Property owners and managers need to wear many hats, and ‘rental inspector’ is one of the more difficult tasks they may have to do. Not only is it an awkward experience for a tenant, but there are also many hurdles to consider for the landlord. In many cases, a rental inspection can be considered a necessary chore by both parties that ultimately works out better in the long run for everyone involved. This article will explain the benefits to tenants and landlords when it comes to rental inspections for Boston apartments.
First and foremost, make sure you describe your inspection policy in the rental agreement. This way, the people leasing the property will know what to expect. Legally, you can stop by at any time to inspect the property’s exterior but not its interior except in the event of an emergency. In Massachusetts, unannounced interior inspections violate tenants’ right to privacy and quiet enjoyment. As a landlord, it is always a good idea to meet with your future tenants, prior to them moving in, to go over how you inspect the properties and when you expect to.
We have already rented dozens of apartments for 2023, so it’s a good idea to reach out to your tenants now, if you haven’t already. Set the right expectations and schedule an inspection so real estate agents can price out your property. You also need to ensure the property is in good condition to be shown to prospective tenants.
When Can a Landlord Perform a Rental Inspection?
In Massachusetts, a landlord is allowed to enter the premises at reasonable times with reasonable notice only under the following circumstances:
- To show the apartment to prospective tenants, purchasers, lenders, or their agents.
- To inspect the premises
- To make repairs
- To inspect within 30 days of the end of the lease to determine damages to be deducted from the security deposit
- If the premises appears to be abandoned
- Pursuant to court order.
What Constitutes Reasonable Notice?
In many states, reasonable notice is defined by the law. This is not the case in Massachusetts. It is up to the landlord and the tenant to agree on what is considered reasonable notice, so it’s important that this is defined in any lease that a tenant signs. A good rule of thumb is 24 hours’ notice.
What Happens if a Tenant Refuses an Inspection?
Depending on the circumstances, in many cases the tenant is obligated to allow an inspection as long as the cause for inspection falls under one of the 6 reasons listed above. As long as Reasonable Notice is given to the tenant, they must adhere and allow the landlord or property manager on premises to perform the inspection. If the tenant refuses, the landlord is well within his right to pursue a court order to perform the inspection.
Your Partners in All Things Boston Real Estate
As a landlord in Greater Boston, it’s easy for important details like this to get lost in the shuffle. Rest assured, you can count on us! We are happy to reach out to your tenants, with reasonable notice, to schedule a walk- through. We will give you detailed, expert feedback on the condition of the property as well as pricing recommendations. It is because of this commitment to excellence and service that we’ve been able to build our network of local Boston landlords to over 17,000 in nearly 20 years. It is easier than ever to list your apartment with Boston Pads thanks to our Property Owner Portal. Please contact us– we look forward to working with you.
Published December 12, 2022
Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.