We occasionally get a request from a client to inspect their property themselves or have a trusted friend or vendor of their own inspect their property while a tenant is in place. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate these requests for several reasons:
- We cannot require the tenant to not be present at the property during an inspection, so this could create a situation where you, your friend, or your vendor are interacting directly with the tenant, which can lead to confrontations if the tenant is unhappy about a late fee, a rent increase, a lease rule, etc. These confrontations can even turn violent on rare occasions. Obviously, liability for something like this is extreme. Here is a news story about a landlord being killed during such a property visit: Landlord Murdered Over Rent Increase
- While a tenant is in place, we are responsible for ensuring that all laws, regulations, ordinances, etc. are complied with. Someone who is not properly trained on landlord/tenant law could inadvertently say something to the tenant that is a violation of these rules, which could place both you and our brokerage in legal jeopardy. Even a licensed real estate agent who is not experienced in property management is usually unfamiliar with most aspects of landlord/tenant law. Our insurance would not cover you, your friend, your vendor, or possibly even our brokerage if we knowingly allowed someone to enter the property who was not covered by our insurance.
- Tenants have been known to claim after an inspection that their personal property has been damaged or stolen. Again, our insurance would not cover the liability for such a claim.
For these reasons, among others, it is important that while a tenant is in place, only our staff and contractors, who are covered by our general liability and professional liability insurance, and who are trained on how to interact with tenants, are allowed to enter the property. This protects not only our brokerage but also you.