“Landlord’s Rights To Enter Tenant’s Commercial Rental Space” written by Mike Marko.
Are you being challenged about your wanting to enter your rented commercial rental space?
Just because you’re the property manager or the landlord, it doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want to in the rented property. Keep in mind that once the property is rented, you will share your rights to the building with the tenant.
In this article, we will discuss your rights for entering a rented property. I’ll tell you when and how you can enter the property even if a tenant is already renting it.
Setting Up the Ability To Enter The Commercial Space
In a residential property, the property manager or landlord is not allowed to enter a rented property without proper notice or permission. But in a commercial rental space, there are no similar laws that prohibits the landlord or property manager from entering their property.
Having the flexibility to enter commercial rentals allows you as the property manager to easily maintain and avoid any non approved construction or expansions by rental tenants. When signing the commercial lease it is best to discuss the specific time, date and occasions when you can enter the rented commercial space.
Setting up a monthly or daily schedule in your lease agreement will help to avoid any misunderstandings or non-compliance in the lease. Since the commercial lease agreement is a legal contract having a schedule to enter the property listed will be a validated and approved contract and if anyone violates the terms it could result in a lease break.
There are many emergency situations as well as common everyday reasons a landlord or property manager would need to enter a commercial rental space that should be listed in the rental lease agreement.
Reasons A Landlord Would Enter a Commercial Property Space
Property managers or landlords can always enter the commercial space to fix damages, do ongoing maintenance, and for cleaning of the space. The commercial lease should detail these everyday or monthly schedules to enter the commercial rental space.
In addition to everyday needs for the commercial rental space there will be other reasons the landlords and property managers need to enter commercial rental space.
Emergency Reasons To Enter Commercial Rental Space
One of the biggest and most common reasons to enter a commercial rental space is to respond to emergencies such as fire, gas leak, burglary, and other mishaps. Additionally any types of natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes are other emergency situations that would require building and commercial space inspections to assess and avoid any damages to the commercial building.
When an emergency or a natural disaster occurs the commercial lease should state that any local or government services needed during an emergency at the building will have the right to enter the commercial rental space.
Non-Emergency Reasons To Enter Commercial Rental Space
Often when signing and negotiating a commercial lease agreement it is best to identify reasons and schedule for entering a commercial rental space for non-emergency situations.
Here are other non-emergency reasons when a landlord can enter the commercial space:
- To make sure that the tenant is taking care of the property
- Tenant is meeting the maintenance and repair responsibilities of the lease
- To inspect periodically and assess the need for repairs to the structure or building
- To allow potential new tenants, buyers, or lenders to examine the property
- To make sure that tenants are using any hazardous substances safely and in keeping with any restrictions in their lease on their use of dangerous materials
- To make sure that tenants are abiding by the terms and limits how they use their rented space
- To carry out duties listed in the tenancy agreements or relevant laws
- To verify a reasonable belief that the tenant has not met their duties as a tenant, for example, damage to the premises or common areas or using their premises in a way that caused a nuisance
- To make general inspections in any six-month period listed in the lease agreement
In cases of emergency giving the proper notice to enter the property is not normally needed. However, if the property manager or landlord needs to enter the rented building without any kind of emergency or mishaps, a proper notice should be given to void any misunderstandings with tenants.
How A Landlord’s Notice Of Entry Should Be Given
As the property manager you should know that before you enter a rented property you should provide a notice and it must be written.
When writing a notice to enter the commercial rental space you should make sure to state your reason for entry. Just showing up and entering the commercial rental space could annoy your tenant and cause misunderstandings. Keep in mind that you and your tenant must agree on the reasons for entry to avoid confusions and frictions between your relationship.
When you’e done writing the notice to enter the commercial rental space you have several options on how you could deliver the letter.
Here are the various ways you can send the notice:
o By post (allowing extra time for delivery. In country areas, an extra two days should be allowed for postal delivery times
o By electronic communication (such as email) if the tenant has given written consent to receive notices and other documents this way or
o Personally to the tenant
o Personally call the tenant and email the notic if there is a rushed need to enter the property
There are proper ways of giving notice to enter the commercial rental space. In non emergent situations it is best not to send a notice and enter the property right away. Also, be careful when conducting an unexpected inspection in the commercial rental space because it might aggravate your tenant.
Enough Notice Of Landlord’s Entry
Like what I’ve mentioned earlier, you should give a notice if you’re planning to do inspections or entering a commercial rental space. Property managers and landlords should have the right to enter spelled out in the lease agreement and be able to schedule non-emergency visits to their tenant’s rented space in advance.
Property managers should avoid having bad relationship with their tenants by ignoring the courtesy to give the tenant notice that you will be entering the commercial rental space. Having bad communications with commercial tenants will also give your property management business a bad reputation. It is your responsibility to keep your tenants happy and satisfied while preserving the rented property in good condition. A monthly inspection is enough to check if the tenant is taking good care of the commercial rental space.
Reasons To Give Notice
Tenants should receive a notice before you visit or inspect their rented space due to the following reasons:
- In order to prepare so that they can be available to accommodate you in your visit
- Other businesses will be significantly affected if landlords will appear on the rented space, such as professionals like doctors, dentists, therapists, and lawyers, who should be uninterrupted and need private time with their patients and clients.
- So that professional with private needs can reschedule their appointments to accommodate you in your visit.
Reasons For Rescheduling
When issuing a notice to enter the commercial rental space the tenant should be able to identify times and reasons to postpone or avoid the inspection. Some of the reason this would occur would be the following:
- An in depth inspection, the tenants will be greatly affected in their business activities
- Any maintenance work, there will be greater impact on the business activities, which requires landlords and property managers to really give the notice in advance
Communication between the tenant and the property manager when scheduling inspections is key to avoiding conflicts…
Days And Times Of Landlord’s Entry
The entry clause in the lease should specify the days and times that you may come to your tenant’s rented commercial space. The main reason you would schedule a visit during office hours is to avoid any interior security alarms and do have tenants present when inspecting the property space.
When the tenant agrees to the inspection, the property manager or landlord can enter the rented property between 8am and 6pm. Note that you should allow the tenant to give you their expected down or “slack” period so that way you can conduct the visit when they are least busy.
As the property manager, you should be careful about doing an illegal entry (even unknowingly). Illegal entry happens if a landlord enters rented premises without the agreement of the tenant. If a landlord enters the rented premises without serving the adequate and appropriate written notice, it’s considered as illegal entry.
Restrictions On Landlord’s Inspections
Even if your tenant allows you to do inspections, there are still things that you can’t do while inspecting.
A landlord cannot do the following during inspections:
- Exercise their right to enter in an unreasonable manner
- Stay or permit others to stay any longer than necessary to do what is required, unless it is with the tenant’s permission
Final Thoughts About Commercial Rental Space
In this blog post we talked about both your tenant’s and your rights about access to the commercial rental space. As the property manager, one of your primary responsibility is to preserve the commercial rental space. But as the same time, you also need to satisfy your tenants’ rights to use the property.
So on one hand you need to have a regular inspection of the building is needed. Conducting an inspection will help you figure out the problems of your building. The inspection is necessary to ensure that the tenant is taking care of the rented property.
However, on the other hand you can’t just conduct an inspection whenever you want. Instead you need to follow the guidelines we presented in this blog post to help satisfy the needs of both parties.
Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have about commercial rental space access for property managers.
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