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Tenant Rights vs. Landlord Access: Trespassing Concerns for Property Owners

Winona Woman Inviting Her Landlord Inside the House As a rental property owner, it is important to understand your legal rights regarding accessing your property. These rights typically include the ability to enter the property for maintenance, repairs, inspections, or to show the property to potential tenants or buyers. However, it is crucial to adhere to the relevant laws and lease agreements that govern these activities. To ensure a respectful and transparent approach, it is important to provide your tenants with advance notice when accessing the property. This allows them to prepare and maintain their privacy. Additionally, it is crucial to be open and clear about your intentions when communicating with your tenants. By adhering to these guidelines, you can establish a harmonious relationship with your tenants and fulfill your responsibilities as a landlord.


It is important to be aware that owning a property does not exempt you from potential trespassing charges in certain instances. Examples of these situations include:

  1. Lease Agreement Violations: If your lease agreement with the renter contains terms for access to the property and you break those terms, you might face trespassing charges. For example, if you enter the property without proper notice or a valid reason outlined in the lease, the tenant may consider it a breach of contract.
  2. Tenant’s Rights Violations: Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their rental property, which means they have the right to privacy and the exclusive use of the premises during the lease term. If you enter the property without notice, excessively disrupt the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment, or harass the tenant, it could lead to legal issues, including trespassing charges.
  3. Lockouts and Unlawful Eviction: Attempting to physically remove a tenant from the property without following the proper legal eviction procedures can lead to trespassing charges. Locking a tenant out of their rental unit without a court order is typically illegal.
  4. Criminal Intent: If you enter the property to steal, damage, or participate in any unlawful conduct, you can be charged with trespassing just like any other unauthorized person.
  5. Local Laws and Regulations: Laws regarding landlord-tenant relationships and property access can vary from one jurisdiction to another. Local regulations may impose specific requirements on landlords, and failure to adhere to these regulations could result in trespassing charges.

Avoid Potential Trespassing Charges

Respect your tenant’s rights and always abide by the lease agreement terms; in other words, become familiar with the local laws and regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships. Further, it is crucial to avoid disputes and legal issues by providing proper notice to tenants before entering the property for legitimate reasons such as maintenance or inspections. 

Ultimately, you should respect your renter’s possessory rights. It may be your house, but it’s their home. Your property ownership does not authorize you to drop by without notice or good reason. You must submit a proper notification of future entry. Illegal entry can result in fines of up to several hundred dollars or even jail time, depending on your state.

If you have questions or concerns about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a real estate and landlord-tenant law specialist.

Real Property Management Accurate Solutions practices proper notice and communication with our tenants for routine maintenance, repairs, and property evaluations; we also inform you regarding all facets of your rental property. Everything is speedy and efficient, with full observance of property law. For more information on how we can make your life easier in Winona or the surrounding area, contact us or call us at 903-481-1041.

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