Ask Lucas

Ask Lucas 003: How Much Notice Do I Have to Give Before Entering a Rental?

Summary:

Today’s question is from ┬áJohn in Phoenix, Arizona, who wants to know how much notice he has to provide, and in what situations can he enter a rental property.

Full Transcript:

Lucas: Hey, what’s up everyone? This is Lucas Hall from Landlordology and Cozy. Welcome to “Ask Lucas”, a bite-sized Q&A show where I answer your questions about landlording, real estate investing, property management and really anything having to do with rental properties.

I believe that landlording can be fun and profitable and I want to teach you how. I’m here for you and in each episode I’ll be featuring a brand new voicemail question from someone just like you.

Today we have John from Phoenix and he has a questions about giving notice before entering a rental property. Let’s listen in.

John: Hey Lucas, this is John from Phoenix, and I just bought my first rental property. I got a pretty basic question for you. I was just curious. When can a landlord enter an occupied rental unit? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Lucas: Hey John, thanks for your question. Man, I am so excited for you. Congratulations on your first property. That’s awesome and I hope it works out really well for you. I’m here at Landlordology, I’m happy to help you go along the way and help you make that into a really profitable unit.

To get to your question about giving notice before entering a rental property, there’s really a few opportunities and a few times where a landlord can go into a property but they always have to give notice. In Arizona, the law states that you have to give two days’ notice. It doesn’t actually say whether it needs to be written notice or oral notice, but the practice is always to have it in writing somehow. I would suggest sending it via email or text message or if you have time, go ahead and send them a letter.

If you want to learn more, check out Arizona Statute 33-1343 which goes on to list the reasons why a landlord can go in and the details around it. Generally speaking, there’s a few reasons why you would want to go in. The main reasons are to make repairs or maintenance requests and that can be something as simple as fixing a sink or a clogged pipe or replacing drywall, carpet, etc. It doesn’t necessarily just apply to you as a landlord, it also applies to any contractors that you employ. All of those people also have to give two days’ notice through you.

Another reason why you might want to go in is to show the unit to a new potential applicant or tenant, and I don’t want to burst a bubble here, a lot of tenants think that you can’t show the property until after they leave and that’s totally not true. You can actually show the property at any time during the tenancy as long you give proper notice which is two days.

The other situation is in emergency cases where the roof is leaking, the basement is flooding, the furnace is exploding, pipes are busting through the walls — anything that involves either massive damage to your property or if someone’s life is in danger or in case of physical harm, you want to get in there as fast as possible and the notices are waived so you can enter and do your thing.

Lastly, I want to talk about entering during an extended absence and this is commonly misunderstood. Sometimes landlords think that when a tenant isn’t home, they can just kind of go in whenever and that’s not the case. You do have to give notice all the time except for emergencies. If the tenant is gone for a season, let’s say they go to Vail, Colorado for the winter and leave your place empty for three months, you can’t just go in, at least not in Arizona. Some states allow it with seven days extended absence, or 14 or 60, but in Arizona there’s no statute so it’s just best for you to go ahead and give the two days’ notice anyway, whether that’s through text or email or phone, and just be on the safe side. Always use caution when giving notices. You never want to surprise somebody or be considered a burglar or breaking-and-entering even if you have a key.

Be careful. Check out what Phoenix’s county or city laws are because they might be a little different from the state laws, but generally speaking fro ma state perspective, it’s two days. For more information like this about state laws in Arizona, check out landlordology.com/state-laws and you’ll see links to all the official statutes where you can actually read the official laws and learn about what it takes to be a profitable quality landlord.

I hope that helps. Congratulations again, and hit me up next time if you have any more questions. Thanks.

“Ask Lucas” is brought to you by Cozy which provides end-to-end property management software for landlords. I personally use Cozy to accept rental applications, screen my tenants, and then automatically collect my rent. I highly suggest that you automate your rental properties too with Cozy.

Check it at Cozy.

About Lucas Hall

Lucas is the Chief Landlordologist at Cozy. He has been a successful landlord for over 10 years, with dozens of happy tenants and a profitable income property portfolio.
Read more about Lucas's story.