Ask Lucas 032: Must I Give the Landlord Access to Show the Property?
Summary: Trudy from Colorado is asking about the landlord’s right to access the property in order to showcase it to prospective applicants. Does she have let him in or can she force him to wait until after she moves out before showing the property? Landlordology and Ask Lucas are brought to you by Cozy. Transcript: Lucas: Ask Lucas, episode number 32. Hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome to Ask Lucas. I’m Lucas Hall, and this is a bite-sized Q&A show where I answer your questions about landlording and property management. If you have a question, just leave a recorded message on asklucas.com and I will try to answer it in this podcast. Today’s question is from Trudy in Colorado who’s asking, “Must I give my landlord access to the property for showings to future prospective applicants?” Before I get to that question, let me tell you a little bit about Cozy. Ask Lucas is brought to you by Cozy, which provides modern property management tools to landlords and property managers just like you and me. The best part is, it’s completely free. It truly, truly is completely free for landlords and property managers, and you can screen tenants with full credit reports and background checks and collect rent online, and all of that is completely free. I’ve used Cozy for years to self manage my own properties, and I absolutely love it. In fact, I’ve never actually had to worry about the rent check being in the mail or wondering if I have enough information to screen an applicant. Get peace of mind for yourself and check it out at Cozy.co. That’s C-O-Z-Y.co. Now let’s hear from Trudy. Trudy: I’m Trudy. I’m from Colorado. I want to know if during your last 30 days notice if you have to let the landlord in to show the place to prospective renters if it does not specify in your lease that you have to. Thank you. Lucas: Hey, Trudy. It’s great to hear from you. Thank you for your question. That one is really great because I think we all have to deal with it. As tenants and landlords, we have to address this. Let me walk through it. The simple answer is yes. In most states, and last time I checked I think it was around 40 of the states and territories in the United States that they all have a law that says that a tenant has to let a landlord in to show the property to prospective applicants. They’re not really clear typically on how much notice by the end of the lease because a lot of times people don’t have leases. They might have month-to-month agreements or it’s just week to week or maybe there’s no end date or whatever, but generally speaking, a landlord can enter a property with proper notice to do a variety of things. I say proper notice because that is so key. In most states, a landlord has to give at least 24 hours notice before entering a property. In some states, it’s more. Some states, it’s not mentioned at all, but it’s still a best practice, but as long as they do that, then they can enter the property to take care of a number of things. One, they can enter the property to deal with an emergency, and they don’t need your approval for that. They don’t need you to give them access because most landlords or property managers have keys to the properties that they own or manage, and that’s just good business. They can enter the property to deal with an emergency, like a flooded pipe or perhaps the heater’s gone out or maybe there’s a broken window or something like that deals with safety or habitability. Typically, they don’t need to give any notice for that because it’s an emergency so they can enter at any time with no notice because there’s a big problem, but all the other ones, they typically do have to give notice. The other things that they can enter the property for are, two, to inspect the property. That might mean to follow-up on a repair or just to do an annual inspection or monthly inspection or whatever the agreement is. They can check on their property. After all, it’s their asset. Three, they can enter the property to make repairs or improvements. They might be building a deck or they might be replacing the windows or replacing the smoke alarms or fixing the leaky faucet or whatever it is. They just have to give notice before they come over. Fourth, they can enter the property to show it to prospective applicants, and this doesn’t actually have to be them. It could be their agents, as well. If they send a representative over to do the same thing, that’ll work. They shouldn’t be sending over applicants by themselves without representation, but they can enter with those people to show it off, and that’s just part of business that they’re trying to rent it out. It’s their business, and especially if you’re lease is ending. Try to be conscientious of that and try to grant them access and be polite because they don’t actually need your approval as long as they give proper notice. Lastly, they can enter the property if you have an extended absence. Sometimes, and typically usually about seven days or more, they can go in at any time to just follow-up on things and they want to make sure that maybe the faucets during the winter aren’t … The hoses outside and the spigots aren’t busting. They want to make sure that there’s not problems. They can check on the property to maintain while you’re gone, but that’s it. Be nice to your landlord. If they want to bring people by and look at the property, just be courteous. Maybe if you don’t want to see it, go to a movie or something during that time, and remember that you still have to deal with the landlord as you move out to talk about the security deposit and do the move out inspection and all that, so you certainly want to be on their good side. I hope that helps. Please know that is not legal advice and if you want to look up your legal statutes for Colorado or for any other state, you can go to landlordology.com/state-laws, and you’ll see a summary there that you can click-through to the actual statutes and read up on those as much as you want. Again, best of luck to you and thanks again for your question.