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Can Omaha Property Owners Be Charged with Trespassing on Their Own Rental Property?

Woman Inviting Her Landlord Inside the HouseIt is your duty as the landlord to be responsible for maintenance on your property. As soon as you have renters in your Omaha investment property, you must register an advanced notice to your renters before anybody else crosses the threshold the property. Your property then becomes the renter’s home once you turn over the keys, in simpler terms, you being the owner shouldn’t give you the authority to trespass on the lives of your residents without proper notification. Even if you simply mean to replace a furnace filter, any unannounced entry could result in your resident levying charges of criminal trespassing.

Definitions of “reasonable notice” vary with state law, so brush up on the legality of your entry as a landlord. Outline the terms for notice to be given before entry in the lease so you don’t violate your renter’s privacy. For instance, twenty-four hours is the maximum typical notice requirement for somebody other than the tenant or their guests to come in the property, whether the resident is home or not. Some locations further restrict entry to times of the day and days of the week, so make sure that you comprehend and follow the laws in your area in this regard. It might give the impression as if it’s a minor adherence, but then again seeing the alternative, it’s well worth the wait.

Exclusions to this may comprise emergency repairs or safety issues, such as faulty wiring that poses a fire hazard, burst pipes leaking into another unit, or broken windows and doors that possibly will distress the temperature of the home or entice criminal action. As a landlord, you must keep the residence “habitable,” so your legal obligation may trump the obligation to notify residents of entry. In reality, disregarding to manage emergency repairs within the period stipulated by your state law could constitute neglect.

You and your tenants are also bound to keep your property up to the local building or housing codes. If a deficiency of maintenance or a renter’s extended absence is affecting heat or ventilation, or broken fixtures are preventing the adequate provision of water or electricity, then as the landlord, you could face penalties for violating standards of living. If your tenants are not upholding the sanitation and structure of your property, pursue legal counsel as to whether you have a reasonable right to enter the premises to administer repairs.

An added exception to criminal trespassing is implied permission. This would involve whether your renter requested repairs or maintenance, which would indicate that they expected and consented to your entry of the premises. Unless it is explicitly stated in the lease that notice should be provided for all repairs, you may be covered from a liability standpoint. Keep documentation of all maintenance requests to avoid the risk of a lawsuit.

Eventually, you must respect your renter’s possessory rights. It may be your house, but it’s their home. Your property ownership does not give you the authorization to drop by without notice. You must submit proper notification of future entry. Illegal entry can result in fines up to several hundred dollars, or even jail time, depending on your state.

Real Property Management Legacy not only provides for proper notice and communication with the tenants for routine maintenance, repairs, and property evaluations, we also keep you in the know regarding all facets of your rental property. For more information on how we can make your life easier, contact us or call us at 402-905-0459.

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