I have been requested by a tenant of an apartment to perform an inspection of the tenant’s unit in a two-unit building, including the basement and exterior. This information is to be used to help settle a dispute between the tenant and landlord.
Would anyone feel they should contact the landlord out of courtesy to advise them of the inspection?
You should not contact the landlord. Access to the home is the only issue which is in question regarding permission and that can be granted by the tenant. Keep it visual and do not do anything the tenant doesn’t have permission to do, e.g. open the electrical panel, open the furnace, walk the roof, access restricted areas, etc. It is not their home, so they do have restrictions placed on them and those restrictions apply to you as well.
Cameron, thanks for your post. One of the issues the tenant has is reliability (or lack thereof) in the heating system. I did plan to inspect the furnace including removal of the panel. That is part of the reason I think this is a thorny issue.
What Cameron is saying would be correct in my state. A tenant has the right to grant you access to their apartment and all common areas such as laundry rooms and storage areas, etc. The tenant has no authority to grant access to other areas without the landlords approval. If the storage or laundry room happened to be in the same room as the mechanicals you could look but not touch. If you would have to open additional doors to access the mechanical area you would again need landlord permission.
You should check your state web site for tenant rights to find out exactly what areas are considered common in your state.
I have not read anyone elses comments so this is my answer. I will read their comments after I tell you mine as not to influence my decision.
No they are not your client.
You can bet this is something they are ******** about and will likely go to court. I would definitely raise my prices because it will cause you grief. I almost assure you. Possibly even get you called into court.
There are, at times, allowances in leases which give tenants the right to bring in professionals. They are typically limited to emergencies or when the landlord has failed to respond to repair requests in the time frame spelled out in the lease. I have them in my lease as well, tenants do have rights and providing adequate heating is certainly a landlord responsibility.
(Mark Cohen, InterNACHI General Counsel and Corporate Secr)
I don’t not feel you are legally required to contact the landlord.