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Respecting a Tenant’s Right to Privacy

Some landlords, especially those who are new to the world of landlord tenant relationships, are not aware of the rights to privacy a tenant has once a lease is signed.  Even though the landlord owns the property, they do not have the right to show up on the premises whenever they like.  More importantly, a landlord is not allowed to send others to a rental property without regard to the privacy of the tenant.  To avoid placing yourself in a difficult position with your tenant and landlord tenant laws, try keeping a few things in mind.

Give Notice

Always give at least 24 hours’ notice before visiting a rental property, preferably in writing via postal mail or email.   When notifying a tenant you must actually make contact with the tenant or be able to provide proof that the message was received (signature confirmation), voicemails are not usually considered sufficient notice.  If the rental agreement states you will give more advanced notice, be sure to adhere to it.  The only times when you a landlord is typically excused from giving notice is when an extreme emergency has occurred (a fire or other disaster) or the tenant has requested a landlord visit.  Never stop by unannounced to show the property to another potential renter or to check on a repair in progress.

Don’t Send Others to the Property

Landlords planning property improvements must also remember to notify tenants before sending contractors to the premises.  Sending a roofer, landscaper, or other professional to inspect the property without notifying the tenant may also be seen as a violation of privacy.  Unless you talk to a tenant and plan the visit in advance you have no way of knowing how the tenant might be inconvenienced for frightened by a contractor arriving at their front door unannounced.