Cape Coral Property Management Blog

How a Property Manager Gains Entry to a Tenant’s Unit

A lot of landlords ask us about the right way to gain access to a tenant’s unit. This often requires some planning because you want to respect your tenant’s privacy, but there are going to be occasions where you have a legitimate need to get into the house. At Cape Shore Property Management, we recommend you always provide notice to the tenant before you go inside the house for a non-emergency reason.

If there is an emergency, you can always enter the unit without the tenant’s permission or knowledge. Emergencies have to be pretty obvious, but would include fire or smoke coming out of the house. You could also consider it an emergency if water is seen leaking out of doors and windows, if someone smells natural gas in the area or if there is no answer any time you knock on the door and no one has seen or heard from the tenant in a long period of time. Those are very good reasons to enter right away, without any kind of notice.

When it’s not an emergency visit you’re making, you should give the tenant as much notice as possible. You also want to provide written notification. Use a Notice for Entry form or something similar that allows you to document that you did let the tenant know you’d be entering the property. We always recommend that you go inside when a tenant is home, whenever possible. This will help you avoid any claims of theft or damage while you were inside.

You never want to force your way into a tenant’s home, unless it’s a real emergency. Tenants have the right to sue you or withhold rent payments when you don’t give them proper notice that you’re entering.

It’s also important to let tenants know when maintenance work will be going on inside the house. Any time you have people inside doing work, let them know in advance and ask your contractors or vendors to leave behind a “work performed” form. This will let the tenant know that someone was there and it will also inform them of the work that was done. This paperwork will cover you in case there are any disputes or disagreements.

Notifying your tenants before you access their house demonstrates to those tenants that you are respectful of them and their property. It also shows them that they can trust you to be honest and dependable.

If you have any questions about the proper way to gain access to a tenant’s unit, please contact us at Cape Shore Property Management.