Entering rental property when a tenant is in place is something you as a landlord or property manager should consider carefully and know your state and local laws. Here are some examples to consider.
By Clint S. Dunaway
As a landlord you have the legal right to periodically enter your property.
The law doesn’t place limitations on why you want to enter the property, in Arizona for instance.
However, it is not a right without limitations and should not be used as a form of harassment or intimidation.
Proper notice is required
Arizona law states, “the landlord shall give the tenant at least two days’ notice of the landlord’s intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times.”
Although the law does not specify that the notice must be written (as opposed to verbal), it is a good idea to post written notice of intent to enter, or send via mail, so that you as a landlord have proof that you followed the proper procedure.
Further, the law says in part that “the tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements…” or show the property to potential buyers.
If the tenant won’t allow you to enter the property, it is grounds for eviction in Arizona. Be sure to check your state laws.
Entering in an emergency
Under the law, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of emergency.
So, for example, if you see smoke billowing out of the windows you don’t have to wait for permission to enter and extinguish the fire.
Be careful about landlord harassment
Don’t use the ability to enter the property as a way of harassing or intimidating a tenant.
The law says “the landlord shall not abuse the right to access or use it to harass the tenant.”
One of the most common defenses a tenant brings up in court is that their landlord was harassing them.
Avoid anything that even resembles harassment so your tenant can’t use that as a defense if you end up having to evict them.
Clint S. Dunaway is an expert on Arizona landlord tenant laws. Be sure to check your local and state laws on this issue. See some helpful links below.
About the author:
Clint S. Dunaway represents landlords and property managers in landlord – tenant disputes. He seeks to provide all of his tenants with useful practical advice, not just legal advice to his clients so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their companies. Errors in renting to the wrong people can be astronomically expensive. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and University of Dayton School of Law.
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