As a landlord, you have several distinct advantages over your tenants, chief among them being your access rights. Though using your power to break up the occasional party may seem tempting, familiarize yourself with your state’s rules regarding random entry first. Here are some basic guidelines.

Defining “Reasonable Notice”

Most states consider 24 hours reasonable notice but check with your state’s legislature first. In the majority of entry cases, giving your residents a minimum of reasonable notice is a requirement. This law does not cover visits, nor does it involve emergencies.

As a general rule of courtesy, plan on alerting residents 24-48 hours before you intend to enter their home. Unless you suspect illicit or dangerous circumstances, you have no reason to inconvenience their privacy.

In Case of Emergency

If you have reason to believe your residents are in danger, you do not have to give reasonable notice rule. Emergencies include fires, bursting pipes, natural disasters, and violent circumstances—though your best course of action is always to alert the proper authorities first—as well as any situation that you, using your best judgment, deem unsafe.

Please note that entering a resident’s apartment because of an emergency should not be your first option; however, if you must, the law protects you.

Suspected Vacancy

Another circumstance in which you may enter a resident’s home unannounced is when you suspect vacancy. If you have reason to believe that your tenant is no longer living in their assigned space, you can enter the premises for the purpose of confirming or decrying your theory.

If you are attentive and attuned to the ebb and flow of your property, you will notice when somebody stops coming home. If you are indeed able to prove vacancy, you can legally begin the eviction process.

At Keyrenter Chicago North, we are dedicated to keeping you informed of the law and safe from legal repercussions. For more information regarding landlord rules and regulations, call us at (312) 967-3111!