Right of Entry Laws by State
As a landlord, how much notice do you give your tenants before entering the unit? The answer depends on your state laws.
When your tenants are renting from you, your property becomes their home. Just as you wouldn’t want someone entering your primary residence whenever they felt like it, your tenants also have a right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the property.
This doesn’t mean that you can never enter the premises. Landlords and managers will usually enter for a couple of different reasons:
- Making agreed upon repairs
- Inspection of the property
- Showing the property to potential buyers
- Emergency situation
Some states also allow landlords to enter in case of a tenant’s extended absence. This is usually to make repairs or take care of maintenance tasks a tenant would normally perform while at home.
How much notice do you give?
Each state has a different amount of time required to give tenants notice for entry. In the case where this isn’t specified, giving 24 hours’ notice is a safe bet. Tenants can always give approval for a landlord to enter sooner. For example, if a tenant requests a repair and a contractor has a last minute availability, the landlord can ask for the tenant's approval to enter sooner to make the repair.
It’s always a good idea to give your tenants written notice. Putting it in writing gives you a record of maintenance visits and inspections. It also protects you if your tenant claims you violated your state statutes for notice to enter the property. Post a written notice on their door, send a letter through certified mail, or use Tellus Home Chat to send notices and get read receipts on your phone.
In true emergencies, a landlord can enter a unit without advance notice or the tenant's permission. Examples of emergencies could include fire, flooding, a gas leak, or a physical altercation. If the tenant isn't home, it's best to leave a note explaining the emergency and why you needed to enter.
Related: Building Better Relationships with Owners
Here are the notice to enter requirements by state:
Two days. Does not apply if tenant has requested maintenance (assumed consent).
24 hours, 48 hours for move-out inspection
Adequate notice under the circumstances
24 hours, applies only in the final month of lease when landlord is showing the unit to prospective tenants.
24 hours, unless otherwise specified by the lease
24 hours for routine maintenance. No notice required if maintenance is at tenant’s request.
Two days. One day to show property.
Respecting your tenant's privacy and your local laws will go a long way toward building better relationships. Try the Tellus superapp for a better rental experience and more tools for landlords.
Related: The Tellus Superapp for Rental Management: 5 Reasons Why Landlords Love It