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Tenant Rights vs. Landlord Access: Trespassing Concerns for Property Owners

Amarillo Woman Inviting Her Landlord Inside the House If you are a rental property owner, you have the legal right to access your property for maintenance, repairs, inspections, or showings to prospective tenants or buyers as long as you follow the applicable laws and lease agreements. Let your tenants know ahead of time that you’re going to be entering the property and be open and honest with them about your plans. By following these suggestions, you can keep up a smooth relationship with your tenants and fulfill your obligations as a landlord.

It is critical to remember that even if you own the property, you may face trespassing charges in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:

  1. Lease Agreement Violations: You may be liable for trespassing charges if your lease agreement with the renter contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms. The tenant may think it’s a breach of contract if you enter the property without proper notice or a good reason listed in the lease.
  2. 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.
  3. Lockouts and Unlawful Eviction: Attempting to physically remove a tenant from the property without following 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Respecting your tenant’s rights and always adhering to the lease agreement terms are essential. You should also become familiar with the laws and regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships in your area. Additionally, in order to avoid disputes and legal issues, providing proper notice to tenants before entering the property for legitimate reasons, such as maintenance or inspections, is essential. 

Ultimately, you should respect your renter’s possessory rights. It may be your house, but it’s their home. Your property ownership does not authorize you to drop by 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.

If you have questions or concerns 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 of the High Plains 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. Everything is speedy and efficient, with full observance of property law. For more information on how we can make your life easier in Amarillo or the surrounding area, contact us or call us at 806-553-7914.

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