Can a Property Owner Be Charged with Criminal Trespass on His/Her Own Rental Property?

Winter is right around the corner, and as a rental property owner, you might be thinking that it would be a good idea to drop by your rental property to winterize the sprinklers and replace the HVAC filters. Both of these maintenance activities have a positive effect on your renters. Is it okay to drop by to do these without notifying the renters?

A. Yes, because I own the property.

B. Yes, because these things will benefit the renters and they probably won’t be there.

C. No.

Answer: C When renters sign a lease, you give up the right of possession to the property – both the inside and outside. As such, you must provide sufficient notice to your renters before entering your property based on the lease and what your local law states. Commonly the time required is to provide 24 hours’ advance notice. If you do not follow what’s specified by the lease or law, you could be charged for criminal trespassing regardless of whether you own the property, whether the renters are present, or whether your actions will benefit the renters.

man thinking at laptop Exceptions to this may include emergency repairs for safety issues or building code violations. Or, if the renter requests repairs or maintenance, then permission may be implied unless specifically stated in the lease that advance notice should be provided for all repairs. As a client of a Real Property Management office, you can rest assured that we provide the proper notice to your renters prior to entering the property for repairs, maintenance or property evaluations. Would you like to learn more about our maintenance services? Contact your nearest Real Property Management office.

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