Do you make repairs without tenants presence?

18 Replies

Hi all,

We need to do some repair in our rental. Tenant said that she'd prefer to be home when someone enters the home. But technically we are allowed to enter and make repairs as long as we give a 24 hour notice. Do you guys usually make repairs with tenant present? I know I could enforce the the 24 hour notice clause in my lease but what do you guys usually do?

Thanks !

I think it depends on each individual. I usually give them a few days notice and leave a signed note in the unit stating who was there and what repairs were made, as well as the time in and time out.

I think if I had to wait around for all my tenants to be home, nothing would get done!

We ask for permission to enter.  If it is not granted, we arrange a time when the resident is home. 

Like the cable company, you can give them a window of time.

I would give them some times that I or my handyman can do the work.  If they can make one of those times, great, if not, oh well.  

It also depends on severity of repair.  Roof leak, backed up plumbing, dangerous situation like broken window or exposed gets fixed asap.  I don't care if they are there or not.  It is not their choice.  It is up to them to meet my timeline.

The ice maker isn't working....they can work out the schedule with the appliance repair guy understanding they are responsible for any charges associated with missed appointments.

I try to coordinate it when they are home, but if they are not I do it when they are not there and lock up when I leave.  I never give contractors keys to the property; I'm always there myself or the tenant is there.

If I have a tenant that would like to be present, I try to accommodate them as much as possible.  If they are not being cooperative then I will give them 24 hour notice that I or the vendor will be accessing the unit to make the necessary repair.  Like Chris said above, if it is an emergency it will be addressed as quickly as possible.

I don't make this a fighting issue.  Most of my tenants have no problem with us going in but if they object, I always respect it.  You don't want them claiming something is missing/broken etc.

I work out an acceptable time way in advance.  Not only is it a good idea not to impose unduly, but it is for the protection of you and your contractor.  Before I hired a fire prevention company to do the checking of the alarms and extinguishers, I once showed up at the house at the agreed-upon time and the door was answered by the tenant's 13-year-old daughter, who was home alone.  You had better believe I did not enter the home.  

Having the tenant present is both polite and protects you.

If she is someone who pays on time and is a good tenant, and is being cooperative as far as setting up a time to get you guys in there to repair the issue I would respect her request.

I would try to honor their request. Let them know the repairs needing to be done & when you'd like to come. If they can't arrange to be there, offer to be there while the work is being done. You may have the right to go in anytime but keeping a tenant happy is important too. Respect works both ways.

I usually tell them "I understand if you want to be home and I might would be the same way so if both of our schedules align we would be glad to do that otherwise we would need to enter the unit at a convenient time for us to complete the work."  This is especially true when using a contractor b/c we are usually on their schedule, which can be a good thing to relay to the tenant.

I am usually the one that does the work or I am present during any repairs so I insure the tenant we don't bother any of their belongings or have any use for it, just need to get the work done. If I am using a contractor I explain to the tenant (if I can not be present) that the contractors are professionals that enter dwellings on a daily basis to do their job, that's all they care about, and if there had ever been a problem with an employee like that I am sure they wouldn't be employed there.

I try to arrange it when they are there but many times it is impossible if they work.

Would hate to think about a tenant misplacing something then thinking a worker stole it @Kevin L.  .

I always call and try to set up a time they can be there.  If we cannot agree I give them a time when the workers will be there, and they have the option of being there if they want.  I never send a contractor to a house alone with no one there unless they and the tenant have talked and worked it out.  If tenant wants to be there but cannot I go with the contractor.  This probably cannot be done for everyone.  I use the same guy for most of my work and now many of the tenants know him and in fact I often tell them to call him directly if something needs repaired.  One person had made a complaint about having something stolen from a repair person in another investor's property so when my handyman was called to replace the water heater and no one was at home he called me to come.  I helped replace the water heater.  Two years later I asked him to come help me replace mine, (it was a nightmare job hehe) and he wouldn't take any money for helping me.  Being decent to folks pays off.  

Thanks all. My tenant is not the most cooperative. I will wait for another day and follow up with her. Thanks all

"My tenant is not the most cooperative".   Then be careful with her.  My father was a janitor for many years and would not even enter an apartment of a single woman to address a repair issue without my mother with him....just to prevent any potential accusations from some tenants down the road.


We try to accommodate tenants if they want to be at the property.  But we make sure they understand that if they pick the time and are not there, they get billed for a service call.

Also, like the cable company analogy, arrange big windows on your time slots in case your people run late.


I had to do a repair and the tenant wanted to be there , I gave her a 2 hour window between 9 am and 11 am . I get there and no one is home , she doesnt answer her cell phone . So I leave , on to the next job . She calls at 10 30 and asks where I was .  " I was there at 9 30 you were not , I went to the next job"    She thought I would sit there for 2 hours waiting for HER  to get back .    Not.     Then she wanted me there in the evening , I had to explain to her , that I set the schedule , unless its an emergency I am home with the family in the evening and weekends , If she wants to be there , she needs to change her schedule .

Matt, I like your approach. I have been way too nice to my tenant so she's totally walking all over me. For my next tenant I'll have a whole new strategy from the start.

@Kevin L.   If the tenant has a preference I will try to accommodate that. Either I or the tenant must be present during the repairs. I will however perform repairs without the tenant regardless of their preference if they are that critical. I haven't had a problem as of yet. 

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