe to the undamaged plumbing, you’ll need to cut it a little shorter to accommodate the fittings that you’ll need for a water-tight seal.

Make sure you’ve got the same diameter of plumbing pipe as well.

Most homes have ½ inch pipes, but this isn’t always the case.

4. Clean the ends of the pipe.

You’ll need to take that steel wool and make sure all of your pipe and fittings are cleaned up on the edges so that they’ll be able to form an adequate seal.

Take your time during this part because clean fittings and pipe ends are essential for a good connection.

5. Begin the soldering process.

You’ll need to spread some soldering flux on the outside of the pipe end where you’ll be connecting it to your existing plumbing.

Then slide the valve fitting onto the end of the pipe and heat the valve fitting where it connects.

You can hold the flame right up to the pipe, but make sure you’re wearing safety glasses.

As the connection heats up, you’ll want to push some solder into the joint where the valve connects.

The solder melts from the heat and will seep into the connection, sealing it off.

6. Continue until repaired, then turn on the water to check for leaks.

Make sure that the solder has cooled and sealed every joint that needs to be repaired and then turn your water back on to check for leaks.

If you have leaks, you will need to start over from the beginning.

It takes some practice to get soldering down, so take a few minutes to practice your technique before attempting the repair.

In doing so, you’ll be able to solve your own plumbing problems and know how to fix a burst pipe.

Landlord’s Guide to Rental Discrimination

Discrimination is a bad word in today’s society, but landlord’s need to discriminate as much as they legally can in order to get the best tenants possible into their property.

What a landlord can and cannot do is government by local landlord/tenant laws, so before starting any vetting process, make sure to check local statutes for specific ways you may need to be in compliance.

When Is Rental Discrimination Illegal?

In general, tenants are protected from certain types of discrimination wherever the rental home might be located.

The Federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act specifically prohibits a landlord from rejecting an application from a tenant for the following reasons.

  • Race or religion.
  • The ethnic background of the prospect or their national origin.
  • Gender.
  • The status of the family, including children.
  • Physical or mental disabilities.

Some laws also specifically prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation, the age of the applicant, or the prospect’s marital status.

Even subtle differences in the application process, such as setting a higher income standard for certain households or setting different terms in a lease for different demographics could be considered illegal rental discrimination.

When Is Rental Discrimination Legal?

As a landlord, you need to be able to screen dangerous tenants away from your property as much as possible.

This means that the #1 method of legal discrimination that you can implement is a consistent policy of not accepting tenants that have committed certain crimes.

For homes that are near schools, this is especially critical to do because you could be held legally responsible for a tenant who reoffends.

If you’re concerned about how certain households may treat your property, then you may also wish to set a high income standard that applies to every applicant.

Requiring a minimum income is a valid business reason to reject a tenant because you have a certain level of profitability that is required.

Performing a credit check or implementing credit score minimums is another way to help prevent problem tenants from sneaking into your property on you.

If a tenant does not have a positive reference from a previous landlord, then this can also become the cause of a rejection.

Not having a positive reference from an employer, however, is not necessarily something that you can use to reject a tenant.

Not having a job or evidence that a rental lease can be met over a specific amount of time may be a valid reason to discriminate.

Having a poor reputation, but the ability to pay rent consistently, may not be a valid reason to discriminate.

As long as you have valid business reasons to reject a tenant that are not based in any way on the illegal rental discrimination areas that are in place, then you can do so.

This will allow you to be able to effectively screen out potentially problematic tenants so that you can have a long-term investment with your rental property.

How to Insulate Yourself from Expenses with a Great Lease

Owning a rental property can be expensive, and if you’re not careful, you can end up footing the bill for repairs or damages that should be the tenants’ responsibilities.

One important way to insulate yourself from such expenses is to write a great lease that covers as many contingencies as possible and clearly specifies the financial responsibilities of all parties.

While regulations vary from state to state, there are some important items that should be included in any lease or rental agreement.

Names of All Tenants and Limits on Occupancy

Every adult living in the unit should be named and should sign the lease.

This way, each person becomes responsible for the rent and any other terms of the lease.

If one tenant leaves or can’t pay for some reason, you can legally collect the entire rent from any one of the tenants named in the lease.

You, as the landlord, have the right to screen and approve who and how many people live in your property.

So, the lease should clearly indicate that only the adults who signed the lease and their minor children can occupy the unit.

This way, you can evict a tenant who moves someone else in or sublets the unit without notifying you.

Rent and Deposits

The lease should clearly state the amount of rent, when it’s due and how you expect to receive it, such as by mail or delivered to you personally.

Make all details as clear as possible, including the following:

  • Acceptable forms of payment
  • Amount of late fees and whether there’s a grace period
  • Charges for bounced checks

The handling of security deposits causes a lot of conflict.

Avoid any misunderstandings by defining the following things:

  • The exact amount of the security deposit
  • How it can be used by you (to repair damages) and how the tenant can use it (to pay the last month’s rent)
  • When and how it will be returned to the tenant
  • Where the deposit will be held and whether the tenant is entitled to any interest earned

Repairs and Maintenance

Unless the specifics about your responsibilities and those of your tenant are unambiguously spelled out, you could find yourself paying for a lot of damage and repairs caused by a tenant’s abuse or neglect.

Specify things like:

  • Your expectation that tenants maintain a clean and sanitary unit and pay for any damages they cause
  • Their responsibility to notify you of any damages or defective conditions
  • Clearly explained procedures for submitting repair requests to you
  • Limitations on what kind of alterations they can make in the unit without your permission, such as painting or installing appliances.

Pets

If you allow pets, be specific about the size and number of pets allowed and what your expectations are for cleaning up waste in the yard.

Also, include requirements about repairing damage from pets in the repair and maintenance section of the lease.

Other Restrictions

Other terms that should be in the lease include:

  • It goes without saying that you don’t want your tenants doing anything illegal in your property, but to prevent property damage and avoid expensive legal problems, it’s still best to specify this in the lease.
  • Specify what, if any, businesses the tenant may run from the property.
  • Learn about all local laws and health and safety codes, and make sure your lease is in compliance.
  • Specify use of parking and common areas.

A lease is a legal document that is intended to protect you and your tenants.

Include these items in any of your leases to protect yourself from having to pay for something that should not be your responsibility.

How To Repair Basement Wall Cracks

The basement wall is one of the most important structures of every home and building.

It supports part of the weight of the home, protects against water damage, and works to keep pests out of the building.

Cracks can begin to form for a wide variety of reasons, so it is important to understand why a basement wall is cracking so an appropriate repair can be made.

 

 

Fixing Vertical Basement Wall Cracks

Vertical basement wall cracks are one of the most dangerous situations that a basement wall faces.

These cracks usually begin forming when there are outward pressures on the wall that are caused by the foundation shifting.

It can also be an indication that there is too much direct pressure being applied to the wall.

If the pressure is not relieved, then repairing the crack in the wall will only be a temporary fix instead of a permanent solution.

Vertical cracks can often be sealed with a simple caulking or epoxy method.

You’ll want to make sure the product you use can fill in the crack completely.

To do this, you’ll want to use the “V” method of stabilization.

Make one end of the crack wider than the other so that it can support itself appropriately.

You may need to scrape the crack out, wash it out, and let it dry before starting the repair.

The issue with most vertical cracks is that there is a problem with erosion control.

When precipitation falls or when landscaping plants are being watered, the moisture is overwhelming the soil supports around the foundation.

A little moisture is fine, but too much will erode the soil base and cause place pressure on the foundation.

Look at the drainage patterns on the property and consider moving plants away from the home as external fixes for the basement wall cracks.

Fixing Stairway Basement Wall Cracks

When the cracks on your basement wall look like a set of stairs, this is usually an indication that the entire foundation is settling.

Many times these cracks are just minor and can be sealed up right away to prevent moisture from entering through the wall.

If left untreated, however, it is very possible for the crack to expand and become problematic.

This type of basement crack tends to retain moisture within it more than vertical or horizontal cracks.

You can eliminate the moisture by running a hair dryer along the crack for several minutes before attempting the repair.

Wait about 15-20 minutes after running the hair dryer to see if the crack stays dry.

If it does not, you’ll need to wait for the area to dry out on its own.

Using an epoxy injection system is usually a best practice for this type of repair.

The epoxy helps to strengthen the wall and prevent moisture from getting in to become an ongoing problem.

You’ll want to let the epoxy cure for about 5 days before removing the injection ports.

 

Fixing Horizontal Basement Wall Cracks

Horizontal basement wall cracks are also considered a critical repair, but because they have outward pressures being placed on them.

This occurs from the expanding and contracting of the soil around the foundation of the home.

You can relieve this pressure somewhat by keeping the soil near the foundation fairly moist all year long, but once the cracks appear, it becomes necessary to immediately repair the wall to prevent it from buckling.

Because the crack indicates that the wall has already buckled somewhat, you may need to reinforce the wall before repairing the crack.

This may mean having a complete foundation leveling completed.

Only a professional contractor should be performing that part of the repair because the foundation itself may need to be lifted to provide materials that can help to stabilize the basement wall.

Once the wall has been stabilized, you can then fill in the crack with your preferred repair method and the wall should remain stable.

You’ll need to be proactive in the future, however, about changing outdoor conditions to prevent too much pressure from being on the basement wall in the future.

Not relieving the pressure and just repairing the crack can further increase the problem and it may void your homeowner’s insurance as well.

Knowing how to repair basement wall cracks can help to keep a home standing strong.

Examine the crack, clean it out, and make sure it is dry before repairing it.

If the repair doesn’t hold or there are several issues that must be addressed, then be sure to speak with a local contractor to discuss what your options may be.

The Outgoing Tenant Checklist

Tenant turnover is inevitable.

As a result, flipping your unit from one tenant to the next is an important part of the property management process.

Having a detailed checklist ensures that you successfully complete all essential steps when your tenant moves out.

End the landlord-tenant relationship with ease by completing these important tasks.

Proper Notification
Your lease should stipulate how much notice your tenant must provide when he or she plans to move it.

This notification is important, as it allows you to begin searching for a new tenant to replace your vacating one.

For example, you might request one month’s or two months’ notice from your tenant.

If you do not hear from your tenant in the months leading up to the end of the lease, remind him or her of the impending end of the lease.

Offer a lease renewal, if you’re interested, or request that the tenant abide by the terms of the lease and provide you with proper notice.

Move-Out Guidelines
Consider providing your tenant with a list of your expectations upon move-out.

For example, you might want the unit cleaned from top to bottom, including the refrigerator and carpets.

If you allowed the tenant to paint the walls, specify whether you want the walls returned to their original color.

Other items to note on the checklist include filling holes in the wall, maintaining the lawn and landscaping until the lease-end date, and removing all trash from the unit.

Move-Out Inspection
Once your tenant vacates your property, you want to promptly inspect the unit for any damage.

If you’re holding a refundable security deposit, you need to decide whether you need to use any portion of the security deposit to fix any damage caused by the tenant.

Check your state landlord-tenant laws and regulations to find out how much time you have to assess any damages and return the security deposit.

You’re likely working with a 30- to 90-day window.

If you intend to keep any portion of the security deposit, you will need to notify your tenant before doing so.

Each state sets forth specific guidance in this area, so it’s your responsibility as a landlord to be well versed in these regulations and adhere to them every time you flip your unit.

Post-Move-Out Responsibilities
Your tenant has moved out, you’ve thoroughly inspected the unit and returned all or a portion of the security deposit, and the keys to your rental property are back in your hands.

Now what?

Until a new tenant moves into your unit, you’re responsible for the complete care of the unit.

Ensure that the utilities have shifted back into your name until your new tenant takes over.

If lawn maintenance was your tenant’s responsibility, remember that it’s yours until the unit is flipped.

Keeping your rental in pristine condition will help you rent the unit out promptly, which will help reduce any gap between tenants – and the resultant gap in rental income.

A tenant moving out should be a smooth process.

After all, turnover is at the heart of your business.

As the landlord, you are responsible for guiding your tenant through the move-out process.

Being available to answer questions and maintaining open lines of communication ensure that your tenant vacates your rental property without any problems.

Landlords in the Know: Tenant Rights 101

The landlord/tenant relationship is just as important to the landlord as it is to the tenant.

If entered into with care, the lease agreement will protect both you and the renter.

Following are basic tenant rights you, as the landlord, should be aware of when preparing to rent a property.

1. A Positive Landlord Review from the Beginning
Savvy landlords will have current and previous tenants willing to talk to prospective renters about living conditions in the rental unit and area.

Prospective renters have the right to an understand of what it’s like living in the rental and dealing with you as a landlord.

For example, potential tenants may learn that a landlord responds quickly when the rental needs repairs or the building needs maintenance.

It is like free marketing for the landlord.

2. Conduct a Walk-About
Before your tenant signs the lease, you are wise to make sure the tenant does a thorough walk-through of the premises.

Some landlords will accompany the potential tenant on a property tour to document in writing and take pictures of anything broken, damaged or worn.

In some cases, the landlord may give the potential renter a key to let him or her do a walk-through alone. You must change the locks once the property is rented.

A professional landlord documents damages and wear before the tenant enters the apartment alone.

Prospective tenants can document any damage or wear-and-tear they find, and the landlord and tenant will agree to a final reconciled damage list.

You and the tenant should sign and date the document to make it part of the lease package.

3. Landlord and Tenant: Know Thy Lease
Renters must read and understand the lease.

It is advisable to sit down with the tenant and review the lease clause-by-clause.

The tenant can initial each of the contract sections, indicating he or she has read and understands the terms.

Brief the tenant on privacy notification guidelines, conditions for the return of the deposit, and conditions for and consequences of breaking the lease.

4. Landlords: Know What You Can’t Do
Certain landlord actions are illegal, and it is important that you know they are illegal.

  • Refusing to make repairs that affect a tenant’s quality of life or safety
  • Demanding arbitrary rent increases outside the terms of the lease
  • Threatening to evict
  • Preventing tenant associations from meeting in the building’s common room
  • Turning off utilities
  • Locking out a tenant by changing the locks or putting a lock box on the doorknob
  • Placing the tenant’s belongings on the street

Although it may be tempting to lock a tenant out when repeated damage is done to the property, or the tenant falls behind in rent payments or engages in illegal activities on the property, you risk a lawsuit for trespass, wrongful eviction, emotional distress, and even assault and battery, depending on the events.

In every case, you as the landlord must inform the tenant via some type of termination notice.

The names of these documents differ by state, but they may include the “Pay Rent or Quit Notice,” the “Cure or Quit Notice” or the “Unconditional Quit Notice.”

5. When the Landlord Wants the Rental Back
To avoid a claim that a tenant was wrongfully evicted, the lease includes a description of the process to be followed should you want the rented property back for personal reasons.

If the property is rented on a month-to-month basis, the landlord only needs to give appropriate notice to the tenant that the lease is terminated.

If the lease has a fixed term, the landlord must honor the term but does not have to renew it.

The only exceptions are in the rent-control states of New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

There are limits on your rights to evict tenants to move yourself, or relatives, into the rental.

For example, in San Francisco, the landlord can evict a tenant to move in a relative as long as the person rents within 3 months and lives in the rental unit for at least 36 months.

How To Replace a Fuse And Reset Your Breakers

Just about every landlord will deal with a loss of power in their rental at some point, and often the cause is a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

If you know what you’re doing, you can fix these problems yourself quickly and easily. Here is a guide to dealing with both issues, allowing you to do a little DIY handiwork around your own property.

The Basics Behind The Problem
There can be many reasons behind a power failure.

For example, an entire city can be hit with a blackout that really has nothing to do with your own power usage. However, in most cases, an electrical problem from within your rental unit will be the cause.

Often, a blown fuse or circuit breaker that trips is the culprit, and results from too much electrical energy flowing through your wiring.

This will cause the fuse or circuit breaker to automatically shut down the power in order to avoid your electrical wiring from overheating and potentially causing a fire.

This problem often comes about due to too many appliances running at the same time, such as a toaster, hair dryer, and air conditioner, all of which can cause too much energy to flow through your wires.

Replacing a Fuse
Fuse boxes are common in older homes and apartments.

They’re usually located in a basement or garage, and located in a square box built into the wall. Inside, you’ll often find 2 to 8 fuses in place.

The fuses are round and much like a light bulb, they screw into position. If a fuse has blown in your property, first turn off all your lights and remove any electrical appliances that you think may have contributed to the blown fuse by unplugging them.

You’re dealing with electricity here, so exercise extreme caution.

Your hands should be dry and you shouldn’t be standing on any type of wet surface.

Usually, you can identify the fuse that needs replacing by looking if the metal inside the fuse has melted.

This will cause the fuse to look purple, burnt, or discolored.

Unscrew this specific fuse by turning counter-clockwise.

You now want to replace this fuse with a fuse that is basically a copy of the one you took out, with the same amperage and size of the damaged fuse.

When in doubt, just bring the broken fuse to a hardware store and ask for an exact match.

Then, simply screw the new fuse in and your electricity should be functioning again.

Fixing a Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are the more modern device installed in newer homes and apartments.

They basically perform the function of a fuse box, but are easier to reset and fix.

Inside a circuit breaker box, the actual circuit breakers basically look like smaller versions of a light switch.

They are usually arranged in rows that can either run vertically or horizontally.

When your breaker is tripped, the circuit switch will switch directions.

Depending on your circuit breaker’s design, it will either go up or down.

However, the key to finding which one has been turned “off” is to simply compare it to others and find the one that is switched in the other direction.

Simply reset this specific switch until it’s aligned with all the others, returning it to the “on” position.

When To Call An Electrician
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping or your fuses blowing, it’s important to move appliances around to reduce the electricity burden on one particular breaker or fuse.

Also let any specific tenant suffering from this problem to go easy on their electricity usage to reduce their chances of future problems.

However, if you keep suffering from the same problem despite making these adjustments, it might be time to call a licensed electrician, as you might have a more serious electrical issue.

Top 7 ways to ensure a tenant’s smooth departure

The best way to ensure tenants’ smooth departure is to begin planning for it before the tenants move in — before you have even met them.

Starting early allows you to attach a rider to the lease, so tenants will know what to expect when they move out.

If you did not prepare early, the good news is that it is never too late to start.

Here are seven effective ways to ensure that tenants depart smoothly.

  1. When tenants sign their lease, attach a rider that amounts to a checklist of expectations the tenants must meet to get their security deposit back when they move out. The list can be numbered with a blank space to the left of each item for tenants to check.
  2. Send the tenants a move-out reminder no more than 30 days before their last day to thank them for giving notice of their departure. The reminder should also contain the checklist from the lease rider, if you have one, or a list of your expectations, such as removing personal items, vacuuming the carpet, reporting any damage in writing, and returning the keys to you after vacating the premises. This reminder should also wish the tenants luck in their future home.
  3. Schedule an inspection to take place three to five days before the tenants’ last day. The move-out reminder letter or checklist can request that the tenants call or email you to schedule this. Try to accommodate the tenants’ schedule as much as possible; while it is not strictly necessary to have a walk-through before they move out, it is a good idea.
  4. If you did not attach a checklist to the tenants’ lease or to the move-out reminder, create one now. You can also use a template. Landlord Station has pre- and post-lease inventory checklists. Your checklist should contain essentials such as walls being clean and the same color as when tenants moved in (unless prior permission to paint a new color was given), electrical systems working, windows cleaned and smoke alarms working properly.
  5. Show up on time for the walk-through inspection. If the relationship has been pleasant, bring the tenant a small token of thanks as a gesture of goodwill. One possibility is a gift card for $20 to $100. Alternatively, depending on your relationship with the tenant, you could bring a handmade gift or baked treats. If you anticipate major issues with the walk-through, it may be best to wait until afterward to see if a gift is appropriate.
  6. During the walk-through, give the tenant a copy of the checklist, and discuss any items that come up or requirements that cannot be met. Depending on the situation, the tenant may be able to remedy something before moving out. If there is damage, take photos that show the date or use a Polaroid camera with images that print out immediately. Have the tenant initial them.
  7. If you expect that you will not be able to return part or all of the tenants’ security deposit, explain why and estimate how much. If the tenants end up owing you money, provide them with various payment methods. If necessary, explain that you will send them a bill, and ask for their new address.

Bonus tip: Know the difference between damage and wear and tear.

Landlords cannot subtract wear and tear amounts from security deposits.

Examples of wear and tear include a thinning carpet, faded paint, and small scratches on the wall.

Examples of damage include permanently stained carpet, water spots on the wall caused by hanging plants, and an excessive number of holes in the walls that will require patching or repainting.

Adding a Pet to a Lease

Pets are a part of life for many Americans.

In fact, The Humane Society of the United States reports that more than 164 million Americans own pets.

When you’re seeking tenants, you don’t want to rule out this large subset of the population by banning pets from your unit. At the same time, you don’t want a dog or cat to damage your rental.

The key, then, is offering a pet-friendly unit with an ironclad lease that protects your rental from potential damage.

Several methods allow you to protect your investment and attract pet owners at the same time.

Pet Security Deposit
You probably already collect a security deposit from your tenant to help fund any potential repairs.

If your tenant has a dog or cat, consider adding a pet security deposit to the lease as well.

This deposit might not be as high as a full month’s rent, but you might charge several hundred dollars so that your tenant can have a furry friend.

You can make this deposit refundable (pending a thorough inspection of the unit when the tenant vacates) or nonrefundable.

This security deposit can go toward any cleaning expenses or structural repairs, such as erasing scratches on the door or walls.

Pet Rent
Consider the pet another tenant and charge pet rent.

Specify precisely how much rent you intend to charge per month for the pet.

This pet rent is typically established in lieu of a pet deposit.

Tenants might prefer a modest monthly pet rent fee rather than paying a lump sum security deposit upon move-in.

Thus, in a competitive rental market, pet rent can be an appealing option and may help you attract tenants.

Consider setting the rent based on the pet’s size.

For example, a larger and potentially more destructive dog might carry a higher monthly rent than a small cat.

Protective Measures
Add language to your lease that specifies the condition in which the tenant must leave the unit.

For example, you might request that tenants with pets have the carpets professionally cleaned before vacating the property.

On the other hand, you may prefer to have the carpets cleaned yourself, in which case you will want to note that the cost of carpet cleaning will be deducted from the security or pet deposit.

Also, the lease should list specific pet-related damages like chewed windowsills, scratched doors, or holes in the walls and explain that the tenant is responsible for the cost of such repairs.

Penalties for Unreported Pets
In your lease, you should also make the effort to deter tenants from not reporting their pets and paying the specified deposits and rents.

Consider adding language to your lease that stipulates that the tenant will be assessed an unreported pet fee or have to pay for past months of pet rent should you find an animal living in the unit.

This clause will encourage tenants to be upfront with you, which will allow you to collect the necessary fees to protect your unit from potential damage.

Conclusion
Welcoming pet owners into your rental unit broadens your options for tenants.

Creating a lease that specifically addresses the problems that pets may cause allows you to confidently hand over the keys to a pet owner, knowing that your investment is well protected in case of pet damage.

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.