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Tenant Rights vs. Landlord Access: Trespassing Concerns for Property Owners

Fairhaven Woman Inviting Her Landlord Inside the HouseYou have the legal right to access your property for maintenance, repairs, inspections, or to show the property to prospective tenants or buyers as long as you follow the applicable laws and lease agreements as a rental property owner. When entering the property, notify your tenants in advance, respect their privacy, and be honest about your intentions. By following these recommendations, you can keep up a smooth relationship with your tenants and fulfill your obligations as a landlord.

Keep in mind that even if you own the property, trespassing charges may still apply in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:

  1. Lease Agreement Violations: You could be subject to trespassing charges if your lease agreement with the tenant contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms. The tenant might view it as a breach of contract, for instance, if you enter the property without proper notice or a legitimate reason specified in the lease.
  2. Tenant’s Rights Violations: A tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of their rental property includes their right to privacy and sole use of the space during the term of the lease. Legal issues, including trespassing charges, could arise if you enter the property without notice, significantly interfere with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment, or harass the tenant.
  3. Lockouts and Unlawful Eviction: Trespassing charges may result from making an attempt to physically evict a tenant without adhering to the proper legal eviction procedures. Without a court order, it is typically illegal to lock out a tenant from their rental unit.
  4. Criminal Intent: Just like any other unauthorized person, you can be charged with trespassing if you enter the property with the intent to steal, damage, or engage in any illegal conduct.
  5. Local Laws and Regulations: Different jurisdictions may have different laws governing landlord-tenant relationships and property access. Failure to comply with local regulations may result in trespassing charges.

Avoid Potential Trespassing Charges

It’s important to know the local laws and regulations that affect landlord-tenant relationships, to treat tenants fairly, and to adhere to the terms of the lease agreement at all times. To avoid disputes and legal issues, providing proper notice to tenants before entering the property for legitimate reasons, such as maintenance or inspections, is essential. 

Ultimately, you should respect your renter’s possessory rights. Your home is still theirs even though you own it. You are not allowed to enter the property without notice or good reason just because you have property ownership. A proper notification of upcoming entry must be submitted. Depending on your state’s laws, illegal entry can carry a fine of several hundred dollars or even jail time.

You should consult a real estate and landlord-tenant law expert if you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

For routine maintenance, repairs, and property evaluations, Real Property Management Success uses proper notice and communication with its tenants. We also keep you informed about every aspect of your rental property. Everything moves quickly and smoothly, and all property laws are strictly followed. Contact us or give us a call at 774-840-5140 for more details on how we can simplify your life in Fairhaven and the surrounding area.

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