Right to Enter
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Right to Enter (by Rose [CO]) Aug 4, 2008 3:57 PM
       Right to Enter (by Susan [CO]) Aug 4, 2008 4:23 PM
       Right to Enter (by BillS [CO]) Aug 4, 2008 4:29 PM
       Right to Enter (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Aug 5, 2008 3:41 AM
       Right to Enter (by billy button [MA]) Aug 5, 2008 7:32 AM
       Right to Enter (by Rose [CO]) Aug 7, 2008 12:31 AM

Right to Enter (by Rose [CO]) Posted on: Aug 4, 2008 3:57 PM

State Specific Question About: COLORADO (CO)

I have 3 questions regarding Right to Enter. This is my first experience as a landlord with a move-out. Here is the situation: I have tenants who have given a 30-day notice to vacate because of a job transfer out-of-state, just a few days before the end of the lease period. (The lease continues to be a month-to-month, so no problem there.) They also said they would be ready for the final inspection in about 10 days. They are insisting that I not show prospective tenants the property until they are out and have finished cleaning it. I have had many calls but can't get their permission to enter. The lease specifically states that (a)I can enter to show prospective tenants, that (b)I must give 24 hours notice UNLESS it is impracticable to do so, and that (c)they cannot unreasonably deny me access to the property.

For one showing (the only one) last week, the prospects were only available on the next day to see the house, less than 24 hours available for notice to tenants. (They had not yet responded to an e-mail the day before asking them permission to enter and to enter with less than 24 hours notice if necessary.) I left 4 phone messages (evening and next morning) about the need to enter for a showing around noon. I didn't have the tenant's new work number, the home number was disconnected, and they weren't returning the cell phone messages. I didn't know if they were out of state yet, skipping out or rent, or not. The lease does not have a statement allowing notices by electronic means. Right now, after speaking with the tenant the other day, I suspect they just might keep their occupancy the full 30 days so that I can't show it.

Questions (finally): 1)Does this situation fit a situation in which it was "impracticable" to give a 24 hour notice? (i.e., Would I have had the right to enter for the showing ANYWAY?) 2)What is the best way to get 24-hour notices to your tenants if giving them in writing is your best way to document? 3)What can I do now, and in the future through a revision on my lease, to be able to show a property after a 30-day notice is given, while the tenant still has possession? --207.200.xxx.x

Right to Enter (by Susan [CO]) Posted on: Aug 4, 2008 4:23 PM

Colorado is a beautiful and wonderful state in which to own rental property. Except for Boulder (where it is totally tenant acommodating) there is a good business environment.

Our lease states that the landlord may enter to show the property to prospective tenants during the last month of the lease with three or more hours attempted notice. We choose to underpromise and overperform, so we give day before notice at the phone number or email address provided by the resident on the notice to vacate form.

What you describe raises red flags. We know the condition of our properties prior to move out and do not run into situations where we wonder about the interior. I do not know when the last time you were inside the property, but usually the only reason to argue access is because they have something to hide. This is not true in all cases, but if I were in your shoes, I'd be pushing my way in to see what is up and ensure that rampant damage does not exist. If it does, quickly gather costs to repair, deduct the deposit amount, and file small claims while you still know how to get ahold of the tenant. Once they move, personal service may not be possible, so act to protect your investment now. --207.69.xxx.xxx

Right to Enter (by BillS [CO]) Posted on: Aug 4, 2008 4:29 PM

Really this is a question for an RE attorney. I am not one, so you can take my two cents as worth what it costs you.

1. Your lease gives you the right to enter to show with 24 hrs notice. The tenant can not take that away period.

2. Your lease is silent on notice. Use email and voice mail and you are covered.

3. Document in writing (email?) that they refused to let you show it with proper notice.

Now having said all that, they have a right to use of the property.

My approach begins with Aldo's rules. The landlord is in charge and the tenant is not. So...

1. You approach them in person and verbally, with the lease in your back pocket, tell them you want to work this out.

2. Remind them the lease allows you to show it with 24 hours notice. Period. pause and let that sink in.

3. The tell them that you understand they have a lot going and you want to respect that. Offer to set a showing schedule of say two week nights for a couple of hours after supper and then for a couple of hours on the weekend. That way they can plan for it and there may even be some nights that it does not really inconvience them at all.

5. Remind them that if the place looks great then it is likely to rent quicker which means lots less interruption for them.

6. Stick to the schedule if they agree to it.

The other option is to give 24 hour notice everytime someone needs to see it. I think they will see it your way. If they don't see it your way, give notice per the lease. There will always be prospects that can't make your times. Probably wouldn't make a good tenant anyway. --75.160.xxx.xxx

Right to Enter (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Posted on: Aug 5, 2008 3:41 AM

I do not know CO law but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night......Post notice today, for tomorrow entry, and get in there to inspect immediately - there is some tenant game going on and you need to protect your property. Post on door and make copy and take a picture of the hanging notice if you are worried. --75.68.xxx.xxx

Right to Enter (by billy button [MA]) Posted on: Aug 5, 2008 7:32 AM

maybe show if they are willing to cooperate.maybe tell them if we lose no rent there is 100 for u if u have let us show early.some of them are not ready for showing-sloppy etc.then i wait until they are gone. --208.58.x.xx

Right to Enter (by Rose [CO]) Posted on: Aug 7, 2008 12:31 AM

Thank you all for the sound advice and good suggestions. I have some great ideas now for revising the lease for the next tenants. You were very helpful; thanks for your time. Update: These tenants contacted me last evening to say they were done and ready for their inspection--gave me a 15 minute notice! (The house is 35 min. away and I had another commitment that evening. I was actually ready to go there to put an Intent to Enter letter on the door when she called, but she said they done and were heading out for WY.) They did leave the place in pretty good shape...but they still haven't paid Aug.1 rent. They left me a note...goodness. Mentioned my refusal to do the final walkthrough, left the keys, minus the shed key, and said they'd mail me the rent. They won't give me their new address. I doubt that the rent will come, but the deposit is more. This has been a stressful 10 days with them, but I suppose this is nothing compared to stories I've heard from others. Thanks again for the help. Hope your advice helps other readers, too. --207.200.xxx.xxx

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