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Respecting Your Tenants’ Rights to Privacy

Posted on : April 20, 2016, By:  Jeremy R.M. Piper, PLC
Michigan Landlord Lawyer

When you rent out your property to someone, you expect that your tenant will respect the property and keep it in good condition. You expect that they won’t use it for illegal activities and that they will pay rent on time. If they don’t, it can be tempting to inspect the property at your discretion. However, only under certain circumstances are you legally able do so. Here’s what you need to know about respecting your tenants’ rights to privacy under Michigan law.

Give 24 Hours Notice

If you’d like to enter the property, generally you need to provide the tenant with 24 hours notice. Although this may give your tenant time to hide any illegal activity, clean their home, or hastily repair damage before you inspect it, it is required by law that you give advance notice to your tenants before viewing the inside of the property. If you fail to provide adequate notice, your tenants may be able to take legal action against you.

When Rights to Privacy Are Waived

In some situations, a tenant’s right to privacy is waived and you can enter the property without providing advance notice.

These circumstances include:

  • Emergencies. For example, if you believe someone to be hurt in the home and cannot get help, or there is a fire, you may enter the home without notice.
  • Repairs. If there has been a serious water leak, or you need to make repairs to the property, you may enter it without notice. However, in the event of non-emergent repairs, such as the planned repair or replacement of an appliance, most landlords will provide their tenants with adequate notice as a courtesy.
  • When the tenant gives permission. If you contact your tenant and request to enter the property without a 24 hour advance notice, and you receive permission to do so, there are no legal ramifications.

When to Contact a Landlord Lawyer

In order to ensure that you don’t overstep your bounds as a landlord and that you aren’t doing anything that could potentially cause legal action against you, it’s critical that you discuss landlord law with an experienced attorney before you rent out your property. Arm yourself with information about when you can and can’t enter your rental property, so you are always protected. Contact Piper Legal today for a consultation at (844) 55-PIPER.