As a rental property owner, you 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. When going into the building, give your tenants advance notice, observe their privacy and be upfront about your intentions. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth relationship with your tenants and fulfill your obligations as a landlord.
It is imperative that you remain conscious that even if you own the property, you may face trespassing charges in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:
- Lease Agreement Violations: If your lease agreement with the renter contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms, you might face trespassing charges. For example, if you enter the property without proper notice or a valid reason outlined in the lease, the tenant may consider it a breach of contract.
- Tenant’s Rights Violations: Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their rental property, which means they have the right to privacy and the exclusive use of the premises during the lease term. If you enter the property without notice, excessively disrupt the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment, or harass the tenant, it could lead to legal issues, including trespassing charges.
- Lockouts and Unlawful Eviction: attempting to forcibly evict a tenant from a rental unit without adhering to the proper legal eviction procedures can lead to trespassing charges. Locking a tenant out of their rental unit without a court order is typically illegal.
- Criminal Intent: If you enter the property to steal, damage, or participate in any unlawful conduct, you can be charged with trespassing just like any other unauthorized person.
- Local Laws and Regulations: Laws regarding landlord-tenant relationships and property access can vary from one jurisdiction to another. Local regulations may impose specific requirements on landlords, and failure to adhere to these regulations could result in trespassing charges.
Avoid Potential Trespassing Charges
You should learn the ins and outs of the laws and regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships in your area, respect your tenant’s rights, and always follow the lease agreement terms. Additionally, providing proper notice to tenants prior to any legitimate entry onto the property, such as maintenance or inspections, is crucial to avoid disputes and legal issues.
Ultimately, you should respect your renter’s possessory rights. It may be your house, but it’s their home. Your property ownership does not give you permission to visit without notice or good reason. You must submit a proper notification of future entry. Illegal entry can result in fines of up to several hundred dollars or even jail time, depending on your state.
Concerns and questions about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a real estate and landlord-tenant law specialist.
Real Property Management Integrity practices proper notice and communication with our tenants for routine maintenance, repairs, and property evaluations; we also inform you regarding all facets of your rental property. The whole process is quick and easy, with full observance of property law. To learn more about how we can make your life easier in Costa Mesa and the nearby areas, please contact us or call us at 951-530-1600.
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.