In most cases, landlords can do random inspections. However, they need to provide notice of at least 24 hours before they enter your house.
Whether or not a landlord can do inspections also depend on the State laws. A landlord or property manager can only do random inspections for allowed reasons.
More often than not, such random inspections are done with a legal reason and prior notice.
Apartment Landlord Inspections
When renting an apartment, the building and apartment are still in the landlord’s possession. This is why they can visit their property to see if it has been maintained well.
They can and should visit the apartment to see if it is still in good shape. Doing an inspection is the best way to see its condition.
However, such random inspections should be done with a 24-hour or two days prior notice. Thus they do not have the right to enter the property whenever they want.
In emergencies, they need a 24-hour prior notice. In non-emergency situations, they need to give a two-day notice.
However, if there is an emergency that needs immediate entrance, they can enter without notice.
Unless they need to enter for emergency reasons that need immediate entrance, they should enter during reasonable times. Most state laws don’t specify the time, but it should be decent.
There are only a few instances when they can legally enter without prior notice and permission. These vary according to areas and State law.
When Can Landlords Do Random Inspections?
Besides the move-in and move-out processes, landlords can do random inspections several times a year. They can do them up to four times a year.
The most common instance when landlords conduct inspections are checking the apartment before and after the lease. But there are also other reasons that can legally warrant a random inspection.
Here are some instances when a landlord has the legal right to do a random inspection:
One of the most common legal reasons when a landlord can do random inspections is moving out. They check the property for any damages or items.
In fact, many states require a landlord to conduct inspections before the renter leaves. This is why it is called a walk-through inspection.
Even if the landlord lives in the building, they must provide prior notice.
In An Emergency
If there is an evident or perceived emergency, the landlord has legal rights to enter the apartment. In this case, they can conduct random inspections without any prior written or verbal notice.
Such emergencies can vary. They include in the case of a fire, smoke, water and gas leaks, etc.
The landlord can immediately enter the apartment to respond to this emergency.
When the Apartment Has Been Abandoned
If the landlord believes that the apartment has been abandoned, they can do an inspection. No prior notice is required if they think the renter has abandoned and moved out.
Various State regulations determine whether the property has been abandoned. Some can include missing furniture, an empty refrigerator, and empty closets.
If there is sufficient legal evidence of abandonment, the landlord can take necessary measures. For example, they can remove the remaining furniture and items and put the apartment for rent.
Repairs and Improvements
Your landlord has the responsibility to make repairs and improvements for you. Hence, they can enter your apartment if they have given you prior notice.
They can enter your apartment to get these repairs and improvements made as long as the notice has been sent.
This notice should be delivered to you in person or placed somewhere conspicuous.
You don’t have to be present when the landlord enters the apartment with such a notice. Moreover, according to laws, these repairs should be set during reasonable hours.
To Show or Guide
The landlord has the right to enter your apartment if you are not renewing your lease and moving out. In this case, they need to provide you with prior notice.
They can show your apartment to other prospective tenants who might live in the apartment. These should be arranged during reasonable business hours.
Moreover, you don’t have to be present when showing the apartment.
Renter is Violating Any Codes
If the landlord has reason to believe that the renter is violating specific codes, they can enter the apartment. They can do a random inspection if the tenant violates a health and safety code.
In such a case, they have the right to enter the apartment and fix it.
To Deliver Large Packages
If the tenant has received a large package that does not fit in the mailbox, the tenant can enter the apartment. They can come inside and deliver the large package to the renter.
To Give an Eviction Notice
The tenant can enter the apartment alongside a law enforcement officer in such a case. They can enter the apartment to deliver the eviction notice to the tenant.
What Time Can A Landlord Do Random Inspections?
Some states have regulations on the time of day when it is allowed to do random inspections. Most states don’t have these regulations but state that it should be during reasonable hours.
On weekdays, reasonable times are business hours. This means that they can enter anywhere between 9 am to 6 pm.
On Saturdays, they can enter between 10 am to 1 pm. In some cases, you don’t need to be present during these inspections.
Why Do Landlords Perform Inspections?
All successful and experienced landlords perform routine inspections. It is essential in ensuring the upkeep of their property.
Inspections help landlords see if their property is being maintained properly. There are multiple things that a landlord may be looking at during an inspection.
If they don’t do any inspections, extreme damages may be done to the apartment without them knowing. The longer these damages have gone unnoticed, the more problematic it is.
Inspections assure the landlord that the renter is taking care of their property. They may also use inspections to assess whether or not to extend the lease.
If the landlords see the property being well taken care of, they will extend the lease. Hence, inspections are essential for both tenants and landlords.
They may be looking for damage to the walls or flooring. Moreover, they may look for evidence of an insect infestation.
They see issues with sinks, toilets, stoves, and appliances. Additionally, they will also be looking at the exterior of the house, including the lawn.
All in all, landlords look at the apartment’s condition during an inspection. They want to see what needs to be repaired and what has been damaged.
How Often Can Landlords Do Inspections?
Most States have not specified how often landlords should be doing inspections. However, they are allowed to conduct random inspections a few times a year.
They can do these inspections several times a year as long as they are not interfering with the tenant’s routine.
Most landlords conduct inspections during moving in and moving out. They may also conduct them once randomly mid of the year.
Other than this, they may only conduct inspections when absolutely necessary. For example, they may do it during an emergency.
Your state laws will tell you when landlord inspections are becoming excessive. Tenants have the right to their privacy and quiet time.
Therefore, there are laws that can protect tenants if they feel like inspections are too many.
What to Do If You Don’t Receive Reasonable Notice
If your landlord is entering your apartment without reasonable notice, you should take the necessary steps. The first thing you must do is raise the issue with them.
You have to inform them that they should notify you before inspecting the apartment. This should be enough to ensure it does not happen again in some cases.
If such entries persist, you can send them a mail. You should write them a formal letter to request not to make such entries.
In some cases, that also might not be enough. If so, you can file a formal complaint of trespassing and harassment against them.
You must ensure that you keep a log of their entries and proof of your letter to them. This can serve as evidence in case you end up suing the landlord.
In the end, the judge may give your landlord a formal order to avoid trespassing. They will order the landlord not to come to your apartment without prior notice.
Landlords are ultimately responsible for the upkeep of their property. This includes the apartment you are renting.
Hence, they may conduct random inspections a few times a year to assess the condition of the apartment. However, you should be aware of these protocols when conducting inspections.
Landlords are not legally allowed to enter the apartment randomly without prior notice. The only exception to this case is during emergency situations.
You can also take legal action if you feel like the landlord is not abiding by the law. Know your rights, and what is involved, and take the necessary steps.
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