Texas has no statute that governs when landlords can enter occupied rental units. So theoretically, that means you could enter residences any time you wish. But if you’re concerned about maintaining good relationships with your tenants, that’s not a good idea.
The smart way to go is to take into account what statutes in other states guarantee renters. What this ultimately means is that you offer your tenants reasonable privacy rights against intrusions.
In practice, you should try to give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering a rented apartment to make (or assess for) repairs or show the unit to prospective new tenants. The more time you are able to give your current renters, the better. You might also consider entering only at specified times, such as normal business hours during the workweek.
In the event of an emergency, such as a fire, burst water pipe, or gas leak, you have the right to enter without notice. You may also enter the premises if a tenant has moved out without notifying you or if you have a court order to do so. Under no circumstances should you enter just to “check up” on your tenant – that is a true invasion of privacy.
On occasion, a tenant will refuse you access. If a tenant does this repeatedly, then you can assert your right to enter, provided you do so in a peaceful manner. If the tenant still bars access and you suspect something is seriously amiss, you may need to take legal action.
Even though Texas has no set legal guidelines regarding right of entry, you may want to establish your own and put them in writing. That way, you protect your interests as well as those of your tenants.
Nobody said being a landlord was easy. And it doesn’t help that Texas law is sometimes unclear about the extent of your rights with respect to your tenants. The experts at Herman Boswell can help by creating a tenant management plan that you – and your renters – can live with. Contact us today!