The Challenges of Rental Inspections in Massachusetts
Property 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, there are 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.
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. That could open you up to a legal headache down the line. 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.
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.
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. So 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 Property Management
As a landlord in Greater Boston, it’s easy for important details like this to get lost in the shuffle. With so many tasks to deal with on a daily basis, it can be easy to let a small detail slip that could end up costing valuable time and money.
Boston Property Management supports local landlords with legislative compliance and advisory services to ensure that they are operating within the limits of Massachusetts renter laws. We can help draft up fair and clear lease agreements to prevent miscommunication, and we can help landlords execute difficult tasks like rental inspections so they don’t have to stress.
We provide these services and many more to local landlords. 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 15,000 in the past 15 years. Check out Boston Property Management to learn more about all the services we offer, and schedule a consultation with a local Property Management expert today!