Entering the Premises

7 Replies

We have a tenant that is complaining that we didn't give them proper notice per the lease agreement to enter the premises when all we had was our contractors go in their back yard to remove a couple of window screens.  Is the verbiage 'entering the premises' generally understood as the interior of the property or is entering the backyard generally considered entering the premises?  It's no big deal but the tenant is throwing around that we breached the leasing agreement and if it happens again they will escalate it to the proper channels - whatever that means.

I'm pretty sure that the premise entitles all of the legal property that they're renting from you, not just the interior. They're renting both the backyard and the house. 

I am pretty sure that I would not be renewing those idiots' lease.

I think you should give them notice anytime someone comes on the property unless it's a recurring service such as yard maintenance. Just common courtesy. I guess the question is, how would you feel if you looked out your kitchen window and there was a stranger messing with the screen?  Not a good situation. 

Originally posted by @Gregg Schiff :

We have a tenant that is complaining that we didn't give them proper notice per the lease agreement to enter the premises when all we had was our contractors go in their back yard to remove a couple of window screens.  Is the verbiage 'entering the premises' generally understood as the interior of the property or is entering the backyard generally considered entering the premises?  It's no big deal but the tenant is throwing around that we breached the leasing agreement and if it happens again they will escalate it to the proper channels - whatever that means.

 It's the entire property and grounds.

I take this stuff really seriously as in law, regardless of state, this is their home and much to the annoyance of lots of landlords out there, the tenant does have rights.

My tenants generally work, so I use text, and I always ask for specific permission to enter the property (usually yard) if I need to make access, and if there is a problem inside, then despite them asking me to enter the property to make a repair, I will send one text in the morning asking for tht specific permission to enter. I never take it for granted that I will go onto the property without permission.

You must view these houses as the tenants homes.

Personally, I'd offer the tenant an apology on this one. Make up some bs that wires were crossed etc.

Originally posted by @Scott Weaner :

I am pretty sure that I would not be renewing those idiots' lease.

 I think that's the wrong approach to take. Unless the tenant is being a real *** about it, they do actually have a point.

You have to remember that these houses are their homes. You cannot march into their homes any more than the bank can march into your mortgaged home either.

Rather than get angry take this as a learning opportunity, an "oops" moment, than extracting revenge.

If you're into the business of revenge, then there are much better opportunities in land lording than this.

All of my leases stipulate that I give at least 24 hrs notice prior to entering, however, I try to give them more just to be courteous.  If I just need to go look at something on the outside of any of the single family rentals I ask my PM to let the tenant know that someone is coming by & when I get there I knock on the door, if someone is home I say that PM so & so sent me over/said I was coming by, I never introduce myself as the owner, I had a contractor out me to a tenant once who was trying to get out of paying rent.

I had one tenant fuss that we came with out enough warning to fix something that they were complaining about, however, in the lease, when they ask for a repair, we are allowed to come as soon as possible during normal hours, I think they called at 8pm about a leaky sink, we came the next morning at 9:30 & they said we didn't give enough warning.... pardon me, but you asked us to come by & fix something, beside he was the one that let us into the property.

Notice should have been given, I would have sent a text letting them know, even if it was less than 24 hours.

Having said that, very few tenants would ever consider anything on the outside of the building a problem.  A neighbor could have walked by too.

I agree with @Scott Weaner , be sure to raise the rent, or non-renew at the end.  These tenants have an entitlement mentality and will only be a problem in the future.  I would not bring the screens back until they invited you.  And them I would delay, unless it is an inspection item.

As a comparison, most of my tenants tell me to come over anytime when I text them.  Even without much notice.  Including showings.  Even if they are not home.

Good tenants understand that they have noting to hide, and making your life difficult is not in their best interest.

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