Q: What time notice do I give to enter my occupied rental property?

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Q: What time notice do I give to enter my occupied rental property?

Q: What time notice do I give to enter my occupied rental property?

What time notice do I give to enter my occupied rental property?answer-icon-masterFirst, when a property is rented, the landlord does not have an absolute right to enter the rental property unannounced – with reasonable allowances made for emergency situations.

As is generally the case with landlord/tenant issues, state law governs this one, in conjunction with the lease or rental agreement itself, but there are a few generalities.

Reasons why a property owner wants to enter an occupied rental:

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      • To address an emergency situation, such as frozen or broken pipes or put out a fire
      • To inspect for cleanliness and safety
      • To inspect and test fire alarms
      • To perform maintenance – either routine or at tenants’ request
      • To address a security problem, like a broken or wide-open window in your absence
      • To show the property to prospective renters or buyers

For most non-emergency situations, however, here’s the state-by-state breakdown for the minimum notice required for a landlord to enter a rented or leased property:

You can find an updated state-by state breakdown here, with specific statutes to look up the language yourself if need be. You can find another one here, in a different format with a bit more explanation.

A few notes:

Generally, laws require landlords to enter at reasonable times. That means they shouldn’t be waking you up in the middle of the night to conduct their property inspection or maintenance. The usual expectation is that these visits will occur during bankers’ hours: 9AM to 6PM or so.

Landlords should not place “lockboxes” on doors when the property is rented. These are boxes with security combinations containing a key. If there’s a lockbox on the door with the key in it, realtors can show up any time, day or night. And they will!

Author Bio
Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.
Author Bio for Jason Van Steenwyk

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