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

Kaneohe 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. Always inform your tenants in advance, protect their privacy, and be transparent about why you need access to the property. By following these rules, you will be able to keep up a smooth relationship with your tenants and fulfill your obligations as a landlord.

Even if you own the property, you may still be subject to trespassing charges in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:

  1. Lease Agreement Violations: Trespassing charges may be brought against you if your lease agreement with the tenant contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms. The tenant may consider it a breach of contract, for instance, if you enter the property without proper notice or for a legitimate reason specified 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

It’s necessary to be acquainted with the local laws and regulations that affect landlord-tenant relationships, to treat tenants fairly, and to adhere to the terms of the lease agreement at all times. To avoid disputes and legal issues, it is essential to provide proper notice to tenants before entering the property for legitimate reasons, such as maintenance or inspections. 

Ultimately, you should respect your renter’s possessory rights. It’s your home, but they consider it to be theirs. You are not allowed to enter the property without notice or good reason just because you have property ownership. A proper notification of upcoming entry must be submitted by you. Depending on your state, illegal entry can carry a fine of hundreds of dollars or even land you in jail.

Consult a real estate and landlord-tenant law attorney if you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

For routine maintenance, repairs, and property evaluations, Real Property Management Honolulu uses proper notice and communication with its tenants. We also keep you informed about every aspect of your rental property. Nothing is slow or inefficient, and all property laws are strictly adhered to. Contact us or give us a call at 808-445-9500 for more information on how we can simplify your life in Kaneohe and the nearby areas.

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