Routine inspections are carried out to ensure your property is being well maintained and that the tenant isn’t violating any lease term. Moreover, they offer you an opportunity to address small maintenance issues before they morph into something serious.
When Can You Inspect Your Boise Rental Property?
Generally, the Idaho Rental Laws state you are free to carry out rental property inspections whenever you want as long as you don’t violate your tenant’s privacy rights. Being the landlord or the property owner doesn’t give you a right to show up whenever you want.
If you show up unannounced repeatedly, the tenant can argue that you are harassing them. In such a case, they would be granted, among other things, the right to break the lease.
If you don’t know much about the local laws especially in regards to entry laws, make sure that you consult with a qualified Boise real estate attorney.
Tenant’s Rights in Boise
Tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment of their homes. Whether verbal or written, tenants have an “implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.” “Implied” because it doesn’t have to be part of the lease agreement for it to be valid.
Quiet enjoyment, as per Nolo, is a promise that the landlord will reasonably use their rented spaces and not do anything that disturbs the peace of the tenant.
Common violations of the covenant of quiet enjoyment include:
When you or your agent;
- Prohibit reasonable enjoyment of the property. For example, guest entertainment.
- Fail to repair items that affect habitability or items promised in the lease or Boise rental agreement.
- Restrict or terminates essential services, such as water or electricity.
- Harass a resident in person or over the phone.
- Fail to control disruptive nuisances, noises or behaviors.
- Snoop through their personal property.
- Enter the unit too frequently or without proper notice.
In many states, there are property laws that require landlords to provide their renters with a notice prior to entering the rental unit. In Boise, however, there are no such laws. Nevertheless, as per the guidelines of the AG, landlords are required to include a clause in the lease or rental agreement that specifies when and how they may enter the rental unit.
Landlord’s Rights in Boise
Landlord’s rights to enter rental property versus tenant privacy rights is often a common landlord-tenant dispute. When can a landlord enter a rental unit in Boise?
- When you suspect abandonment. If you have reasonable evidence that suggests the renter has abandoned a unit, you can enter legally. Examples of such evidence include witnesses seeing the renter moving furniture, other residents reporting hearing the renter saying he or she was moving out, and the rental property’s utilities being shut off.
- When tenants give you permission. If the tenant agrees to the entry, whether in writing or verbally, your entry will be legal. It goes without saying that written notices are the safest.
- When you need to show the rental property to prospective tenants. See (AG’s Guidelines (page 11).
- During a tenant’s extended absence. In Boise, if the lease gives you a right of re-entry, you may enter the rental unit after three days. (§§ 55-210)
- After proper notice is given. You must serve your renter with a notice prior to entering the rental unit. The notice must state the reason and time of the entry.
- In the event of an emergency. You don’t require a notice in the event of an emergency. Examples of emergency situations include water leaking from the ceiling or when a neighbor reports smoke coming from the rental unit.
- If allowed by a court order.
What Should You Look for During Your Boise Property Inspections?
During your inspections, if possible, have the renter present as well. This way, the two of you will be able to address any issues – minor and major – together.
Here are some of the things to look for when conducting property inspections.
- Signs of criminal activity. Criminal activity may include such things as drug manufacturing or marijuana growing. Signs include windows that are completely covered, empty soda bottles and unusual odor.
- Needed repairs. This is perhaps the common reason why landlords conduct property inspections. The idea here is to fix minor issues before they become serious and costly. During the inspection, look for leaky fixtures, faucets, and toilets. Examine the roof. Check the condition of all the caulking around bathtubs and sinks. Also, don’t forget to look for signs of pest infestation.
- Unauthorized residents. When drafting your lease or rental agreement, make sure to state that only persons in the lease agreement are allowed in the rental unit. Alternatively, you could state that subletting isn’t allowed.
- Safety hazards. As a landlord, it’s your duty to ensure that the property adheres to the habitability law. Therefore, make sure that you pay close attention whenever your renters have safety concerns. Preferably, have a checklist. Look for shaky stair rails, overloaded electrical outlets, and blocked access to doors and windows. Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
You should also schedule an inspection when a tenant misses rent. Stopping by when the tenant misses a rent payment may be able to prevent a big issue such as an eviction. Needless to say, a vacant property is every landlord’s worst nightmare.
Find out why they’ve missed their rent payments. Hand them a notice that tells them they need to pay due rent by a certain date. If they won’t have paid at the expiry of the notice, consider evicting them.
Another good time to conduct property inspections is during move-in and move-out time. When a renter is moving in, inspect the property and document everything. This way, come the expiry of the renter’s lease term, you’ll be able to see the exact damages the renter is liable for.
As the landlord in Boise, it’s your job to ensure your tenants are paying their rent on time, abiding by the terms of the lease, and are taking good care of your property. Additionally, it’s your responsibility to maintain the property to the highest standards possible. For more information on managing your Boise rental property contact us today!