Tenant Refuses Apartment Check Request

10 Replies

I have always requested to do a quick walk though of my tenants apartments once or twice a year and it has never been an issue for any tenant. Now I have a newer tenant who has been renting for two months and he won't return my calls for a walk though request. Do other landlords perform frequent apartment checks? If someone refuses what is your recourse action? The lease states I have the right to do apartment checks.

Most leases specify that the landlord has the right to enter the property upon 24 hrs advanced written notice. In the event that the tenant cannot be contacted, the landlord may still enter the property. What does your lease say?

What does your lease say?  

@Troy B. If the lease states it (which you clearly said it did,) slap a notice on the door telling them you are coming in. To be respectful I would give them 48 then 24 hour notice

My lease says under Access to Premises, the landlord reserves the right to enter residence  at a reasonable time to inspect or make necessary repairs. Notice will be given 24 hrs before entry.

your answer is right there. Follow the guidelines of your state and lease and then make access. If he isn't allowing you access, he is in violation of his lease, and can be evicted. 

Post these two notices and then see if he changes his mind: (these are Washington State specific but could be adapted for your jurisdiction)

TWO DAY NOTICE TO ENTER
TO: _______________________________________________et al
___________________________________________________
_________________________WA___________Unit No_____
This notice is to advise you that landlord/manager wishes to enter your unit (listed above) in order to:
( ) Inspect the premises; and/or
( ) Make necessary repairs and/or maintenance to the property; and/or
( ) Other___________________________________________________.
ENTERING - DATE_____________ TIME___________
Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will presume your full permission to enter the rental unit at the above stated date and time. Thank you for your cooperation.
LANDLORD/MGR_________________________ PHONE____________________
POSTING DATE___________________________ TIME______________________

NOTICE OF $100.00 ASSESSMENT (Failure to allow for access to premises) Date____________________ TO: _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
On (date) _________________ at (time) _______________, you were served a____ 1-day written notice to enter to show, or a ____2-day written notice to inspect or service your premises.
On (date) __________________ at (time) ___________________, you refused entry or otherwise failed to cooperate in reaching a mutually agreeable alternative with your landlord or manager.
RCW 59.18.150 (6) Washington State Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, provides as follows: “The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord (or manager) to enter the dwelling unit at a specified time where the landlord has given ... notice...” For showing the premises, a one day notice is required. For repairs or to inspect the premises, a notice of at least two days is needed.
IN ADDITION RCW 59.18.150 (8) provides: “A...tenant who continues to violate the rights of the...landlord...after being served with written notice of violation (this notice)...shall be liable for up to one hundred dollars for each violation after receipt of (this) notice”...(plus any landlord attorney fees). As such, you are hereby given final notice to enter your unit for ___ showing, ___inspection or ___service on (date)______________, (time) _____________.
Failure to reasonably cooperate will result in a $100.00 assessment for each violation hereafter and/or eviction action.
If necessary, please call ____________________ to schedule a workable/reasonable alternative. Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.
_____________________________________ _____________ __________ (Landlord or Manager) (Date) (Time)

Remove the RWC numbers from above, that is a Washington state specific law.

We do walkthroughs annually.  We call them maintenance inspections, but we are looking at several things.  I have a checklist I walk down each visit to look at plumbing, locks, smoke detectors, windows, pests/mold, overall condition, pets, etc.

Scheduling them is the biggest pain.  Our first letter is wide open - please contact us and let us know when it would be convenient for you the last two weeks of September.  If there is no response, we pick a date and time, tell them we will be there then, and that they need to contact us to reschedule if that doesn't work.

Whenever we are uncomfortable with how things appear or a tenant stops communicating with us, we post the two day notice to enter and put the ball in their court to contact us.  But you need to check your local law.

Does anyone have a form or checklist for doing maintenance inspections? Is there one posted here by any chance? I am about to do inspections of my units and it would be nice to have something on a clipboard that could guide the inspection. I have a form for smoke and CO2 detectors - that is heavily regulated here so there are forms. But for general maintenance and things to look for it would be useful to have something to work from.

you can always send a certified letter informing them that you are coming for the inspection, then show up when you say you will. 

I had a tenant like this, she did not want anyone in the house. She frequently gave me a hard time on fixes. After that I always stated to tenants on applying that we would try to accomadate them but we may need to enter when they were not present and if they were not comfortable with that they needed to find another place.  At one point I let this tenant know I needed to do an inspection and she was insulted by it. I calmly explained the purpose of an inspection was not to look at her housekeeping but to see if there were any things to fix and she was more receptive.  Notice them you will enter and enter. Be clear that the point is to avoid deferred issues. 

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