Rental Property Access Before Lease Starts

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"I signed a lease. Can I get in my future rental property; before my lease officially starts?"

A very common question, asked of our Property Management Company, is if a future tenant can access their soon to be rental before their lease start date.

In-coming tenants often would like to take measurements for furniture, or sometimes one of the tenants has yet to be able to see the space or they would like to show the rental property to friends or family.

All of these are reasonable, and understandable requests; but, as Property Managers we can't make the accommodation.


  • It's Unfair to the Current Tenants. As a property management company we are caretakers to a landlord's property; but 1st we are caretakers to someone's tenancy.As a property manager company we understand that a property is a landlord's house; but it's a tenant's home. This is someone's live space and that has to be our 1st consideration.
  • We Also Generally Don't Have the Right. The Lease is one of the things that governs our relationship with our tenants. When we present a lease to a potential tenant we craft it to be extremely fair for all involved. One component that is often in a lease, allows a landlord owner, an agent or a property management company to market and show the rental property when a tenant is not renewing.This is important as it allows us to begin finding a replacement tenant as property owners still typically have great expenses on the property, whether it is vacant or not.But once a replacement tenant is found, and a new lease is signed, we don't typically have the right to re-enter the unit without a valid reason.
  • Liability. There is immense liability entering a unit without valid reason. There are insurance restrictions and other hurdles. Dogs or cats can escape, people can be bitten, current tenants might feel their items are missing, or damaged; and the list of concerns is a long one.The liability might fall to the in-coming tenant, the current tenant, the agent, the property manager or the property. Or a combination.

Again, we understand the reasons an incoming tenant might wish to enter a property before their lease begins; but it's not something we can allow when we weigh the other factors.

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