As a rental property owner, you have the legal right to access your property for maintenance, repairs, inspections, or to show it to prospective tenants or buyers, provided that you follow the applicable laws and lease agreements. Let your tenants know ahead of time, respect their privacy, and be clear about why you need to enter the property. Following these guidelines will help you keep up a smooth relationship with your tenants and fulfill your obligations as a landlord.
Keep in mind that trespassing charges could apply even if you own the property in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:
- Lease Agreement Violations: You may be subject to trespassing charges if your lease agreement with the renter contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms. The tenant may think it’s a breach of contract if you enter the property without proper notice or a good reason listed in the lease.
- Tenant’s Rights Violations: Tenants have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their rental property, which means they have the right to privacy and exclusive use of the property during the lease term. Legal issues, including trespassing charges, could arise if you enter the property without notice, interfere excessively with the tenant’s right to peace, or harass the tenant.
- Lockouts and Unlawful Eviction: Trespassing charges may result from attempting to physically evict a tenant without adhering to the proper legal eviction procedures. Without a court order, locking a tenant out of their rental unit is usually illegal.
- Criminal Intent: As with anyone else who enters someone else’s property without permission, you can be charged with trespassing if you steal, damage, or do anything else that is against the law.
- Local Laws and Regulations: Different jurisdictions may have different laws governing landlord-tenant relationships and property access. Local regulations may impose specific requirements on landlords, and if they are not followed, trespassing charges may be brought.
Avoid Potential Trespassing Charges
Respecting your tenant’s rights and always adhering to the lease agreement terms are essential. You should also become familiar with the laws and regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships in your area. Additionally, 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. Even though it’s your house, it’s theirs. Your property ownership does not give you the right to enter a property without notice or a good reason. A proper notification of future entry must be submitted by you. Depending on the state where you live, illegal entry can carry a fine of up to several hundred dollars or even jail time.
Consult a real estate and landlord-tenant law specialist if you have questions or concerns about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.
With proper notice and communication, Real Property Management Charleston lets our tenants know when we need to do routine maintenance, repairs, or property evaluations. We also keep you up to date on all aspects of your rental property. Everything works quickly and well, and property law is followed to the letter. Contact us or call us at 843-900-4061 to learn more about how we can make your life easier in North Charleston or the nearby area.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.