Landlord and Tenant Respect: A Two-Way Street | Think Realty | A Real Estate of Mind
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Landlord and Tenant Respect: A Two-Way Street

Tenant Rights: Don’t Just “Drop-in”

We, as landlords, have certain expectations of the people who rent from us. These expectations include timely rent payments, prompt notifications of repair issues, and responsiveness to our attempts to contact them. It’s only fair that a tenant is entitled to their own expectations of us, as landlords.

The right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of a living space, rank high on the list of tenants’ expectations. Always try to adhere to a two-day advance notice for access. Not only is it an industry standard, it’s also a good way for a landlord to show respect for the tenant’s right to feel comfortable. The common landlord practice of “just dropping in” to watch for potential problems is considered obnoxious or even harassment by the average tenant with good intentions. Proper notice demonstrates that you, as the landlord, are a guest (although a necessary one) and encourages a healthy sense of “ownership” for the tenant.

I once helped in a situation where a resident had hoarding issues unknown to the landlord and was conveniently not home when the pest control was scheduled for service.  This was a quiet multi-family building with long term residents.  The owner quickly realized the pest control issues were not getting resolved since the pests had found comfortable living quarters.  Serving notice became a necessity to enter the unit, once pest control was finally able to enter the unit, it was soon verified that the hoarding issue was multiplying the pest problems.  The pest control service explained that with all the additional “stuff,” they could not reach all the necessary spots for an effective application.  With some assistance from the local public health and safety office, we were able to get the necessary assistance into the unit and the building was back to a fresh start for all the occupants.

Always know the local and state laws on posting notice to enter a unit if a tenant is not home. In more tenant-friendly states, this may require advanced written notice on specific forms.  It might be in the landlords’ best interest to have this notice served if the landlord knows the tenant is avoiding the inspection/visit.  Options to “serve notice” might include serving directly to the tenant.  Mailing with certified return receipt, and notice may entail copies of the notice being posted on the door with images of the date/time posted.

About the Author

Linda Liberatore is the founder and president of My Landlord Helper—Secure Pay One, a unique virtual assistant solution for DIY real estate investors. She also is a motivational speaker and author of the book “Daily Inspirations to Achieve Your Real Estate Investment Goals.” Her second book is due out Spring 2017. She has conducted more than 1,000 workshops focusing on setting goals and implementing technology and best business processes. Her ability to transform a property suffering from reduced collections into a flourishing one is displayed by a 98 percent client retention rate. Contact her at lindal@securepayone.com.