Right to enter house after tenant's lease ends

1 Reply

It looks like I will be taking my former tenant to small claims court. At this point he owes about $1500 in rent, possibly another $1000 for the cleaning charges after he clogged the toilet, plus any other heavy duty cleaning that's necessary after he vacates the property.

He has refused to schedule a date to drop off the house keys but has said several times he will be out by 10/28. He has taken the electricity out of his name. Do I have the right to go in the house unannounced after that date and get the locks changed? Am I responsible for storing any items he leaves behind?

We served him with a 30 day notice to quit last month.

I live in MA - any other suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Michelle,  Hopefully someone from your area will chime in.  Generally the answer is "what does the lease say."  And, even more generally, you do not get to go to the property unannounced.  What I typically do (consistent with my lease) is call and send an e-mail (so I have something in writing) telling my tenant that I am coming to the property.  I do this at least 24 hours in advance.  Then I show up.  I knock, if no answer, then I use my key.  

Teresa