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Tip #204: I Was in the Neighborhood, and…

Ask tenants to reveal their biggest complaint, and chances are they’ll point to the landlord who routinely drops by unannounced.

Many landlords do it — stop in to repair something or walk around outside to check on the property, and at the same time, check up on the tenant.

But not only does this level of vigilance unnerve tenants and lower tenant retention, it’s also against the law in most places.

Once a landlord hands over the keys, they’ve signed over the right to possession, and made a promise to preserve a tenant’s quiet enjoyment — in return for rent payments. Tenants have the right to advance notice if the landlord is going to visit the property.

Most states require 24-hours notice. A few require a longer period of time. Unless the situation is an emergency, you should provide that notice, even if the tenant seemed okay letting you in the last time you stop by unannounced.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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